Shoulder Tap: Apps and Web-based Tools For Content Development

There are apps for everything now, aren’t they? Apps exist to enable mobile drinks ordering at a few recommending cocktail bars or you could have smartphone notifications for any change in data (present according to your choice) using the Hero Button.

There are apps for creatively automating online tasks and those that help you organize your daily workflows .

So, how do you use apps for content development? With content being the blood of e-commerce, what apps can help? Here are some of those:

Apps for Eating Ideas Everyday

For content development, you need ideas. Whether you want to develop brand new posts, curate content, publish opinions, keep in touch with everyday trends, or follow sources for content ideas, you’d need a few apps to keep you loaded with content in the first place. I couldn’t help mention two apps I wrote about on a post for Olinda Services — a Virtual Assistant Service business — owned and run by Lisa Olinda who is a friend and a client. She is also a seasoned, extremely talented, and an incredibly nice lady.

Use Flipboard and Pulse for your daily reading (because you can’t develop content without inputs, can you?) straight off your iPhone.  Read the post I published on Lisa’s blog to know more about Flipboard and Pulse.

If you’d like to read eBooks, Amy-Mae Elliot pubished a list of 5 Fantastic Free eBook Reader Apps that you’d certainly love to try.

Managing Workflow and Productivity

I use a combination of my rapidly degrading memory, Google tasks, an iPhone app called Any.do and Google GQueues to keep my daily, weekly, and monthly “To-do” lists. Of course, there are more but I had to give up and stick to just a few. I switch unceremoniously from Mac to iPhone and back to the Mac with a few instances of using Windows machines (so that explains why so many tools for managing workflow, don’t you?)

Ever since I read this blog post titled Automating iOS: How Pythonista Changed My Workflow by Federico Viticci of MacStories, I’ve been thinking of writing in Markdown and how I could use this information to make my workflow better.

Please do let me know if you have some information about workflow automation, markdown, etc.?

Hiring and Managing Content Developers

Here’s where it gets complicated because it depends on who you hire to develop content for you and where they are. It’d also depend on a variety of other factors such as the volume of content you’d like developed and the combined workflow design of your business and that of your contractors (or full-time/part-time staff).

You’d need no other tools other than Elance or Guru if you find your content developers or bloggers off those freelance Job Boards because both come with in-built work collaboration, file management, and payment systems.

If you’ve hired help from outside of these freelance job boards, then the world is your oyster. I do have clients outside of Elance and I usually go with favored work collaboration software that they choose. In essence, I’ve worked with almost every popular web-based collaboration tool such as Asana, Deskaway, Do, Trello, Basecamp, and many more.

Go take your pick.

Document creation, Document filing, Editing, and File Management

Talk about content development and there’ll be countless files to deal with. For both clients and contractors, good documentation and file management practices are mandatory. If I were the only one who had to choose tools (bypassing anything my clients had to say), I’d jump at Google Drive (Google Docs earlier) for primary file management.

That makes document creating, uploading, collaborating, and single-document editing very simple and easy to use. Since 60% of my clients are from Elance, I upload them straight to Elance Workrooms to keep it official. In case, there’s a need for collaboration for Elance clients, documents are loaded to Google Drive with copies sent to Elance Workroom.

Of course, when clients  (outside of Elance and Guru) come with their own document management tools, I’d use them too.

For document creation, I primarily use Microsoft Office for Mac. I am experimenting with iWork Apps for Mac (with mobile versions for iPhone) to help me develop content better (and as long as it’s from the Mac family, there’s the iCloud to help store and manage files).

I am admittedly tool-hungry monster. I concur with Federico who believes that seeking out tools and apps not only satiates the hunger for information and knowledge but it’s more like an investment for running business in a better way.

What are your favorite tools or apps?

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