It seems like suckers (like me) are always looking for the guide and the tool that magically makes all their problems go away: “Here’s the $1.99 app that rights all my TV spec scripts for me!” Yeah, ok. But we’re stupid assholes and we still read those guides hoping for a silver bullet. Here’s some that we’ve perused.
- Code teacher Wes Bos
- Rediverge (from Ghost CEO John O’Nolan – subscriber only, though DM if interested)
So okay, why the fuck not, here’s our own list of apps that we use to manage widget in case any of them might make your life easier. Please understand, we understand that probably many, most or all of these are run by horrible, evil people or at least help horrible, evil people get a little richer. Trying to find professional, nonprofit, open-source, etc., alternatives to all of these would be admirable! But we are morally impure hypocrites and have fallen short in this task.
(Speaking of which, Fallenshort had one of my fave political punk 7”s in early high school. Winnipeg was rockin’!)
We’ll group these under a few headings:
- Trello: Project management/Kanban app we use to review pitches, as elaborated in another post
- Google Sheets: to keep really rough, manual track of accepted pitches (to try and log where we are against our budget; which doesn’t account for people dropping out, but whatever.)
- Google Drive/Doc: Where we store and give feedback on all drafts. We sort them into folders by month, with files named the contributor’s name, and leave comments and suggestions throughout their doc, then invite them to it with any summary or big notes
- Adobe Stock or other, free(!) stock sites (listed here): uh, self-explanatory?
Website Admin (Incl. Social Media)
- 1Password: Password management
- Notion: Like, internal docs – meeting notes, grant drafts…
- Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, some Photoshop/Illustrator): Very rare image manipulation; and editing our ‘magazines’.
- Buffer: Social media (auto-)scheduling
- Zapier / IFTTT: Connecting services together, e.g., on pitch submission, create a Trello card; or on post publication, cross-post to some other sites (for backlinks and SEO – no idea if this is still recommended SEO behaviour? Don’t keep on top of that.)
- Placid: For social media image auto-generation, as discussed here.
- Scrutiny: For website accessibility scans (for images w/o alt text most often in our use case), as discussed here.
- Outvoice: For paying contributors – pulls from our bank account (or Visa, actually), deposits to theirs
- Missive: Email client, pulls in all my accounts (personal, business, widget) into one spot. Some unpredictable or maybe I just understand it wrong.
- MailChimp: duh, what could we possibly use this for? Does the job at our small size. Understand it gets expensive with larger lists.
- Dropbox: For storing brand assets, podcast work, anything we might want to have backed up. The only one of these apps where I know they had a war criminal on their board! I sicken myself!
- Plausible: Pro-privacy analytics. Fuck google. (While using multiple services of theirs…)
- Audioship: A site we’ve used to convert audio file + image into a YouTube upload. I’m sure there’s better ways, but we haven’t dug deep.
- Twitter List Manager website: A simple website to bulk add people to lists. Can’t believe twitter doesn’t have something like this natively! If we had commissioned more people, this would have been a godsend. Still useful regardless.
- Audacity: Free audio editing software. Not bad. Not professional, I’m sure, but has worked for us. (Audition comes recommended as a solid, more-professional option. Haven’t learned it yet.)
- Audio Hijack: In our use case, for recording both sides of a Zoom call to separate files.
- SFX libraries (see the podcasts post).
- Website plugins (see the site setup post).
- Highland 2: For writing scenes in screenplay format (using fountain syntax – very nice)
- Bear: Writing brainstorming or drafts of humour pieces (when we do our own)
More in the series
- Website DIY #1: Intro & Domain
- Website DIY #2: On Starting A ‘Magazine’
- Website DIY #3: Site Setup
- Website DIY #4: Monetization (Quick Overview)
- Website DIY #5: Newsletters
- Website DIY #6: Social Media
- Website DIY #7: Pitches/Submissions
- Website DIY #8: Analytics/Traffic
- Website DIY #9: Accessibility
- Website DIY #10: Podcasting
- Website DIY #11: Equity
- Website DIY #12: Email & Responding To Pitches
- Website DIY #13: Payments
- Website DIY #14: Admin Tools/Apps
- Website DIY #15: Networking
- Website DIY #16: Audience
- Website DIY #17: Stock Assets (Photos/Illustrations)
- Website DIY #18: Finances (How To Lose Money!)
- Website DIY #19: Wrap Up: Wins & Losses