As a blogger and social media strategist, there are a few things I absolutely would not be caught dead without.
I have to keep on top of a ton of tasks in all my roles, and the faster and more efficiently I can get these done, the better! Having important tools only a click away makes all the difference in the world – hence why I love keeping my Chrome toolbar stocked with things I need every day.
The current state of my toolbar:
Ok so there’s more than five, but some tools I can live without!
5 Chrome Apps I Can’t Live Without
Ever since Twitter icons the world over stopped showing the tweet count of every post, it’s been harder to see who has tweeted your content, and when. This isn’t what you want when you’re in charge of social media strategy and having to compile reports (or even if you just want to keep track, thank the tweeters, etc)!
Fortunately the Buzzsumo Chrome extension is a handy tool to see exactly what you want – It still shows tweet counts, and who were the sharers. It also gives you a great social media overview without having to open and log into the Buzzsumo site.
Buzzsumo is a godsend for analysis on what content performs best and where.
One of the things I’ve noticed though, is that she share count isn’t totally accurate if you’ve recently removed the dates from your URLs. This can be super useful for SEO purposes, but it does then skew your Buzzsumo data as it only counts the shares of your new URL, not the old.
As you can see, one of my most popular posts on Veggie Mama looks like hardly anyone cared at all!
Whereas the share reality is far different:
However, it is a great tool for quickly checking the success of yours and others’ posts – particularly if you curate content for social media channels (or roundups posts, like I do here).
And, of course, you can still manually search for shares (although it’s obviously a bit more involved).
I use CoSchedule multiple times a day, so I’m usually always logged in and the site open in a tab.
However, if I’m casually reading on a weekend or haven’t got it open for some reason, I can quickly share or schedule an interesting post for my audience, right from that post with the CoSchedule app on the Chrome toolbar.
You simply click on the icon and this page will pop up, allowing you to personalise your message and set a time for it to go live.
3. RSS Feed Reader
Part of my duties both at ProBlogger, as a blogger, and managing the social media for other small businesses is curating content to go out on social media. It’s also imperative that I keep up-to-date with current news and trends in the online world to help keep up my skills and knowledge in my industry.
Enter the old-school RSS feed reader, totally available from my toolbar!
I have mine set to feed me the most popular and shared content across three platforms (I will be expanding this): Tech, vegetarian news, and blogging, according to share counts from Buzzsumo.
At the click of a button I can see what is the most popular content across all three niches, ready for me to share with our audience, or to help me stay abreast of current online affairs.
4. Ahalogy (or other Pinterest scheduler)
I love the easily-pinned images found on blogs and websites the world over, but I don’t always want to pin that content right away.
If I’m hoping to schedule something to pin later (particularly if I’ve gone on a bit of a Pinning spree), I use my current Pinterest scheduler, which is Ahalogy. I have also used Tailwind and found that toolbar app useful also.
I love using a scheduling app that puts your pin in your current queue, or allows you to manually set a scheduled time.
5. The Great Suspender
As I’m sure you can imagine, I have many tabs open and on the go at any one time – keeping track of everything all the time is a massive job that can easily suck your data and your battery dry.
Enter The Great Suspender, available from the Chrome Web Store!
After a certain amount of time, your computer will suspend any tabs that haven’t been used, but will unsuspend immediately you reload the page. You can also whitelist your favourite pages so they will always stay open.
It can often shut off when you might not want it to – for example, if you’re downloading something or listening to music or the radio on a webplayer, so be warned!
Also, you will be prompted to save your work or stay on a page if the suspender attempts to suspend a tab before you’ve saved what you were working on. Yay!
I do use these apps often, and find them invaluable, but would still survive if they weren’t on my daily toolbar!
Clip to Evernote
Having said all that, I’ve used the article clipper on Evernote a whole bunch this last week – it helps me keep my posts-to-read-for-later in their appropriate folders, and also makes it easier for me to send information to shared folders for my clients (or my podcast co-host) to read.
You can clip any part of the article or send the entire thing to your Evernote. I’ve found it particularly useful when the post I’m reading doesn’t have an email option and I can’t email it to my relevant folder.
It’s saved me a lot of time and effort!
Simple Pomodoro is also a great app to have when you struggle to stay focused or find it hard to get through your to-do list without being distracted.
The app is based on the Pomodoro technique, which advises you to work for 20 minutes, then take a break, to help keep you on task.
You can set yourself a timer very quickly, and personalise the timeframe – I always do the 20 minute pomodoro, but you can also choose 5, 10, 15 or multiple minutes.
So these are the tools I have on hand to be the best blogger and social media manager I can be! I hope they’re helpful to you too – do you have favourite toolbar apps you just can’t live without? I’d love to hear in the comments!