“The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” ~Confucius
Since launching my Great Kindle Publishing Experiment, I’ve been doing tons of research and refinement when it comes to getting stuff done.
I need to be productive, but sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, I’m exactly the opposite. See, I’m doing a LOT of stuff right now work-wise, between my online ezine, writing and publishing my Kindle books and running my various other projects– and that’s just the professional side of life.
Anyhoo, since I’m so busy and my mind moves pretty fast, I tend to have all of these great ideas and thoughts and plans that fall by the wayside eventually because I think I’ll remember to write it down and never do. Or, I write it down and it gets stored away in some notebook that I won’t find until I’ve already redone the work anyway.
So, for a long time, I’ve been looking for tools to make my life easier, and this whole publishing experiment simply meant that my work focuses changed pretty significantly (I was making most of my money in online image management and marketing for other companies before).
After several months and 17 Kindle books (plus one paperback and one freebie on Smashwords – a marketing experiment I’ll tell you about later), I’ve come up with a pretty impressive arsenal of tools that will work for most writers, if you ask me.
Writers: you gotta love us, right? We’re a creative bunch and the ideas we have in the elevator on Tuesday afternoon just might be the ones that make us succeed beyond our wildest dreams. So why not get them all down and developed?
And what about those blog posts that pop into your head in the middle of the night – or the list of phone calls, emails and other little tasks that make up the steps of a much bigger project.
Relax, my friend. Here are 10 of my favorite and most useful apps, tools, resources and shortcuts that are helping me along the way to my own Kindle Publishing success.
10 Powerful Productivity Tools I Use Every Day in Kindle Writing and Publishing
1. Idea Growr app. This is my newest find, but I’m adding it as number one because it has been such a huge help in my scatter-brained life already. So far, I’m using it mostly for the planning and idea stages on upcoming books and projects. I like that it sort of directs you through developing an idea fully, and for the “your questions” section, I’m using my own version of Tim Castleman’s 11 step creative system for my questions. I also have just discovered that I can very easily export my ideas into both Evernote and Trello, both of which make me very happy. Speaking of which, let’s move to the next tool.
2. Evernote. For blog posts and notes, thoughts, etc. Also for keeping track of bits and pieces of ideas as well as clipping articles and valuable info I want to refer back to later. Stuff like blog posts and reference lists. In fact, I’ve been writing this post on my phone in bits and pieces throughout the day. Where? You guessed it – in Evernote. I can do all the formatting and editing and literally just paste the post and go if I want, or I can just put my rough thoughts down and come back to it later for polishing.
3. Trello. So far, I’m finding Trello good for daily scheduling, repeating processes that I need to remember (publishing steps and a new revolving launch concept I’m working on, for example). Also awesome for for strategy and to do lists, which I find especially satisfying in checklist form. Also good for the GTD system and for keeping track of my someday list (a list of project and ideas I want to do but don’t have time for right now). It’s also a good way to add ideas from Idea Growr app once they are fleshed out so that you can take them to the next step.
4. Google drive. You have so many manuscripts and so little drive space? Move on into the cloud. Plus, if you’re like me, you might need to access a manuscript from somewhere you don’t have your PC, or while you’re using your tablet during a meeting. So why not have access to your stuff wherever you go? It works for me.
5. Buffer. For scheduling social media. Free for up to 3 accounts and limited updates. I have the paid package and love it, even though I hate paying for social media tools. This one is worth its cost just in the hours it saves me, though. It is a little glitchy at times, especially the Android version, but it works and makes posting my stuff across my networks much easier – plus helps me find related, interesting stuff that I both read and share on a pretty regular basis.
6. Kindle spy. Paid app that might be worth it because it clues you into what’s working and what’s not for other Kindle authors. Only works on Chrome. I’m not using it as actively as I did at first and I’m not totally sure I’ll continue to use it – but it’s definitely worth the $7 or whatever I paid for it.
7. Google analytics from your blog. Gives you tons of potential book ideas and teaches you what readers actually want to know – all you have to do is look at what people are searching for to land there and which posts are most clicked on and engaged with.
8. Kindle Unlimited. Worth the cost. Serves you by allowing you to read all Kindle Unlimited books free, including tons that are directly related to how to succeed on Kindle. Easy to return and you won’t waste money. If you find a non KU book you want to read, chances are that you’ll be able to find a similar title on KU. (You can sign up for a free trial if you’re not sure.)
9. WhizPress. This is a sort of “alternative” for me – I use it when I am struggling with a blog post idea or if I want to cover news or a current event. It’s a pretty cool way to find blog topics when you run out of ideas, and can also help you see what’s trending. WhizPress is a paid service that offers up fresh blog ideas that are often good for traffic. It’s about $10 a month, but it can be worth it for those who blog daily and need a little inspiration here and there. Blogging daily can of course benefit your Kindle sales and exposure.
10. Kindle Groups on Facebook. The most active, direct way I’ve found so far to both advertise my Kindle books and to connect with other KU authors. I’ve also heard great things about the Amazon Kindle site forums, but have not yet managed to spend a lot of time there. Maybe that’s another blog post for another day.
So, how about you? What are your favorite Kindle publishing and productivity tools?