Tuesday Tips: How To Blog From Mobile Devices

tamsin-typing

Today’s Tip: How to blog from mobile devices

I don’t have a computer anymore. I heard that gasp you know. I don’t, I actually blog and run the website entirely from my mobile and iPad, using the Viking’s computer in the rare occasion I really need to.

It started as convenience before I went overseas, to see if I needed to take a laptop with me or if I could blog while in the US from my iPad Mini. Then, upon returning home, it became a way of testing if I even needed my macbook. I’d recently dropped my macbook pretty badly and put a nice big dent in the top of it. It’s getting pretty old and in need of replacement anyway, so I thought I’d test out if there was actually anything I needed it for – the main thing I used it for was blogging.

As the weeks wore on, I realised I was becoming more and more accustomed to writing straight into my mobile devices, my phone and my iPad, and getting around all the pitfalls of blogging on mobile devices became more of a challenge in laziness (can I do this without having to charge my laptop?) than anything else.

Until one day the Viking pointed out I actually do all my blogging from mobile devices now, and don’t touch my laptop at all. Which is a good thing as it died in the mean time. So I thought I’d share how I do it in the hopes it might help you do the same.

The first thing is to download three programs right now:

  1. WordPress
  2. Blogsy
  3. PS Touch or another photo editing program

You’ll need these to help you along the way.

WordPress: The best app for blogging straight from your phone into your wordpress site (.com or self hosted), the wordpress native app is easy to use and aligns with the back end of WordPress sites so it’s easy to navigate. You can upload photos in this app but it gives you the least manoeuvrability so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Blogsy: My favourite mobile device blogging program, Blogsy works really well with writing, formatting, assigning categories, assigning tags, uploading images and setting a featured image.

There are four things I don’t do in Blogsy, that I log in to the back end of the website using Safari to do. They are:

  1. Schedule posts – technically you can do this, but in my experience the posts publish immediately. Not a risk I’m willing to take
  2. Custom fields (i.e. Add to home page slider)
  3. Change author of a post
  4. Embed videos

For everything else Blogsy is a godsend. I can insert images, set featured images, assign categories and tags. It’s brilliant! I just log in to my site using Safari to do those other things.

PS Touch: The iPad version of Photoshop, and a lot more affordable than the full computer version, PS Touch makes the photographer in me very happy (I actually studied photography, did you know that? It doesn’t show). And it’s necessary for resizing and fixing images.

The next thing to buy is an external keyboard to turn your tablet into a tiny laptop. Logitech is my favourite and the reviews back me up. That’s the one I’m using in the image at the top.

The third thing is the hardest of all – you need to change your mindset from needing a full computer to using a tablet.

That’s it! That’s all you need! If I can run this site, you can ditch your laptop too.

Do you blog from mobile devices? Could you give up your computer?

  • 26 Years & Counting

    I find it too fiddly to blog on iPad. And how do you upload photos? I swear I never saw an option for that in the wordpress app – but it has been a long time since I tried.

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      I do that using Blogsy!

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      You can add images through the WordPress app fairly easily I’ve found. There is an add media option at the bottom right of the compose section.

  • http://www.retireyoung.com.au/ Serena Star Leonard

    This sounds so easy! But I just can’t see myself being able to ditch all my tools… I am guessing you don’t take photos on a camera and then upload them to your iPad? Can you put an SD card in an iPad? So many questions!

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      I take my pictures with my phone and I store them all in dropbox so they’re accessible on any device. You can get cameras that link via bluetooth or wi-fi to your phone/iPad rather than having to connect your SD card.

      • http://www.retireyoung.com.au/ Serena Star Leonard

        We can’t use Dropbox in loads of the places we visit (internet is non existent or too slow sometimes!) I guess this would be good if you didn’t need too much photography and had a stable internet connection. I think also my dropbox size may kill a mobile device (Using 300G of 2T) haha but wildly jealous for those that can travel so light :)

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      You can’t put an SD card into an iPad.

      • Bill Harper

        You can buy an SD car reader that connects to your iPad via the lightning connector. But whether you’d be able to get anything off it is another matter. (I don’t own an iPad, so I can’t try it out.)

    • http://diceofdoom.com RupertG

      You can use Apple’s iPhone/iPad camera connection kit which allows you to load images from USB and SD cards directly into the Photos app.

      http://store.apple.com/au/product/MC531ZM/A/apple-ipad-camera-connection-kit?fnode=3a

      No lightning version yet, so probably deprecated, but still available as an option.

  • Bill Harper

    Just wondering if you use an external keyboard when you’re typing up your blog posts. If you do, what do you use?

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      I use a logitech keyboard, as pictured at the top of the post, when I’m at home. But the majority of the time I’m on the train and I jsut use my regular iPad touch keyboard.

  • Melissa Savage

    I could use devices for blogging, and have definitely done so – I also have the gorgeous logitech keyboard for my iPad Mini which is great for blogging on the bus. But these days I record, edit and upload a podcast each week, and I also do a lot of uni assignments which need to be submitted as word documents. The real problem with all of these is not the apps to do the work (there’s a substitute for MS Word for iPad, and plenty of ways to record and edit audio) but the file system. I need to be able to move files around and upload them places and the iPad can’t do that easily.

    I’ve also just started using Hootsuite for all my social media management and the iOS versions are terrible. I can’t use any of the apps that are so handy (easy sharing from RSS feeds etc) and it doesn’t support google+ (yes, I’m still using google+, I reckon it might come in handy one day if we want to do google hangouts or expand into YouTube).

  • http://www.mytravelswithmymum.com/ MyTravels WithmyMum

    I cant see this mentioned, and I am new to blogging, so maybe it is inferred or just understood. Do either of these “WordPress or Blogsy” allow you to compose the blog posts with pictures etc while off line -so the next time you have internet (when travelling) it can just be posted to the site or scheduled.

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      Good question! I didn’t mention it, actually. Yes, both allow you to do so as both have the ability to save local drafts.