toolspicI’m a busy person. I only manage to get everything done because of some very handy tools, and I thought I’d do a post to share those tools with you. Technology could easily get in the way – between Twitter and Facebook, YouTube and Candy Crush Saga, it would be easy to lose whole days without getting anything productive done. That’s why I have the following things in my artillery:

HootSuite: Hootsuite lets you put all your social media outlets in one place. I’ve currently got four different pages connected via Hootsuite – each page has a tab of its own, and I can write status updates or tweets, and chose which of those pages it will be published on. If I like, I can schedule the same post for both Twitter and Facebook, or only one of the two. I can schedule posts ahead of time, which means that even while I’m at work, I can be letting  people know what’s happening on the blog, or in my life.

FeedlyWith the impending closure of Google Reader, I’ve had to start shopping around for a new RSS host. The first program I’m trying is Feedly and it seems to be doing the trick. RSS readers are basically an aggregate feed that pulls together all the websites that you want to follow, and any new content that goes up on those sites appears in the reader like a new email would appear in your inbox. Feedly allows me to organize blogs into groups, so that if I’m looking for a particular sort of news (or more likely, looking to SKIP a particular type of news), I can do it easily. I don’t have to visit sites individually anymore. Any the phone app syncs easily with the online service, allowing me to read my feed on public transport, too.

Flickr Creative CommonsThere are things about blogging that you aren’t told when you start. For example, copyright – if you use a photograph, you need permission to do that. And even with permission, you most often have to say where the photo comes from. It’s not like you’ll get your pants sued off if you use unattributed photos without permission, but the potential is always there, and it’s just good form to find stuff elsewhere…
Enter: Creative Commons. ‘Creative Commons’ is the name for stuff you can use without paying any royalties or worrying about people getting pissed off about you using their work. Most of the pictures I use for this blog come from the Flickr Creative Commons resource. This means I usually end up with something pretty retro-looking, because a lot of it comes from library historical archives etc, but luckily this matches my own tastes. Without Creative Commons, I’d have a lot less pictures.

I hope you can start using these tools to make your life easier. I’d also love to hear about any tools you’ve got that make your life easier!