A week or so ago, I decided it was time to clean up my computer. You know, get rid of old files and documents, programs that I downloaded eons ago and never used, clean up the desktop, etc., all in an effort to maximize my computer. I was on a roll. I even cleaned out a ton of file directories, and that’s where I screwed up.
All that work…gone
Somehow, in cleaning up the file directories, I deleted my blog folder. That folder had draft regular and guest posts, content I was writing for others, personal blog topics to write about, research for my new blog (details soon), and a ton of other things. My content spreadsheet that I created is also gone (I thought I had thrown that on the desktop. Apparently, I didn’t). I miss that spreadsheet…a lot.
I deleted it all and now I get to start from scratch.
By the way, for those of you asking “what about your Recycle bin?” My Recycle Bin is empty. I have it set to delete items permanently; not head to the Bin for emptying later. It is still set that way. I also did not want to spend time digging through the hard drive for fragments of the deleted items, it just wasn’t worth the effort.
Use the tools you have
Interestingly, while I have lamented all the work I deleted, I’ve tried to figure out a way to recreate everything (I can’t) and come up with a better system. In looking at all the programs and app’s that I already have, I found a great set of tools in my “toolbox.” I should have used them all along.
These are a few things that I found in my arsenal of tools. They will keep me better organized going forward, I won’t lose anything important unless I want to, and they might help you.
Windows Live Writer – I’m sure many of you use this program. I was reminded, not once, but twice by Jessica Gottlieb on what an awesome program this is for blogging. I downloaded it months ago and promptly forgot about it. I’ve been writing posts in Word and uploading from there. On occasion, I will write a post in WordPress. I finally used Live Writer on my last blog post and am using it for this one. I write the post, upload the draft to WordPress, double-check spelling and grammar, and hit publish. Easy peasy. While you can schedule posts and publish directly from Live Writer, I haven’t done that yet. I still get a bit queasy when it comes to scheduling any kind of content, especially blog posts.
One of the cool things I like about Live Writer, is your ability to “preview” your post – right from the program. It lets you see what your post looks like as if it were already published on your site. You can also edit in HTML (source) if you choose. If you’re a Windows user and not using Windows Live Writer, check it out here. It supports just about every blog program and really is quite easy to use. Sorry, there doesn’t seem to be a Live Writer for Mac.
Springpad – I use this app for so many things, I’m not sure why I wasn’t using it for my blog folder. It would have made my life so much easier, and I would not have lost one thing. The fabulous thing about Springpad is I can use it on the web, my phone, and my tablet. I have it installed as an extension on Chrome and Firefox for those times when I want to save a website, make a note, add a task or look something up.
It automatically categorizes items and will even add useful links. You can set reminders on any item you add to your notebook. The notebooks are easy to create and you can create “boards” by re-arranging items within the notebook. I have notebooks for all sorts of projects – things for home and for work. When planning our trip to Yellowstone in 2010, I created a notebook, and when I planned to reorganize my home office, I made a board. The board is especially helpful when you need to visually plan a project.You can also share your notebooks with others (great for collaborating) and you can make a notebook public. It does so much more than what I noted and it is so simple to use.
It’s similar to Evernote and OneNote, so if you’re using one of these, you already have a great tool. If you’re not using any of these app’s, check out Springpad here. The phone and tablet apps are available in both the Android and Apple’s App Store.
Google Doc’s – this gets a huge “duh” from me! Instead of using an Excel spreadsheet and uploading it to my desktop, Dropbox or Box.net (which I did not do), I could have used Doc’s all along to manage my content. Again, accessibility is so easy. This should have been a no-brainer for me.
Live and Learn
I survived the “great” delete and have learned that I have awesome tools to help me in the future. It’s a tough lesson and I cringe when I think of all that work…gone. On the bright side, I have come up with new topics, new ideas for posts and have already started compiling research for the new topics and the new blog. Things could be worse, right?
I’m curious – what tools to you use to manage your blog content?