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5 WordPress Plugins for Increased Writing Productivity

5 WordPress Plugins for Increased Writing Productivity

One of the biggest elements to being a successful blogger is increasing your overall productivity. This can be a challenge at the best of times, especially as you begin building a loyal readership and find your duties multiplying and expectations raising. It is just a lot of pressure, sometimes enough to feel entirely overwhelmed.

The great thing about WordPress as a blogging platform is that is makes it a little more easy. Mainly by providing features that simplify the process. Some that even cut entire steps out of what used to be a time-consuming effort.

My own WordPress is full of plugins, some that I use often and some only rarely. These are the five I use the most, and have seen the greatest improvement to my productivity as a consequence.

5 WordPress Plugins for Increased Blogging Productivity

1. Events Manager

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Events Manager

    This is probably the most thorough events manager I have found for WordPress, and I love it. There are a ton of widgets and features available, as well as a user submitted event capability that allows you to confirm all events submitted prior to blog admission. There is booking management, multi-day event registration, customizable details for each day, RSS feeds and SEO compatibility. Plus a ton more. If you want a simple way to organize events, this is the plugin for you.

    2. Blogging Checklist

    Blogging Checklist

      (Note: Even though WordPress will warn you the plugin hasn’t been updated for a while, it’s tested on the latest WordPress set-up and is proved to be working)

      I used to send out an email to all people writing for me with a list of things to be sure of before submitting a draft for publication. Some were great at following it until it became second nature. But many more would disregard it entirely, leading me to have to practically rewrite the post in order to get it publishable as per the blog’s guidelines.

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      I ended up getting this plugin, and it has helped a lot. You are able to create a standardized checklist that is fully customizable and embedded into your WordPress. So writers just check off each item as they write, or when they read over it before submitting. I now have no problems, and it has saved me a lot of time. One small con is that it is very old and has not been updated. However, I have had no problems with it running on newer WP versions.

      3. Guest Blogging Plugin

      Guest blogging is a great way to increase your blogging productivity because guest contributors can provide you with free content when you are away or too busy to blog. However the most frustrating part of the whole process is finding reliable guest posters. I like to have a guest post up once a week, and to try to find blogs for my own guest posts twice a month. This plugin is aimed at making the whole process much easier and faster!

      MyBlogGuest

        There is an article gallery full of posts people want to see up on different sites. You just make an offer to the writer, telling them when and where it will be published. If they agree, you put it up with their byline and wallah! You have free, high quality content with next to no fuss. The plugin streamlines the process even further by letting you search for posts from your WP dashboard, make offers, publish and even alert the writer without signing into your MBG account. Here’s the video overview that shows the whole process within 2 minutes of time.

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        4. Broken Link Checker

        Broken Link Checker

          The longer a blog is up, the more common broken links are going to be. That is just a general part of running a site, and it is very frustrating. Especially as you won’t always know what links are broken and which ones are fine. Going through one by one might be a usability test that has been necessary in the past, but it isn’t a relished one. Thankfully, there is this plugin. It checks for broken links on your behalf at regular intervals, then alerts you when it finds any that have to be fixed. You can configure it to your exact specifications, as well.

          5. WP Project Management Ultimate

          WP Project Managment Ultimate

            WP Project Management is the multi-purpose plugin that adds project management features to your WordPress backend. Use it to organize your post ideas, freelance tasks, writers, etc.

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            Creating a project, you can specify the time frame when the task should be completed as well as statuses and any reference numbers you have (for example, account number):

            Create a new project

              The plugin adds a new “Projects” section to the left-hand menu. There you can see your current projects and their status:

              projects

                Do you have any plugins for WordPress that you feel have boosted your productivity? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to tell us why you can’t live without it!

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                Last Updated on October 22, 2018

                What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

                What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

                Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences?

                Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait.

                Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth!

                So what is creativity?

                Everyone Can Be Creative!

                The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so?

                You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems.

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                So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.

                Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

                How Creativity Really Works

                Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original.

                Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.

                From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song.

                All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

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                Creativity Needs an Intention

                Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state.

                Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question:

                “What problem am I trying to solve?”

                Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles.

                Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity.

                But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too.

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                This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison.

                For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus.

                And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

                Creativity is a Skill

                At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.

                A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test.

                A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative!

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                If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things.

                Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

                Start Connecting the Dots!

                Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.

                So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, simply subscribe to our newsletter today. In it, you’ll find out how to make use of crucial skills that will push you towards a total life transformation– one that you never thought possible. Your personal growth is our commitment. So don’t hold back, unleash your creativity today!

                Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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