Image by Erica Reitman of Design Blahg.
I’m back from the Altitude Design Summit and simultaneously exhausted and energized. I got to meet and hang with amazing people (hello all the amazing people! I miss you!).
Here is a quick list of the resources mentioned in the panel I was invited to speak on called Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Blogging. I was up there with Susan Brinson of House of Brinson and Erica Reitman of Design Blahg, who put together the fantastic slide show used in our talk. Big thanks Erica.
- Skitch for screengrabs. Allows you to made edits and draw on top of the image. Jing is another screen capture tool.
- Outbrain for related posts. Works with many blogging platforms, gives you stats on what posts are getting the most attention.
- Evernote for organization. Can organize and sort your information from mobile devices as well. Allows you to save text, images, links and audio notes.
- Pinterest for sourcing and inspiration. Community currated and full of pretty stuff.
- Squarespace for blogging. Allows for non-coders and coders alike to have lots of control of the look. (Full disclosure, Squarespace sponsored the panels. Fact, the Alt Summit website was created and is hosted on Squarespace.)
- Google Alerts to let you see what others might be saying about your site. Sends emails periodically or collects the alerts in a feed. You can monitor any search term.
- Mention Notifier to keep up with Twitter mentions. Sends you an email or text message any time you are mentioned on Twitter, works with any search or hashtag you’d like.
- Zinio app for reading magazines. Lets you read all your magazines on your iPad or iPhone.
- Twitter, obviously. Tweetdeck and Hootsuite were the favorites for the many ways you can sort and organize multiple accounts and searches.
- Photoshop actions for quick image preparation. Setting up your own actions means a photo can be ready for your blog in one click. You can also download actions created by others to get some very pretty looks going on.
- Instapaper to read things later. Saves a long form article in a very readable format and lets you read it later on computer or iPhone, downloads it so you can read when offline (hello air travel).
- Flickr for photos. You can store, share and sort your photos, as well as use search with Creative Commons licenses if you need to find something specific. I’ve been using it for years and people still regularly find my blog from a photo they saw shared on Flickr.
- RSS Reader to keep you organizes. Google Reader is the favorite choice. Use Helvetireader for a minimalist skin and Feedly provides a magazine like layout.
I want to add my own little tip. I never quite got into the habit of using another site like Evernote or Digg to collect the things I come across, instead what I do is to quickly bookmark/favorite/star/like (in a browser/email/Flickr/Twitter and on my phone) those things I find as I’m surfing but don’t have time to blog about them in that moment. And on Fridays I schedule a block of time, usually it only takes half an hour, to revisit and sort through all those items. I clear them out, which makes me feel like I’m tidying up and is a nice way to end a week, and usually I rediscover something I really dig but would have forgotten about. My method may not be as technically awesome as using a service to draw everything together, but I find that it allows me to move quickly through my week and think more carefully about if I want to include something in my blog later on when I’m more focused.