Archive | November 2015

Useful apps, programs and websites for bloggers

Here’s guest post I did for Janice Wald at mostlyblogging.com, do take a look at her blog!

tech189 here, giving you a couple of handy tips for you bloggers: here are some apps for your phone/tablet, programs for your computer and websites which I use to help me create great content for my blog!

Google Keep:

If you’re on the go a lot like me, you probably won’t spend all your thinking time for new posts at the computer. For instance, you might have a sudden thought while you’re on the train/bus/plane. Thankfully you brought your phone with you and installed an app called Google Keep.

This is a note taking app made by Google which has a really easy to use interface and comes with handy tags to organise your notes. The best part about it is that you can have reminders and repeating reminders. Also, since it is owned by Google, you’ll never really need to backup your notes as they keep your data very secure and safe!

But I hear you say, “How is this any use for us bloggers?”  Well, it’s cross-platform, which means that if you have an Android phone or an iPhone, you can install this app from your respective app store, and you can use it on your computer! All you need is a Google account!

Here are the links to download the app:

Android: http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.keep

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-keep-your-thoughts/id1029207872

And to view your list of notes on a computer, go to http://keep.google.com.

 

f.lux:

Most of us bloggers have got work to do during the day and we end up writing at night. Now screens are designed to be used during the day around normal sunlight and are very bright as a result. Not only are they bright, but they contain a lot of artificial “blue light” which affects a hormone called melatonin.

This wavelength of light changes when melatonin is activated and means that getting to sleep after blogging is harder and we may not have such a good night’s sleep as a result. It also affects our circadian rhythms which determine when we automatically get up and other such “built-in human clock” functions.

But no fear, there is a program called f.lux which, when the sun sets, dims your screen and applies a yellowish tint to it which blocks out the wavelengths of blue light. It automatically runs and once you’ve installed it there’s no need to adjust it later. (Unless you are doing some colour-sensitive work such as editing a photo… which you probably shouldn’t be doing at night!)

It is once again cross-platform so you can install it on Windows, Mac and Linux! Just go to http://justgetflux.com.

You can also install this app on your phone, but at the moment it only works with Android without rooting/jailbreaking your phone. Here’s a link to the app: http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.chainfire.lumen. iOS users will just have to use a computer instead, jailbreaking is risky business!

 

Picjumbo

Blogs are not the same without pictures. They look boring when they’re just plain text. When you add pictures and a splash of colour, your blog will come to life and you’ll attract more people as a result.

But it’s not always easy to find pictures unless you’re going to take them yourself. If you are a photographer already, great! But most people aren’t or just don’t have the time to get their own pictures.

That’s where this website comes in: it’s a free service where you can download royalty free pictures which will easily spice up your blog post. Just choose the picture you want and press download, no fees!

Caesium


WordPress is pretty generous with the space it gives you for your pictures and videos for your blog but it is still limited, none the less. As a result people tend to not post pictures and videos which they don’t really feel necessary as they are worried that they will run out of space. This is not something people should do, they shouldn’t limit their creativity!

Caesium is a small program which can compress your photos. Compression makes the photo files much smaller but decreases the quality slightly. I do this currently with all the photos I upload to my blog.

Photos can be very large at up to about 5MB per files which, if you upload often, will quickly eat up your storage. This is an easy operation and can decrease the files to something like 800KB. It saves space and also speeds up loading times on your website.

Here’s a link to the website: http://caesium.sourceforge.net.

 

postimg.org

Although you could compress your files, you could also host the somewhere else. One such image hosting service is postimg.org which gives lots of space for free! This service is very useful because you don’t need to worry about running out of space or compressing your files.

You can upload in different categories and if you click on codes for each photo it will give you a direct link to the uploaded photo which you can then embed into your blog post.

 

500px

This last website isn’t really a tool as such but a place to promote your photography if you are blogging about photography like I am.

500px is a photography sharing site where you can view professional work from professional photographers but also promote your work. You can sort by categories and get inspiration from other photographers. Others can like or favourite your work and also follow if they particularly like your pictures.

If you’re interested, why not visit my profile on 500px? Here is a link: http://500px.com/tech189.

What other useful apps and websites do you know? Why not share in the comments!

Thank you for reading my guest post, come check out my blog if you want more technology/photography related posts: https://tech189.wordpress.com.

 

tech189

 

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Finally, Firefox for iOS!

It’s here, you can now get one of the best browsers on your iPhone or iPad!
https://itunes.apple.com/app/apple-store/id989804926?mt=8I

It doesn’t look like they’ve implemented extensions yet, but I’m sure that’ll come soon!

Unfortunately, you’ll need iOS 8.2 or later to run this app, so those sticking with iOS 7 will miss out…

tech189

Janet's Writing Blog

I enjoy doing the research for and writing southern historical fiction. The novel I'm writing is set in the Carolinas in the 1760s. I also wrote a vintage postcard book for Arcadia Publishing titled The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. This blog chronicles my journey as a writer. Come along!

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