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My 6 Favorite Blogging Locations

Where do you blog from?

One of the most attractive parts about blogging as a profession for me is the independence and flexibility that it brings.

I can work from anywhere that I can find an Internet connection. In fact, I don’t even need that at all times—I just need some kind of device to capture the content that I produce (something to type on, a camera, and/or a microphone).

This flexibility, and the opportunity to be location-independent, are wonderful things. They’ve meant I’m able to travel and work from the road; they’ve enabled me to be quite hands-on with my family (particularly useful when your kids are toddlers!), and they’ve also cut down the dreaded commute that I used to have to do when I worked a “real” job.

The other great thing about this type of work—combined with the ever-increasing array of portable computing gadgets that are around—is that from day to day, I’m able to work in all kinds of locations. This variety can be both fun and make life a little more interesting, but it can also help stimulate all kinds of creativity.

Someone asked recently what were my favorite places to blog from. Here’s what I said (and I’d love to hear your favorites below):

1. Cafes

cafes.jpeg

The combination of coffee, a computer, and the white noise of those around me is a very productive mix for me. I spend at least four mornings a week in my local cafe, just a short stroll from our front door. The staff greet me with ‘Blogger dude!” and bring me my drink of choice (a skinny latte with one sugar) without needing to be asked (and a second one 30 minutes later, or on the nod of the head—whichever comes first!). They even installed WiFi just for me.

Other patrons ask how I ever get anything done with all the noise, but for me it’s a strangely productive place where I find myself getting lost in my work. I also enjoy the fact that there are others around—snippets of overheard conversation or interactions with others in the cafe often produce ideas, stimulate blog posts, and even generate product ideas.

2. Shopping centers (the mall)

A variation on the cafe approach has been a semi-regular visit to a local shopping center or mall. The one I go to is among the biggest in Melbourne, and has a great range of cafes, a food court, and several hundred shops—including an Apple store. I enjoy working there partly for similar reasons to those mentioned above (white noise, coffee, etc.), but also because I find the environment quite stimulating for ideas.

I have a little routine that I use: an hour in one cafe; a 15-minute stroll through the shops, where I get all kinds of marketing ideas; an hour in a second cafe; another stroll through shops; then I settle down in the food court or a resautrant for lunch. The combination of all this is surprisingly productive (and I keep the Apple store in business with my regular stop-offs there).

3. The library

library.jpeg

I don’t get there as much as I used to since we moved further away from the city, but I always found the big library in the center of Melbourne to be an inspiring place to work, and I used to head there at least once a month. I found just being in a place where others were working and reading used to help me still myself and focus.

Having a vast array of books, magazines, and newspapers on hand for little breaks was also quite stimulating, but the real treat for me is the reading room pictured above, which is just an inspiring place to hang out.

4. Flying

One of the most memorable work sessions that I’ve ever had was on a recent flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles. While I never used to enjoy that flight (14 hours cramped up next to a stranger with not much to do? Not fun!), the last few times I’ve flown, I’ve found myself being particularly productive

Perhaps it’s the altitude or the oxygen they pump around the plane (do they do that?) but I often get a lot done flying. This could also partly be because this is one of the few times in my life that I’m disconnected from the Web (those international flights don’t have WiFi yet). It might also be because I’m traveling to and from conferences that I find to be stimulating experiences.

5. On the couch

couch.jpeg

Most weeknights you can find me sitting in our lounge room, next to my wife, on the couch, in front of the TV, blogging. I’m not sure how much of the TV I actually watch, but I find the experience to be a good way to wind down at the end of a day.

There are times where my wife needs to tell me to put the computer down so we can connect (although she often sits there surfing too), but all in all it’s usually a reasonably productive time. I tend to use it mainly for admin-type tasks—email, social media, comment moderation, etc.—rather than creative ones, but occasionally I’ll find that something from the TV also stimulates ideas for my work.

6. My desk and office

This is where I do the bulk of my blogging. While I like to get out of the house in the morning to write (mornings are generally more about writing content and creative tasks), I spend the bulk of my afternoons in my home office. This is where I create multi-media content, do interviews, take calls, and do most of the admin and editing tasks that I do.

I did a tour of my office a few years back—not a lot has changed in terms of layout, although I now mainly work from a laptop rather than the desktop computer.

What about you?

Where do you spend most of your time blogging? Which places do you enjoy blogging the most? Do you find different places are better for certain tasks more than others? Interested in your thoughts.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. zammax says:

    I like to do all my online activities in my room but sometimes blogging using free hotspot like in cafe or restaurant is also good to refresh my mind.

  2. Richard Ray says:

    I’m pretty new to blogging myself, and, perhaps worse of all, i’m blogging broke (Cash-strapped and seeking work) which doesn’t make my hobby any easier!

    So this pretty much relegates me to my home except for the few times when I’ve used the internet cafe for about a pound an hour. and I agree with the blog post here, working away from home DEFINATELY helps productivity and creativity!

    So i’m going to put these tips to use!
    hopefully, my blog can start to pay for itself so that I can afford to work a little more away from home!

  3. Bojan says:

    There are always thise small chunks of time when you have great ideas for blog posts, but you cant write them diwn. most of the people arent carrying notebooks with themselfs, but my favorite searchable notebook is always with me in my cell phone. you guessed it! its evernote!

    writing down and capturing ideas on the go is cruical asset of any blogger, hence my warm recomendations for smart phones!

  4. OMG…We are twins…I am a virtual assistant and ALWAYS on the computer and of course always home. I have found that when I get up and go to my favorite spot “Starbucks” I seem to get more done, my attitude is better, and I too am much more creative. There is something about the energy of all those other people there with their laptops that I soak up. I have been moving around the country the past year or so, and now know various Starbucks in a few cities. While I was in Atlanta, I probably spent time in at least 7 of them until I found one that is my fave. The downside to going to Starbucks is that others have the same idea, so you have to hit them early, or at the right time of day to get a good, comfortable spot. I try to get out at least 3 times a week and it definitely helps. I don’t have little ones to worry about so it helps me to have even more flexibility. THANKS for sharing, it confirms my theories about doing that are correct. My next step will be co-working when I get settled back in Los Angeles once again.

  5. I spend about 16 hours a day in front of one of my laptops in the living room with my T.V. or my iPod as the white-noise source. I have large glass doors to my left with a view of my town from the 12th floor. That view keeps me very up-to-date on the weather. There’s easy access to a cup of tea, as well.

    I do need to get out more for sure. There are some great cafes in my neighborhood that should work nicely, and I have been thinking of grabbing my laptop and my iPod and heading out for a latte and some blogging, or even some coding.

    The college I attended had a great library. Perfect for studying. No laptops back then, though. :)

    -Michael

  6. Jean Burman says:

    Darren… you could be me… except I’m a girl. Your writing schedule reads almost identical to mine. I am completely mobile with a Macbook similar to yours. And my inspirational place to write is in coffee shops from tropical north queensland right through to the gold coast and sometimes beyond. Wherever good coffee and [sometimes] homemade pineapple and banana cake is served [grin]

    I relate to the white noise of having people around. The atmosphere somehow feeds the process The only difference between you and me is that instead of the home office in the afternoon… I retire to my easel and [again like you] that’s when the work really begins!

    But I love my coffee shop “process”. In fact I made a little vimeo clip about it. Just for fun. http://vimeo.com/15092232

    • Jean Burman says:

      Oops… what did I say? Looks like my comment is still awaiting moderation. Sorry Darren… whatever it was I didn’t mean it… honest (((chuckles))) Maybe I’ll try it again without my vimeo link. Here goes:

      Darren… you could be me… except I’m a girl. Your writing schedule reads almost identical to mine. I am completely mobile with a Macbook similar to yours. And my inspirational place to write is in coffee shops from tropical north queensland right through to the gold coast and sometimes beyond. Wherever good coffee and [sometimes] homemade pineapple and banana cake is served [grin]

      I relate to the white noise of having people around. The atmosphere somehow feeds the process The only difference between you and me is that instead of the home office in the afternoon… I retire to my easel and [again like you] that’s when the work really begins!

      But I love my coffee shop “process”. In fact I made a little vimeo clip about it. Just for fun.

  7. I’m a newbie so I Just blog at home. and I still have a lot to learn about blogging

  8. It’s funny I’ve always liked the romantic idea of writing away from my desk/office/house but I tend to get distracted far too easily. Thinking of trying cafes again if I can find the right one.

    Callum

  9. amy says:

    Hello??? Blogging from Bed!!! Doing it right now as a matter of fact! Some marriage therapists might want to weigh in on this but…for the moment anyway…it’s my favorite place!

    Amy Parmenter
    The ParmFarm

  10. Ginger Jones says:

    Hi Darren! I’ve not blogged from some of the places you mention. I have blogged from hotels, airports, libraries, friends homes, relatives homes, and sometimes my neighbor’s house. Generally you’ll find me in our den in the recliner but I do have a home office. If I am not feeling well, I have blogged from my bedroom sitting up in bed.

    The one thing I think I may be saying for a lot of bloggers is that we feel a sense of responsibility to continue to post great content on our blogs no matter what may be going on in our daily lives.

  11. I used to blog from my room after going home from work, but sometimes my mom complained that I rarely spent time with her, so now I move my blogging activity in the living room while chatting with her. Sometimes I need more than two hours just to write a post because it’s hard to write and chat in the same time lol .

  12. Mazarine says:

    You know, I haven’t seen any other comments that say this, but I blog, always always, from my bed.

    I really like lying in bed and blogging. or sitting. Or sprawling. It just relaxes me more, and I write better posts too!

    Mazarine
    http://treyzsocialmedia.com

  13. Nathan says:

    The toilet. Definitely the toilet. So quiet and peaceful.

    It only works at home though – if you do it in public people think you’re a weirdo.

  14. Stuart says:

    I blog from my heart.

  15. NicoJulius says:

    Most of my articles ar written on the train. I also write a lot in my couch or in bed. In summer, I like to blog in my garden :-).

  16. Hi

    My favourite place is out in the garden.
    I have a fantastic view from my garden over looking miles of countryside.

    I just sit out there with my trusty laptop and a long cool drink, enjoy the view.

    I have a summer house…so when its winter, I just sit inside and have a hot chocloate with a snickers and write away.

    Its great…

    If I am on the move..I use my iPad and just find some where with free wifi,comfy chairs and hot drinks.
    If I am really pushed for time…its Tweet time or quic post via my iPhone…..mmmm is tere a apple them here!!!

    ;)

    Regards

    Zahid

  17. I blog mainly at my desk on my new, big beautiful iMac screen during the day, when my kids are in school. However, I am finding more and more that social media is distracting me and also I am becoming lonely and therefore bored. I should make a point of blogging outside “in the world” at least once a week in a cafe. I never thought of the mall, as shopping would be a distraction, but maybe not. It’s a thought!

  18. Well, for me, it might sound kinda weird but I blog in the attic. Well, the attic is quite and you will see things that you kept there for a long time and I tend to blog them to resurrect those things.

  19. Gemma says:

    I mainly blog sat on the couch, or while I’m traveling on the train to kill the time. I’m looking forward to the weather getting better here in the UK when I’ll be able to take my laptop outside to blog. Here’s hoping!

  20. Seenu says:

    Dareen don’t you spend some time on blogging in the nature? By the way I like to blog from my room keeping laptop on the desk and I sit on the chair.

  21. fengshuidiva says:

    I love to get my ideas and inspiration as sip a hot cup of coffee in the morning! I start to think about the day. But sitting at my kitchen table with my laptop is my best when I blog. I do agree ! I like the flexibility
    of blogging from any location.

  22. Ginny says:

    Work from home – often blog when walking my dog or playing footie (with the dog fo course) and then dash to my desk to frantically pound the thoughts onto the laptop before they vanish into grey moments… the blog is also a column in a local paper…

  23. Andee says:

    The train. I commute into the city an hour each way, so sitting on the train with the little netbook my husband bought me has been my outlet for my thoughts.

    And it’s also been a great place to read entry after entry here … learned a bunch!

    Andee

  24. Chris Alta says:

    When I first got started online I was actually teaching myself everything I know now with the help of taking advice from a friend and also following other more experienced bloggers.

    I live in a small cozy 1,200 square foot home in California with pops, mom, brother, and sister. The only computer we had was in the kitchen and it was a SUPER SLOW Dell. (PC’s make me cringe)

    Anyways I figured if I could work in the kitchen and get work done with my family always there (it was always super loud, family likes to talk a lot) then I could work anywhere. The only problem was that I wasn’t mobile, meaning I didn’t have a laptop!

    So I ended up selling my flat screen tv and my iphone 4. With that I bought a 20″ iMac from my old boss who let me pay him in installments which was really cool..but I still owed him some money and I wasn’t mobile. I was away from my loud kitchen but now I found myself bored because I never had anyone to talk to! I’d wake up in the mornings, shower, eat something in the kitchen and then be in my room for the next 5-7 hours.

    So I ended up selling the 20″ iMac, paying my boss off the rest of the money and then decided I was going to get a MacBook pro. However I wanted a 15″ not a 13″ (I got picky)

    So I started looking on craigslist and found nothing locally where I lived, so I expanded my horizons and started looking in Northern California, and I found a great deal on a 2010 13″ MacBook Pro in mint condition. The guy was asking $700 but I offered him $500 cash for it and he bit. The only difference with this MacBook pro and why he was selling it for soo little was because it had a QWERTZ keyboard.

    for those of you who don’t know what a QWERTZ keyboard is just replace the Y with Z and the Z with Y. These keyboards are commonly found in Germany, so he was just selling it because of personal preference. Another thing that’s different about it was that the enter key was a key over and was fairly smaller. I got used to it in a couple of hours, no biggie.

    The next day however I started looking for 15″ MacBook Pro’s and I ended up selling the 13″ the very next day for $1,000. I basically flipped it and doubled my money. Now that I had $1,000 to work with I was sure I was going to get a 2007 model 15″ MacBook Pro, but instead I got a great deal on a brand new 17″ Unibody 2010 i5 Model.

    The guy who was selling it already had like 3 MacBooks and two iMacs for his music producing and didn’t need this one. He was asking $1,500 for a $2,800+ MacBook Pro so I figured something was wrong but I’ve had it for a month and it’s perfect! I ended up offering him the $1,000 that I had and he took it since everyone else was offering him $400 and a Playstation 3 lol

    So I definitely got lucky! But this happened because I was determined to make it happen, so anyone who has taken the time to read this should keep in mind that you can get whatever you want as long as you’re persistent. A little bit of luck helps as well lol

    So now that I’m mobile and got even more than I wanted in a MacBook Pro I’ve been able to go to the following places so far.

    -Starbucks
    -Friend’s Houses
    -All around my own house
    -Downtown San Jose (very beautiful)

    The places I would like to try out

    -Shopping Malls
    -Public Library’s
    -Restaurants
    -Beach Side (piers)
    -Golf Course
    -ALL AROUND THE WORLD

    As Darren said you can go anywhere you want to in the world and you don’t really need an internet connection. You can write 3 posts in a day and have 3 days worth of work done so that when you do have your internet connection up and running you can just hit upload, and your work is done for that day. if not done then you’ve certainly saved yourself more time to respond to your readers, work on other projects, posts, research, or take time to relax.

    I rambled on a bunch but hey you asked!

    haha good post Darren, talk soon

    cheers!

    -Chris Alta

  25. Lary says:

    Darren – I’ll settle for “great minds think alike” because I have also found that coffee shops are remarkably conducive to blogging and content creation. As I thought about it, here’s what I concluded and wrote in my blog post, “The Nightmare of the Cluttered Mind”, about why somewhere else may be better than our office:

    “There are probably many reasons for this phenomenon but it’s real. Part of it, I think, is because the change of scenery disconnects the usual wiring. Our brain recognizes that we’re moving to another place, and since it’s coming with us, it recalibrates and refocuses where we point it. It strikes me that in this totally different environment, the old circuits take a break and a new channel opens up waiting for us to direct it. The customary input channels that flood our office are temporarily offline and it makes a huge difference.” Here’s the link to the article:

    http://www.exkalibur.com/personal-productivity-multitasking-the-nightmare-of-a-cluttered-mind/

  26. Many of my ideas I get when being stuck somewhere in a trafficjam. For me taht’s the moment I think about a new blogpost or idea. ;-)

  27. Michael says:

    My favorite is blogging between classes at school.

  28. In front of the fireplace or outside in the garden with my face in the sun.
    I feel that the environment you write in helps to enhance your writing themes. My blog is on healthy living, staying zen, low stress to promote good health. It seems unethical to write in any other environment that a “zen” one. (Although occasionally I have…especially if my 4 young kids are running around and are literally on my back watching me)…
    But…even that is ZEN :)

  29. For me there is something about a coffee shop or a library that allows me to focus better than I typically can when I am at home. Coffee shops just have a productive feel to them.

    The ideas can come from anywhere – and having a device to capture those ideas is always important!

  30. I take very little time as blogger. But, I remember when I was working of vigilant of safety. I was getting bored so much that it was taking a notebook and walking of here for there, was thinking and they occured to me multitude of ideas. Of course he was writing them and sometimes it was developing them. The case is that when it was coming to house, I was remaining in target. And it had to wait again on the following day to write in the work. Thus I managed to write a history that I registered, but that I did not publish. Now, I have 2 monitors, a chair comodoa and an office. But, when more the ideas occur to me it is in the night, almost before putting me to bed.

  31. Susan says:

    My favorites are Starbucks, on the couch and in my office. And yes, I will have the TV on. For some reason I love to watch bad sci fi or a horror movie that lacks a plot so all I get is background noise and no real storyline to get me distracted.

  32. Rick salas says:

    Hi Darren, I seem to get a lot more done in my office. Sometimes I get a lot of work done on the couch too if I set the time in blocks and manage my time right. But I could use the great advice on taking a stroll through shops and foodcourts. Sounds like a very creative way to come up with some great content. Thanks for your post.

  33. Joy Smith says:

    Currently, I just blog from my desk. When the weather warms up, I have been known to blog from the front porch.

  34. Tomo says:

    Hi Darren,
    I started blogging when I was pregnant, hoping to get the flexibility you talked about in this post. Now the baby was born and as a new mum I’m struggling to keep my blog going. It looks like you have two toddlers and baby #3 is on the way, and you are still writing posts very frequently. That seems like a mission impossible to me. How do you do that?

  35. Jerrick Yeoh says:

    on the couch and cafe will be the most relaxing location to blog but time not allow so most blog is create on office desk and even sometime in toilet. That funny but there is the place which i can relax and think of idea.
    Blogger can get their idea to write a blog at anyplace, as long they able to write a good blog will do .