Sunday, 7 February 2016

Blogging Tips | 7 Insanely Helpful Tools and Resources Websites You Didn't Know You Needed

Blogging Tips | 7 Insanely Helpful Tools and Resources Websites You Didn't Know You Needed
Ever been frustrated by any of the following?
- Leaving Caps Lock on and typing out a long sentence you've then had to retype?
- Using Twitter on your laptop and wanting to paste a 'face blowing a kiss' emoji as a reply to a tweet (but can't)?
- Seeing a great font on a blog or website but have no clue what it actually is?

If you've said "Yes" to any of these things then you need my list of insanely helpful tools and resources websites... and when I say insanely, I really mean it - I don't know how I got by without these things before I found them!

YOU NEED MY LIST OF INSANELY HELPFUL TOOLS AND RESOURCES WEBSITES... AND WHEN I SAY INSANELY, I REALLY MEAN IT - I DON'T KNOW HOW I GOT BY WITHOUT THESE THINGS BEFORE I FOUND THEM

I've been inadvertently gathering these websites for a while now and thought it time I shared them with you to hopefully make your life easier as well. They're not made for bloggers per se, but if you blog regularly (or even if you use computers in your day job!) then these sites provide some invaluable assistance that you just didn't know you needed. And in case you're wondering, they are all free to use.

I'm sure there are many more excellent websites that are just as helpful, as well as there being similar ones that do the same functions as some of the ones I've listed here. If you have any suggestions for ones along the same lines, do mention them in a comment - I'm always on the lookout for new things to simplify my life!
❤️
Have you found these websites helpful, or were you already using any of them? And please don't forget to mention any sites that you use - tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!

Blogging Tips | 7 Helpful Tools and Resources Websites You Didn't Know You Needed - Convert Case

1. Typed out a huge chunk of text and left Caps Lock on in error, or need to capitalise a sentence quickly? You need... Convert Case

If you've accidentally left the caps lock on and typed something, but can't be bothered to start again and retype it all, you can simply enter your text and choose the case you want to convert it to. You have the choice of Sentence case, UPPER CASE, lower case, Capitalised Case... Then there's a word count, character count, and a clipboard. All super handy - I use this several times each day. I use Convert Case for every post I write - I create the quotes from my copy in upper case with it (as above).



Blogging Tips | 7 Helpful Tools and Resources Websites You Didn't Know You Needed - Hemingway Editor

2. Want to improve your writing style? You need... Hemingway Editor

Hemingway Editor makes your writing Pulitzer Prize-worthy. If you're writing something a little wordy, or if you're writing an article for a publication, it's the perfect tool for you. Paste in the text you have written and the app highlights long, complex sentences and common errors in different colours. Yellow sentences are too long and need to be shortened or split. A red highlight denotes dense, complicated sentences that your readers will get lost trying to follow.

One thing it does that I especially like is highlighting adverbs in blue to encourage you to pick words that pack a greater punch instead. For example, instead of saying "I was really happy", you could say "I was overjoyed" (much more descriptive).

However, I would say use Hemingway Editor with caution - blogs are all about your writing voice, after all. If you try to perfect your writing for every blog post with this app you may find your personality disappearing... None of your readers want that more than perfectly written prose!



Blogging Tips | 7 Helpful Tools and Resources Websites You Didn't Know You Needed - WhatFont

3. Want to know what font someone's used on their blog or website? You need... WhatFont

WhatFont is an easy way to identify fonts on websites. This is a Google Chrome app that, once installed, identifies web fonts when you click on your WhatFont widget and then hover over them. It's that simple, and somewhat satisfying that you've worked out what font has been used (it's like a "aha! Gotcha!" moment. Most identifiable fonts can then be downloaded from Google Fonts or other free font sites like http://www.fontsquirrel.com or http://www.1001fonts.com.



Blogging Tips | 7 Helpful Tools and Resources Websites You Didn't Know You Needed - Click to Tweet

4. Want to create an easy way to encourage people to tweet something you've said? You need... Click to Tweet 

This is the best way to promote and share quotes and exerts of your writing on Twitter. You'll need to sign in with your Twitter account, then you simply write the message that you want others to share in the box. You can create a custom link by clicking the "Generate new link" button and the box can be embedded into your blog post. The activity of each link can then be tracked to see how popular it has been.

I'll own up and admit I haven't actually used this service yet but I've seen it on other sites, and always read good things about it. In other words I need to utilise this asap.



Blogging Tips | 7 Helpful Tools and Resources Websites You Didn't Know You Needed - Get Emoji

5. Not on your smartphone and need emojis on your laptop or computer? You need... Get Emoji

This page is simply a list of all emojis to copy and paste into Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. - especially handy, if like me, you are on your laptop most of the all day and tend to use your social platforms via their actual websites rather than on your phone. I use them a lot on Tweetdeck (another essential tool for bloggers) and can now reply with a simple heart or kiss-blowing emoji rather than having to type out "thanks so much kiss kiss" (so tedious, I know)! #FirstWorldProblems



Blogging Tips | 7 Helpful Tools and Resources Websites You Didn't Know You Needed - PRShots

6. Need professional product images that don't require permission to use on your blog? You need... PRShots

PRShots is a royalty-free high quality online image library that serves the professional press (this includes bloggers). They put press-quality product and promotional images from leading retailers onto their website which you can download as and when you need them. It's free to use as long as you are a member of the press or blogger using the images for editorial (you need to register with them and give details of your blog, but it's pretty straightforward). Great for using in outfit layouts or posts about a brand's new season's range, for example.



Blogging Tips | 7 Helpful Tools and Resources Websites You Didn't Know You Needed - Wayback Machine

7. Want to see what your blog (or anyone else's) used to look like? You need... Wayback Machine

This isn't an essential that'll make your life easier necessarily, it's more of a fun thing to use. Wayback Machine by the Internet Archive is a tool that allows you to visit archived versions of websites - in other words, what a website looked like on a particular day in the past. Type in a URL, select a date, and then see a working version of what the website used to look like. Seeing how Manrepeller or The Blonde Salad looked like years ago may make you realise that the super bloggers weren't always as sleek and professional as they are now - we all start somewhere!

Warning: This is only for the brave if you've been blogging for a few years and you decide to look at your own. You can see what Not Dressed As Lamb looked like one year ago, two years ago, three years ago, and four years ago. =Yikes=


Don't forget to leave any suggestions for other similar sites in the comments! Hope they help, thanks for reading J


Catherine

P.S. Like this post? You might also want to check out my Blogging Tips page for lots of other handy tips!

Linking up to: Let It Shine, Brilliant Blog PostsFriday's Fab Favourites
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Thursday, 4 February 2016

How to Style a Trench Coat For Spring 2016 | With Soft Pastels and Light Wash Denim

Soft pastels, light wash denim and silver for spring | Not Dressed As Lamb
I know it's still very much the dead of winter in much of the Northern Hemisphere, but as soon as February rolls around I usually think March is next month - that means spring!! (I'm always desperately looking for a positive spin on the weather. I guess that's the Englishman in me coming out.)

So it may be a little premature, but I thought now's a better time than any to think about that transitional period between winter and spring and what I'm looking forward to wearing once I'm at the "eaten too many Cadbury Creme Eggs" stage.

The trench coat is the ultimate classic for transitional dressing, and I think it lends itself perfectly to soft pastels and light wash denim. I'm wearing several pieces from the new Spring/Summer 16 collection by MADELEINE (pure cashmere jumper, cropped jeans and silver trainers), and these lovely soft pastels reflect that brighter light we should be getting as the days get longer - goodbye dark winter colours, I say!

I LOVE IT WHEN SPRING GETS A WRIGGLE ON, AND IT'S SO NICE TO WEAR SOMETHING A LITTLE LIGHTER THAT DOESN'T REQUIRE A SCARF, HAT AND GLOVES AS WELL.

I love it when spring gets a wriggle on, and it's so nice to wear something a little lighter that doesn't require a scarf, hat and gloves as well. Plus I think silver sneakers may just be my new favourite thing: Metallics + sport shoes = footwear perfection.

Are you a trench coat wearer? What's the first thing you reach for when the seasons change (or is there something you love to ditch)? Tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!

Soft pastels, light wash denim and silver for spring | Not Dressed As Lamb
Soft pastels, light wash denim and silver for spring | Not Dressed As Lamb
Silver sneakers | Not Dressed As Lamb
Soft pastels, light wash denim for spring | Not Dressed As Lamb
Soft pastels, light wash denim for spring | Not Dressed As Lamb
Soft pastels, light wash denim and silver for spring | Not Dressed As Lamb
Cashmere stripes for spring | Not Dressed As Lamb
Pure cashmere jumper: MADELEINE | Cropped jeans: MADELEINE | Silver trainers: MADELEINE | Trench: Laura Ashley (old - this is a close match) | Earrings: Accessorize (in-store only, I like these too) | Nails: Nails Inc 'Black Taxi'

SHOP THE LOOK:



Catherine

P.S. Like this post? You might also want to see how I styled my trench coat with sequinned Breton stripes, or perhaps draped over (yet another) dress-over-trousers combo!

Linking up to: Style StoriesiwillwearwhatilikeVisible MondayLet It ShineMonday MingleStyle Sessions, Turning Heads TuesdayTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayBrilliant Blog PostsThrowback Thursday, My Refined StylePassion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab Favourites

Disclosure: I have written this post in collaboration with MADELEINE (click here for my full disclosure). All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest. This post may contain affiliate links.
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