It’s that wonderful time of year, the holidays! And while I couldn’t send all of you a tin of my chocolate chip cookies, I did rustle up seven marketing gifts to help you be productive, organized, inspired and even kick writer’s block in the butt. Better yet, they’re all free (or have some version of “free”) and are Web-based.
Sometimes having music on with lyrics messes you up when you’re trying to write. How many times have you found yourself typing the lyrics, or going back over your post only to find the most horrific typos? But if you work in a busy office, it can be really hard to block out all of the outside noise. Try Noisli. It’s available for free online, or you can pick it up in the app store for a small (and totally worth it!) fee. You’re able to listen to a variety of environment sounds, as well as blend them together. Above is my special blend of waves lapping on a lake shore, nighttime bug sounds and the final, most important sound: a crackling fire. This transports me back to sitting around a campfire in the Adirondacks, and I can tackle just about anything.
Trello does many fantastic things, but for blogging, I like to use it to organize my ideas into simple boards. As you can see above, I have a board for ideas, a board for Creative Cage Match potential opponents, and then a board of completed posts. Better yet, there is a free app you can download so if inspiration strikes you in line for a cup of coffee, you can jot it down and keep it organized. And just to be clear, I am glossing over many of the other features, such as collaboration boards, tasks, images, etc. One thing I won’t forget to mention: Trello has a “spokes-husky,” his name is Taco, sometimes they use his name in the from line in emails, and it’s the best.
3. Stupid Desk
Created by Philly game developer and design maven Will Stallwood, Stupid Desk allows you to zen out and practice knolling. Not up on knolling? It’s the process of arranging related objects in parallel or 90-degree angles as a method of organization. I found it to be surprisingly therapeutic and mind-quieting, so this might be a great activity to do before digging deep into your next post. (Above is my first attempt at knolling).