#AMonthofFaves: This Is How I Blog: Tools, Resources & a few fails

So I am still on some other clock than most! :)

A Month of Faves is an awesome event is hosted by GirlXOXO, Traveling with T and Estella's Revenge. Check out the full sked here.

Wed. | Dec. 9 – This Is How I Blog {The Digital Edition} – Essential Computer Programs, Browser Plugins and/or Websites That Rock for Blogging

I couldn't resist this question, so here I am!

Non-negotiables, we all have them! This blog cannot function without Gmail and Google Drive and I am finding basically the suite of tools offered by Google. I've set up my Gmail so I'm practically always at Inbox Zero and I even made a tutorial about this for a Bloggiesta mini challenge (check it out here)! It's tamed my Inbox and email is a non-stressor now. Google Drive can't be beat for storage. I even have a back-up of my blog on Google Drive!

For blog graphics, Canva is da bomb! If you've never heard of it, you must try it. I know how to use Photoshop but honestly, why go to the trouble of starting from scratch when Canva is there? The designs are extremely professional (assuming you use the ones there), there are lots of templates which take out the guesswork, it's easy to use, and the best thing ... it's free. I used to love PicMonkey and still use it on occasion but Canva is now my default.

Need a good photo? My new fave is unsplash.com ... again, totally free, beautiful, and even available in high res, should you need them to be! I created these printable bookmarks for Travel the World in Books Readathon using images from this wonderful site (download them here: set 1, set 2).

Trello is still my go-to for scheduling, list creation, and just keeping track.

For general reading and inspiration, I have two huge crushes:

  • Amy Lynn Andrews' Useletter because it is exactly that: useful tips for bloggers that go straight (and free) into your mailbox. 
  • Smashing Magazine because it's the best way to get curated tips on design, coding, blogging, and everything in between.  

I have scaled down drastically on the tools that I use and have decided to keep things pretty simple simply because I found that being overly tooled drove me a little bonkers -- too much to keep with, and extremely distracting for my reading ;) Don't get me wrong - these tools are perfectly good but they have to work for you. And they just didn't work for me.

Some tools I have abandoned include Triberr (felt really spammy, or maybe because I was just in the wrong "Tribe"), Buffer and Hootsuite (both I just tired of).

I'm looking forward to seeing what else is out there ... what's the next shiny toy I should play with? :)

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall