I don’t know about you, but there is something so satisfying about handwriting my plans for the week. You may be wondering why I’ve included my planner on a list of blogging tools. And while I keep track of so much more than just blogging in my planner, it helps keep me on track with my blog. I use my planner to schedule my days, blocking off time to work on my site, write posts, respond to emails, and schedule my weekly newsletter.
This year, I’m using an Erin Condren Life Planner. I love that the days are separated into morning, day, and night instead of specific hours. By color-coding things, I’m able to easily distinguish between blog tasks, projects I’m working on, and my personal schedule.
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2. Blog Planner
My name is Rachel and I’m addicted to planners. Sorry, but it’s the truth! I like to have a normal planner so I can schedule my day and plan times to work on my blog and write posts. However, one of my essential blogging tools is a blog planner because it acts as my editorial calendar. Within my blog planner, I can plan out my posts each month, jot down ideas, and record monthly stats such as pageviews. It makes it so easy to look back on your growth throughout the year and see how you’re progressing.
The blog planner I’m currently using is the EPIC BLOG planner.
3. A Good Camera
You can’t have a list of must-have blogging tools without mentioning a camera! (Well, unless you don’t take photos for your blog!) My DSLR plays a huge role in blogging because I strive to take all of my own photos. I may be learning as I go, but I enjoy being able to use my own work in my blog post graphics. Now, you don’t have to own an expensive DSLR in order to take great photos. You can use a simple point-and-shoot, too! For me, I love my DSLR because it allows me more control over my images.
If you’re sharing low quality photos on your blog, odds are you aren’t going to attract many readers. If you’re struggling to take good photos for your blog, think about what the problem might be. Do you need to invest in a better camera? Or is it just that you don’t know how to use your camera properly? If all those settings on your camera confuse you, search the web for some free tutorials!
I first downloaded Evernote back in 2009 when I started blogging and I am still as obsessed with it today as I was back then. This is my dream app. As much as I love my paper goods, I like using Evernote because it’s basically a virtual notebook. I have multiple notebooks that are filled with notes containing inspiration, ideas, to-dos, and more. One of the best things about Evernote is that it syncs to any other device that has the app, so your notes are always available on the go. I have Evernote on my Macbook Pro, my iPhone, my iPad, and my Kindle Fire.
I have a notebook dedicated to this website, but I also have notebooks with notes for future projects, blogging and business advice, inspirational tidbits, and even the book club I host. It’s one of those blogging tools that just makes life so much easier.
5. Email List Service
Mailchimp has been perfect for my email newsletter so far. When I first started this website, I set-up my Mailchimp account, but it was one of those blogging tools I had no idea what to do with at that point. I didn’t have a clue what to send to people or how to get people on my list. Now that I’ve got my weekly newsletter under control and a brand new email series in the works, I’m loving Mailchimp more and more.
The Automation feature is a must for me because I need an easy way to deliver email-opt ins. Everything about Mailchimp is so simple and it’s perfect for those of you who are just starting out with an email list. If you’re looking for something to harness a bigger list and you’re willing to shell out some extra cash, I’d recommend checking out Simplero or Infusionsoft, which I also have experience with.
6. Image Editor
If I haven’t mentioned it before, anything to do with design is not my strong suit, so I need something to make it easier! Photoshop and Canva are the two blogging tools I turn to when I need to create graphics or PDFs. Photoshop can, of course, do much more than Canva, so I use that for any heavy-duty work! But if I’m creating a blog post graphic, I turn to Canva. I also love Canva for creating PDFs because it’s so easy to use and you can incorporate their design elements. It makes creating great looking photos is a snap!