I have two blogging machines in my home, one is assembled PC running Windows 10, and another is a Macbook Air, my rescue and traveling companion. I use my desktop most of the times while blogging.
There are many bloggers who blog with Windows as their operating system.
Windows being my O.S of choice since when I was a child, I've explored the Windows tools and programs greatly.
When I began my blogging journey, my hunt for software programs that help to blog, and save time increased. Finally, I'm now creating a blog post for bloggers who want to be productive as a blogger on Windows platform.
In this guide, you'll learn
- 1 Software programs for productivity as a blogger
- 1.1 Ditto – The best Clipboard Manager
- 1.2 Greenshot – Best free productive screenshot software
- 1.3 PhraseExpress – The best Windows text expansion app
- 1.4 R.I.O.T – Image compressor for Windows
- 1.5 Search Everything (name says it all)
- 1.6 Q10 – The best distraction-free text editor
- 1.7 Orzeszek Timer
- 1.8 Flux – Get good sleep
- 2 Final thoughts
Software programs for productivity as a blogger
Bloggers have their unique software needs. Their jobs vary from writing, taking screenshots, compression of images, editing images, and plenty more.
There are also some of the Chrome extensions that are necessary for bloggers – Best Chrome Extensions for Blogging and Productivity
As a blogger, I would like to list all the Windows Programs that I can't blog without.
Ditto – The best Clipboard Manager
A clipboard manager is the one that keeps the history of the text and images that you copied.
When I came across Ditto, my search for the best clipboard manager came to an end. It is both available as portable and installer version.
The best thing about this Clipboard manager is it's extensibility and features.
When you run Ditto, it will be minimized within the taskbar tray. There, by right clicking on its icon you can have access to options and menu.
The default shortcut is CTRL + ` for the Clipboard to show up. You can search for the past copy entries within the search box. That's the plus point.
However, you can set different hotkey or shortcut for it.
There are other options like launch Ditto at startup, expire time for paste entries, database size, exclude some texts (using the wildcard characters), and compact-repair the database.
There are exhaustive options to choose from, from beginning to advanced. It is the nature of such great open-source programs. You can also receive clips from the remote computer or send to it.
It preserves text formatting of the selected text. It also copies the history of the images you copied.
The database of clips will be stored as “Ditto.db“. You may open it in a DB viewer.
Greenshot – Best free productive screenshot software
I used screenshot tools like PicPick, Jing, Snipping Tool, Skitch and many others. I was using Skitch till recently. When I came across Greenshot, the mood all changed.
Greenshot is an open-source powerful screenshot tool. That offers you great features and is highly productive.
If you want a screenshot tool to,
- Save screenshots directly to a location.
- Save where you desire.
- Lets you add steps to your tutorial screenshot.
- Let you resize screenshot to a desired size in-built.
- Add step-numbers label for tutorial screenshots.
Greenshot is the answer.
It is the only tool that lets you capture, edit and resize screenshots super-fast.
You can trigger the program by pressing “PrintScreen” on your keyboard. While capturing, it will display the area around the mouse pointer zoomed and also displays the dimensions of the capture.
Once you capture the desired area, it will ask you options to save it directly, save dialog, edit within GreenShot editor, Copy to Clipboard, so on…
PhraseExpress – The best Windows text expansion app
Text expansion app is the one that automatically expands the words to sentences, that can be preset by you.
For example, whenever you type OMG and hit a trigger key, you can set the app to type in the text “Oh my God!”. It will be helpful to you, if you do regular email outreach and is tired of typing the same stuff.
I've set it, if you type in “Hey”, it will ask me to fill in,”Hey this is Akshay Hallur from BloggingX.com”. Then when I hit Tab key, it expands the suggestion.
When you install this program, it will be minimized in the system tray. You have to right click on the little icon and click “Edit phrases”.
You can now create folders for grouping your auto texts and start having fun.
There are also expert mode options to check prefix or suffix before expanding the text. You can also limit an auto text script to be executed only on certain applications with certain titles or both.
If you are searching for a simpler alternative to this, Texter for Windows. It's lightweight, easy-to-use and quick.
R.I.O.T – Image compressor for Windows
Radical Image Optimization tool is the great way to reduce the PNG file size by 3 times and JPEG by around 1.5 times losslessly. It also supports bulk image compressing options.
You can set several options like the number of colors, file size limit, compression fast and also select one among the compression engines.
In addition to JPEG and PNG, it also supports compression for GIF images.
One of the great alternative is Caesium available for free at SourceForge.
Search Everything (name says it all)
The built-in search functionality of Windows is extremely slow. As, Windows operating systems are developed by taking lower-end CPUs to consideration.
The time has gone.
If you are searching for a search engine for your desktop that's lightning speed, try Everything.
You can set the application to load the database in the background every time the OS starts up. It may slow down the starting up of your desktop. You may consider reducing the startup impact by StartUp Delayer.
Q10 – The best distraction-free text editor
Q10 is the best distraction-free editor you can try now.
You might've often heard advice to not edit while writing, should not have any distractions while writing. For this, distraction-free writers come into play.
They force you to concentrate only on your writing and to avoid mistakes when writing the first draft.
While writing you can hit the F1 button on your keyword to take a note of all the available options and keyboard shortcuts for them.
At the bottom, in deep gray, the editor shows you the word count, character count, time, and file name.
When you hit the keyboard you hear the typing sound. It's the main attraction for me.
When you hit CTRL+P, the settings window will come up. There you can adjust some settings. Add some autocorrection and quick words for productivity.
Some times you may have to track how much time you spent in blog writing. Or you want to keep a deadline for a blogging task for achieving good productivity
Orzeszek Timer is the best timer I've ever come across in Windows platform. After you set countdown time, it sits in the taskbar showing the green time progress bar (similar while doing file copying).
You can just enter “45m” to set a timer for 45 minutes. Or “1h” or “1hr” or “1hu”. It intelligently understands what you mean, based on the first letter.
You can change the type of beeps. You can also include beep sound of yours by replacing the sound files in the installation folder. Make sure they are of the same format.
Keep a deadline time for writing your article. By this, it'll force you to be highly productive, and moreover, you can quantify your productivity.
Alternative: YAPA etc.
Flux – Get good sleep
Some bloggers suffer from “insomnia” (lack of sleep) due to their extended hours in front of the screen.
Excessive staring at the bright screen at night, signals brain that it is still day and makes you insomniac. Or at least, it will increase vivid dreams that occur in the night.
Flux is the solution. This tiny little app changes the brightness and temperature of the screen, according to the current time in your location.
When you install this app, it will ask for your location.
By default the screen settings for night time may be weird. It may make you uninstall the app. But wait. Your screen ain't got the ambient light sensor.
For me, Halogen mode for night works fine. Right-click on the Flux icon in the taskbar tray.
It gives a slight orange tint like the sunset. It results in better sleep.
In the settings, you can further refine-adjust the tint, and also, there are many other options.
Other Windows utilities and tips
- AutoHotKey – Put your Windows on Autopilot and assign shortcuts. Maybe not for you. Seriously 😉
- Write! – Stylish Distraction-Free Text Editor
- Windows Live Writer
- Bulk Rename Utility – Most advanced free rename utility in the market
- FastStone Photo Resizer – The fastest image resizer and converter.
- IrfanView – Good photo viewer with powerful image manipulating tools.
- Color Cop – Multi-purpose color picker.
- Recuva – Undelete accidentally shift-deleted files.
- Learn to use ALT-TAB multitasking. It may be difficult to get used to it. But soon it saves you a lot of time.
- Minimize the use of extensions for Chrome by using bookmarklets.
- Unlocker – If Windows is preventing you from deleting or renaming a file or folder, Unlocker handles it easily.
- Use VirtuaWin on older Windows to get multi-desktops. On Windows 10, multiple desktops is an inbuilt feature.
- GifCam – Allow you to record the live screen and save it as animated GIF image.
- SayPad – Quite good text-to-voice utility.
- Simple Shutdown Scheduler – Let's you shut down, force shutdown, restart, and sleep based on countdown time or scenarios.
- Qwertik– This tiny little utility makes your computer sound like a typewriter. You can replace the default sounds. It makes your blog writing process more enjoyable.
I did not include any Windows 8 and 10 apps to this post. I've dealt only with programs and utilities.
I hope that all the above tips and programs help you down your blogging journey.The tools I suggested in this post are all used by me.
If I've missed any great unique Windows software useful for a blogger, let me know in comments.