Welcome to ShinySchool! A 3 part series of Blogging tips focusing on what I do and what I use to blog whilst working full time and commuting!
Although I’ve been Blogging for almost 5 years, I’m by no means an expert and am always looking at new ways to streamline the process. Thing is, we don’t really share these day-to-day systems and processes with each other, so I thought I’d give you an insight into what I do and you never know, you might pick up a tip that helps you! If you have a question or tip to share, just comment or tweet me and I’ll try and include them in the next posts so we can all blog better!
In this first part, I’ll be showing you what pieces of technology that ShinyThoughts wouldn’t exist without!
Acer Iconia A1 Tablet
The newest and most exciting addition to my tech collection is my Acer Iconia A1 tablet. This big baby is the secret to Blogging efficiently because it plugs that awkward gap between my Macbook and my phone whether on the move or between desk and bed at home. You might have never really thought you needed one, then you realise how bloomin’ useful it is!
The tablet world is a bit of an alien mindfield to me so I made sure I had a quick look at Acer tablet reviews before taking the plunge. The fact that it uses Android just like my phone was a big plus point and the generous screen size is brilliant for seeing all those beautiful blog photos close up.
Using it on the train for the first time was an enormous joy – I could read other blogs and get completely absorbed, plus could use the WordPress app, Flickr and all those other fiddly programs without the accidental fat-finger-wrong-link-clicking malarky. I’ll be showing you more on which apps I use and how my new Acer Iconia tablet helps me blog in the next posts.
I’ve had my Macbook Pro for the last 3 years and as with most of the tech I invest in, I wouldn’t ever go back to what I had before. It runs Adobe Bridge, Photoshop, a million Chrome tabs and all my other apps with ease. Whilst I can pack it up and take it on holiday with me, I tend to keep it plugged in at my desk on a cooling pad with cute little Bebe the sausage dog as a wrist support.
I recently bought a VGA adapter so that I could plug into a second screen (it can be any brand) – miracle! Now I can have multiple programs in sight when working. More on all that in another ShinySchool post!
Canon 550d and 35mm lens
It’s the fashion Bloggers’ favourite camera, look around at a meet up and we’ve almost all got them! That’s why I stuck a load of squishy kitty stickers all over mine, else I’d be picking up the wrong one! The Canon 550d is lightweight, easy, relatively cheap for the quality and you can customise it with different lenses. Unless you can afford and know how to use a hefty Canon 5d, this half-frame dslr with a static 35mm prime lens meets every job you need as a Blogger.
More on photography later so please leave any questions you might have in the comments!
HTC One Mobile Phone
Instagram, emails, maps on the move, I don’t need to convince you that a large screen phone is a Blogging essential! I’ve always stuck with HTCs and went for the One when I needed an upgrade. It’s all about the large screen and camera for me and whilst I did have a couple of issues with this model dying, my latest replacement hasn’t been letting me down.
I was delighted to hear when caseable started stocking HTC One cases – us android users get the bad deal when it comes to case choice, but now that you can design anything you like to be printed on your models case, the options are limitless! You can also customise your phone with cute fish eye lenses as featured in my last post if you missed it.
Bits and Bobs
Here are a couple of other pieces of tech I need to ensure I’m not let down when Blogging:
5600mAh External Charger – This little brick never fails to interest fellow Bloggers when I plug it into my phone or tablet! It might be a bit weighty but I carry it around with me every day and don’t notice it. With at least two full phone charges worth of power and all the port adapters you’ll need, there’s no dwindling battery anxiety at the end of the day when you have this at the bottom of your bag! the mAh number refers to the amount of power stored so look out for a high number for the lowest price.
Bamboo Stylus – If you’re a fan of Snapchat, use apps where you can draw or just have chilly fingers, you might want to get yourself a stylus pen. They’re not expensive and are a lot less cack-handed than trying to make your handwriting look pretty with a finger.
Transcend External Hard Drive – I asked for an external hard drive 4 years ago and have used it to back up blog photos and old uni work ever since. I probably plug it in once a month and add the latest posts to it so that I can clear more space on my Macbook. It’s got 500GB worth of space (perfect for those huge RAW files) and a rubber sleeve so that it’s protected if you drop it.
16GB SD Cards and Card Readers – I have 3 16GB SD cards that I use on rotation in my camera and 2 card readers that I can transport from device to device. When looking for a new SD card, look out for high speed ones (with the number 10 in the circle) especially if you’re shooting in RAW and don’t forget to format the card rather than deleting photos to keep it working faster.
What Blogging tech can you not live without?