We can’t all be super productive all of the time. When you hit the wall and lose your mojo, how do you get back on the blogging horse? There’s a ton of tools available to help you write, edit and produce awesome blog posts but it’s easy to get distracted and find yourself down a mindless Facebook rabbit hole.
Sometimes you just need to clear your cyber desk and get back to basics.
Here’s my favourite tools for getting your writing back on track and focusing on the job in hand!
I love AI Writer, it’s fairly basic in its simplest form but that’s the beauty of it. This piece of software gets you back to basics focusing on the text you are writing without distracting. My favourite feature is focus mode that highlights just the paragraph of text you’re currently writing and blurs out the rest.
Noisli allows you to mix different background sounds and save them in the aim to keep you more focused and increase your productivity. It has a handy timer and distraction free text editor that allows you to download the text as text file or save it to Dropbox and Google Drive.
In a similar vein, Coffitivity recreates the ambient background sounds of a cafe to keep your focused, just like you’re sipping a latte in your local Starbucks!
Write or die
It’s been around for a while but this evil little online web app has a special way to get you writing. It punishes users if they slow their writing speed or pause for long periods of time by deleting their content… word by word. It could help you stay focused and stop your mind wandering when you need to get that all important blog post finished on time. You can also set consequences for failing to hit your goals or even rewards for meeting them.
Don’t underestimate the power of a simple program like notepad! Sometimes you need to cut and paste something from a browsers and remove any HTML formatting. A basic notepad comes in handy to ensure you are copying just the text and not styles, fonts and other bits of HTML.
If you’re looking to get your old and future blog posts organised for reference (and potential inspiration), then a more advanced writing tool like Scrivener could be a good option. It was originally designed for authors to write novels but it’s also a favourite of some bloggers (and script writers, journalists and translators) that want to be able to visualise all their posts in one place.
Scrivener is available on Mac and Windows.
Keep is a great little tool for taking notes, making lists and jotting things down on the go. It’s online so you’ll find your notes in sync from your phone and desktop. It’s like a pretty basic version of Evernote, allowing you to save text, lists, photos, and audio.
If you’re looking to get a handle on your editorial calendar and get more organised Trello is a great option. Useful for a editorial team to organise upcoming posts, topics and idea across teams.
Here’s an example.
Hemingway App uses natural language processing to analyse your text to highlight parts that are over complicated and wordy. It aims to help you remove dull and unnecessary text from your writing. The majority of the apps recommendations are actually based on real research that’s been carried out into readability.
Hemingway Editor 3 currently costs $19.99 and is available on Mac on Windows.
If you can’t find your writing mojo then turning on the tunes might be a good idea, but don’t crank it up to high! Research suggests that background music can help you work better. It’s also been proven that listening to music a steady, “repetitive pulse” that’s not too loud can greatly improve concentration.
Evernote is the go to app for collecting ideas, images, sounds and clippings from the web. You can scan documents, take photos, attach files, set reminders and produce checklists. Evernote is the Swiss army knife of apps for content producers and it syncs nicely across all your devices and operating systems.
Good Old Notebook and Pen
Sometimes ditching technology is the best course of action. You could be out in the field with no WiFi connectivity or maybe you just need to jot down those all important quotes from an interesting interviewee. When your connections gone and your battery’s drained having the good old notebook and pen as a backup can be a lifesaver!