You might think that, with blogging being a digital pursuit, the bloggers we interviewed for Blog Wise would be right up with the latest and greatest productivity gadgets, philosophies, and software.
Interestingly, almost every one of the bloggers we spoke with relies on physical productivity tools to some degree—pen and paper, wall calendars, and whiteboards.
“I actually have to have something visual to look at deadlines on a calendar,” says Amy Porterfield. “So what I have is on my wall in my office I actually have a yearly calendar, but it’s month by month, and I’ll put my deadlines in there.”
It seems that for many of us, there’s a sort of psychological benefit in having our to do list, for example, at our elbows, and separate from the computer in front of us.
In terms of digital tools, these bloggers stuck with the mainstream software options: Google Apps like Calendars and Docs, Basecamp, and Evernote.
“I write whenever ideas come to mind,” Jeff Goins comments. “I use Evernote a lot, whether it’s on my phone or on my laptop, and I’ll just write some ideas down or a quote or whatever, and a lot of that turns into articles later.”
Many bloggers simply used the apps that came with their computers—iCal, Notepad, or Word, for example.
“I use a lot of text documents,” Darren problogger.net reveals. “I have about ten open on my computer at the moment. They’re just plain text documents, and that’s where I put my to-do lists and half-written posts and that kind of thing.”
Email, clearly, plays a massive role in productive communications between bloggers and their teams; Skype does too, but to a lesser degree.
Though it wasn’t talked about in detail, the interviews conveyed the impression that smartphones have been a boon for most pro bloggers’ productivity.
As a storeplace for diary and appointment information, email access tool, alarm, and cache of contact details, the smartphone’s invaluable. It also makes working on the go achievable even in locations that don’t have wifi—and at times when you’re nowhere near your computer (or, for that matter, a notepad).
In particular, bloggers with families relied heavily on their phones. Heather Armstrong uses Google calendars on her phone. “I can make a change, my husband can make a change, and it immediately updates on my phone so that I know what to be prepared for the rest of the day.”
In his interview, Darren revealed, “My wife, she’s out for a walk at the moment—I texted her and said, “Please don’t let the boys in my room. I’m doing an interview now.’” Communication, he says, is critical to his productivity.
The other piece of hardware that got the thumbs-up? The tablet PC. “If anything pops into my head I have a tablet next to me [where] I just write it down so that I can forget about it in that moment and stay focused,” Amy explained.
What’s your favorite productivity tool? Let us know in the comments. And if you’ve downloaded your copy of Blog Wise and you’d like to share your thoughts on it, we’d love to hear them, too!