Managing Your Blog on the Go? Tips to Stay Organized and Productive with iOS
Even under the best circumstances, managing a blog is never easy. You’re constantly brainstorming new ideas, spending way too much time doing research on your topic, writing a few drafts, finding the perfect pictures to complement your copy and proofing your “final” draft a few hundred times. The entire process of managing a blog, from initial idea to the final written product can be incredibly time-consuming, but if you’re working from an absolutely gorgeous 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display, it’s easy to forget all the labor involved in keeping up with a blog that people actually want to read.
Unfortunately for most of us, we’re not always working from a productivity machine like the new 5K iMac or even a solid MacBook Pro. When you’re on the go, maybe riding in a car or packed tightly a tiny seat into a tiny row of tiny airline seats, even writing or editing from a MacBook can be, at best, impractical. Even when you’re on the go, your blog still has to stay current and up-to-date; sometimes, you have to bite the bullet and work from your iOS device.
iOS devices can absolutely be used for productivity, but for years they were designed for casual users’ entertainment, content consumption. So using your iPad or iPhone to help manage your blog on the go is definitely an option, but if you’ve never tried to write or edit from your iPad, it can be a daunting task. But don’t worry: here are some great tips for staying organizing and keeping up with your blog on the go (or at home) with iOS.
Choosing a Mobile-Friendly Website Hosting Service for Your Blog
When you’re on the road, you want to be sure that you can control what’s happening with all aspects of your website, from the writing to the hosting service, and if you don’t have a hosting service that’s capable of giving you full access of the backend of your website, it may be time to start rethinking your hosting service.
There are tons of website hosting services out there, and if you’re just comparing their advertising, you might be willing to go with the cheapest option out there. But if you’re trying to manage your blog on the go, having a website hosting service that offers mobile email hosting, smartphone sync and great customer service are absolutely essential.
Before you hit the road with just your iPad, make sure that your hosting service’s web interface is clean and simple to use on a touchscreen – some hosting services only have a desktop version of their website, and most of them are definitely not designed with a 9.7” iPad screen in mind (or a 7.9” iPad Mini screen).
Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it, but if something goes wrong, you’ll be happy that your hosting service is easily accessible from an iOS device. Taking a small additional precaution is better than having your website (or multiple websites) go down and having no way to fix it until you get home.
Choosing the Right Apps
While there are plenty of people who are more than willing to literally preach to you about how the iPad has completely changed their writing habits for the better (full disclosure: I’m one of those people), for most of iPad users, it’s just not an ideal setup. To be clear, writing on the iPad isn’t for the faint of heart, but it can be done.
Unfortunately, using most of the blogging apps out there just make writing on the iPad that much worse. Whether you use WordPress, Squarespace, BlogPress or even Tumblr, from a composition perspective, each of these blogging sites leave something to be desired. There always seem to be way too many buttons and features for such a tiny screen, and navigating around while writing on these apps is downright frustrating.
Fortunately, there are a few writing-centric apps on the iPad that make the tablet an absolute delight to write on. Werdsmith and Drafts are two of my absolute favorites; both are stripped-down, no-nonsense composition apps. The frills are long gone. These apps are about putting fingers to keys and getting your ideas down quickly. If you’re interested in a more traditional word processing route, Apple’s Pages and Microsoft’s Word apps (despite being a little boring) are solid. But if you’re in already heart-and-soul invested in a great note-taking app like Evernote or Notability, those are clear choices for you. With wireless and hassle-free synching between your desktop or laptop and your iOS device, these classic note-taking apps are obvious choices.
Choosing Your Gear Wisely
In a pinch, touch typing on your iPad or iPhone screen will get you by, but if you’re writing upward of 1,000 words for a blog post, it’s time to find a decent Bluetooth keyboard that you don’t hate to write on.
ZAGG makes a fantastic keyboard for the iPad, and while they won’t come cheap, you definitely get what you pay for. On an iPad and iPad Mini, ZAGG’s keyboards give you the closest thing to typing on a MacBook.
Of course there are cheaper alternatives out there, but when you’re trying to make a decision, think about the positions in which you usually use your laptop; would those all be possible with a keyboard that must stay stationary? Think of your optimal viewing angles as well as how you’ll be traveling. If you’re using and iPad Pro on your trip, then the Apple Smart Keyboard is an easy choice, and, believe it or not, it’s actually a pleasure to use.
If you’re considering using only your iPhone, I really hope it’s a iPhone 6+. Still, I would consider finding a decent Bluetooth keyboard to use with it. Sure, it’ll look silly. Really silly. But your thumbs will thank you.
What are some of your favorite tips for being productive with iOS while you’re on the go? Let us know in the comments below.
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