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The Commonsense Time-saver We All Missed

This guest post is by Stephen Guise of Deep Existence.

You’ve been wasting time in the blogging process, whether you know it or not. When I reveal this simple idea, it will figuratively smack you in the face with its clear benefits.

It’s not that your current method is bad. I just happened to stumble upon an intuitive time-saver that will help you. When I thought of it, I smacked myself in the face (literally this time) for not realizing sooner.

Use a dedicated bookmarks toolbar folder for new posts

All internet browsers have a bookmarks toolbar. (I hope) most of us use them, but when it comes to creating a new post, is your toolbar optimized accordingly? Probably not.

If you don’t have a bookmarks toolbar, you need to set one up immediately for a better browsing experience and to implement this advice. Do a search for “bookmarks toolbar (your browser)” for installation instructions.

1. Create a “New Post” folder

This folder will save time, keep you focused, and remind you of vital steps in the blogging process. To create a new folder, do the following (it may vary for different toolbars). I’m using Google Chrome in this example.

2. Add desired links

Once you’ve created the folder, the idea is to add link shortcuts to every destination page you always navigate to in the process of constructing a new masterpiece. You can see in the next screenshot that I have seven items in my New Post folder.

3. When creating a post, open your links with just one click!

When I right-click on the New Post folder, I can choose the Open All Bookmarks option. This opens each of my carefully selected items into tabs. Does one click instead of seven (or twenty for some people) sound good to you?

These links are the specific resources I use to when I create a post. Do not underestimate the value of this. It can save you at least a few minutes of time, and even more if you’re susceptible to mental blocks like I am. It makes it much easier to focus on your writing and the saved time/energy adds up.

Now I typically don’t have to navigate to any websites when I type up a post. I have all of my tools ready for me before I write the first line. There is even another benefit to doing this that I’ll get to later.

These are the seven tabs I currently use for my posts. I hope you find them as useful as I have. It should give you a basic idea of what to look for when adding bookmarks to your “new post” folder. Notice that they are in order of expected use. I use the keyword tool first and I share the post on Facebook last.

  1. Google Adwords’ keyword tool for SEO purposes. I can see what phrases are searched for most frequently. This is good for SEO and readers too as more popular phrases are that way for a reason.
  2. This is the direct link to the “Add New Post” option in my WordPress dashboard. This is where the magic happens. I don’t have to take the extra step of going to the admin page and then clicking on New Post—it’s just there!
  3. Google—the most powerful research tool in the world. Sorry Yahoo!
  4. Dreamstime —my favorite place for free or inexpensive photos.
  5. PunyPNG—the best (free) online photo compressor I’ve used. It can compress PNG, JPG, and GIF.
  6. My Facebook page and my fan page. I share my posts manually at both places after I publish.

Before, I would have to rethink this process for each new post. I’d be halfway through and remember SEO (distraction). I’d publish a post before adding the thumbnail (unprofessional). I’d forget to post to one of my Facebook places (lost traffic).

The other benefit of this system is when I’m finished with the keyword tool, I close the tab. After I obtain my picture from Dreamstime, I close that tab. Eventually there will just be the Edit Post tab (and the Facebook tabs to share it). This is great because it is an easy visual confirmation of what you have or have not completed.

Warning: only do this if you want to increase your speed, productivity, accuracy, and even your creativity by freeing up your mind. There is no downside and you can do it in less than a minute! Bonus: Apply this concept to other areas such as analyzing data on various websites. Any other ideas? Share them in the comments.

This post was manufactured in a house that contains peanuts by Stephen Guise of Deep Existence—where critical thinking is considered appropriate. If you know anyone who isn’t getting free Deep Existence updates, could you tell them about my puffer fish story? It might change their mind.

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Comments

  1. Vago Damitio says:

    A stitch in time saves nine. Great example of that in this post. Do you find that manually adding your links is to your facebook page is worthwhile? I usually have mine automated to mine at http://on.fb.me/lMHd2a and figured it saved a bit of time, but is it costing me?

    • San says:

      I’ve found that going in manually to my fan page and personal page gives each a touch of personal that I can’t get automatically…instead of “oh, another link from San”….I write a “note” to my personal friends and to my fans :) …not that I’m a FABulously prolific blogger, but your comment caused me to add my two cents, so there ya go :)

      Great post above too, something to do – organize my bookmarks and it will SAVE me time. WooHoo :)

    • People respond better to un-automated facebook updates. They can usually tell whether its automated or not, and if they see it is they have a tendency to ignore it. I personally think that manually adding links and updates to your facebook, or any other social media site for that matter, is more beneficial to you and your website.

    • Hi Vago,

      I manually share because I often add a comment to them to show that I’m not just throwing my links thoughtlessly – as that can look rather spammy. Like Tyler said, I think people respond better when they can perceive a personal touch.

      • Vago Damitio says:

        @stephen @san @tyler@vi Thanks for your responses. I guess I’ve been being a bit lazy about it and I really should take the time to show I care.

  2. Graham Lutz says:

    This can be used for any other process that you do often. There are a lot of times when I open the same couple of pages that are generally in different “categories” but all used at the same time.

    Great idea.

  3. This would definitely save me time. Not only do I not do this, I spend forever going back and forth.

    I am going to implement this before my next post.

    Thanks,
    Gabriel Johansson

  4. James says:

    Several handy tips there.
    Other links I think I’ll add:
    You Tube – I usually do a video for posts.
    Often used affiliates.
    Thanks, I’ve never really thought about how to speed up the posting process.

  5. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the post Stephen.

    I’ve never thought about how simple things like this can give you so much more time in the long term. I’ll be implementing your suggestions.

  6. I also have an ideas folder. Whenever I see anything online that gives me an idea to write about, I bookmark it in my idea folder. I like to manually submit many of my links instead of automating them to give them a personal touch, so I also have a submit folder with links to all the sites that I submit to. Organization is key.

  7. This is a great idea! I’m going to do this for my blog and for any other projects. I’m used to having multiple tabs open so simplifying with one click instead of multiple is going to save me time. Thanks for sharing this!

  8. I don’t know what version of Google Chrome you are using, but in the newest version there is a bookmarks folder that is a drop-down menu. I use this to easily access all of my needed resources when writing a blog post. They open in another tab so you can just click over, get what you need, and click back over to your post.

    Just my method, and I have found that it saves me a lot of time.

    • I am using the newest version of Google Chrome. I just prefer the toolbar to the drop-down menu. As long as we’re using one of them, it serves as a viable time-saver!

  9. Ooh, you have peanuts at your house? I’ll grab a handful next time I stop over.

    Why do you prefer to manually share your posts? Do you hate the unpredictable lag time of NetworkedBlogs?

    Don’t smack that Joseph Fiennes lookalike face too much.

    • As I said to Vago, the personal touch makes a difference so I like to add a comment when I share a post. Sometimes I don’t, but usually I do. I don’t really know much about Networked Blogs other than Problogger using it. I don’t like it.

      I’ll take it easy on the Fiennes face. :-) Help yourself to the peanuts (unless of course, you’re allergic).

      • Martyn says:

        I’m with you on this, Stephen. The personal touch makes SUCH a difference. When you know the person was actually there, on that specific platform, touching the lives of those people, with them in mind….

        Yeah, it’s good stuff.

        You’re probably the most prolific male guest blogger right now. I’m looking forward to the 3K-word one. That’s going to be different.

        • I think Danny Iny of Firepole marketing is the most prolific male guest poster (he is a machine and I’ve seen him everywhere).

          I agree that the personal touch is key – it separates you from the pack.

  10. Great post! Just added a folder to my toolbar. The biggest value in using this little trick is in opening all tabs at once and having a visual confirmation of your workflow. Thanks for sharing – a definite time-saver.

  11. Daniel says:

    Great post Stephen – very similar process that I follow for new posts, except I always forget a step or two and waste time going back to fix. This system will come in very handy!

    Cheers
    Dan

  12. Meghann says:

    Very helpful!! And, like you said, a very ‘duh’ moment. Why didn’t I think of that? Thanks for sharing!!

  13. doms says:

    Thank you for this, Stephen.

    This is the first specific tip I read that I immediately put into action. I use google chrome and I open a lot of tab in creating a new post. This is certainly a life-saver. Your own tabs are bonus for bloggers like me.

    I wish that most tips from Problogger can be as direct and doable as Steph had written.

  14. Rita says:

    I don’t get the Dreamtime “free” photos, for as little as 20 cents.

    Rita blogging at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide

  15. Megan says:

    I have around ten tabs which I open up at the beginning of my day and leave open all day. They are the things I use on a regular basis. Google reader, gmail, other emails, my adsense account and my analytics account are some of these.

    As a Firefox user, I love their bookmarking tools. it sure makes life easier. But I have to admit that an extra click or two isn’t really the end of the world…:)

    • Well, a big part of the appeal is having relevant bookmarks all in the same place. This way, you don’t have to think through all of the steps each and every time. So it’s more than just saving an extra click or two – it’s saving unnecessary extra processing.

      • JC says:

        If you have a process already, they should be automatic. For instance, when we walk do we think through the steps of walking or do we just do it?

  16. Harrison Li says:

    luckily I’ve always been doing this, i even have a folder called GP Blogs, guess what GP stands for? Guest post :) Well, I guess this post is really useful to people who never knew about this, nice to have someone point this out.

  17. Stephen, I must say I feel silly for working so long and hard, missing the same simple step. However, my solace is that I am in GREAT company. I just spent 20 minutes on Chrome – creating and organizing bookmark folders. Mine are:

    New Blog Posts
    Blogs Main
    SEO
    Other

    I will even save time when when I do screencasts.. I don’t have to open a new browser when I don’t folks to see my messy link bar – it’s pretty now – Thanks Brother!!!! I will start saving time at approximately 10am in the morning, due to the time saving of your simple step – Whew, after 20 years… I’d have to take my socks off to do that calculation – Thanks

  18. I use bookmarks for the websites I visit often, including some of the resources I’m using when I am working on my blog, but I don’t have them organized that well. So, I guess your post comes in handy for me and will save me some more time from now on.

    Thanks for the share man!

    • Glorious Blogger. I like that name. :-)

      Keep in mind you can use this for anything you do online! I have a folder for my financial accounts to get a full view of my finances.

  19. Well it’s kind of sad that it only works for worpress, as far as I understood, there are so many people thare using blogspot (blogger.com). But the post is still awesome, I had no idea wordpress had such extras, nice one Stephe, I can see you are a really loyal as a guest blogger to “Problogger.net”. You are posting really often comments and answering the qustions of many people here. And you are making awesome posts, it’s good that you are a part of Problogger, keep up the good work!

    • Hey,

      You can definitely use this for blogspot or blogger. Instead of the wordpress link, just insert the link that goes directly to your “new post” page. I don’t use blogger.com, so I don’t know where it is. Hope that helps!

  20. jibran says:

    that is really helpful
    thanks darren

  21. Nikoya says:

    Great breakdown of tips! I find that the way to make progress in this industry is rooted in maximizing your time! & keep things swift.

  22. Bev says:

    Nice idea. The next time I find myself with several sites open, I’ll consider a folder as you suggested. My bookmarks are so disorganized, I seldom use them. This could really help. Oh, yes, you reminded me I need to clean out my bookmarks.
    Bev

  23. Stephen,

    I love great organization tips! I can get so much more accomplished…if I’m organized.

    Your method is super. Plus it can be adapted to so many other activities.

    Thanks you for sharing – Theresa

    • You’re welcome. It is relevant to the entire internet browsing experience. I have another folder for “site editing.” Another reader suggested an idea folder with articles that spawn post ideas.

  24. Vikk Simmons says:

    Great tip. I did something similar when I was working up Squidoo lenses earlier this year. I set up a bookmark, BUT I didn’t add it to the toolbar. Your instructions worked perfectly and I now have my NEW POSTS folder set up. I use bookmark folders so this is really helpful. Simple but terrific. Thanks!

  25. Julie says:

    These are great ideas! I work on a 13 inch screen so size and organization are essential. Strange thing; I get a “claustrophobic feeling” working on this screen.

  26. Therese says:

    As an alternative, I have long been using Slimbrowser from flashpeak.com. Slimbrowser, which overlays I.E., has a groups feature. Save all related sites to a group and then open a group with one click when needed. The Groups feature and its Autologin ( for autologin to frequently used sites) are the reasons I’ve been reluctant to move to the much vaunted FireFox.

  27. James S. says:

    Thanks for the organizational tips. I like the Dreamstime and PunyPNG suggestions. These will come in handy!

  28. Dena Crain says:

    Your suggestion gave me the idea that we can also set up one folder for all of our blog posts and another for all our blog pages. I’m forever needing links to those and having to search for the right post or page. Now I see how time-consuming that is! Thanks!

    The other thought that occurs is that one need not spend a few hours immediately setting all this up. All you have to do is spend two minutes now to set up the folders. Then, every time you visit one of your own pages or posts, bookmark it. That will quickly show you which ones you keep linking to, even as it builds that database for you over time.

    Thanks, Darren, for getting us THINKING!!

  29. jezza101 says:

    Isn’t there a danger of making the creative process too prescriptive?

  30. Glynis Jolly says:

    Hi Stephen
    I use a similar method except it take 2 clicks instead of you one to get inside the folder. I might just try your idea though.

  31. Kim De Smet says:

    I couldn’t live without my bookmarks toolbar in FF. I even have this plugin that shortens the bookmarks to just favicons, so I could add a lot of them. :) How come I never thought of adding folders in it?!
    This idea has made me so excited and I see a lot of possibilities on how to optimize my workspace, especially the one you mention will be such a timesaver for me! Thanks a lot for this fantastic tip!

  32. Great post. Thanks for sharing this tip. Being able to have a way to maximize time makes life easier for us. Keep it up. Looking forward to reading more from you.