There’s a lot of programs that I have come across in my time of blogging (and being a busy mom!) that have helped me save money and time. Plus, they’re super convenient. Some of them are totally free to use and others cost a little bit of money (like for the upgraded versions) but they’re well worth the price. Today I’m going to share some of my favorite apps I use for my business so you don’t have to spend months or years looking for the solutions they offer. Obviously a huge part of my online business is running my blog, so a lot of the programs that I use the most have to do with blogging and images (and making working on the blog fast and easy). As you may already know, writing is one part of a successful blog post, but pictures are equally important.
I spend a lot of time and care picking and customizing images to accompany every single blog post I write. Not only does it look very professional, but it also makes my social media messages very sharable. A perfect example is like when I put the titles (topic) of each blog as an overlay for a beautiful image. It looks nice, the picture is a link to the full blog, and it immediately tells people what the blog is about at a glance.
If you aren’t already using images & occasional overlays for your blog, you should start. It will get your posts a LOT more traction!
Images with Overlays For customized blog images I alternate between two different programs, Canva and PicMonkey. They both let you quickly and easily choose a background or interesting photograph that you adore and overlay custom text. And, both programs are super user friendly, so you won’t have to spend a ton of time figuring out how to use them. But, there are some differences that should help you decide when to use one over the other.
Canva is really straight-forward and has a lot of nice looking templates and sizes so you can pick the right format for the project you’re working on (like a banner or blog pictures) and there’s also lots of really polished looking templates with different fonts, so the layout and design takes very little effort. But, because of that your photo editing options are also kind of limited and you have to start with a background from their library.
PicMonkey is a lot like Canva but not nearly as fancy. It doesn’t have templates so you’ll spend more time working on the design portion of your overlays. But, it makes up for it with some awesome features you don’t get with Canva, like being able to grab images and screenshots from other places (not just the library).
Photo Editing When I have a photo I need to edit, I use Pixlr. It’s an awesome (FREE) program from Autodesk that works similarly to Adobe Photoshop but it’s a lot more simplistic and easy to use. You definitely don’t have to be a graphic designer to get a lot out of the program and it opens through your browser so you’re not having to download a huge program.
Notes & Working on the Go Another program I just couldn’t live without (for both personal and professional use) is Evernote. I use it almost every day! Unlike other note apps for your phone, Evernote not only gives you an easy place to store notes, but it also syncs your phone and desktop or laptop – so no matter where you are you can jot down ideas whenever inspiration strikes!
This is super useful because then you can work on a blog post over the course of a day or two without having to tackle it all at once, it’s just always there waiting for you wherever you left off and whenever you’ve got a moment to spare.