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15 Quick and Easy Productivity Super-Hacks for Busy Bloggers

Posted By Guest Blogger 31st of October 2014 General, Writing Content 56

This is a guest contribution from Pooja Lohana.

Let’s face it.

As a blogger, you have a knack to find just one more task that needs to be done. Now.

Then there are times when you just don’t feel like doing that pesky little task – the more you think about it, the more you imagine the worst, and the more you procrastinate.

No matter what your situation, here are 15 productivity hacks that really work, well if you only try them.

And the best part? You don’t have to follow through each one – pick the ones that best resonate with you and run with it.

Sound good?

Let’s get hacking.

15 Quick and Easy Productivity Super-Hacks for Busy Bloggers

1. Use email templates

As a blogger, I receive a ton of email each day. Some are from readers thanking me for a post. Some even have a specific question that needs answering.

Depending on the type of email you receive, you can create templates so replying doesn’t take too much of your time.

For example, if I receive a “thank you” email, I acknowledge their reply with a simple two-sentence email.

If it’s a question-email, I flag it using Gmail’s red exclamation flag to answer at a set day in the week.

All my email is filtered to one Gmail address, so I don’t have to keep checking countless inboxes (and avoid those cPanel logins too!)

Last but not the least, if you write a lot of email templates, stick to the 5-sentence rule.

Why 5 sentences? According to Guy Kawasaki, less than five is usually too curt for a response, and more than five wastes time. I agree.

Of course, not all my emails are 5-sentence long. However for templates, that strategy works like a charm.

Oh and one more thing – try turning your email window off in order to focus better.

When I keep my Gmail tab open in the background, a notification pops up each time a new email arrives.

Bam… There goes my focus down the drain.

I’ve since decided to turn off any distracting windows and only kept important tabs open. Over time, it has saved me hours.


2. Create an editorial calendar

Unless you’re Seth Godin, there will be days when you don’t have anyting to say, or don’t have the time to come up with a stellar topic idea.

The solution? Create a simple editorial calendar so you’re never short of ideas. Old-school 2-column excel sheet will do. Or you can go fancy-pants and try an app like Gather Content.

If the idea of a calendar sounds too stifling, try keeping a log of ideas in your WordPress backend.

That’s what blogger Sarah Wilson does – at any point, she has about 20 draft posts ready to be used. When inspiration strikes, she creates a simple draft and works on them overtime until they are ready to launch. Neat, eh?


3. Re-post your evergreen content

You don’t have to produce epic content every time. Dig into your archives to find “evergreen” posts – the type that stay fresh and timeless from season to season.

Examples of an evergreen post:

  • Long list posts
  • Case-studies
  • How-tos
  • Collaborated posts
  • Tutorials and guides

Since evergreen posts tend to be long, you can break them into smaller chunks and repurpose them as a PDF report, an audio freebie, or a Slideshare presentation.

Get creative and post new bite-sized, snackable content for your readers. This is especially a great hack for those slow days when you’re too busy to post on your blog or social media.


4. Automate sending out your content

Following up from the last hack, a smart strategy is to create a series of email autoresponders or teaser emails for your old blog posts.

That way, even if you don’t have anything new to say, you stay at the top of your readers’ minds and new subscribers on your list are fed with good content.


5. Take the shortcut to mobile-responsive

Did you know that 82% people use mobile phones to check emails these days? What’s more, 42% of your subscribers will delete your emails if they don’t show up well on their phones.

Bloggers, clearly it’s time to go mobile-responsive with your content.

But you don’t have to go on a template-designing spree or hire external help.

Email marketing service such as GetResponse offers ready-made one-click responsive templates, so you don’t have to worry about how your emails show up on a smartphone or tablet, therefore saving you a ton of time.

source: Get Response


6. Unsubscribe ruthlessly

I have a simple rule – if more than 30% of my incoming email is announcements and newsletters from other people’s lists, I go on an unsubscription spree.

Of course, with Gmail’s Promotions tab, life has become easier and I don’t have to necessarily do that any more.

But still, if you’re a lover of clean inbox and don’t read a lot of e-newsletters, try to unsubscribe a bazillion times faster.


7. Use If This Then That

IFTTT lets you “put the internet at work for you”. Basically, it’s an app to automate your online life.

You can set trigger events that are based on cause and effect relationship (if this, then that). The events + triggered actions together form IFTTT “recipes”.

As a recipe example, once you add a new article to read in Feedly, you also have it saved in your Dropbox folder.

IFTTT supports many “channels” such as Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Dropbox, Evernote, etc. that you can use in your recipes.

Source: IFTTT

Source: IFTTT

8. Don’t be afraid to delegate

Back when I started as an entrepreneur and blogger, I wanted to do everything to perfection.

I thought no one else could do all those tiny tasks on my list better than I, because no one understands my business as much as I do.

Big mistake!

Turns out, there are people who want to help you. For example, if you hate composing and scheduling a month’s worth of Facebook posts, there’s someone out there who loves that and is a pro at it.

Fiverr and FancyHands are two places to find that “special” someone.

Remember, you can’t go at full speed 24/7. Decide which tasks really need your attention and which ones can be outsourced. That’s a sign of a real superman – after all, he needed a sidekick too, right?


9. Do a Pomodoro

You’ve probably heard of a Pomodoro. It’s a simple productivity technique where you work for 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break. Since you “only” have 25 minutes to work, your brain can focus 100% as it creates a sense of urgency.

I use the Pomodoro Productivity app which has some neat settings to increase or decrease break times and sound settings. It also nicely syncs with your Google calendar to get a visual warning when a Pomodoro overlaps with an appointment.


10. Try Awareness

Awareness is another free and unique app that will play a Tibetan bowl “ding” every hour. It’s a gentle reminder to take a 5-minute break and get off that chair.

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 12.56.49 pm

11. Use Awesome Screenshot

If you’re like me, you want to take multiple screenshots for every post you write.

Awesome Screenshot is a super-helpful app that sits as a Chrome extension and can save you a ton of time.


12. Manage your stuff with Trello

I’ve only recently started using Trello, and kicking myself because I’m so late to discover it.

You can create Trello cards for your to-do tasks, ideas you want to implement or known issues to be solved. You can track progress of each one as you go.

You can also use it for your editorial calendar.

Here’s an example of a Trello in progress.

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 12.57.44 pm

13. Slam multitasking

Because it doesn’t work. Period.

One study even showed multi-tasking led to a loss of productivity by 40% because participants had to keep switching between tasks.


14. Chew gum

This one’s a weirdo in the list, but chewing gum leads to alertness and reduces occupational stress too.


15. Eat a banana

According to UCLA, a banana is great brain food that brings 25 grams of glucose (optimum) to your blood stream. Glucose is great to keep that active, productive, switched on state when you need it the most. Go bananas!


Your Turn!

You now have 15 super-hacks – some are easier than others. Now it’s your turn to take your pick.

Go, apply them and be a rockstar.


I know there are more super-hacks that I’ve missed. What’s your favourite?

Pooja Lohana is a freelance writer, ghost writer and online marketing mentor featured on Problogger, Firepole, JeffBullas, MarketingProfs, Hongkiat and more. If you’re an aspiring writer and want to become self-employed, create wealth and live a better life by launching your online writing biz, steal her free mini-course to make your first $1000 (and more) writing at home.

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  1. Hi Pooja,

    Nice list, I’m working as a part time blogger because I’ve my classes in morning.
    This list have lot of new things that I didn’t aware before. Thank you for taking your time to share this with us :)

  2. Unsubscribing ruthlessly sounds quite interesting just from the verbage alone. Eating a banana and drinking more water sounds interesting.

    • Really interesting article! However when it comes to task management the solution is not only Trello. It is indeed a very good app but there are also others that can do the same work easier and faster!

  3. Hi Pooja,
    This is a really nice list, thank you. I wish I get more done in a day. The funny thing is that we are all given 24 hours in a day yet some people get more done than others!
    I guess it just boils down to proper time management and setting your priorities. You can’t do more than you can… (Note to self) :-)

    • I found the two tips (1) keep your content evergreen and (2) setting up posts ahead of time, to both be very helpful tips. I’ve been trying to stick to keeping posts that were going to be useful down the road, but probably need to keep more posts written ahead of time.

  4. Thanks for the helpful hacks Pooja. One thing I need to work on is creating a schedule. I tend to be the creative type, so I create more things on the fly based on inspiration.

    One productivity hack that I learned from Michael Hyatt is [email protected] It’s an interesting music service that’s designed to help you focus and increase your attention span. I enjoy listening to certain types of music. There’s a 30 day free trial and after that, you pay a monthly subscription fee.

    • Interesting ideas Vincent. I love Michael’s podcast on Stitcher. I’ll check out [email protected]; as a general thumbrule, I’ve found myself to be a lousy writer with music on ;-)


  5. All the mentioned 15 Points are really good. And every blogger should make scheduled for the next day.
    And your post is helpful for me, today i will implement with the super hacks. :)

  6. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing very valid points. I do agree with your points almost 80 percentage of people using mobiles that’s really true. so if the blog is not responsive design then blogger will lose so many visitors. Then i like concept of re posting evergreen content in once again in to the blog, Because new visitor don’t know whether particular post is new one or old one, if the content is good then they visit again to our blog.

  7. If you’re a smoker. A cigarette and a coffee works wonders ;)

  8. This article is quite interesting, I am not a blogger, but this article will be useful for me in some terms. I will ask my blogger to read this article and grab some useful tips for him.

  9. Scheduling always does it for me. I like to write content when I have time and leave it lined up for publishing at a future date even when I am not around. WordPress makes that a breeze it is no matter I (just like most bloggers) love it so much.


    • Thanks such a great little tactic to follow. At times though, I cannot bring myself to write a post until it’s due ;-) That’s when the coolest of ideas start buzzing in my head. We all have our quirks, hey?


  10. No doubt, these are the best tips you have mentioned and it’s really worth reading. Well, these are very useful because I am managing both my studies and blogging. So, really thanks for the hacks :D

  11. Hey Pooja, that’s really a nice assorted stuff packed in single package. but I got a bit confused…
    On point three you mention that (Repost Content) does it means just updating it or a complete rewrite….

    like updating it with change of date to show as the latest published article or just edit the outdated content?

    Hope you are getting me what I mean to say..

    • Hey Aquila,

      Good question!

      By “repurpose content”, I mean re-use your old posts to create something new. You can even pull out the same content from a long post that you wrote last year and bring it out in the form of a free PDF or audio podcast.

      You’ll always have new readers coming to your blog, who might not go through your archives. You can easily reuse old posts (in their entirety or portions of it) for a new free report, an email newsletter, a free mp3 or even a video with you.

      Does that answer your question?


  12. Hey Darren, great blog post. I especially liked the points email templates, IFTT, eating bananas!

    Email templates are great for replying repeatedly for emails.

    Eating chewing gums, helps great to get concentration it’s a great point.

    By eating bananas you will get instant energy Boost.

    The content repurposing strategy that you mentioned is great. It works a lot, most laziest way to produce same content in different forms.
    5.Using timers like Orzeszek Timer.

    Akshay Hallur.

    However, I have some tips for blogging productivity.

    1. Using text expanders like Phraseexpress.
    2. Using clipboard managers like Ditto.
    3. Using Auto Copy addon with NoteTab text editor, for automatically copying text to the editor on focusing the text.
    4. Using text to speech like Dragon Naturally Speaking.

  13. Hi pooja,it’s been a real pleasure reading your amazing post.Great stuff,thanks for this.

  14. With regard to templates, I have created one to manage people who want to add content to my blog … works like a charm!

    • Glad it’s working well for you! Smart templates can easily save hours of your time each day.


  15. Hi,
    hey pooja nice list i was aware about few of them but few are new to me. Truly said pooja , about turning email window off ….seriously its so disturbing and some times annoying. I also like your suggestion about reposting content… i wasn’t sure about reposting same content i will surely work on it .

    Thank you for such best list of hacks.

    • Hi Pritam,

      Reg. re-posting content, see my response to Aquila in comments. Hope that will help. :-)


  16. Great post Pooja! For those who use Aweber and WordPress, you can pretty much automate your #4 (Automate sending out your content) thanks to their cool broadcasting feature.

  17. It is a really good helpful post for bloggers.”Re-post your evergreen content, Use If This Then That, Don’t be afraid to delegate” in this point is useful advice for blogging. This article help my blogging system. Thanks for share this important tips.

  18. I’m already busy looking up the apps that you mentioned – I don’t think I realize how much time I really spend on the internet each day (and how much of that time I actually waste)!

  19. Scheduling always does it for me. I like to write content when I have time and leave it lined up for publishing at a future date even when I am not around. WordPress makes that a breeze it is no matter I (just like most bloggers) love it so much.


  20. Thanks for the tips. I thought the gum tip was a bit out there, but then again, bananas really help me get through the day. IFTTT is an amazing service too.

  21. A very good list indeed! I have to do several things for my site that sometimes I get delayed with writing blogs and articles. I should start considering #9 and even #14 starting this week :)

  22. The best point is here is “Make an editorial calendar”

    Why have i never done that before?? Well, because i had not read that on Problogger yet. Thanks a lot for that tip, very important, i find it totally crucial.

  23. Thanks for this Pooja,

    There’s some great tips here, especially the slamming multitasking. It’s such a waste of time and effort!

    I’m going to jump over to Awareness and give it a try now.


  24. Some really good pointers, especially touching upon reducing stress. I think with any type of blogging work, stress can become problematic so using techniques such as regular breaks, eating gum, drinking plenty of water etc are good techniques. I also particularly liked how you mentioned using calendars, any way you can time manage is an advantage in blogging.

  25. Wondering if IFTT is somewhat like OnlyWire that automates content syndication to multiple social networks at once. Is this true?

    • Hmm. Haven’t used OnlyWire yet so not the best person to answer that question for you DNN. Maybe someone else can chime in?


  26. Chewing gum is surely an interesting idea. Gotta try that.

  27. Lately, I have caught myself wondering what I will be writing about next. A editorial calender is a great idea so that I can start working ahead and really start to promote the newest stuff that is on my site.

  28. All great hacks, Pooja. Thanks!

    I don’t know if it truly has any effect, but I always use to eat bananas while studying and then shortly before exams to reproduce the chemical state.

    A healthy experiment even if it doesn’t really add the cutting edge. :)

  29. Good stuff Darren, I need to try Trella, had not even heard of that.
    Agree, breaks are needed for sure.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Hector!

      It’s Trello :-) and yes, do give it a shot.

      I’ve recently seen editors using it to assign blog posts to contributors.


  30. Thank you Anthony! Yes, keep eating those ‘nanas. ;-)


  31. I am especially intrigued by number 10. It’s so easy to find myself sitting for too long. So, I’ll have to check out the Awareness App for myself. Thanks for sharing!

  32. I’ve been using IFTTT for a while and it sure gave me less time when it comes to sharing my posts on my other social media account. Great list, by the way!

  33. Hey there Pooja
    I’ve read dozens of blogging tip articles and this one is my favorite.
    It’s great to find you out here on social media. I will follow you to receive more tips.


  34. Great tips to follow.
    Thank you for taking your time to share this useful article.

  35. Thanks , for sharing this awesome post. Actually I think mail checking problem is same for everyone and I would prefer to use a To do list app than taking a notebok with me.

  36. Great stuff and love it thanks for the productivity hack!

  37. hi! thanks for the help, but what does “take multiple screenshots for every post you write” mean? when or why do you do that? sounds like my blog is missing out!

  38. The Awareness app sounds so cool! It is easy to get glued to the screen and stuck on a track of “Get X done.” Will be trying that today! Also, lots of other great ideas. Thanks, Pooja!

  39. Hey Pooja,

    Great article. I use IFTTT a lot and it is really awesome. Merging it with Evernote, pocket and feedly and you will get a winner!

    Thanks for sharing!

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