If you’re anything like me, you think of ideas for a blog while you’re driving, in the shower, walking the dog, anywhere but sitting in front of your computer. Unfortunately my memory is about the equivalent of that of a 90-year-old and my iPad is not compatible with my shower so I have to rely on something else to store away these ideas. And my lifesaver is my iPhone. No, it can’t come in the shower, but it does sit beside the sink, it fits in my pocket and is NEVER more than an arm’s reach away.
Here are 5 apps I use to store away blog ideas. Each of these are free and none are too cumbersome to use.
Writing drafts, note taking, dictation.
I LOVE this app. I use it for every note I take, no matter whether it’s a shopping list or a blog idea. It syncs with my iPad, my computer and my iPhone. I can even share notes with coworkers, so they can take a look at my blog notes and make updates of their own.
I can dictate notes to the app (it doesn’t scribe them, just saves the audio file), write my blog posts and save them to copy and paste to WordPress later (you’ll find some glitches with saving drafts on the WordPress app). I can also take photos and save them here, but I have some other apps I prefer to use for that.
Instapaper has a lot of competitors (including Pulse and Evernote), but I still like it for basic simplicity and the fact that it’s a start-up – I feel I should always support fellow entrepreneurs when possible. It allows you to save entire webpages and online articles to read later. I find this helps me to stay on track. For example, I’m writing a blog about topic a, I do some research and come up with an article about something else that could be interesting, I hit Read Later on my menu bar and carry on with my research for topic a.
I can then read the article on my phone, my iPad, or even my Kindle (yes, I really do have all three!)
Collecting and saving news.
We have a couple of Pulse addicts in our office. Pulse collects stories from online sources or your choosing (newspapers, blogs, magazines) and delivers them to your phone (or iPad), updating the articles as new ones are published. It has a super simple interface and allows you to have different tabs for different types of articles. On top of this, as you’re reading your articles, if you see one you’d like to reference later, you simply “star” it and it will get saved for you to read later.
I’m not crazy about the website, it feels busy and confusing to me, but the app is one I go to daily.
Before I tell you why I love Flickr for collecting ideas, I should say that I use it for posting, BUT not before I use other apps to make edits to my photo, including copyright stamping. Stay tuned for that blog!
I love Flickr for collecting ideas because it’s so simple. Abask manages several blogs that require images from out on site (party planning, landscaping, construction, and master carpentry to name a few), so all of our employees (and clients when possible) have this app attached to our account. While out and about they snap photos and upload them. Now we have all our photos in one spot to refer to later.
[Quick preview of our next apps blog post - we later can download the original photos from Flickr, optimize each one, watermark it and then reload it on to Flickr for future use. There are ways to do this on the fly also, so stay tuned for that blog]
What could be better than getting other people to come up with ideas for you? Pinterest allows us to use other people’s ideas to build our own ideas, whether they just tweak an original idea or present an idea for us to build upon, it’s an app that can really get your creative juices flowing.
Pinterest can also help us to market our own blogs, but that’s a topic for another time!
6. The one you’re wondering about: WordPress
- Why didn’t WordPress make the top 5? Well, while it’s good for posting on the fly, I wouldn’t use it to save ideas or blog drafts while you’re sitting in the dentist, as I find that there are glitches when I save as a draft – it doesn’t show up on WordPress on my computer. But for updating current posts, or putting something out that’s very basic, it can be useful.
Coming soon: 5 apps for posting a blog on the fly.