Blogging from home can be a crazy job. Balancing kids, work, and home can seem impossible at times. Optimizing productivity is a high priority for me, as I have to cram a lot into 24 hours, and contrary to popular belief, I do not like to work 24/7.
I honestly couldn’t accomplish everything I do without a few simple tools. What do I use?
Ecto – For Writing Blog Posts
Before I was a Mac girl, I used Live Writer for blogging, and Live Writer was the one thing I hated to give up when I bought a Mac. I hate writing posts right in WordPress. Using word processing programs can mess up the coding on a site, and I’m not nearly proficient enough in HTML to make writing in a text editor efficient.
Enter Ecto. Though I don’t like it quite as well as Live Writer, it gets the job done. I use Ecto to write all of my posts, and then I upload them to WordPress for final editing. I love that it’s a desktop application, so I can shut down my browser for distraction-free writing. That’s the only way I get any writing done.
Evernote – My Virtual File Cabinet
In recent months I have become an Evernote addict. I set up a Getting Things Done system with Evernote, and I forward any email I need to reference to my Evernote account. I also use Evernote to store my tax deductible receipts, material I want to read later, daily to-do lists, and blog post ideas.
If I need to remember it, it goes to Evernote. I used Evernote so much last month that I had to upgrade to the paid version! It’s well worth the price though, because it keeps me organized and helps me to accomplish more in less time.
Cozi – My Online Appointment Book
I just love Cozi. I’ve been using it as a family calendar for a couple of years, but I recently started storing blogging information in Cozi, too. When I’m working on a project with a deadline, I make a note of the deadline in Cozi. Then I set up a reminder, so I get a text message at a pre-set time before the deadline.
I love the option to get text reminders, because I hardly text. Therefore, a text reminder really gets my attention, unlike an email, which is likely to be ignored.
Open Office – Like Microsoft Office, but Free!
I don’t use word processing programs or excel sheets very often, but when I’m working with PR reps and brands, I often need to submit invoices or fill out forms that are in Microsoft Word or Excel format.
Since I don’t have Microsoft office on my Mac, I use Open Office instead. It works very well with Word and Excel files and saves my work in Microsoft format. That way, when I send my forms to the people I’m working with, they can open the files on their Microsoft systems.
Coffee – My Fuel for the Day
I would never get through the day without my coffee. I pour my first cup at around 5 in the morning, and I keep drinking it all day. Some might say I’m a caffeine addict. Yes, I probably am, but there’s nothing like writing a blog post while sipping on a hot cup of coffee.
Most of the time I drink it with a little cream, but when I really want a treat, I add some DaVinci Sugar Free Coffee syrup. Yum!
So there you have it: the essentials of my home office.
What things are necessary for you? Is there anything you can’t live without? I love testing out new productivity tools, and you might just hook me up with something I love!