8.21.2014

Boost Your Blog // 3 Blogging App Reviews

About a month ago I posted about blogging from your iPad and touched on 3 apps that I've been using to try to have the best experience with mobile blogging. These three apps are Blogsy, BlogGo, & the Blogger app. Below I'm going to outline the pros & cons of each of these apps, how I like the, how easy they are to use & what is important to me when using these apps.
blogging-apps-for-ipad
This is the most comprehensive app for blogging. You have access to a lot (and I mean a lot of things) when using this app. In fact, I'm blogging from this app right now! First off this app works with a lot of platforms - since I'm only concerned with Blogger, I'm glad it works with Blogger. You can set up your accounts and from the side of the screen you are able to access a web browser, your photos, flickr, picasa, instagram, facebook, youtube, and vimeo. You can post to multiple blogs on multiple platforms and save drafts to your account - meaning the mobile app pushes the post to the web.  You can save it to your account for later editing on the web or you can save a local draft to Blogsy as well.

You can set the font, alignment, page breaks, bullets all with in the text editor of the app. You are also able to fully edit the html of the post. If you swipe with three fingers (or click the at the bottom right hand corner) you have full access to the html of the post. Adding links is easy with the in app browser. Something that was important to me was adding affiliate links. So far the in app browser works pretty well with my Amazon affiliate account but not so well with my ShopSense account. Pulling in images & videos is easy with access to your own camera roll, instagram, and flickr accounts. I'm not sure why you would need access to facebook - I've never needed to pull something from Facebook into my blog before! But access to photos that are in different places is super convenient. You can also adjust the size of your images by double tapping the image you've dragged in to se the size.

I could keep going on because this app is so comprehensive and complex that it will probably fit a lot of the needs you have for full control of your blog posts. You can add tags, schedule posts, post between different platforms, it even saves drafts automatically for you which is really helpful- this is all the stuff I've just recently found out from this app and I know there is more to discover.

Some cons about this app - not only is it the priciest on this list but sometimes it doesn't post to your blog & gives you errors. I've found that if I've left the app for a while and maybe it needs an update it can cause some weird errors that aren't in their error help log. Usually I just uninstall & reinstall the app because even after the update it sometimes causes me problems. Additionally for the Blogger platform you can not preview posts. So usually when you want to check out how a post looks on your blog from your Blogger account on your desktop/laptop you would preview it. Unfortunately that isn't an option in Blogsy.  I've also got some wierdness with my photos recently but I'm attributing that to user error rather than a problem in the app.

This app is $4.99 and even with the bugs sometimes I think it's one of the best out there and for five bucks I'd give it a shot!  Download it here.

This app was created by Dana of the Wonder Forest blog & I have to say this is a pretty interesting one. Unlike Blogsy, BlogGo is also available for your iPhone so if you think you might be using your iPhone to blog as well the $1.99 price tag makes it even more appealing. BlogGo is also a lot cuter than Blogsy and is easier to use (which is due to the fewer features). But the colors and layout of the app really appeals to the pretty lover in me!

This app offers a lot of control but not as much control as Blogsy. You can post to multiple blogs you have on the same blogger account though & I would assume if you are an author of a shared blog (which I know you can do on Blogger) that would show up too under your account.

The ease of adding links and photos is reminiscent of the Blogger online platform. The buttons to add links & photos are at the top of the draft post body just like in Blogger. You can add photos by either choosing the camera or by adding from your camera roll. Much like the Blogger online platform you can choose the size of your photos between small, medium, large, extra large, & original size. To center photos once they are added tap next to them and select the proper alignment. Aligning text & formatting text is easy as well because the buttons are located at the top of the draft post body as well.

Another pretty cool feature of BlogGo is that you can see & respond to comments from the app. It will bring you to your blog which you can directly reply to comments. This is a great option since I am horrible at replying to comments. Also, you can add your blog feeds through Feedly and keep up with your reads in one comprehensive app. The ease of use and all-in-one nature of this app reminds me of the features of Blogger.  You can also use this on your iPhone or iPad - unlike Blogsy

Some cons - BlogGo only works with the Blogger platform so you're out of luck if you don't blog through Blogger. Another thing that is inconvenient with this app is that you are unable to schedule posts. You must save the draft to publish manually later and the drafts don't save automatically. This is inconvienet as well because I zone out to something else in background and the iPad will go to sleep which wouldn't be a problem except BlogGo also bugs out when you go from the app to another app, close & reopen it, or allow your iPad to go to sleep. You also can't push the draft to your account like you can with Blogsy meaning that you can only edit your post in the BlogGo app.

At $1.99 this app offers more control an can fit into your blogging routine if you plan on using your phone to blog.  iPhone download here & iPad download here.

Blogger App
The app created by Blogger has come a long way from this first post I did on the app but it still offers you little control over your blog post.  The best thing about this app is that it is specifically designed for Blogger so you know it's not going to mess anything up.  You can now add photos where every you'd like them to be in the post.  Before, the photos only showed up only at the bottom of the post.  Now, in settings, you can control the image size & set a default.  For example, I like my photos to be a the X-Large setting when I add them in Blogger.....setting this as default means I'm not posting an image that doesn't match with the other images on my blog.

There is the option to change the font style from regular to bold & italic so if you're creating a separate section in a post there is the option to define that section with your font style.  You can also take photos through the app in case you're blogging as something is happening (??) which may be nice if you're blogging then want to capture how cute your dog looks but that image doesn't save to your cameral roll for use later.

You can easily switch to different blogs you may have on the blogger platform.  You can also view your published blog from with in the app, however you can not preview it.

Some cons - Blogger, obviously, only works with Blogger.  I'm using Blogger as my blog platform so that's great but it's not an option for other platforms.  Unlike Blogsy you can't push drafts to the web app for editing later but the web app pushes to the mobile app.  There is also no option for scheduling a post and you must save it to publish manually, much like BlogGo.  There also is there an option to preview which BlogGo has but Blogsy does not.  Unlike BlogGo, there is not comment moderation or feed option with in the app.

Download Blogger here.

These three apps have been fun to play with and offer various things for on the go or everyday blogging.  Each offer different things - different strokes for different folks.  I think all of these are great in their own ways & playing around with them may offer another tool in your blogging arsenal.

What are some of your fave apps for blogging?  Share them, I always need more!

xoxo, Moe

8.20.2014

Wednesday Decor // 3 Home Projects I Hope to Try

Back in February I posted my Home Organization plan for 2014 - well I kind stayed on top of it!  Yay for the word focus for this year, right?  Since I've been on an organizing kick lately I decided to add a few more things to the list of home stuff I want to complete this year.  Maybe this is part two of the organization plan...who knows!

Fridge Mat / Organization
From what I read from this post on I Heart Organizing, these are actual Fridge Coaster brand fridge coasters....redundant much?  But I've also seen using placemats as fridge coasters & since I found 12 bright yellow chevron placemats at Meijer for $0.50 each, I think I'm going to use those!  How fun would it be to have a gussied up fridge?  Weird but awesome right?

Laundry Room Baskets / Organization
Just like this little laundry area, our laundry closet has wire shelving and is just a plain mess.  Hopefully in the next renovation my laundry room dreams come true.  What, you don't have laundry room dreams?  I've been searching everywhere for wire baskets that weren't $16 a pop and finally found $5 baskets from Dollar General.  They were bright colors so I got some Rustoleum Metallic spray paint & had at it.  I can't wait to get the laundry closet all organized.

Bill / Finance / Etc Command Station
If there's one thing that is the biggest annoyance in my life - it's how I have the bills organized.  Pretty much when mail comes in the door I stand between our two desks and divide it up.  I get my stuff & Zach gets his stuff and bills.  So that means it gets misplaced or covered up and I forget when they are due.  The image above is from this post & that blog is where I got inspiration for my bills tracker in my planner.  The one provided in the post was 8.5x11 and I needed 8.5x5.5 for my half sized planner.  But I really want to get a central place for bills and our past bills because those are upstairs when bills are paid downstairs!

So here's to another 4 months of organizing!

What do you want to accomplish in your home during the rest of the year?

xoxo, Moe

I've been playing around with the app Wtrite365 from an awesome blogger Kam of Campfire Chic.  One of the prompts was 'DIY projects to try'.  So I skimmed my Pins to see exactly what I could do to stay on track with my Home Organization Plan this year.

8.18.2014

Make it Monday // Five Back to Campus DIY Projects

I am 3 years out of undergrad.  I haven't been back to school in 3 years.  But that doesn't mean I can't get in on the back to school spirit.  Is it weird that a 26 year old loves back to school time?  I hope not!  I loved getting back into my campus during college & finding new ways to decorate my dorm or my apartment.  Since things changed every year I could really switch it up often.  Man I miss those days!

Here are 5 ways to spruce up your dorm life & campus wear for the 2014-2015 school year:
Add a pencil case to your small, three ring binder or planner using this tutorial.  You'll need a plastic pencil case, sewing machine, and hole punch.  
Make a simple, 10 minute abstract painting with this tutorial.  You'll need paint, these squeegees or an old credit card, and a hair dryer.
Knit two simple hats to spice up your campus wardrobe with this tutorial - no circular needles required!  You'll need large needles, chunky yarn, scissors, and a little bit of time.
Revamp a thrift store tray with paint & stencils using this tutorial.  A great way to spruce up your dorm or college apartment.  You'll need a thrifted tray, these Handemade Charlotte stencils, paint, and brushes.  
Create a key catch all with this tutorial to add to your decorated tray.  You need a small wooden bowl from the thrift store, chalkboard paint, sand paper, and a brush.

Just for fun, here is 2012's Back to School DIY round up.  Why didn't I do one in 2013???

Happy back to school time!

xoxo, Moe