4.27.2016

28 blogging tasks you can do from your phone

Do you spend more time near your smartphone than your computer? You can still get plenty of work done on your blog when you're on the go with these mobile-friendly tasks!

If you're anything like me — juggling paying work, parenting, home life, errands, fitness — you might find limited time to sit down at an actual desk to blog or work on your blog-related tasks. So here's a roundup of plenty of things you can do while you're on your smartphone or tablet.

A few of these links are affiliate links, but most are just free apps. I use what I recommend.


  1. Draft a blogpost.

    If you're a minimalist blogger (mostly plain text), you might be able to post from your smartphone using one of the blogging apps (WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr on Android & iOS), using email uploads (Blogger, WordPress.com, self-hosted WordPress), or navigating to the site on mobile.

    For me, I find the apps and mobile experience inadequate for all the images and coding and customization I love to cram into my posts, so I prefer to finalize things on desktop. BUT, I can absolutely WRITE a blogpost draft while I'm out. I just prefer to do it in email. I use Gmail's Inbox app and like that it saves my drafts well. I just pop my own address into the to field, make the subject line my title, and then Swype away in the text field. I'm Swyping this right now, matter of fact. I'd like to experiment, once I figure out the best headset, with dictating blogposts while I walk, using Dragon Dictation, the native Google voice-recognition on my phone, or another speech-to-text capability. (Here's how one person does this via Evernote.)

     
  2. Edit your drafts.

    If you have a blogpost draft you want to edit, email it to yourself or upload it to Google Docs and use the Google Drive app (Android & iOS) to access it. It has a nice autosave feature, and it will sync with your desktop version of course.

     
  3. Check and reply to email.

    I find being on my phone actually makes this easier, because brevity feels right. Bam. Email done.

     
  4. Read other blogs.

    I use Feedly for my subscriptions now, and I've learned the mobile gesture shortcuts to make the process easy. Save for later articles you want to read in depth or share, or just do it now if you have the concentration time.

     

4.25.2016

Lauren's link love: YA vs. middle grade, commercial vs. literary, writing camp, & Twitter tips

Links to share, collected at @LaurenWaynecom on Twitter:




Like I need an excuse.



A question many of us have:


4.18.2016

Lauren's link love: Making a living as a writer, editing Hemingway-style, & the good of Amazon

Links to share, collected at @LaurenWaynecom on Twitter:




Need an editing app? So did Hemingway, apparently.




4.11.2016

Lauren's link love: Query letter formula, captivating characters, celebrating diversity, & breaking through blocks

Links to share, collected at @LaurenWaynecom on Twitter:









4.06.2016

All cats are girls, and all other animals are boys

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

I'm reprinting this from Hobo Mama in the hopes that children's authors take note: We need more variety in our characters, on so many levels. One is in animal-gender form.

All cats are girls, and all other animals are boys.

You'd think this was biologically improbable, but it's true.

Witness the admirably entertaining Pet's Tails touch-and-feel book by Jellycat, written by Anne Wilkinson. Every single pet on every page is a boy:

"I love my budgie — his tail is a beautiful blue."

"I love my stick insect — his tail is like a twig."

"I love my fish — his tail goes swish-swish."

I commend Wilkinson on her extensive research that correctly identified the masculinity of nearly all pets.

4.04.2016

Lauren's link love: How to query, writing inspiration, blogs to follow, & micropoetry

Links to share, collected at @LaurenWaynecom on Twitter:






In thinking of how to use YouTube as an author:



Secrets to querying literary agents:


3.31.2016

How to change your Google spreadsheet's language & related formatting settings

I was having a problem with a Google Sheets spreadsheet and am writing this post in case anyone is having a similar one. It's that type of nitpicky problem that wasn't a huge deal but was affecting my workflow — my spreadsheet thought I was in the UK when I'm really in the US.


What difference does it make if a spreadsheet thinks I'm writing in UK English vs. US English? Well, for me, it came down to the dates column. It really, really wanted my dates to be in this format: DD/MM/YYYY. Whereas we weird Americans tend to like it this way: MM/DD/YYYY, with the month first. I automatically type them like so: 3/16 (for March 16), expecting the spreadsheet to autoformat my entry to 3/16/2016. But…it wasn't. It just sat there: 3/16, and left aligned, as if I'd typed in text instead of a numeric value. If I typed in the words March 16, then it autoformatted it to 16/03/2016, which, though accurate in its own way, was not what I wanted.

So! I tried a couple things first that didn't solve it entirely. First of all, under Format --> Number --> More Formats --> More date and time formats…, I was able to find a way to change that column specifically to be the date format I prefer. But, it didn't "stick." Anytime I typed in a new date, the sheet still didn't seem to know what to do with it. I worked around it by copying and pasting the correctly formatted dates, but that was inadequate.

I also went to my universal Google account settings and found that, somehow and sometime, I had indeed been set to UK English, so I switched that back to US. I refreshed my spreadsheet and hoped that would be the end of it. Nope, still UK. I restarted my browser. Nope.

Then, I found it: File --> Spreadsheet settings…. Hurrah!

You can set your locale, and sure enough, mine was set to United Kingdom. As the Google help notes, "This affects formatting details such as functions, dates, and currency." I'd indeed noticed instead of a dollar sign ($) in my toolbar, there was a pound symbol (£).

You can also change your time zone (useful to know if you're trying to keep track of specific times entries were added to your spreadsheet) and your display language.


Click to embiggen.
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