Tools for blogging
I have started to get into a bit of a better routine with my blogging - my organisation still needs a lot more work but I have come up with a bit of a system that so far in 2015 is working for me. Anyway I thought I would share with you some of my favourite tools that I use for blogging.
1. Extra Large Moleskin.
Despite all of the amazing technology and amazing apps out there nothing is ever going to beat a good old fashioned notebook. I know it's a bit cliche now for a graphic designer's choice to be a moleskin but I really do love this notebook. I go for the extra large plain softback version, that I carry with me most of the time and I just use it for putting all my ideas down. I have pages with ideas for blog posts, ideas for new prints/cards for the etsy shop and ideas for design projects I am currently working on. What I love about this notebook is that it is simple and stylish and lasts a really good amount of time. I find it very satisfying to have my old moleskins on the shelf incase I need them and also the pocket in the back which is a feature on moleskins is really helpful for me as I am a bit of a hoarder of scraps of paper.
I signed up for an Evernote account a couple of years ago and had a play around with it, but for some reason I never took to it, but I decided to give it a go this year and I am won over - after only a few weeks I can't work out what I did without it! What I love about it is being able to organise all my draft blog posts and being able to dip in and out of working on them (I used to have all my drafts in Squarespace and I started to find it a bit messy and confusing - so now I only move them over to there when they are pretty much ready to go). It also syncs on my computer and my phone - and so it is great to be able to work on blog posts in progress on my commute. The other thing I like about it is it's great for making lists, storing ideas and inspiration. I guess this is my digital version of the moleskin.
Last year I moved my blog from Wordpress to Squarespace and I am so so glad I did. I have had such a great experience with Squarespace. I love how easy it is to use the interface and all the tools and functions that it has. I also really like that I have the option to integrate a shop into the website which is something I am planning to do later in the year.
Ok so this tool doesn't really help me in my blogging per se - but it is what I use for reading other people's blogs and I love it. Again it's great because I can use it on my laptop but also there is an app so I can catch up with my favourite blogs on the go. I like the design and how easy it is to use.
Something that has made a huge difference to my blogging was getting these lights for Christmas. Before it used to be a bit of a nightmare getting pictures for the blog because the light was only just about decent in a particular room in our house in the day time - but because I was at work this limited me to the weekends and also we were often out at the weekends. These lights give a really even and natural looking light and they mean that I can take photos for the blog at any time of night and day and they come out so much better. I am so pleased with them and having them has really sped things up when it comes to preparing blog posts. I have a DSLR for taking photos which isn't anything special but it is doing the job for now.
6. An Editorial Calendar
I haven't totally worked out the best way for keeping track of this and so far for me this is a printed calendar that I scribble all over laying out what posts will be coming when so that I can see a month or so in advance what I need to be working on. This is one of the things that I do miss from Wordpress - a built in editorial calendar in the blog. I haven't seemed to find anything like this in Squarespace. Ideally I would like this calendar to be digital because often things change and I am moving blog posts around and changing my mind, so with the paper version that gets very busy and messy - but for now until I find something better the paper version is working pretty well. I did think about getting one of these notebooks so at least it will look way better than my scraps of printed out paper stapled together!
Anyway there you have it - those are the tools that I use on a daily basis when it comes to my blog. None of these are anything new and I am sure very similar to what other bloggers use - but I hope you enjoy getting a bit of insight into my process for now. I might try and do a bit of a 'tools for...' series - and share what I use for handlettering/designing etc if people would be interested.