Stephanie Langford: Favorite Blogging Gadgets and Apps

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This week we are featuring Stephanie Langford from KeeperOfTheHome.org. Be sure to read her incredible intro interview here. (Honestly? I took notes it was that good.) I especially loved learning how she grew her blog by blogging less.

Today Stephanie shares her favorite gadgets and apps:

Stephanie’s Blogging Toolbox

1. What computer do you use? (i.e. MacBook Air)
MacBook Air (how did you guess?) 🙂

2. What kind of phone do you have?
iPhone 3 (but I don’t use data, so it doesn’t really count- the only work related thing I ever use it for is Instagram when I’m home with the wifi)

3. Do you use a tablet? If so, what model? (i.e. iPad 4)
Nope

4. What blog platform do you use? (WordPress, Blogger, Typepad etc)
WordPress

5. If applicable, what blog theme/child theme do you use? (Genesis, Thesis, WooThemes etc.) Or feel free to use this space to give a shout out to your designer.
Genesis (designed by Joy of Five J’s)

6. What web hosting company do you use? Do you recommend them?
Hostgator

Yes, they’re actually quite good and I would recommend them. I was struggling for a while last year with a lot of downtime and having my site shut down multiple times, but the problem wasn’t them (as I initially thought) but rather that my site was just growing too much and taking up too many resources. I had to make a switch over to expensive VPS hosting (as in, I used to pay $80 per YEAR, now I pay more than twice that per MONTH- yikes, right? But that’s the price of a growing blog). Since that switch, I’ve been really happy with their service, so I think it was all about the growing pains. Their customer service is usually excellent, even when your questions are as a result of your own ignorance and not an issue on their end.

7. What app do you use to write your posts?
I usually write straight into my WordPress backend, because I like to live dangerously. My husband is forever telling me (each time I moan and whine because I’ve lost changes to a post that didn’t save properly) that I should write them in Word and copy them over, but old habits die hard.

8. How do you capture your blog ideas? (Notebook, Evernote, Word, Sticky notes etc.)
A mixture of ways. My preferred method is to just start up a new post draft then and there, jot a few thoughts/words/key sentences into it, then save it for later. Other things I do include sending emails to myself (then creating drafts at a later time), putting sticky notes on my wallet or the inside of my computer, or making notes on my iPhone. I noted in a different part of this interview that I have resorted to the back of a napkin with purple crayong and that’s entirely true.

9. What are your most useful computer/web apps?
The Tiny Timer – I use this for setting time limits on my tasks
Thesaurus.com – Use this continually when writing/editing my work
Basecamp.com – Beginning to use this a lot more for collaborative projects with other bloggers
Google mail, docs and calendar– These are really my lifeline in many ways- I use them a lot for communication with my blog team
Skype- For calls with my team members or meetings with designers
Adobe Photoshop Elements- This is the light/cheap version, and I use it for all of my photo editing. If you’re not a pro, it’s plenty powerful.
PicMonkey – This fantastic free photo editing site is my favorite for adding Pinterest-friendly text to my photos
Wufoo.com – I use this for creating application forms when I need new writers or team members, and also sometimes for reader surveys
Rafflecopter.com – This is what I currently use for running giveaways- this could change, but at the moment, it’s working for me

10. What are your most useful phone/tablet apps?
Umm, none? I just don’t really do the phone/tablet thing. It’s almost like blasphemy for a blogger, isn’t it?

11. What other tech do you use? (Camera for photos, mic for podcasting…etc.)
I use a 5 year old Canon Rebel SLR for my pictures (it’s at home, so I can’t remember the exact model, but it’s a lower end one) and I have a standard 30-80mm lens as well as a 50mm. Currently, we’ve left the big camera at home to save packing space and avoid getting mugged, and so I’m using a Canon PowerShot ELPH 110HS which is a pretty great little camera if you can’t afford much and want something small and portable.

I’m honestly a simple, old-fashioned girl when it comes to technology. It’s a wonder I blog at all. Truth is, there are so many amazing apps and gadgets out there, and they can make life easier, no doubt.

My husband is a HUGE Evernote fan and also adores OmniFocus, and maybe one day I’ll give in to his urgings for me to use them. I also dislike having access to the web through my phone or a tablet because when my career revolves around the internet, it’s nice (and necessary) to have times of the day when I’m truly unplugged, and that’s part of how I stay focused on my family and home when I’m not working.

Read All of Stephanie Langford’s Interviews

1. How They Blog: Stephanie Langford
2. Stephanie Langford’s Gadget and App Recommendations

Join the Discussion

Did you learn about any new gadgets and apps today? Do you have any YOU love to use? Click here to learn and share!

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Comments

  1. I’m encouraged to find an old fashioned blogger (when it comes to technology) whose blog is so great! Helps me realize that there’s no one formula for success, just different things working for different people.

    • Jenn,
      So true! Having read several of the interviews so far, I’m absolutely fascinated how different bloggers can do things almost in opposite ways and both achieve great results. I think blogging has less to do with technology and technique than it does with heart and helping others.

  2. I love the “How They Blog” website! As a smaller blogger, I still have so much to learn and this website is filled with inspiration, encouragement, and amazing tips. I love how the bloggers not only give us insight into their blogging and their real life balancing act but also how they share tips and apps. Thanks so much for creating this website! Thank you to the women who are being bold enough to let us have a peek into their lives and sharing the professional side of blogging. Brilliant!

  3. Ah! My kind of gal… and I agree with Jenn’s comment that there’s no “right way” to doing this. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thanks for sharing Stephanie. I am enjoying seeing your family’s travel adventures. You set a great example in the ways you prioritize your family and keep work/social media in balance.

    • Well, I still do struggle with it sometimes, and I don’t always keep that proper balance, but I’ve learned so much through that hard season and I continue to loo for ways to keep my blog work scaled down so that I can keep my family first. Thanks for following along with our travels! 🙂

  5. I loved reading about the need for unplugging. I’ve been tempted to be a little more techie in a few arenas but a friend on mine who is a computer guy recommended that I not do it. He stressed how important it is to not be attached to the computer at all times :). Not that some folks can’t handle it but it’s likely not the best choice for me right now :).

    • I agree that it’s so important to be able to truly unplug at times. I don’t think it’s healthy, to always have that connection and never just live life apart from the web, social media, etc. Taking breaks where I am truly unplugged (whether it’s a few hours, a day, or even a week or two) is what helps me to refocus, keep my priorities in order, and even just be refreshed so that I actually have something to give. Otherwise, I can tend to get bogged down and easily overwhelmed by blogging. Hope that you can make that happen for yourself. 🙂

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