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5 Great WordPress Plugins To Help You Start A Blog

5 Great WordPress Plugins To Help You Start A Blog

Whether you’re a blogging veteran or just starting out blogging for the first time, making sure your WordPress setup is as streamline & effective as possible is crucial. However, slugging through the WordPress plugin directly to get the plugins you need functionality for can take hours and be a real pain. So we’ve simplified things for you. Avoid the headache & the runaround with these 5 essential WordPress plugins to help you start your blog.

1. WordPress SEO by Yoast

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    100% of new bloggers spend entirely too much time worrying about “SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The truth is that SEO takes years to master and is constantly changing. It’s tough to keep up with the changing landscape, and 99% of bloggers are better served by focusing on writing a regular schedule than figuring out SEO. Yoast’s SEO plugin lets you bridge the gap of making sure that the posts you do write are SEO-friendly without spending hours and hours of your time make sure you’re manually making each post as SEO-friendly as possible. Download WordPress SEO by Yoast (Yoast has both paid & free versions of their plugin).

    2. Gravity Forms

    This is hands-down the best form creation tool out there. It’s also a paid plugin—why pay for a plugin that just creates forms? Well, it does more than that. Hook it up with Zapier and sync contact forms to your email address or pull that data into any other application that you like. Don’t want to do that, but want to make a multi-party survey form? Instead of paying a subscription to survey monkey or another service, you can create the forms right on site and collect the entry data over a series of pages. It’s almost hard to explain how great Gravity Forms is until you’ve tried to use other form plugins and pulled your hair out for a good hour or two. Give it a shot, and you won’t be disappointed.

    Download Gravity Forms (Gravity Forms is a paid plugin). Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 10.07.40 PM
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      3. OptinMonster

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        I’ve tried a ton of different pop-ups, and OptinMonster combines both usability & design (as well as performing better than other pop-ups I’ve tried). Not only does OptinMonster give you a traditional pop-up overlay, but they also have alternative email collection abilities including the “slide-in,” “sidebar and after-post,” and a footer opt-in as well as a few other ones on the way. If you’re against pop-ups, you should watch this video by Derek Halpern on why you’re an idiot if you’re not using pop-ups. Download OptinMonster (OptinMonster is a paid plugin)

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        4. iThemes Security

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          If you’ve ever had your site hacked, you know what a headache it is because of both the financial and mental resources you have to expend in order to get it back up & running again. Avoid this at all costs. Stop getting hacked before it even starts. iThemes runs 30 checks to secure your site checks and notifies you if you’re getting brute-force attempts on your login. Once you start seeing how many bots and scripts are out there looking for common, already-known vulnerabilities, you’ll be glad you took proactive measures on this front. There’s nothing more annoying and time-wasting than getting hacked. Download iThemes Security (iThemes Security has both free & paid versions of the plugin).

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          5. WP Super Cache

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            As your site grows, you’ll add more pages, files and images, and as you do, you’ll see that it slows down over time. Besides upgrading your hosting (which can be expensive), the next fastest win you can make id installing a caching plugin that basically takes a photo of your site and serves it up whenever someone visits the site (which saves time & resources). WP Super Cache is free and is the most lightweight & effective caching plugin out there. Speed up your site and install it now. Download WP Supercache (WP Super Cache is a free plugin). For more tips on blogging, check out our 25 blogging tips for new bloggers.

            Featured photo credit: Wesley Fryer via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on December 30, 2018

            18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

            18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

            No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. It’s undoubtedly allowed us to connect, perform, improve and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

            If you’re not taking advantage of one of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

            But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use? Well, this will depend on your needs, but we’ve put together a list of 18 of the very best time management apps that can help you with the most common time management challenges.

            Let’s dive straight into the list…

            1. Rescue Time — Use your time wisely

              If you have doubts that you’re using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. You may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

              Download Rescue Time

              2. Remember The Milk — Keep on top of all your tasks

                If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool which is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc. It helps you to manage your tasks easily, and reminds you of them – wherever you are.

                Download Remember the Milk

                3. Focus Booster – Boost motivation to complete tasks

                  This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It’s designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures.

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                  Download Focus Booster

                  4. Toggl – Keep track of time spent on projects and tasks

                    This is a great alternative to time-sheets, if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects. Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks, and then through analysis, working out how you can manage them more effectively.

                    Download Toggl

                    5. Dropbox — Store and send large files easily

                      There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices – but Dropbox is free and easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go.

                      Download Dropbox

                      6. Evernote — Keep all your notes in one place

                        Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes or images).  You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to really optimize your time.

                        Download Evernote

                        7. Mind42 — Focus on tasks at hand with mind mapping

                          Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mind42 is the best free mind mapping app currently available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

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                          Download Mind42

                          8. SyncBackFree — Back up and sync your files effortlessly

                            This free software allows you to back up, restore and synchronize your files easily. It not only saves you time now – but also in the future. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this pivotal tool.

                            Download SnycBackFree

                            9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) — Manage your to-do lists effectively

                              Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, to work with your to-do lists, and to organize your goals. This task management system helps you to target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives. It automatically generates to-do lists, with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                              Download MyLifeOrganized (MLO)

                              10. 1Password — Have all your passwords remembered

                                This app allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database, protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. It also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                Download 1Password

                                11. Pocket — Keep your eye on the ball

                                  When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. Use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time which will not impact on your immediate work.

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                                  Download Pocket

                                  12. [email protected] — Boost your attention span

                                    This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400%! Ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working or reading.

                                    Download [email protected]

                                    13. Launchy — Interact with your computer in a smart way

                                      This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want.

                                      Download Launchy

                                      14. Forest — Boost your focus by growing a forest

                                        This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track. The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                        Download Forest

                                        15. Trello — Track your projects in a highly visual way

                                          This is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board (which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed) as your start, work on and complete the associated task.

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                                          Download Trello

                                          16. Wunderlist — Digitalize your to-do lists

                                            Purchased by Microsoft in 2015, Wunderlist is an easy to use, feature-packed to-do list app. From planning a holiday, to sharing a shopping list with a partner, or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist will keep you on top of all your tasks.

                                            Download Wunderlist

                                            17. TimeTree — Have a shared calendar with your family

                                              This app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments. So, whether you’re planning a party, or run a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                              Download Time Tree

                                              18. Todoist — Capture and order all your tasks and activities easily

                                                Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list. It’s available via browsers and apps, and lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as given a due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                Download Todoist

                                                The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools. And the good news is – that many of them are completely free of charge! So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you – and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                                Oh, and one more thing… Take a look at a couple of our other articles that will help further streamline your time management:

                                                40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone and 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management

                                                More Recommended Productivity Experts on Lifehack

                                                • Leon Ho — The Founder and CEO of Lifehack, which he share productivity hacks to make life easier
                                                • Carl Pullein — A renowned productivity and time management coach
                                                • Mark Pettit — A Business Coach for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to achieve more by working less

                                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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