Happy Tuesday to you!!
This year, it seems that I’m on the road a little more often than usual.
Often times, Shanna accompanies me on a trip here or there, but now that she’s a full-time blogger, her need to stay connected is much more important than it’s been in the past.
Thankfully, she has lots of tools available for keeping her finger on her site’s pulse!
Today, I’m going to run-down a few of our favorite tools for staying in touch while traveling.
First is an app that tracks Google Analytics. Shanna can tell you, at just about any time throughout the day, how many friends have dropped-in on the site. Whether or not you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing … it’s a handy thing.
You have some options for finding that info. I like iDashboard for Google Analytics (for iPhones). It’s a high-level, one-screen overview of today’s numbers, with quick access to yesterday’s as well.
Shanna likes the “official” Google Analytics app. It parallels the web site functionality fairly well and offers quite a few tools available for free.
As I mentioned a few weeks back on my post called “How to Hug a Blogger“, the best thing you can do for someone who writes for a website is leave a comment — even if it’s one that says “Hi from [insert hometown here]”.
That being said, I probably find myself looking at comments more often than the numbers.
WordPress has an app that is fantastic! It allows you to manage/review your comments and delete SPAM. It also allows you to manage posts if need be — say you’re out and notice a misspelling that you have to fix immediately … this lets you.
It also lets you view the public side of your site, or your WordPress admin panel — albeit, it’s pretty tiny when viewed on your phone.
And if you use JetPack (we don’t have it installed on the site), this app should be able to retrieve statistics about how things are performing.
My one beef with this app (and if you’re listening WP, please take note) is that it’s missing a key feature I really wish it had: upload media. In my [humble] opinion, there should be an option where I can upload images from my camera roll to the media gallery for future handling. But no. At least not in the current release.
I’m just going to put this out here for the world: I’m terrible at typing on a phone’s teeny little keyboard. It’s so bad, I’ve stopped trying to correct autocorrect. I’ve learned to go with the flow and then giggle at the gibberish I just sent.
But there are times I’m forced to type long messages into my phone or tablet.
That’s where my Bluetooth keyboard comes in.
If it weren’t for this handy little device, I would have skipped my phone across the street 20 times over.
I prefer this model here. It’s foldable, so it fits nicely in a briefcase pocket or the car’s console storage, it’s rechargeable, it’s comes in a variety of colors, and the keyboard doesn’t have a weird feel to it like some of the others I’ve tried (and thrown away).
For stays where we might need a little more interaction with the internet, we both tend to carry our laptops with us.
But here’s the catch: We never connect to a hotel’s WiFi. Hotel networks are about as riddled with viruses as their TV remotes.
So how do you avoid connecting to the hotel’s free internet and still get online?
We use our cell phones as hotspots and connect the laptop to the cell phone to leverage its robust data
A little bit ago, the FCC made some statements against cell phone companies billing for this service, and the cell phone companies responded by allowing customers to share their phone’s data service with others who are allowed … for free.
A couple notes, though:
- If this is something you’re interested in, it’s probably free … but check it out first with your carrier.
- This uses your phone’s data, so this may not be the best option if you’re consistently running over your data allowance, or you plan to stream Netflix movies from the hotel.
Lastly, I’ll give a quick shoutout to my Macbook Air. This little fella goes with me everywhere. It’s light, durable, has a ridiculous battery life, and it doesn’t fail me. If you’re shopping, check one out.
So that’s all! Quick and simple run down.
If you have other tools you love and want to add, please do so in the comments below!
And if you don’t mind, check out my other posts on blogging: