I’m back with five more favorites and I’m still going to ride the blogging train with them. In case you missed it, last time I wrote about my five favorite DIY web design blogs. Well these, my friends, are the five (all free!) things I can’t do without as a blogger. They’re like a hammer is to a handy man. Check ‘um:
1. Windows Live Writer
I use WLW to write all my posts. I can’t say enough about it. It’s so much better than using blogger to write because it lets you size your pictures to whatever size you want, edit them (add borders, crop, brighten, add a watermark, etc…), and what you see on your screen is what your post will look like after published. So many times with darn blogger I’d type up a post and once I posted it, all my spacing would be off and look completely different than what I had just typed in a draft two seconds before. Not gonna fly with a perfectionist. Anyway, if you haven’t tried it you should. You can download it for free from Microsoft here.
We don’t own Photoshop or any fancy photo-editing software because we simply don’t have money to shove their way. But that’s okay because I stumbled upon Pixlr a couple of years ago and it does almost everything that Photoshop can for your pictures and images. Every graphic design image on this here blog – our header, our widget titles, our nav bar – was created using Pixlr. The best part is you don’t have to download anything to use it. Simply go to pixlr.com, create, save, and done!
I recently found about about PicMonkey and it’s ability to make creating photo collages a cinch. Up until a few weeks ago, every collage I’ve made was constructed with a lot of tedious cutting and pasting…a huge time commitment. I haven’t tried out their photo-editing because I’m so smitten with Pixlr but I’m sure it’s pretty good as well. Once again, no downloading, just go to picmonkey.com and get busy!
4. Canon T2i
We saved for months and months before the twins were born for this camera…and then we found out our 2011 taxes owed (boo!) were the same amount as our coveted camera so we paid them and started allllll over. But, we got there and we love this camera! We’re big on researching big purchases before we buy, and Canon is an all-time fave with Consumer Reports so we knew we wanted a Canon. We got great deal on this one - $600 with a free five-foot tripod and camera bag – and we have no complaints about it. Love, love, love. I use it for all house shots, projects shots, and we haven’t paid a pro-photographer yet to snap the girls; not that we’re outstanding photographers because we so aren’t, but we love that we could stage a photo shoot at home for free if we wanted like this one we did when they were wee babes:
5. Gold-Striped Planner
I had a rough time coming up with a fifth favorite. I’d include the computer I blog with but it’s going to be celebrating it’s 10 year birthday soon, it’s missing two keys (G & B, in case you were wondering…they still work though), dented in few places, and slower than slow…it’s a wonder I blog at all with it because it literally takes ten clicks of the Chrome icon before it’ll let me get online and thrice as long to get a post out than if we had a recent model. But, it works and hopefully Santa will hear my plea for a new one this year.
So back to #5 – a planner. Not any planner though. You know I love stripes, right? Well, I found this one circa April at Target on clearance for $2.50 and I love it. I’m picky with planners – they have to have a full page monthly calendar followed by pages of each week separating the days with lines so I can write down monthly things and skip over to write down daily stuff…picky, I told you. I jot down random ideas, to-do lists…anything pertaining to the blog in it. It keeps me organized. Love it.
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And that’s it! I’m linking up again with Hallie at Moxie Wife! Go on over and read about a lot more favorites there!
If you’re a blogger by day (or night), what are some of your favorite blogging tools? Photo-editing tools? Apps? Share the goods! :)