Time Savers I Love – Every Minute Counts
Daylight Saving Time kicks off this weekend with a spring forward on Saturday night. You’ve got one job on Sunday – move all your clocks forward one hour! Of course nobody in Arizona recognizes Daylight Saving Time yet so we’ll just have to put a “No” next to “Plays well with others” on their report card. In the spirit of saving time, I thought I’d share a few time savers I love. Who knows, one or two of them may just help you shave a few minutes off your day.
This keeps me from having to search for and add related posts at the bottom of every blog post. Why would you want to do that anyway? To make your website sticky. If people find one post they like, they’ll be able to move to another post quickly and easily, and that keeps them sticking around on your website longer.
Did you remember to write a post for next Tuesday? What about the Tuesday after that? WordPress doesn’t make it easy to see when your posts are scheduled. The editorial calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog.
I love using the WordPress Editorial Calendar because I can jot down notes as blog drafts and they’ll show up to the right of a calendar image. When I want to set up my editorial calendar for the month, I just drag & drop the drafts and then I know what blogs I need to work on and when to maintain my blog.
This plugin helps you to keeps your old posts alive by sharing them and driving more traffic to them from social networks. It also helps you to promote your content. You can set the time and number of posts to share to drive more traffic.
This is an efficient plugin that multiplies my efforts. Occasionally it drops a tweet about one of my original book release days or my old publisher (which has since closed its doors) but even those posts are a bit fun for reminiscing. I especially like it when it picks and old guest post of a writing friend and creates new buzz about a book in their backlist.
We all know the value of social media, especially those of us who write or publish. Without word of mouth, nothing exists. I use Hootsuite for myself and for client work because it allows me to create posts for events well in advance so I can take a few things off my plate on the day of a big event. It also allows me to schedule promotion campaigns for myself and clients prior to a product release date.
One item unique to Hootsuite is you can use it to publish to Instagram. There’s still a bit of a manual effort at posting time, but Hootsuite does what it can.
Buffer takes the Hootsuite game up a notch. Not only can you do everything you do with Hootsuite, but you can set how many times per day you want to post to each network and Buffer will find the optimal times for each of them.
One of the many things I love about Buffer is the ability to schedule Pinterest Pins. Pinterest is a force to be reconed with and a great promotional tool so any edge there helps.
IFTTT (If This Then That)
IFTTT is a free web-based service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, called “recipes”, which are triggered based on changes to other web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. IFTTT is an abbreviation of “If This Then That”.
For me, IFTTT helps me to automate tedious tasks that would otherwise sap time from my day or my clients’ days. For example, I have a client who absolutely loves Instagram and posts some epic photos but he just doesn’t have the time to share them to his other networks. We’ve set it up so he can simply post to Instagram and the photo gets shared on all of his networks. Another client lives on Facebook. He has several niche topic Facebook Pages, but he’s posted everything to his Profile for years. We set up some IFTTT recipes that allowed him to hashtag his posts so they would be shared appropriately on his niche pages as well.
Needless to say, if Buffer and IFTTT could be combined so that the perfect timing of Buffer could be applied to every IFTTT post, Beyonce would have to step because that product would run the world.
Those are time savers that I value most in the work I do. What are some time savers that shave minutes (or hours) off your days? Please share in the comments.
And now for the trivia:
I was led to believe Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea of Daylight Saving Time but, in fact, he did not. (No biggie though, he had some others that were just doozies! Case in point: Public Libraries. Need I say more?) Here’s an historical tidbit for those of you looking for some Trivial Pursuit wedges:
During his time as an American envoy to France, Benjamin Franklin, publisher of the old English proverb, “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”, anonymously published a letter suggesting that Parisians economize on candles by rising earlier to use morning sunlight. This 1784 satire proposed taxing shutters, rationing candles, and waking the public by ringing church bells and firing cannons at sunrise. Despite common misconception, Franklin did not actually propose DST; 18th-century Europe did not even keep precise schedules. However, this soon changed as rail and communication networks came to require a standardization of time unknown in Franklin’s day. Courtesy of Wikipedia