This is a guest post by Ivica Delic.
Software tools, especially online ones, are my passion and I’m always trying to use their best combination for improving my efficiency in many ways… as you all very well know: “The time is money”, particularly nowadays.
My criteria for recommending software online tools for bloggers in this post – tools MUST:
- be free – at minimum application basic option(in order to reduce the blogger costs as much as possible)
- be lightweight and easy for daily use
- facilitate flexible Team work during the post creation
- enable your Team to work on the post from various devices (PC, notebook, tablet and even smartphone), so writers can just continue to work regardless on which device they switched to (e.g. when your husband or son “kick” you from your family desktop PC as they want to play their games and you are just in the middle of your article writing process )
- not be necessary to install it on any PC.
There are only 3 prerequisites needed for using free software online tools for bloggers recommended in this post:
a) hardware device for writing an article (PC, notebook, tablet, smartphone,…)
b) installed operating system and browser
c) permanent Internet access.
As I don’t want only to list all of those tools (as you have seen it in many posts on Internet), I want to give you one new and fresh approach – the way I use recommended tools when I create posts together with my team.
I like to call it “Cloud Project Management approach for post writing process”. Namely, I will show you how this particular post was created in team work between me and Michael (as post supervisor) during the whole post creation process – step by step. I hope you’ll like this approach and also find it useful and possible to implement in your post writing process.
FREE SOFTWARE ONLINE TOOLS FOR POST PREPARATION PHASE
So, how to start that “Cloud Project Management approach for post writing process”? The heart of the whole system is Trello - Project Management online application. One amazing and incredibly easy versatile visual Project Management tool! I still can’t believe that Trello is free!
First what you must do is to create “Trello Board” for post creation process and after that you must create appropriate “Trello lists”. On the below picture you can see how Michael and I setup “our” Trello Board, starting with the “Post concept proposal” Trello list:
(To be noted: Trello board and lists are 100% configurable and you can adjust it according to all of your personal needs/preferences – only the sky is the limit )
The first process step is that you create Trello card – “Awesome 15+ free software online tools for blogger“:
Then, in Trello card you can start creating Post concept in “Awesome 15+ free software online tools for blogger” Trello card by investigating post topic by using Google AdWords Keyword Tool and searching good old Google:
Final Post concept proposal:
Second process step is that your post concept is approved by supervisor, in this example by Michael. He did it in a way that he moved Trello card “Awesome 15+ free software online tools for blogger” on “Post concept approved” Trello list:
FREE SOFTWARE ONLINE TOOLS FOR POST WRITING PHASE
After post concept is approved you can move your Trello card on “Posts creation in progress” list and start with post writing phase:
For online post writing, I can recommend using Zoho Docs – free online document management software for storing, sharing and collaboration on files and documents.
You can use it for flexible team online work on the post creation – directly online or save your post and attach it on Trello card “Awesome 15+ free software online tools for blogger“:
Of course, there are many similar tools for this task (e.g. very popular Google Docs application tool), but I prefer Zoho Docs tool.
FREE SOFTWARE ONLINE TOOLS FOR POST MULTIMEDIA INSERTION PHASE
Is there a serious post without appropriate multimedia content: images, infographics/charts, video, etc.? Is it even possible to have post without e.g. images? In my book it isn’t… therefore I use various free online tools for multimedia, such as (but not the only ones):
- Stock.xchng – the leading free stock photography site (note: the first image in this article is from this stock)
- JPEGmini – reduce the file size of your photos by up to 5x, while keeping the original quality and JPEG format and you can use it for free!
- Pixlr Grabber (Firefox addon and Chrome addon) – free copy, save, share or even edit your final grabs – including any image or background (note: majority of images in this post are created by this tool)
- Infogr.am – infographics and charts tool: free interactive data visualization. Check the simple infographics we made on this post keywords analysis
- Youtube time – free creator of a link to a YouTube video where you set the start time (example for Pixlr Grabber instruction video, starting from 0.06 min)
FREE SOFTWARE ONLINE TOOLS FOR POST CHECKING PHASE
You finished your post, inserted images, video, etc. but before post submission you want to check text for language errors and readability, for free. No problem at all – you can use the following online tools:
- PaperRater – free Online Proofreading (Grammar & Spelling Check)
- Readability-Score.com – get post text readability scores for free
FREE SOFTWARE ONLINE TOOLS FOR POST SUBMISSION/BILLING PHASE
If you are using WordPress as your free blogging platform, you can use an excellent WordPress.org free plugin: Social Networks Auto-Poster - automatically re-publishes blogposts to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Blogger, Tumblr, Delicious, Plurk, etc. profiles and/or pages.
At the end of the post creation process, regardless if you are just tracking time you needed for writing post (for your information only) or you are going to send a bill for it, in either case you can use the following “freelance online invoicing peace of art”:
Paymo – the best free online Time Tracking & Billing software. Why would you use it?
In order to:
- impress your clients with honest timesheet data
- get a clear view of how you spend time on projects
- keep costs under control, increase efficiency
- evaluate future projects with ease.
BONUS RECOMMENDATION FOR FREE ONLINE BLOGGER TOOLS
If you are asking yourself “how on Earth I will remember all those links and user names / passwords” for all mentioned online tools and web sites, don’t worry – there are two perfectly simple, secure and free solutions for solving this problem, “challenging” for all of us
- LastPass Password Manager (Firefox addon and Chrome addon) LastPass is a free online password manager and Form Filler that makes your web browsing easier and more secure. Addons for Firefox, Chrome, Safari and IE.
- Xmarks Bookmark Sync (Firefox addon and Chrome addon): Bookmark Sync. Seamlessly synchronize and backup your bookmarks across all your computers/devices.
FINAL POST THOUGHTS
The last step in post creation process is post approval in Trello Board by the post supervisor. As you are just reading this post on Remarkkablogger.com that means that my post creation had a “happy end” as Michael approved it! Thx Michael
I covered just a small fraction of many free software online tools for bloggers existing on the Web… and new ones are created every day. I believe that each of you have some preferred free online tool for particular phases of post creation. We would be very interesting to hear your thoughts on this. Could you recommend us some of your free online tools? Thanks in advance for sharing
About the Author: Ivica Delic
Specialist for WordPress platform and WP plugins – primary focused on plugins testing and settings. Enjoying when creating WP web sites / web shops as well as preparing software documentation and supporting users of Jigoshop web shop plugin.
In my free time I just love to write blogging posts and performing post SEO optimization – it’s my big passion among many others.