August 25, 2014

7 Apps I Can't Blog Without!

[my desk!]
My love of blogging combined with my inner tech geek means that I'm constantly trying out different apps. Especially if they have a pretty design! (I'm a sucker for packaging and aesthetics.) Mostly by accident, I've come across applications on my phone or computer that have become vital to my blogging life and I've been wanting to share them here. I figure we each have own our blogging process quirks but I always love hearing about new apps. FYI, I'm a total Apple person so I have an iPhone and Mac in case you were wondering.

1. IFTTT (website/mobile app)
It's supposed to stand for: "If This, Then That" and it's so incredibly helpful for people who have a bunch of social networks (or websites, period) and want to connect them all somehow. The idea is that you can create "recipes" once you've connected all your various online accounts, whether it's social media, your email address, Blogger, Google accounts, etc. For example, one of my recipes is: if I post to Blogger, automatically save a copy to Google Docs. Or if I post to Blogger, automatically post a link to it on Tumblr, using my labels as hashtags. Another one I have is: if I post to Instagram, post the picture on Tumblr and Flickr too. It's so convenient and easy to work with.

2. Feedpress (website) 
I was in serious need of a way to track my RSS feed subscribers. I used to check Bloglovin and Feedly and just add it up to get a rough estimate.  Then Hannah (from So Obsessed With) posted about Feedpress on her blog so I decided to try it out and IT IS SO GREAT. I finally know exactly how many subscribers I have and whenever I send questions to customer support (which was about 4 different times), they answered quickly and helpfully. I had used Feedburner on a old blog years ago and this is far more superior.

3. BufferApp (website/mobile app)
I used to use Hootsuite for scheduling my posts and while it does do the job, the interface is so ugly. Every time I logged in, it pained my designer heart. So I did some googling, saw this with its nice minimalistic interface, gave it try and I've been using it ever since. It's very straightforward and I like that I can create schedules for posts plus see the analytics. 

4. SimpleNote (mobile/desktop app)
Most people mention Evernote when it comes to note-taking and even though I've tried it, I just don't like it that much. I can't tell you how many times I've downloaded and deleted it on both my computer and phone. Then I found SimpleNote and I just love it. Again, super basic, easily and quickly syncs between my computer and phone and that's really all I need. 

5. Photoshop (desktop app)
I would not be able to make all my pretty graphics without Photoshop. I've been using this software since college when I started taking interactive multimedia classes and while I've tried a few others like Paint Shop Pro and Fireworks (which are good alternatives), this is the best one for me. 

6. Google Sheets (website/mobile app)
I sort of love my spreadsheets. Whenever I need to organize something, this is my go-to app. Google recently created a separate "Sheets" app and while it annoyed me at first, I actually prefer it now. I don't use "Docs" nearly as much so it's nice to just see all of my spreadsheets in one app.

7. Instashare (mobile/desktop app)
I just discovered this one recently and it's the app I didn't know I needed. It's no surprise to anyone who follows my blog/Twitter/Instagram or knows me IRL that I love to take pictures on my phone. And I do most of my photo editing directly on my phone as well. So whenever I needed to blog my photos, I would email them to myself, download one by one and then upload to my blog. With this, you can sync/pair devices (you have to download the app on each device). Then I go to the app on my phone, highlight all the pictures I want to send to my computer, drag to a folder and ta-da! They're all on my desktop a minute later. 

Honorable Mentions
I won’t get into the obvious ones: Twitter to communicate, Tumblr to supplement your main blog or Goodreads to organize your books. I have all three apps on my phone.

Let me know if you decide to try any of these out! 
Or if there's an app you'd like to suggest to me, 
I'd love to hear about that too!

11 comments:

  1. This is such a great post Rachel! I'm a massive Apple fan myself but I also use a laptop PC at home because there are just some apps I can't seem to get away from on Windows.
    I am definitely going to try Feedpress now! I don't think I have a lot of RSS/email subscribers - mine are all through Google+ and Bloglovin I think.
    I'm so addicted to Photoshop <3 I use it to make all my blog graphics! I started using it in 2006 I think and I'm STILL learning so many things every day.
    I personally prefer Microsoft Office to Google Drive - and I also quite like Pages on my phone to edit documents if I'm not at a computer - love how it is compatible with Word.
    What I do with photos on my phone is upload them to Dropbox where I have the app installed on my computer so it syncs :D

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  2. What a great list of resources! I hadn't heard of Google Sheets. I'll have to look into it. However, I am in absolute love with the ideas behind Instashare and IFTTT! I need to go download those ASAP! Great informative post!
    -Kelsey

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  3. Great idea for a post! I haven't been blogging long but these apps will make my job so much easier.

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  4. This is amazing!!! I need to check out these apps right now!!! You are awesome!

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  5. The IFTTTapp sounds stellar. I don't have very many followers yet, but when I do and need to keep track, I will keep Feedpress in mind. I have a notepad app that I like and I have figured out how to get it to leave reminders on my Kindle, but I cannot figure out how to get things to post to my calendar, so maybe I will check SimpleNote out. I love your immaculate desk! One thing I would love to find is a fully functioning Facebook mobile app. Right now I use three different FB apps to do everything I need. It is a pain in the butt.

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  6. This is so useful! I've been looking for a note-taking app that syncs between my computer and phone and I'd only ever heard of EverNote before, but now I'm definitely going to download SimpleNote and give it a try! I totally hear you on the Hootsuite interface...that's what I use and it looks like something from the 90s. I'll have to take a look at BufferApp!

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  7. UM HI I LOVE THIS. I love technology, simplicity, and design so yes, MAJOR WIN. I need to try out IFTTT, I've read about it and gotten overwhelmed at the thought, but the time is going to come, and soon! I LOVE your mention of InstaShare, I currently use OneDrive to do this with my photos from my phone to my Mac, but Id like to check out the competition! Like you, I LOVE Buffer's streamlined design . Im petrified of Photoshop, though I just downloaded a 30 day trial of both that, and Lightroom on my Mac. :-X AGAIN, loveee this!!

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  8. I have never heard of IFTTT, but I'm definitely going to check it out! I really like Feedpress, despite the fact it's messing with my stats at the moment.

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  9. So, basically, I've just downloaded the ones with mobile apps onto my phone, thanks to this very informative post! I think it's cool that a lot of these tools are definitely useful when it comes to blogging + making that a whole lot easier (especially with all the different social media sites). I can't wait to try them all out, especially Buffer + IFTTT!

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  10. Wow, great post! I've decided to check out Instashare and Simplenote ;)

    Tori @ Bookish Affairs

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  11. I love Photoshop! It's one of my all-time favorite programs and I use it so much. Buffer is so great and I love the design. I love how I don't have to worry about consistency when I use it and how it uses bit.ly. I haven't heard of IFTTT but it seems like a good fit for me!

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