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September 17, 2013

4 iPhone Apps to Increase Your Blogging Productivity

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iphone apps
There we go again with the “P” word. Whether you’re a blogger, a social media expert, or a professional copywriter, productivity always seems to come up. I suppose the same can be said of any person who holds a job. At the end of the day, we are measured by how much we produce and the quality of what we produce.

As a full-time blogger, the chances are that you do not have to answer to a boss in the traditional sense. However, there are your readers to consider. There is the revenue. There is that personal sense of having gotten things done.

And we come back to where we started: productivity. read more

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July 18, 2013

Telecommuting Made Easy – Learn how to Tackle and Deal with Productivity Drains

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telecommuting made easy

Telecommuting is getting a lot of attention lately. According to the Forrester Research, there are about 34 million Americans who telecommuted in 2009 alone. The report says that this will go up to about 63 million by the time that 2016 rolls in. Telecommuting can significantly improve employee recruitment efforts and other overhead costs. For telecommuters, this mean that they can work at home and save money in many areas, such as car repairs, dining out, travel expenses, clothes, etc.

However, having a telecommute job, whether it is on a part time basis or a full time job, is not without challenges. One of these problems is directly connected with productivity. So if you want to learn how to tackle and deal with productivity drains, here are some of the best ways to make telecommuting easier. read more

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February 23, 2012

Twitter Co-Founder Says Staring At Tweets All Day Is Bad For Your Health

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Biz StoneHeavy Twitter users should walk away from their computers and other mobile devices and stop staring at tweets all day because it’s bad for you. That was essentially the message delivered by Twitter co-founder Christopher Isaac “Biz” Stone on Wednesday.

It’s not the eye strain, neck strain or other physical ailments that Biz Stone is worried about but rather the fact that people will waste their entire day constantly reading tweets.

Speaking to a business-based audience in Montreal Stone says he initially believed that Twitter would be used as a fun platform for sharing interesting articles and news about a persons day, instead it ended up turning into a social change vehicle such as the so-called Arab spring uprising which brought about pro-democracy movements in the Middle East. read more

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July 7, 2011

Find E-mail File Attachments Faster with attachments.me

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Attachments.me gives you an attachment-centric view of your e-mails

One of the hardest things to find after a very busy day of exchanging e-mails is a file attachment in your  inbox or sent folder.  On the average, hunting for files in your e-mail can consume the better part of an hour that could have been spent on useful downtime or getting something else done.

The process of hunting down an attachment usually begins by clicking on the search field of your e-mail and typing either the name of the person who you think sent you the file or the subject header of the e-mail exchange you think it is in.  It’s easy to find an attachment if it had been sent fairly recently, but when the file had been sent a hundred e-mails ago, that’s when people either decide to pore over every e-mail turned up in a search or just ask to be sent the file again.  Either way, it can mean a waste of time for you or the person who is waiting for the file attachment.

Can you imagine asking an important client or major customer to wait fifteen minutes while you or your assistant goes searching for a file he sent you months ago? It’s can make for an embarrassing moment because it makes you appear disorganized and sloppy.

Attachements.me makes it easier to find any e-mail attachments in your e-mail account, no matter how long ago it had been sent or in what thread it had been sent in.

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October 15, 2009

Productive Blogging: My Two Favorite Tools

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From spelling and grammar to on-the-go photo editing, the folks at Webware have put together a great post on online tools for more productive blogging.

My addition would be Google Voice. I love the fact I can call my own phone number and then receive a transcript (fairly accurate if I speak slowly) of the conversation. It’s easy for me to then clean it up and adapt it as a blog post. I can also embed the audio if I decide to go the audio blog route. and as an added bonus, I can use the audio as part of a podcast.

I also like leaving myself audio notes with ideas for future blog posts.

As a PC user, and a chronic copy-and-paster, I am also in love with ClipMate. This nifty add-on boosts the power of Windows’ clipboard functions. It’s strongest tool is the ability to hold thousands of ‘clips’ in reserve – rather than just one.

What Web tools are you using to be a more productive blogger?

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August 20, 2009

Increase Your Blogging Productivity

Bloggers are freelancers. They are also publishers, marketers, and sometimes even designers. If they are successful, they master most of these skills. That’s why I’m not the least reluctant to drop the link to Smashing Magazine’s excellent post about six simple ways for freelancers to increase productivity. If you’re serious about your blogging it is a must read, and even if you’re not, you might pick something up.

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November 4, 2008

Hack Your Brain for a Better Life, and More Productive Blogging

MRI scan of the headI saw a link to 15 Ways to Hack Your Brain For A Better Life, and since I’m a productivity maniac I gobbled down the article. It is basically some advice on how to get happier, smarter, and more balanced thanks to things you do to keep a balanced and fresh mind.

The advice is sound, and it also applies to bloggers, especially us full-time ones. Our profession is a mental one rather than physical, which means that the only part of our bodies that get exercised, and again, are our fingers tapping away at the keyboard. Sure, one might say that we’re using our brains all day long as well, but personally I think that is a load of crap, and the fact that we’re staring at monitors for prolonged periods of time probably hurts us more than we’re gaining by wrapping our minds around this and that. read more

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July 6, 2008

Blogging Burnout Prevention Tips: How Do You Handle the Information Overload?

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), American writer

Have you lost your common sense with all the information attacking your head every day? While the normal person going about their daily work and life is bombarded by information, bloggers actually seek even more – making their brains resemble overstuffed furniture with wadding leaking out through the cracks in the Naugahyde.

I have over 350 feeds in my feed reader. I have 97 tabs open in my FireFox web browser. I have the radio tuned to National Public Radio, and podcasts are downloading onto my Zune right now as I work so I can listen to them when I work out tomorrow morning. I get hundreds of emails a day. Tons of blog comments across numerous blogs – I’m overwhelmed with information and input and I’m losing control.

Are you?

How are you managing all the input a blogger needs to stay in touch, keep up with the news in your blogging industry, tracking down story ideas, researching stories and articles, reading through comments, researching the answers, and responding back…and all the things we do every day to keep our blog life alive? How do you do it?

What are the tricks of the trade you’ve learned along your blogging path? Want to share? Share your time saving, information overload prevention tips with your blogging pals and I’ll write up a summary, and maybe even honor the best offerings with my book, Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging.

Which begs the question. What is it that bloggers won’t tell you about blogging that we need to know in order to prevent blog burn-out?

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June 13, 2008

How to be More Productive

It’s a common challenge we all encounter at some point or another. We are so busy getting through the basic tasks of publishing, that we become less organized – and thus less productive. The time we’d dedicate to marketing our blog and building relationships with readers vaporizes as we try to dig out from under.

If you’d like to find more time to share your ideas with others and attract a greater number of readers, you need to become more productive. You can start with five easy steps.

1. Put your bookmarks on de.licio.us. In fact, dump everything you might need later into de.licio.us. Not only can you search your links much faster than using your browser’s built in tools, your bookmarks will be available anywhere you go.

2. Find an RSS reader or web-based service you like, load the sites you visit regularly, and get familiar with the interface. This is the single most effective think you can do to optimize your online productivity. You’ll spend less time loading sites and hunting for data — and more sorting what you need. Hint: Google Reader.

3. Unsubscribe. It’s easy to get caught up in the noise of Web 2.0. Do you really need pokes and superpokes on Facebook? Did you just blow an hour of daylight on Twitter? Dump it. Decide what’s important, and stick with it.

4. Get your projects organized. One great way is Basecamp — a no-nonsense planning and management system suitable for personal or group use. Set goals, share files and information, whiteboard — in short, make it happen. There’s a free version suitable for single projects. The Basic plan is $24/month, and is as much project management as most small businesses will ever need.

5. Many hands make the job easier — or at least give you a living knowledge-base. So network — but be smart about which one you choose. Facebook has a huge user base, but may offer more distractions that your personal productivity allows. If you’re building a professional network, consider LinkedIn. It is more focused on business and you will find that members are open to helping you with marketing questions.

These are just five tools. What are some of your favorites?

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April 19, 2008

New York Times talks about e-mail tsunamis, profiles Mike Arrington, and misses the point

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Sunday’s New York Times is carrying a story discussing TechCrunch as their primary “victim” of email overload.

And there’s the usual talk of email bankruptcy, folks who go out and delete all of their email, and so on, and so on, and so on.

Yes, we’ve heard all of this before – and we’ve heard it alot recently.

In fact, earlier this week I wrote a post outlining how Darren Rowse went from 10,000+ emails down to ‘Inbox Zero’ in a single weekend.

Now, I understand email. I get anywhere from 300 – 400 emails daily to my various mailboxes – and I’m currently engaged with a client that singlehandedly produces another 150-200 emails a day (Welcome to the world of Program Management at a Fortune 100 Company.. anyways) – so I’m having to dig through alot of email each day.

According to the NY Times though, Arrington’s situation might be just a tad bit more difficult:

E-MAIL has become the bane of some people’s professional lives. Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch, a blog covering new Internet companies, last month stared balefully at his inbox, with 2,433 unread e-mail messages, not counting 721 messages awaiting his attention in Facebook.

Mr. Arrington might be tempted to purge his inbox and start afresh — the phrase “e-mail bankruptcy” has been with us since at least 2002. But he declares e-mail bankruptcy regularly, to no avail. New messages swiftly replace those that are deleted unread.

The Times article goes on to discuss technological inventions, secretaries, and then eventually lands on the example of H. L. Mencken and his approach to dealing with postal mail. Which is really not the metaphor that I think we’re all looking for.

There have been enough articles in the blogosphere on effective ways to manage email that I’m surprised that this is the approach that the New York Times chose to take. Let’s take a look at some articles outlining effective ways to handle this much email:

These are just some examples of individual’s personal experiences implementing tools & methods to get control of their email.

In the end, it’s down to how you discipline yourself and use the tools that are at your disposal in order to make yourself productive. And that’s the point that I believe the New York Times really missed.

What are your email productivity tools?

Update: Ross Mayfield makes some great points about this issue on his blog..

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