I don’t want to sound pro and all with that kind of headline. I am a simple guy who loves to work on a few websites from a small home office.
I am very fortunate to have the ability to spend my time with the family, skip the corporate rat race, and make a decent income from my online business.
But working online can be tricky; the above lines seem so lovely to read; a kind of ‘dream comes true’ thing. But if you ask me, I have to work hard just like everybody else.
Yes, I am working from my home office, and I am just a few steps away from the family, food, comfortable bed, TV. But, I am locked in a room typing on my computer, completing this post, which will go live on the blog a few weeks from now.
Because there is a lot of process between writing and publishing it on the blog. There are a handful of other things that I need to take care of.
Like, how much traffic each of my websites has got today,
how much is the Adsense revenue for today, affiliates earnings,
list subscribers, where are the coming from, what I need to improve, and oh my god, the brain can blast at any point of time I one person has to do it every day.
And this is not everything I have mentioned, because I don’t want you to hate me (or my work).
Thankfully some tools automate these tasks and make everything done is a specific timeline, which can otherwise be achieved only by a superhuman.
I have been using ManageWP recently to manage all my WordPress sites from a single tab. It lets me update plugins, take backups, view the admin dashboard of all the sites, and notifies for the same. I am also using it to access the WordPress editor to publish blog posts.
Earlier I was using Windows Live Write and have used it for well over half a decade. But WordPress has evolved and is now capable of things required for the formatting of the posts.
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I have written a review of ManageWP which you can read here.
It’s the newest edition to my productivity suite. I did not even try to find something like this initially, because Checking and analyzing the different type of data of my websites is something every blogging expert has asked everyone not to give importance to.
It can suck a lot of time, so one should not bother about it too much.
I tried a lot not to get carried away with such kind of data, but I’ve found that this gives me a lot of room to improve the direction of my blog as well as the earning.
Cyfe allows me to save a lot of my research time while still giving me an overview of the essential data from a single dashboard.
You can connect widgets from different services like Google Analytics, Google Adsense, Adwords, Calender, WordPress, Aweber, Mailchimp, and what not, to your dashboard. There are over 90 sources you can add widgets from. You can read more about Cyfe from my earlier post about it.
Knowing about all the projects you are involved in is a basic thing everyone should keep track of, and how you keep yourself informed is a bit tricky.
I started with the traditional Pen and Paper, where I wrote down all the websites I owned, which one I was actively working on, what projects I am planning to do for what sites, what’s the revenue model, traffic generation methods.
I used to write all that on a paper, but then it started to become challenging to have access to that paper all the time, then I moved to sticky notes (those fancy yellow notes on my desktop).
I loved using them, they were editable, movable, and they were always in front of my eyes. But it was still not available on every device I work, including mobile.
That made me shift to Wunderlist which is fantastic to create different lists, you can add tasks, sub-tasks to each task, comment on the tasks, share the task or list to someone else (team member), plus it was available on all the platforms.
Update: Wunderlist got accquired by Microsoft, the brought a similar Task app called To-Do by Microsoft.
But then I thought of trying Trello for a few weeks, It offers everything Wunderlist Offers, and it is more visual than it.
You can create cards and do everything with it like you can do to a task on Wunderlist. You can also move them between the lists, such as, ‘To Do,’ ‘Doing,’ and ‘Done,’ which helps you get a much clarity of where a particular task is, whether it’s still being done or has been done.
If you are the only person working on your sites, you can use Trello, much like Wunderlist, that is, to maintain different lists. But if you have a team that works on projects, then Trello is pure magic.
Bigger teams like Mashable, Digg, and many more are using Trello to collaborate on stuff they do. Here is an ultimate post by Lifehacker showing the different uses of Trello. You will love it now matter which industry you are working in.
Microsoft Office used to be my choice of tool when I started blogging because that was the only tool that could correct my spellings, do auto capitalizations after a full stop, and I could change font styles.
But when the workload increased and it was challenging to make time for sitting on the desktop and write. I Moved to Google Docs as the files can be accessed from anywhere. Now, I have access to all my documents even when I am traveling on the way.
I love the collaboration part of it. I love that it is available on the mobile phone so that I can add a few more lines to them when I have something in my mind while waiting in a long queue or before going to sleep. It has also helped me switch to Chromebook without compromising much on productivity.
I have linked Writebox (a Chrome extension and an Android App) to Google Drive and using this tool to write in a distraction-free environment on Desktop, Chromebook, and Mobile. It certainly helps to write longer on Mobile phones as well.
I use Dropbox for saving important files, hosting eBooks in the public folder, and put the link on the blog, and it becomes straightforward to update the eBooks with the latest information without much hassle.
It is a super fantastic tool that I rely on for saving my most essential files in the cloud. It has helped me keep screenshots and other data from 2007 and even earlier, secure also though I changed so many computers since then.
I also share files with other team members. It is just like a folder on PC where the files magically appear, it saves a lot of back and forth emails with the files attached to them,
Apart from the five tools I have mentioned above, there are few more that play a vital role in my workflow to make the work organized and a little easy to achieve.
Grammarly is a tool that I have been using too much lately. It makes it so easy to find typos and grammatical errors in an article. I use it for the seconds draft of the articles, 3rd draft is the formatting and adding photos. The time I spend on 2nd draft has been reduced to almost 50 percent, thanks to Grammarly.
Fun Fact: This post had 13 errors after the final proofreading. Grammarly fixed it.
Like Google Calendar, which I use for things like Important tasks such as meeting someone, following up someone via email, repetitive tasks such as Hosting and Domain Payments, Advertisement renewals, etc. I use Google Keep for saving a little piece of text that I need to remember for a short time, for a few days or weeks.
Pocket App for saving long articles I come across during the day, the articles are so tempting that you just cannot ignore and if you read them you can kill your most productive time, So, the Pocket app helps you save your work time by saving the article for later.
I read the articles on my mobile before going to sleep or when I am traveling or when I am helping my wife with her shopping bags :-).
Buffer App takes care of the social sharing, you can sit and put all the links to your blog posts in the queue, and they will be shared in the time you have selected. It makes social sharing so much easy and reachable to the audience.
Feedly, an RSS reading app that helps you read posts from the blogs you add it. It is a good practice to keep a tab on the blogs related to your niche, but manually browsing them can take time, you can forget to check them, so this app makes it easy to see what kind of content they are posting to their blogs. Feedly has Mobile apps (Android and iOS), so you can read whenever you feel like.
So, these are the ones that make my work life. Apart from the apps I have mentioned, several other apps help make life easy, you have to see what works for you.
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