Thursday Tech Tips: 5 Web Services & Apps Authors Should Use
We all know writing, publishing, and promoting books is not an easy task for authors. Everything takes time and effort, so whenever I find ways to make things run smoothly, I go for it! Making things easier on myself, accessing my work from anywhere, and keeping it nicely backed up are huge goals for me, and over the years I’ve found the perfect web apps, tools, and services to help me along.
Trello for Writing Down Ideas, Character Names, and other Writing Stuff
I generally use a white board and the sticky notes in Windows to keep track of my to do list. But for post ideas for the blogs I run, quick lists of character names and story ideas, and any other writing-related notes I might need, I use Trello. It’s accessed through my browser, which makes it perfect to use from my computer, tablet, and phone.
Google Drive / Docs for Writing and Editing
When I am at home, I prefer Word to write my WIPs. Basically because of the track changes features. And the template I have for headers (Story title/Author name and page count).
If I need to travel and access my documents from computers/tablets without Word, I use Google Docs. It’s easy, it’s safe, and I paste my WIPs in my Drive anyway just because I need another backup.
Canva to Design Promo Images, Blog Post Illustration, and More
We can’t all be great designers, but sometimes we need to do own our teasers or promo images, or edit some photos for social media or a blog posts. Canva is perfect for that. Not only do they have the right sizes for whatever you need, they have loads of free templates (and cheap ones if you want something fancier). They also have a lot of great tutorials to help you better design your banners or illustrations.
Hootsuite and Hootlet for Easy Social Media Management
Sometimes, you need to schedule posts for your Facebook, Twitter, Google +, or LinkedIn pages and accounts. Or you need quick access to all of them from wherever you are. I find Hootsuite the one service where I can get everything done.
As you can see from this screenshot, I have three twitter accounts, two Facebook pages, and a Street Team group there. What you don’t see are the LinkedIn, Google+, and other third party channels I mange. One browser tab open and I can take care of it all. I love scheduling tweets and making life easier on myself when I can’t be at the computer all the time.
I also happen to have the paid version, but the free one still allows you to manage up to five different social media accounts. It’s easy, it’s smart, and it saves you a lot of time.
Furthermore, there’s the Hootlet browser add-on they developed a while back. That makes it very easy to share a post, article, or piece of news on social media with a few clicks. You don’t have to leave the page or worry that they don’t have the right share buttons.
Dropbox for File Transfers and Backup
Have you already guessed that I am a backup freak? I have everything saved on my computer, then on Dropbox, and on Google Drive. Nuts, I know, but better safe than sorry. Dropbox is my go to web service because I can access it from wherever, it comes with an option to backup stuff from my phone, and has a PC app.
Besides keeping my files safe, it’s great to transfer large files that can’t be emailed. You just upload them and share them with the person they are meant for. It makes collaboration easy, and it does not require the other party to have an account to download what you’ve shared.
The free version offers enough space for quite a lot of text files, and the paid version is also totally worth it
Over to you! Do you use any of these web services? What’s your take on them? What others would you recommend?
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