Writing Journal 69: Favorite Content Creation Tools

Writing Journal 69: Favorite Content Creation Tools

My writing journal for Monday, October 20, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

As usual, I started the day writing fiction. The mystery novel is still steaming along. Happy days; 2,300 words. Then nonfiction, working on the two business books: 1,800.

Next, Honey’s breakfast. Over the past few days, the weather’s been cooler, so her arthritis is bothering her. However, she’s still up for a game, and over-eats if she gets the chance.

Then, my own breakfast, while working through email. Monday tends to be a slower day for general email: just clients requesting quotes, and students sending me material. I handle most of it; Julia can deal with the quotes.

Next, it’s time to remind clients that we need images for their content. As I said in a post on Fab Freelance Writing Blog, the Web is all about images now. I’ve been looking at digital cameras; years ago, I had a photography hobby. It might be time to get back to it… when I find the time. :-)

My primary focus today is some “holiday” content for copywriting clients. We’re building up to the hot (pun intended, since it’s summer in Australia) content season. Clients suddenly realize that their website needs updating with their holiday offerings. And they need to plan and create promotional campaigns.

Time for my walk. I haven’t walked in a couple of days; I need it to clear my mind. Cold wind, so I wear my favorite beanie. :-)

Back again, and back to the holiday content. Work on that takes me up to lunch.

Lunch in front of my computer. It’s becoming a habit. However, I’ll be out most of tomorrow, so I need to get as much done as I can today. I browse through clients’ blog archives and Web content, and make notes, so that I can link the fresh holiday content back to previous content.

A reader asked about my favorite content creation tools.

My favorite content creation tools

I create a lot of content, of many different types, every day. So I tend to jump on any tool which might make creation easier. Your mileage will vary. I test and discard lots of tools, but that’s OK. Creating content consistently is a real challenge, so any tool which helps with that is a worthwhile investment.

Currently, my favorite tools include…

Evernote. Always. It’s always open, and I do a lot of writing in Evernote. It means I can write on my phone or tablet, and add ideas as they come to me.

Scrivener. Invaluable. Don’t know where I’d be without it.

Ember. (Mac) A recent acquisition. For research, as well as to check what assets have been created, and need to be created for a project.

MultiMarkdown Composer, and Ulysses (Mac.) Most of my content starts in Evernote, then makes its way to one of these programs: I use Marked as the viewer for both of them.

Marked (Mac). Wonderful for viewing and repurposing Markdown documents.

Adobe Creative Cloud. I use Photoshop and Bridge mostly.

Curio. Indispensable, both to collect assets for projects, and to keep archives of past projects. It’s amazing how often clients will return months and years later – and they’ve lost the assets we used. Curio is a huge time saver, because all the previously used assets are there, and are instantly available.

OmniOutliner (Mac.) I resisted upgrading to version 4, but finally pulled the trigger.

Inspiration. An app I adore, because you can create HUGE cluster diagrams to spark, and to reignite, creativity for a project.

Onward with the holiday content for copywriting clients

Back to developing the holiday content. Finally I’m done with the initial drafts; I send them off with relief. I’m still waiting for some product shots, so I can create product descriptions; I send a reminder to the photographer.

More emails, and phone calls to return. My daily review, and that’s it for another day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Twitter Without Tears: 2 Great Tools to Help you to Win Friends and Influence People

Twitter Management Tools

Love Twitter? Me too. However, keeping track of people on Twitter is a headache. I’ve tried spreadsheets, to do lists, and reminders, as well as Twitter apps; all require far too much time and upkeep.

My favorite Twitter tools are Buffer and HootSuite, but they don’t help you to manage connections and interactions.

Once I decided that there had to be a better way, I explored several tools which help you to learn more about your Twitter community, and connect with people.

Here are two of my favorites. Good news: although both of these tools have premium upgrades, the freebie versions offer you huge benefits. No more spreadsheets, or to do lists. :-)

twtrland: people and insights at a glance

twtrland Twitter tool

twtrland is referred to as a “social intelligence” tool, but that’s a little cold. Essentially it helps you to understand your Twitter community. You’ll discover a mass of information, which could be overwhelming, but isn’t because twtrland’s interface is excellent.

The Profile Updates page gives you a quick analysis of your Twitter account’s activity over the past week. You can see recent followers and replies at a glance, and can learn more about any follower as soon as you click on his icon.

You’ll also see your top content over the past seven days: which posts received the most retweets.

Next, your Audience Analysis page helps with your positioning. Again, you get the picture of your Twitter account at a glance: celebrities (! – no celebrities for me, so sad) power users, casual users, and novice users.

You’ll see your follower breakdowns by country, as well as by interest, which is invaluable.

Your Followers page is perhaps the most powerful, because you can filter your followers in many different ways. I’ll bet that you’re as surprised as I was at the number of opportunities to connect with people which emerge.

Want to connect with someone? Just click, and send a tweet.

Next, there’s your Conversations page: see everyone you’re talking to.

Finally, there’s the Find Influencers page, which again is invaluable with helping you to connect on Twitter.

Give twtrland a try. You’ll be amazed at what you learn. And you’ll be thrilled at how easy twtrland makes engagement on Twitter.

Commun.it: helps you to build Twitter community, as the name suggests

Commun.it Twitter tool

Commun.it is another brilliant Twitter engagement tool. Your Dashboard shows: Relationships, Followers, Groups, and also allows you to Monitor Engagement and Discover New Leads.

You’ll love Commun.it if you’ve been feeling guilty because you’re too pressed for time respond to everyone who contacts you on Twitter. Commun.it shows you people to whom you owe replies, and you can respond instantly. Buffer user? You can Buffer your responses and thanks.

As its name suggests, Commun.it helps you to build a real community on Twitter, without it taking over your life.

I love both these tools, because they help you to understand and build your Twitter community – without pain. Try them. They’re immensely valuable social media marketing tools (even in the free versions), and they’re fun too.


, and on Twitter: @angee

Google+ Is Now On Buffer! Joy, Oh Joy

Connect Google+ to Buffer
Connect Google+ to Buffer

You’re on social media. You’re pushed for time. You need to schedule posts. So, what do you do? You use Buffer, of course. It’s fast and easy.

Buffer works with Twitter and Facebook… But not with Google+. If you’re a Google+ fan, as increasing numbers of folks are, you’re slightly peeved that you can’t Buffer Google+.

Hello, joy and delight. Now you can connect Google+ to Buffer.

Buffer has an excellent how-to:

 Improve the Formatting of your posts through Buffer

Google+ has a very powerful posting editor that let’s you format your text in a variety of ways. Of course, all of these also work through Buffer, here are the most important ones you need to know:

The most important ones are below. Left is the formatting to get the right handside once you hit publish:

  • *Word* = Word

  • _Word_ =  Word

  • -Word- =  Word

When Buffer users were asked for feedback, Google+ sharing has been the most-requested feature for the past two years.

If you’re like me, and you’ve been waiting for this feature — go and connect. See you on Google+. :-)
, and on Twitter: @angee

Mind Map User? Great Resource

I’m a huge mind mapping fan. I used maps every day, for everything. If you use mind maps too, you may be interested in a great resource — Biggerplate.

The site’s new to me. I discovered that Biggerplate integration is included in the latest version of Curio, so I had to check it out.

With over 400,000 mind maps on the site, you’re sure to find something you can use. I discovered a Story Template for fiction, that’s excellent.

Here are the site’s top ten mindmaps. They’ll give you a feel for the kinds of maps on the site.

Created a great map and want to share? Upload your mind maps for others.