As an author, I love the English language and how one word can mean so many things, as well as the fact that connotation apparently doesn’t apply. The word ‘hack’ falls directly into this category. Off the top of my head, definitions of ‘hack’ include:
1. Breaking into a computer illegally
2. A person who isn’t good at something
3. And in my lingo, the victim of a bad hair stylist. (rough or heavy blows)
However, for today’s purposes, I’m using ‘hack’ as author and entrepreneur Monica Leonelle succinctly describes in her book, Writing Better, Faster: How to Triple Your Writing Speed and Write More Every Day: “…a growth hacker has a “mindset of data, creativity and curiosity.” I’d like to add to that definition to include ‘awesome, cool, inventive, and clever solutions’.
In my Twitter profile, I describe myself as being a problem solver, and loving cool office supplies. There’s just something about all the paper, pens and supplies lined up nice and neat, just waiting to be used to create. <grin> For me, in many ways, these hacks combine the best of both worlds – these tools are a lot like cool office supplies, and they help me problem solve. Enough said.
Here’s 3 of my favorite hacks – enjoy!
Buffer advertises its service as ‘the best way to drive traffic, increase fan engagement and save time on social media’. I must agree.
You can connect up to ten social profiles with the Awesome Plan (approximately $100/year if you pay for the whole year up front) That includes Twitter, Facebook (personal and pages), Linked In, Google + (though not your profile) and Pinterest. You can also add up to 15 feeds from which to share content.
You can schedule up to 100 posts across the profiles, all optimized for the best times of day for prime engagement. The customer service rocks and the website has plenty of helpful, easy to find information and answers. Maybe the coolest feature about Buffer is the browser extension, which, like magic, allows you to share posts, blogs, etc. from anywhere you are on the web.
Basically, twice a week I spend about an hour curating content, and load up my profiles with cool stuff to share. You can also edit your posts, adding pictures, hashtags, and more, which leads me to my next cool hack.
Check it out on www.buffer.com
We all need cool images to go with our social media posts, blog posts, on our websites, you name it. Pixabay is a great place to find them – for free. It’s a highly searchable database of over 440,000 pictures you can use ‘without attribution in digital and printed form, even for commercial applications’. Bonus tip: social media posts with images get more engagement. Period.
Check it out on www.pixabay.com
An image of the elephant that ‘never forgets’ is this cool tool’s icon. I have it on all my devices, which allows me to capture information on the go. This organizational godsend is structured around notes, which are housed within notebooks. You can add images, files, links, you name it, format and highlight text and create lists.
There’s a free and paid version. I use the free version. I keep track of schedules, cool ‘how to’ articles I find, links, to do, and ta da lists, ideas for blogs, content, newsletters, articles, stories and books and more. You can categorize notes within the notebooks using tags, and set alarms for important action items. You can also search notes, share your notes/notebooks with others, chat, and set up shortcuts.
Check it out on www.evernote.com
I hope these hacks leave you feeling as connected, imaged and organized as I do. Enjoy!
What’s your favorite hack? Please share!
Rebecca E. Neely is an author, a freelance writer, and a self proclaimed hacker – of cool technology, that is.