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3 Awesome tools for being a super productive blogger

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If you’re new around these parts, or perhaps if you just haven’t been paying attention, then you might not realise that I am actually a massive nerd, geek, dork, dweeb, whatever you want to call it.

I get crazy excited over plugins, spreadsheets and apps. And in particular any of the above that might make my life (and by life, I mean my blogging life) a little bit easier and more productive.

And having said all that, I wanted to tell you that this week I feel in nerd-love with an awesome app/program called Todoist (it’s the real deal guys).

It has changed how I run my blog, life and business so much (for the better) in just a few days, that I just had to share it with you. And while I’m at it I figured I may as well also include some of my other geek infatuations as well (there are a lot of them, don’t judge me!).

1 –  Todoist (todoist.com)

Todoist and I have actually flirted for a while, but it wasn’t until a few days ago when I was too sick to go into the office (and therefore did not have my day planner… and ended up standing up a few very important appointments/people), that I knew something had to change.

So I went grovelling back once more, and this time it was… well… fireworks (OK.. is anyone else getting too creeped out by this analogy? I think I might stop!)

Todoist, as the name implies is a to-do list, but on steriods. 

There are free and paid version (paid version is just $3 a month), and it has apps, web apps and even desk top widgets that all sync automatically so you can see and add to it however suits you best (personally, I need to be able to see my to-do list at all times, otherwise I will get side-tracked and end up watching cat gifs all day).

And apart from just how convenient it all is, I also love how clever it is.

You can create multiple projects or categories for your different tasks, you can create recurring tasks (aka send posts live… every morning at 9am), you can also share your projects with or assign them to other people, so for me, who manages a team of six, this is amazing (it also gives me a little pop-up when someone marks a task I have given them as done. Again, amazing!).

You can also include notes and attachments with each task too. I also love that you can easily turn emails you need to respond to into to-do items, and a whole pile of awesome other things that i am just learning to discover.

So far I have lists for: 

– Each member of my team

– Bills to pay

– Post ideas

– Website fixes

– Bigger ideas to do later

– My daily to-dos

– General Notes

… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I used to use a combination of Basecamp, Evernote, Google Calendar and a physical day planner, and this has just replaced them all.

Long story short, this little bad boy has totally changed my life, if you need some order to your chaos (or you are just crap at remembering things like me) then I highly recommend you check it out.

2 – Streak (www.streak.com)

Speaking of adding order to your Chaos, Streak is another (also FREE), amazing online app. But this time it is all about helping to get some order around your inbox headaches.

Streak is actually a Gmail add-on, so if you use another email service (why would you do that?) then sadly this one isn’t for you.

Basically Streak is a really simple CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool, and it acts like an email folder meshed with a to-do list, and all hopped-up on happy pills.

You create certain “pipelines” for certain types of emails processes, like ad bookings, guest post submissions or competitions (anything that  you do regularly, and need to keep track of the steps for), and then you create certain “stages” in each pipeline.

So a simple example might be for an ad booking:

1 – Inquiry received/ sent

2 – Media kit sent

3 – Negotiating

4- Follow up later

5 – Booked

6 – Complete

Then when you received an advertising inquiry, you’d create it’s own folder within the Ad bookings pipeline (trust me, it might sound complicated, but it’s really not!), and with each email exchange there is a simple drop down in your email screen where you can assign what stage this project is at, leave notes, and set reminders.

This also means that you can see all your projects/bookings and where they are at, at a glance (so you can easily see how many ads are in the negotiating state, or need to be followed up), which just makes life super easy as well.

It’s probably one of those things you need to play with to see how rad it is, but trust me, you will be hooked!

3 – Co-schedule (www.coschedule.com

This handy little live-saver is a WordPress.org plugin (it’s $10 a month). And just like Oprah, it’s kind of the king (or is that Queen) of the multi-tasking.

It’s main function is to act as an editorial calendar and planner for your blog (with a simple drag and drop function to make organise your posting calendar a cinch).

But it’s also much, much more than that.

You can also use it to schedule all your social shares for the post, and not just when it goes live, you can also schedule in to re-share later one and keep your older posts in rotation (HINT: You might want to set up a rule around this, maybe you share all your posts on the day, and then 2 months later at a set time as well, that way you wont end up having 6 posts re-shared on one day, and none on others).

And for those that have multiple contributors, you can also leave notes and assign tasks (aka change image, or tweak first paragraph etc..) to different WP users, and they can let you know when the changes are made too.

Genius…no?

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In short, there are 101 different things a blogger needs to be doing at any one time, and it is really easy to get overwhelmed or just really forgetful if you are not super organised. But with the help of a couple of these clever little tools, you will be amazed how much easier your blogging life gets (so that’s more time for Pinterest… I mean family… right?).

Image courtesy of www.dollarphotoclub.com

Got any other amazing productivity tools you want to share?

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