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5 Apps To Start And Run A Blog Entirely From Your Phone

5 Apps To Start And Run A Blog Entirely From Your Phone

Blogging is a great way to share your experiences, adventures, wisdom and musings with the rest of the world. With most of us leading busy lives, constantly on the run from one place to another, it can be difficult to set aside time when we get home to update our blogs regularly, which is why many have turned to writing and managing their personal archives from their mobile phones. Here are 5 apps to make the process of running a blog from your phone not just painless, but fun.

1. Blogging Platform: WordPress or Blogger

Blogger-VS-WordPress

    Before you can begin blogging, you will need to select a platform on which to publish your site. Several free, hosted options exist, such as the very popular WordPress and Blogger. Both of these platforms have apps that will allow users to compose, edit and publish their posts on the go.

    The key difference between Blogger and WordPress is that while Blogger is a little more simple to configure and use, WordPress is easier to customize and to eventually transition over to a self-hosted site when you exceed the bounds of their free offerings. Whichever you choose, there are official apps available for the major mobile platforms.

    Blogger (Android and iOS) – FREE

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    WordPress (Android and iOS) – FREE

    Tip: After you post to your blog from either of the above apps, be sure to view the post in your phone’s browser with full site or desktop view enabled so that you can see what the post will look like to your non-mobile readers.

    2. Text Editor: Google Docs

    While you can definitely compose your text posts within your blogging app, overall, this is a bad idea as it is way too easy to lose your work. Instead, write all your posts in Google Docs so that your content will always be backed up and easily available on all your other platforms.

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      Google Docs (Android and iOS) – FREE

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      Tip: Add a trusted friend with solid grammar skills to your documents, through Google Docs collaboration features, so you can get a second set of eyes on any copy that you are unsure of.

      3. Photo Editor: Pixlr Express

      Beautiful and engaging imagery is absolutely necessary for a successful blog. A few years ago, it would have been nearly impossible to properly edit images from your phone, but with the somewhat recent advent of photo editing apps from known developers like Autodesk, this is now becoming a real possibility.

      screen568x568 (2)

        While there are several photo editing apps that we could recommend, my personal favorite is Pixlr Express. This app allows you to easily and quickly adjust, correct, crop, apply filters and more. Pixlr can also create collages, fix red eye, whiten teeth and apply artistic looking focal blurs.

        Pixlr Express (Android and iOS) – FREE

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        Tip: Find a filter that you like (nothing too extreme) and use it on all the photos that you post, giving your blog a visual consistency throughout.

        4. Social Networking: Buffer

        Engaging with your readers on the various relevant social networks is an essential way to maintain and further build your readership. That said, between Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Polyvore, LinkedIn and more, it can be difficult to stay active and post regularly. Buffer is an extremely useful webapp that allows you to queue up social network posts for a variety of sites and automatically post them at specific intervals, essentially automating the process for you.

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          Buffer (Android and iOS) – FREE

          Tip: Set aside some time every week to fill up your queue with social media postings that will be made throughout the week. Do some experimenting to determine how frequently and exactly when you should post for maximum effectiveness.

          5. Traffic Analysis: Google Analytics

          Google Analytics is an essential tool that allows you to glean insights into your reader’s habits and activity while on your site. There is some backend configuration that must be done on your blog before Analytics will function, however, both WordPress and Blogger make it very easy to set up.

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            Google Analytics (Android and iOS) – FREE

            Tip: For Google Analytics to be most effective, try not to make changes at random. Plan major changes to your blog to take place on a set schedule, with enough time between changes to measure their impact on your traffic.

            With the above tools and some creativity, anyone can start and manage a successful blog on the run. Tell us about your blog in the comments.

            Featured photo credit: Blog / Thomas Hawk via flic.kr

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            Last Updated on February 15, 2019

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

            Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

            Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

            So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

            Joe’s Goals

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              Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

              Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

              Daytum

                Daytum

                is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                Excel or Numbers

                  If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                  What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                  Evernote

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                    I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                    Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                    Access or Bento

                      If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                      Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                      You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                      Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                      All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                      Conclusion

                      I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                      What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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