Never Forget an Idea for a Blog Post Again

One of the biggest obstacles on the road to publishing a fresh blog post is coming up with a good idea in the first place! Unfortunately, inspiration for a post doesn’t always come at the most convenient of times. You might be standing in line at the grocery store, responding to a Facebook post or in the middle of a morning jog.isaac-newton-apple-falling-idea

Regardless, once an idea hits you, you should have a solid plan in place to archive it as well as any future ideas that you have. This will ensure that days, weeks, months or even years later, that idea is still easy to recall.

Today, we’re going to establish a plan for you through a concept known as automation.

Automation: What is it?

The term automation is used a lot in today’s technology communities. If you’re unclear about what it is, think automatic: when a certain event occurs, an automatic process of some sort is initialized.

Automation exists to simplify the way we work.

You can witness automation in your day-to-day routine, if you’re paying attention. For instance, many cars will automatically lock the doors after a specified period of time in the event that the driver forgets. When signing up for an email newsletter, publishers will often automate a series of messages to be delivered over a set period of time.

The Benefits of Automation

Prized by virtually every business owner, there are two main advantages gained by those who embrace automation.

Consistency

A direct correlation can be made between process complexity and human error. The more steps that need to be remembered, the greater the chance that you’ll miss a step or do a step out of order, potentially messing up the whole process.

Once you’ve enabled automation, this problem is resolved because it becomes the responsibility of computers which are much better at following directions than we are.

Efficiency

Although it takes a little setup time, once in place, automation will save you time in the long run…a whole lot of time. You simply create the automation to fit into your existing routine and go about your business.

Now that we’ve covered what automation is and why you should embrace it, let’s outline how to do it.

Step 1: Get Todoist

Todoist is a tool that I wholeheartedly support (if you’ve never heard of it and want to do a little research, here’s a good starting point). I have a premium account which can currently be had for $29 a year, but a free account can be used as well to do this. Just head over to Todoist.com and create an account.

silly-grasshopper-todoist-signup

Todoist’s signup screen.

 Step 2: Create a Project for your Post Ideas

Depending on the type of account you have, Todoist allows you to create multiple projects. Go ahead and create a Project that you’ll use to store your blog post ideas. Something like “Post Ideas” should be sufficient.

todoist-project-name-blog-post-automation

I put all my ideas for blog posts on my “SG Blog Post” project, nested under the parent project “Silly Grasshopper”.

Step 3: Get IFTTT

IFTTT (an acronym for If This, Then That) is a free automation service that integrates with a growing list of platforms, including Todoist. Simply create an account for the service, then log in. You can do this on their site, their iOS app or their Android app. Once you’re in your account, you’ll need to connect IFTTT to Todoist and to WordPress before moving forward.

Tip: If you’re uncomfortable providing IFTTT with administrator-level access to your WordPress site, create a new user and assign them to a role with less privileges.

I don't feel comfortable giving anyone or anything administrative access to my site, so I created a new user "sgauth" and gave IFTTT those credentials.

I don’t feel comfortable giving anyone or anything administrative access to my site, so I created a new user “sgauth” and gave IFTTT those credentials.

Step 4: Create the Automation

Within IFTTT are things called Recipes. These Recipes are the processes that carry out specific orders. To make things simple for you, I’ve already created and published a Recipe. Click or tap the following Recipe to get started:

IFTTT Recipe: Create a WordPress Draft when You Have an Idea for a Blog Post. connects todoist to wordpress

The screen that loads should prompt you to select the “Project that you’ll add ideas to…”. Select the Todoist list that you’ve designated for your Blog Ideas. I’m using my SG Blog Post list.

silly-grasshopper-wordpress-automation-todoist-01

Scroll down in the Recipe and specify the category(ies) in your WordPress blog that you want to assign the drafts. You can always change this once the draft is created. I’ve selected the category Blog. Note: make sure your spelling the category correctly to avoid an error. The best thing to do is copy/paste the category. Optionally, if you want to get a notification when the Recipe runs, select that box.

silly-grasshopper-wordpress-automation-todoist-02.png

Unless you want to mess with the Advanced settings, your all set! Go ahead and click the big Add button.

A Few Extra Tips

The automation is now established and should be working to save you time and frustration, but use the following tips to get an even greater benefit:

  • Use the commenting feature of Todoist to log any references, links, files or concepts that you want to include in your final blog post.
  • Don’t forget to mark the task complete after you’ve published the post.
  • If your blog has multiple authors, be sure to share your idea list with those individuals so they can contribute as well.

What automation practices have you integrated with your web strategy? Let me know in the comments below!

About the Author

My professional experience with the web reaches back more than a decade. During this time, I've been creating sites for individuals and businesses, working on a team of digital experience analysts as well as providing qualitative and quantitative research surrounding web and mobile technology.

Jonathan

Web Strategist

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