I’m writing on this tech topic with a little bit of a smile considering the electricity was off, island-wide in Barbados for about a day and a half between yesterday and today, but here goes:
These are 5 tech tools (apps or platforms) that I use and recommend for managing your content business. They’re all free, though there are paid options for advanced features in some. So let’s get to it:
Oh, and please don’t let tech intimidate you. It can seem overwhelming at first and you definitely don’t need to know everything – at least, that works for me. Find out what will be useful to apply to your business in this season, and learn the stuffin’ outta it or get the basics and acquire or hire assistance where needed.
1 . WordPress
WordPress is the springboard platform for this blog and website. I started on Blogspot and made my way here to WordPress. It’s user-friendly, with a beautiful variety of templates and plugins. Videos are easy to embed into posts just using the link and no code is needed to manage your blog/site.
From my experience (blogging 7yrs so far) the customer service reps do actually reply promptly and politely to any queries (if you ever have any) through email. I started with a free template for my blog (.wordpress) and a paid website (.com or .org) until fusing both into this site you’re on now – a paid template with its own domain.
There are other platforms you can use to launch your blog, like Squarespace, which has some flashiness to it and is relatively easy to navigate.
2 . Editorial Calendar – For this, you can use a program like Microsoft Excel to do a Spreadsheet, or use the app mentioned in point number 5 coming up. For a Spreadsheet format, you’re gonna want to list your blog posts vertically and then the info horizontally: like (a) title (b) publishing date (c) writer – whether you or a guest (d) category (e) word count -Wordpress calculates that automatically (f) format – whether written post, video, audio or a combo
3 . Google Calendar
As an entrepreneur, managing and mapping your gifted time is important. As much as we are “in control” of time, scheduling things like meetings, online client calls, supermarket stops, coaching sessions, and project submission dates, requires a structure that comes with reminders, and Google Calendar is boss for that.
Click a date, add & title an “event,” assign a time, set a reminder by phone notification or email, invite a person to the event via G.C, note location and set a colour for the type of activity so there’s some clarity when you view your schedule by week or month. It syncs with your computer so anything added on your phone is instantly reflected on your laptop/desktop view. Cool yes? You can integrate Google Calendar into the tech tool mentioned in #5.
4 . Canva
All your social media headers, graphic designs for your business or invitations to your event – Canva is the app that’s in a digital marketer or creative entrepreneur’s toolkit.
Canva comes with a business account option and you can also get started free by creating a profile: adding text with their fabulous fonts, importing icons and uploading your pics to make designs or accessing beautiful (free or paid) stock photos in their extensive library. When you’re done, export your design in one of the formats like .PNG & JPG and post on your platform.
5 . Trello
Trello is a project management app for fans of digital organization. There are 2 tutorials on this blog so just enter the word “Trello” in the search bar on the right and take notes to apply to your process, or check out Asana which is another platform some pros use.
Trello tops a Spreadsheet as an Editorial Calendar for me, but I use both: the Spreadsheet is more of a concise summary in list form, while Trello allows you to zoom into your post by adding files into each item (in this case, your blog post, YouTube video links or podcast episodes) and any notes.
Take this post for example. It’ll soon be added onto my blog Trello board along with any related photos, audio/video links, due date (as a checkbox), clickable checklist, notes and options to add in-house members to that set board (only) so they can have access to the info and files without jam-packing their email inbox.
Printing wise, your Spreadsheet will save on paper if you need a physical reference to your published or upcoming content. My Editorial Calendar (as a list), is added on the Trello blog board as a .PDF – while the Trello board is more in-depth and has posts itemized with related pics, links and notes.
Which one of those 5 tech tools will you make use of to plan and chronicle your content?
Extras: Grammarly is a helpful spellchecking and sentence structure correcting program you download on your laptop or desktop and “run.” It offers spelling edits and gives options to upgrade your sentence structure into a more conversational way. As a matter of fact, it’s working all now as I type this blog post. It’s a free download so feel free to head over to Grammarly’s site and download it for yourself. Edits all your texts, except emails for now.
I’m planning to film some more videos on how to use tech tools for your creative business and will show behind-the-screen views so you can see firsthand how to map your way through.
Which tech tool mentioned above are you interested in watching a tutorial on? That would help me get some clarity about what will serve you best in this season. Want to plan your content or projects in Trello? Not sure if you’re maximizing the features of Google Calendar?
Tech is handy but its practical application to your objective is what determines its effectiveness. How can I say that any easier…one sec. Ok, tech can seem impressive but it’s really about how useful it is for your business and customers/clients.
If you already use any of these 5 tech tools, which one and how does it help you manage and map your content? Your tips may be helpful to someone else reading this, myself included so feel free to share.