ipad plus accessories

Your blog and your iPad

Nikki ParkinsonLife 58 Comments

I love my iPad. I really do. Cannot imagine my life without it. Oh, ok, you got me. Yes, I could imagine my life without it.

It would be devastating.

Not in a someone’s-been-harmed-kind-of-way, more in a boy-you-make-my-life-easier-and-boy-I’d-really-be-stuck-doing-this-blogging-thing-kind-of-way.

See, about 12 months ago, I ditched the laptop (actually it’s still in the house and used by my six-year-old for Reading Eggs) and upgraded to a desktop iMac. I already had the iPhone so it seemed almost natural to jump right in with the whole big Apple family.

A couple of months later, thanks to some lovely award money, I purchased my iPad2 and set about working out how this baby could become my blogging-away-from-home buddy.

Yes, it’s not necessarily as easy to log on to my computer at home and punch out a post, add some photos and schedule to publish but it is possible.

I’ve had a few questions about blogging on iPads recently so thought there maybe more readers out there who would like to know some of tips and tricks I use. I’d also love to hear from others if they do things differently and more easily.

So, here goes.

ipad plus accessories

For starters, your iPad accessories are important when blogging away from home.

My top four iPad accessory essentials:

1. A stand (mine is the Apple magnetic cover that converts to a stand).

2. A keyboard that connects via bluetooth to your iPad (I use my iMac’s keyboard).

3. Apple iPad Camera Connection kit – this enables me to download photos straight from my camera’s SD card into my iPad.

4. A case to protect your whole kit and help it look its best while travelling. That’s important, right?

What apps do you need?

The key to making your iPad work for you and your blog is it get your head around the apps you need to optimise your use of it.

It’s not like switching on a desktop and laptop and accessing everything via your blog’s dashboard, just as you would through your internet browser. You need certain apps to perform certain things. Or to perform certain things more easily.

Blogging apps

1. WordPress or BlogPress: instead of logging into your blog’s dashboard via Safari, these apps make it possible to add word content, links and photos. It takes a little bit of getting used to – especially if you’re used to loading images throughout a post – but I find I can get my basic post up and come back later (when on a desktop) and pretty it up. BlogPress works for both Blogger and WordPress blogs. If you have a “native” WordPress or Blogger commenting system, you can also reply to comments from the app. Super easy.

2. Pages: this is Apple’s wordprocessing program and I find it useful to have it on my iPad as I often write drafts of posts while I’m flying for work and don’t have wi-fi access 36,000ft up. Also when I was first using the BlogPress app at a conference with dodgy wi-fi, I lost a whole post as the wi-fi wouldn’t let me save it. Now in that situation, I’m more likely to write it into pages first then copy and paste into the WordPress or Blogger app.

2. Feeddler RSS: This is the app that turns my Google Reader into a bedtime story filled with hundreds of posts from the blogs I follow. Easiest way to follow and comment on other blogs – especially if you organise the blogs you follow into folders in your reader first. (I just upgraded to Feeddler RSS Pro this morning – main reason was to be able to “clip” blog posts to my Evernote or Instapaper app for reading later).

3. Disqus Pro for Disqus: If you’re one of the many who has switched to Disqus for your blog’s commenting system (and I’m seriously thinking of doing it here too … thoughts?) then this app will help you keep up with comment replies while you’re on the go.

Photo apps

1. PicEditor: If I import a photo from my camera to my iPad using the camera connection kit, then it’s going to be too large in size to go in a blog post. This is a great way to re-size to work in your posts.

2. Photo Collage: I use this app sometimes before bringing photos into instagram – you can tell a story with a number of photos within one image. Great for blogging on the go.

Social media apps

1. Echofon: For my phone or iPad, I find this is the best and most useful Twitter app. I can run a couple of accounts (easily switching between the two) and I like how the feed offers up photos and offers up a follower’s Twitter handle as you start to type it. The search function is great when you’re at an event or conference where there is a hashtag for that event.

2. Hootsuite: I know there are people out there who only use Hootsuite for all their Twitter and Facebook stuff. I’m more of a Tweetdeck chick on my iMac but use Hootsuite on my phone or iPad for scheduling Tweets.

3. Facebook: This app has improved out of sight since I first got my iPad. In fact I don’t think there was one back then. It’s still not ideal for working with your blog’s Facebook page, ie uploading a photo with a caption, but it’s getting there.

4. Instagram: This is a phone-specific app that you have to x2 to take to the full screen. Not ideal but I like watching and adding to to the Instagram feed from my iPad. Also, it means that photos you Instagram are saved in your camera roll on your iPad to add to a blog post if you wish.

5. Pinterest: This also isn’t iPad specific – you have to x2 to take to the full screen but you can still have fun looking at the feed from other Pinners you follow. If anyone has any tips on how to “pin” from Safari on your iPad, I’d love to know them. I’m mad for a bit of Pinning action.

Well folks, that’s about the sum of how I work this blogging game when I’m on the road. It took a while to get my head around it but now it’s second nature and I much prefer carting an iPad with me than a laptop … more space for other more important things … like purchases.

If you have an iPad and use it for blogging or work, I’d love to know about your shortcuts. Any apps you can recommend to add to my arsenal? 


Comments 58

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  1. I have an iPad, and have recently been looking for ways to make it more blogging friendly, so that I don’t have to cart my laptop around everywhere if I’m just going to be doing some drafting. I will definitely be looking into Pages… Thanks for the tips! 🙂


  2. There’s an app called pin board that is pinterest for iPad. It’s still slightly troublesome to use (difficult to scroll down to see all your boards when pinning), but way easier than using safari.

  3. GREAT, great, great! I get asked this question all the time. I’m sharing the link later today as a get out of jail free card on writing this post myself. I’m lazy like that. Haha. 

    You are right, when you get in the swing of it, sort out your Apps etc there’s no stopping you. I even learnt the HTML to justify my text because I hate it all over the shop. I’m THAT blogger. 😉 

    And I LOVE Disqus Pro but hate that it doesn’t show context or a user name if they enter it themselves. Maybe they can sort that out for me.

  4. Arrr…so many questions answered here…thanks Nikki.  Lurvvveee my iPad but havn’t been using it much for blogging because I was finding it too tricky.  Sorted now it seems!  Now back to looking for those gorgeous Asos boots you are sporting. 🙂

    1. Thanks – they arrived yesterday – bargain that I know I’ll wear a lot! And good luck with the iPad … I had to make it my “portable” device as I no longer have a laptop so it made me work with it and around its limitations!

  5. I love these blogs of yours about blogs Nikki. I’ve just started using my ipad more but have a lot to learn. Going back to read all the comments and start installing the apps you suggest. xo

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  6. Hey Nikki

    Sounds like our iPads have a lot of apps in common, but I can’t survive with out these few…

    Reeder for RSS feeds brilliant with instapaper, flipboard for browsing my twitter feed and iThoughts for keeping track of all the idea’s that come to hand.

    Cheers Beanie

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  7. I just had to come back to mention that I found a great StumbleUpon app as well. Since I installed it, now and then I’ll relax on my front veranda, randomly stumbling sites. The passers by all comment on how hard I’m working, and I chuckle to myself

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  8. Great suggestions Nikki, thanks! I remember seeing a cool pink case you used at the Problogger event. Did it have a keyboard incorporated or where you just using the screen keyboard. You were typing up a storm! I’ve seen some great cases with keyboard intergrated, just wondered what they were like.

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  9. Thanks Nikki for this post – I am planning to buy an iPad before BlogHer because I don’t want to lug my macbook overseas. So this has provided a really comprehensive guide to blogging with an iPad 🙂

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  10. Thanks Nikki for sharing more of you blogging expertise. I have always loved computing technology since I met a pc years ago. It was one of 2 flown over from Australia to NZ. Apparently they were the first ones in the country. It was hidden away in the air conditioned computing room at work. No WYSIWYG. Before apple. Only 4 of us out of about 200 bothered to get to know it. My iPad is at the other end of the spectrum and I love it too. Currently testing out Dictation app for when you cannot even be bothered to type.

    Should you send you iPad a Valentines card? Fran

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      1. I got my iPad 2 the day before the iPad 3 came out, JBHIFI had dropped the prices alot and I managed to get a 16gb with 3g for less than what the normal 16gb used to be! All in all, a $165 bucks off their original price. I also got extra off for paying cash!

        1. I’ve also downloaded a few free apps on it and have made a list of these to download for the next time I’m on it.

  11. Some great ideas. I downloaded evermore ages ago but havnt really used it so maybe will check it out again. I will also look at the feedler rss. Apart from all the games my boys keep downloading, photo apps make up a good majority of mine, mainly cause I like playing around with photos. Some of my faves are camera +, dynamic light and picture show. Oh and of course love pinterest….so all in all not much time left for blogging!

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  12. Thank you so much for this!! I have only very recently treated myself to an ipad with the insurance money.

    I’m finding it easier to tweet more regularly with it, and playing plants vs zombies totally kicks arse. But anyway..

    I had no idea about the blogging apps, and I will be definitely trying them out.

    I had a magnetic cover/stand, but I got really frustrated with it. I ended up getting this really cute blue Dianna Von Furstenberg one that zips up and has pockets. I’m completely in love with it! It wasn’t too expensive, either.

    I keep saying that I am yet to learn all the cool things I can do on my ipad, so thanks for opening up that world somewhat for me.

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  13. I am on my dear iPad right now. I use Evernote for taking notes and writing posts. Will check out Pages and Quicklytics too;)

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      Hello Annabel Candy’s iPad! The other functionality of Pages is the ability to turn it into a word doc or pdf to email someone. For just writing a post to copy into your wordpress app, Evernote would work.

  14. Great post, Nikki; nice to finally read it! 😛

    So, I’ve downloaded Feedler RSS because I still haven’t worked out how to follow all the blogs I like (which I use as an excuse to explain why I’m such a terribler commenter but no more excuses now!) and I’ll check out the WordPress app too.

    I’ can’t believe there’s going to be an ipad3 soon: BOO for me because I just got my iPad2 on a plan!

    Anyhow I hope that Facebook but particularly Pinterest and Instagram create iPad friendly apps soon. I saw Stephanie’s tip re syncing to safari on your mac; sadly I don’t have a mac although I’ve been thinking about it!

    Also I’ve just downloaded buffer which is a tool I’ve seen a few of the tech tweeters use: it buffers your tweets over the day so as to not annoy folks too much. Time for me to check it out, me thinks!

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      Hi Cheryl, I’ve just upgraded to Feedler RSS Pro after doing this post – it gives me the opportunity to clip posts to Evernote or Instapaper for reading later. That’s the trouble with blogging about this stuff, I find more I want to incorporate!

      And yes, it’s not fun when you just buy a new toy and it gets superseded. But it’s the way of life these days, there’s always something new around the corner. And who knows? It mightn’t be that different.

      And double yes on the ipad friendly apps for Pinterest and Instagram. Facebook is better than it was.

      Thanks for the Buffer tip!

  15. I bought an iPad2 a few months ago, for work and to blog on and it was possessed. In the setting up the wifi before you even do anything the screen just types by itself. so the password types 1000 letters per second. They took it back and i got a refund. Now I’m waiting for the iPad3 imminent release in March. It will come in super handy this year as i am blogging every day for 2012. From sporadic blogging to 366 consecutive posts… Roll on March 🙂

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  16. Awesome tips Nikki. I use Evernote to draft my posts if using an ipad as I love how it syncs with my other devices, and also I often clip web pages and pdfs, articles etc to it, so it is a good reference point, but I must admit you read my mind…”how can I just carry my ipad and not have to lug around my laptop anymore?” so all of these other tips are great! I am using the word press app that you recommended to me, and that is great. Thanks – will be checking out a few more of these!

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      I use Evernote more as my trip organiser, so like this week gone with a trip to Sydney, I clipped and saved all the relevant pdfs and email info into a notebook on there. Makes it super easy from going from meeting to meeting and having all the info you need at your fingertips! Love Evernote!

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      1. Great question. I was referring to being able to clip things when I am on the computer but it has never occurred to me to try it yet on the ipad (actually, no I think I did once but i realised I didn’t know how and put it in the too hard basket). It would be so much better if we could. I just did a quick search and found this – looks promising? http://lorenzocaum.com/blog/how-to-install-evernote-web-clipper-on-the-iphone-and-the-ipad/ – I am guessing that your inner geek will probably get a chance to look at it before me ha ha. Let me know how you go and I will try to check it out later! :o)

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  17. I am sitting here commenting on a smashed and bent IPad, my god they are tough. Hubby ran over it, well actually my whole handbag as we were leaving for a whipcracking trip away yesterday. I asked him to put it inthe car while I put one of my little dogs in to her dog yard. He forgot, mind on other horrendous things and stepped over it then backed the Landcruiser over the top of it. I sat in stunned silence for the first 10 mins of our trip with the kids rubbing my arm. I snapped out of it and realized that everything was replaceable in the bag and we had just had our 13 year old Labrador put to sleep and everyone was feeling like crap. She is not replaceable. Today I’m off to buy a new one and when I get home tomorrow I’ll just sinc it straight away. Apple make it so easy. Insurance will cover the cost of the damaged stuff in the bag. I was surprised the iPhone was Ok. It is in an ivyskin wrangler case and only had the protective glass smashed on the front. I can highly recommend that one. So I now need to replace Ipad, Roberto cavalli sunnies, Prada progressive lens prescription glasses, a camera, a spencer and Rutherford handbag, an ivyskin glass screen a few hair Clips, luckily the Chanel perfume is ok and funny other things survived the wheel trying to get over it and pushing it along the driveway. Don’t feel sorry for me. I have the benefit of being good at power shopping, and my god it could have been irreplaceable stuff like the kid’s whips or god forbid one of my pets.

    1. Jodie, I’m not going to feel sorry for you (because you told me not to) but I love how you explained your thinking on all of it. We can get wrapped up in the stuff getting broken or lost – but it’s not one of our children or pets – AND as you said, you’re a pro at power shopping!

      1. Yes, the children would be horrific, one was with me and one was in the car, so no danger there. Plus they are tall enough and loud enough to be seen and heard! Hubby later laughed and said, ” I don’t know hoe I’m going to live with myself!” to which I laughed and replied, “I don’t know how your going to live it down!”
        There certainly are bigger things to get upset over! I’m not into wasting energy on easily fixed situations.

  18. To pin from iPad you need to install the Pin It shortcut into your bookmark menu bar. Easiest way to do this is to sync the Safari menu bar on your iPad to the one on your Mac through iTunes. you just need to tick the is on iTunes which syncs the two together. Once you find it, it’s easy. Good luck!

  19. I blog almost entirely from my iPad (maybe use a computer once a month). And couldn’t imagine the level of devastation and non bloggy goodness with no iPad.

    I have two other favorite apps not listed here;

    1) Diptyic – provides framed photo collages that come in a variety of options and help the photos look clean and uncluttered when I have quite a few I want to include in a post.

    2) Quicklytics – taps into my google analytics via an app and makes it very easy to see whats been happening and is easy to use.


    1. Thanks Melbournian Girl. I’m super impressed at your iPad blogging useage! And thanks for those tips on the apps. I’ve been using the Photo Collage HD but will check Diptyic out because, well, you can never have too many options!

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