5 Apps for blogging

From time to time I get asked what applications I use most on a day to day basis. That is a really tough question as my ‘day to day’ changes pretty much day to day!

If I am reviewing an application I will use it for everything related to its purpose, even if I have a personal favourite that I use normally.

One thing that I do on a daily basis though is blog! In fact between the personal blogs that I run and the contract stuff that I do I blog more than I care to admit. That said it at least gave me an idea for answering the question on what applications I use the most.

As far as blogging goes these are my top 5. I have consistently used them for a while now and they are like old friends. From time to time I inject a few others, but as a foundation to my blogging these are the 5 tools of my trade:


I am a big fan of MarsEdit more for the flexibility that it provides than for any specific power that it brings to my blogging.

First, I create blogs on different Mac’s depending on whether it is a particular review, personal or photography. Mars Edit not only allows me to easily do this, but it enables me to hold a backlog of previous posts on each Mac which is great for quick references and occasional copy & paste editing.

Second, I use a ‘sandbox’ site to see how some posts look before I post them, particularly with ones that contain a lot of pictures so I like the fact that I can post to the ‘sandbox’ from MarsEdit and then as soon as I am happy with it change the Weblog I want to post to and re post to my blog.

Third, in a similar manner to the above, I maintain multiple blogs so it is good to have them all in one editor especially for cross posting, for example I will often post a photo post on my site that I also want to post on Almerimar Life with just a few adjustments to the text.

I should sneak in here that I use TextMate all the time so it could qualify as a blogging related application, but I use it as a scratch/note pad as well as for odd code stuff etc.


A number of my posts are reviews and where possible I like to include an image from the products site, or a picture of it in use. Picturesque is amazing for those quick alterations that I want to make, especially for resizing the image. It can be a little addictive in that if I am not careful every picture ends up with a reflection or shading, but for my blogging it is an application that is open pretty much all day every day.


An RSS reader is a must have for any blogger and with so many free ones available it is hard sometimes to justify paying for one. Specifically for me is the ability to sync my account across all the Macs (and PC) so that I always have the same information to hand for my reviews and articles regardless of which Mac I am working on.

To be honest it is hard to get too excited about an RSS reader but I do like the current version that they have, especially the right hand column that opens up and shows the articles that you have opened and read in full

Browsers (Firefox, Camino) and Safari.

I use two browsers all of the time, sort of allocated one for personal use and one for business and projects, and split across two screens. Blogging activity sort of mergers between the two, but I find it invaluable to have both open, especially when writing a comparative article.

I have used Firefox for as long as it has been around and the simple fact is that I love the tabs and the extensions, in particular the one that automatically refreshes the tabs. I find that an ideal way of keeping on top of things.

Camino is a relatively new addition. I have tried Safari several times and just don’t get on with it, but I feel guilty that I don’t and have tried several times with the Vesrion 3, even on my PC, but for now Camino does exactly what I want it to do for a second browser. I use Safari for a few things, and my use of it is growing slightly!


I have been using OmniFocus pretty much since day one and it is certainly looking very good! I am not a big fan of time management applications, and I doubt that I use it anywhere near its full potential. I do find it very useful for keeping track of my actions, drafts, notes, thoughts, ideas etc.

So there you are, another list of Mac applications! As ever let me have your comments and suggestions, and if you have 5 applications that you use for specifics tasks I would love to hear from you. I was thinking of a series:

  • 5 for photography
  • 5 for coding
  • 5 for podcasting
  • etc

I have drafted posts on photography and podcasting as between those two and blogging that probably accounts for about 80% of my time spent on the Mac

20 thoughts on “5 Apps for blogging

  1. Dunks

    I’ve been really interested to see Omnifocus – as it’s probably obvious from one or two of my other posts I follow Merlin Mann a lot on TWIT and 43 Folders etc. He works with the Omni group in I believe an advisory capacity for Omnifocus based on his love of the GTD principle.

    I’ve just signed up for the sneakypeek beta but for some reason my log in details don’t work and I can’t get the download. 🙁

    Did you just enter your username & password for this Chris or email and password?

  2. Dunks

    Should have mentioned – I use iGTD at present and like it a lot – good sync with iCal/Mail etc including the mailtags set up for Mail.

    Also, second your mention of Textmate although Coda has been replacing it for certain work recently.

  3. Chris Marshall Post author

    email and password

    Have never looked at iGTD, I have so little to do that is that important and don’t plan ahead unless made to that most of this stuff is just OTT for me 🙂

  4. Dunks

    Bingo! Actually reread the email and realised the mailing list password was different from the beta password! Feel a bit of a prat now.

    BTW – if you’ve so little to do I have a Year 13 (17-18 yr olds) lesson on relational database management systems to plan for tomorrow!! 🙂

  5. Chris Marshall Post author

    Hmm, I think we did that on my MSc Information Systems and Management 🙂

    Don’t recall paying much attention then either!!!

  6. Mac Sokulski

    I’ve played with early beta of OmniFocus. Unfortunately it wasn’t remotely finished. iGTD was and still is an app I use daily. Great little program. Integration between email, ical, quicksilver, and .mac sync is absolutely fabulous.

  7. Chris Marshall Post author

    Hmmm – email integration??? I should probably take a look at that as it would be very handy I guess!

  8. Chris Marshall Post author

    Thanks Mac – have got totally addicted to iGTD today, got nothing done today, but I do have a good list of all the things I should have done 🙂

    Integration with email could be very useful!

  9. Dunks

    @Mac: Glad to find another iGTD fan. I’m still learning to use the integration with other apps effectively but found it it be a really useful app. It has certainly helped me get organise in my new job.

    @Chris: Welcome to the iGTD world!! Thought you might like this one!

  10. Dunks

    Just listened to recent Surfbits and heard you wax lyrical about iGTD – obviously working out for you then Chris!!

  11. Chris Marshall Post author

    Yep, it is pretty impressive.

    Funny though, you are a week behind. Had to do a double take as I recorded with Tim today and didn’t recall talking about iGTD 🙂

  12. Dunks

    Yeah – I subscribe to about 20 podcasts (mac/tech and outdoor based). I was doing a big commute from the new forest up to Bracknell every day so at least 2.5 hours in the car a day so I’d get through the podcasts on the day I downloaded them. Since changing jobs I only have a 30min drive so I’m constantly playing catch up, hence only getting to surfbits today!

    BTW: Great result against France. As a welshman even I appreciated the win!!

  13. Chris Marshall Post author

    Ah yes commuting – I remember those days!!! Now the closest I get to a commute is a 5 stride walk from the bedroom to my study. The closest I come to a business trip is to take the Harley into the marina which is all of 5 minutes riding.

    Yeah England!!! They really have come from nowhere to get to the final!!!

  14. Dunks

    Living the dream then Chris!! At least for me I have exchanged to grotty M3 for a nice drive through the forest, but even that doesn’t compare to being as free as you guys are!

    Shame about S Africa tonight. They looked very strong at points – quick hands and lots of pace.

  15. Chris Marshall Post author

    I can’t really complain 🙂

    SA were better than Aregentina, but nothing that I think England need to be worried about. If we play as we have in the lsat two games then we stand a good chance.

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