I’m a geek. I know it and you know it. Can’t help it. Just am. I get very excited about gadgets. And now that I’m a blogger, I was thinking about all the geek gadgets for bloggers that are available. Keep in mind, there are some things I still use pen and paper, but I find I also use the electronic version of those things.
You don’t necessarily HAVE to have these gadgets (except #12), but it sure makes life easier for you. So let’s take a look at my list of 12 Geek Gadgets for Bloggers.
Gadget #1: Laptop
A decent laptop is essential. You want to be able to work anywhere, in the fringes of your life (especially if you work a full-time job in addition). I personally use a MacBook Pro. The main reason I use it is that I already had one. I also have a Windows 10 HP laptop that is fairly functional, but I always go back to the Macbook. I told you. Total geek. If you don’t already have one, I recommend the MacBook Pro. Now, if that’s not in your budget, and you’re fairly patient waiting on Windows, the HP Elite series is a good laptop as well. Stay away from cheap Windows laptops. They are awesome for some things, but you’ll run into many issues with plug-ins, updates, and the like.
Here are a couple of laptops I recommend. They are not the fastest, but functional for your needs:
This is a nice 15″ laptop, small footprint, lightweight. I would add up to 16G RAM whichever model you get. The more RAM, the better.
This one is very similar to the 15″, but it’s a bit bigger at 17″. I have had several 17″ laptops but always go back to the smaller ones, especially for traveling. Again, add at least 16G RAM if possible.
And my personal favorite:
So, I realize they are expensive, but honestly, the MacBook is the best around. I had the same one for over 8 years and never outgrew it. Didn’t need much in the way of upgrades, viruses were no issues, and it was as fast as it needed to be. I only replaced it because the battery was wearing out. Otherwise, I’d still be using it.
Updated October 2019: My Latest Obsession
This is my current obsession as of October 2019. This little laptop (Chromebook) is under $500, compact, lightweight, and a real work horse. The only issue I have found is that it’s a little slow for video editing. With an android base and Google’s Chrome operating system, it’s a great device to do blogging tasks, and even writing posts and video!
Gadget #2: SmartPhone (see also Tablet)
Here’s the deal, if you have a Windows laptop, it doesn’t matter what kind of smartphone you have. BUT, if you have a Mac, get an iPhone. Their infrastructure works so well together. Whatever browser I use on my laptop in Chrome or Safari, I can pick up my Tablet or Smartphone and get the same page. Same with texts, emails, etc.
Ole Bill Gates tried that with the Windows Phone, but…. So if you have a Mac, stick with Apple. Otherwise, just make sure it’s a smartphone. The reason you need it so badly is to be able to “tether” your laptop. In other words, if you’re at a coffee shop somewhere and their internet is down, you can use your smartphone as a wireless router and connect your laptop.
Gadget #3: Tablet (see also SmartPhone)
Same thing, different dance. If you’re using the Apple/Mac ecosystem, stick with iPad. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter. However, the iPad is a dream. It is sold in several sizes, and in many cases, it can be used INSTEAD OF a laptop. More often than not, when traveling, the iPad is what I use to write my posts.
Gadget #4: Wireless Internet Connectivity
Here’s a fun fact. IF you have internet at home, awesome. And if it’s reliable and really fast, congratulations, you have a home office. However, if it is not reliable or is very slow, you might consider going to the local library or coffee shop. Now. You have to be careful with coffee shops. They can be distractors. I recommend Gadget #8, the ultimate geek gadgets for bloggers – really good headphones. Then it doesn’t matter where you are located. I have been known to work in a hotel lobby when it’s a pretty one with a fountain or something or on the beach or lake. With a decent laptop, and Gadget #12, Portable USB Battery, you can work anywhere for a long time. Just be sure your gadgets are charged before you leave.
Gadget #5: Video or webcam
I must confess that I have several webcams and still usually resort to my iPad or iPhone for recording video. I mean really! The resolution on the new iPads and iPhones probably exceed webcams and some video cameras! However, it is nice to have a couple of webcams that you can adjust and record different aspects. For example, for a crafting blog, you need various angles…when the person is putting the craft together, watching the machine cut, pointed toward you, the presenter. You can do it all with ONE, but oh my, how much easier it is with more than one. Here are a few things I use:
This one is the cream of the crop for mid-price webcams. It works well with things like OBS, Skype, Facebook Calling, and Facetime. In addition, it’s a really good webcam that will record anything you need. It’s pretty much auto adjust, so it’s literally point and shoot.
I purchased this one on a lark. I was curious to see the difference between this one (considerably cheaper) and the Logitech one. It performs just as well. The only issue is that there are no settings available. Other than that, it’s as good as any.
A simple green screen at a reasonable price will hide all sorts of clutter and the like. Most video editing software will allow you to fill the background with anything you want. Me? I want the ocean. Lol
This little inexpensive tripod is an awesome tool. It fits in my suitcase and is literally available when I need it. It holds either of my webcams, but my phone is too big (I have the iPhone 7 plus). It WILL hold the standard-sized iPhone and I’m sure there is something that you can buy for the bigger phones.
Gadget #6: External Hard Drive
With cloud-based computing readily available through Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, and OneDrive, this isn’t that big of a need anymore. However, it is handy. I use an external hard drive to carry with me, JUST IN CASE the internet is down and I need content or photos.
Gadget #7: External Microphone
Yes, I’m aware that your laptop, your iPad, and your iPhone all have microphones. Those work for many things. But if you start podcasting, or doing video voice-overs, you’re going to want a good external microphone.
Gadget #8: Ultimate Geek Gadgets for Bloggers-Headphones (good ones)
These are the absolute best headphones in the world, in my opinion. I use them constantly. They DO have a built-in microphone that’s really good, so if you get these headphones, you may not need the microphone above. I use these simply for noise reduction, more than anything. You can still hear what’s going on around you, it’s just very calm and quiet.
This is a less expensive brand that purports to perform the same as the Bose. I have not personally used this, but the ratings and specifications appear to be very similar. Worth a shot.
Gadget #9: Amazon Echo
I use my echo for everything. In fact, I have five of them in my house and even use the Alexa app on my iPhone and iPad. Alexa is awesome for answering questions that I don’t really have time to look up or don’t want to look up. For example, if I’m writing a post about traveling to Delaware in January, I could say “Alexa what is the weather like in January in Delaware?” Then I would use that in my post somehow. In my niche, I could ask Alexa something about the WordPress blog or how many WordPress blogs there are. There are hundreds of things I could ask about that could help me to start talking about that subject.
Gadget #10: Dragon Naturally Speaking Software
I actually use the app version of this called Dragon Anywhere, but you can also get the PC or Mac version for this.
This post was written with Dragon Anywhere while driving down the road to the site I was visiting using Dragon. Dragon Anywhere is the version I use. It actually understands most of my words and wrote them out for me, except maybe the slang words I use. Occasionally it does have trouble with my accent (accent? What accent? I’m from Texas)
This app has saved me lots of time and trouble writing blog posts. If you’re commuter, for example, write your blog post driving down the road. If you’re driving on a Sunday afternoon going for just a random drive, write your blog post. Then when you get home all you have to be concerned about is cleaning it up and throwing it on your blog–Done. See also my post on the details of Dragon Anywhere at Blogging Tech Tips — Dragon Anywhere
Gadget #11: Trello, Planner or Calendar (physical or electronic)
Trello can be used in hundreds of ways. I use this planner as a blog planner, an editorial calendar, as a brain dump, as a post checklist, just tons and tons of things. Kim Anderson’s course 12 Week Blog Growth Strategy actually has a Trello board to help you plan your 12 Week Blog Growth Strategy. It’s an awesome thing to have. I also use a paper planner from Me & My Big Ideas, but the Trello board is worth every penny of the course. Another source for MONSTER Trello Boards is Kate Doster. Her Trello Course is AMAZING! She even has a free one! You can find Kate in all of her glory at https://katedoster.com
Gadget #12: Portable USB Battery
This little guy is a lifesaver. If you travel or even go to the coffee shop or the beach for that matter, this can help charge your electronics. They actually make them able to charge computers as well, but I usually only need my iPad and iPhone charged. This does both really well.
Gadget #13: USB 3.0 Hub
When you start adding things like video cameras and microphones and things of that nature you’re gonna run out of USB spaces on your computer. For example, if you use a Windows computer, you probably have your mouse plugged in one of them for sure. Maybe even an external keyboard plugged in as well. So that pretty much takes up most of your ports. This one is actually for a Mac, but they make a Windows version as well. I can add 8 to 10 USB 3.0 ports that will allow me to plug in all of my devices like a couple of cameras and even a microphone. Whatever I can think of. In addition, I can still charge my phone or iPad from my USB hub in many cases.
Gadget #15: Second Monitor
While this is not absolutely essential it sure is nice. Especially when you’re doing things like video or podcasting where you can have one of your monitors be the hub, and with the second monitor you can actually see what you’re going to be doing for the video or podcast. I personally don’t use a second monitor a lot. However, I did use my iPad as a second monitor. I have a program called Duets. It’s in the Apple store. I have a Mac so the iPad and MacBook can connect together and uses the iPad as a second monitor. Pretty handy.
and Gadget #16 … Really Cool Shades
Because the future’s so bright… well you know the rest.
Until next time, happy blogging!
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Until Next Time, Happy Blogging!
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