How To Be A Truly Mobile blogger

One of the best things about being a blogger is it gives you the option to do it from anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter if I’m at at home in Vancouver or the apartment in Shanghai, as long as I have Internet access, I can log online and blog away. However, blogging is about more than just posting to a site. To be truly mobile, you need to free other things that can tie you down to a desk. Here’s how to go about it.

Store Files Online

The key to being a mobile blogger is to alway have access to your information. There are many ways to do this but by far the best is to just store your stuff on the Net. For example, I use to carry a lot of important files on a USB flash drive, until the day I needed access to it but forget to bring with me. Now, I store files online at a service like X Drive. X Drive offers 5GB of free online storage for your files, apps, photos, etc. If you need more space, there is a 50GB paid plan.

The nice thing about X Drive is if you have an AIM account, you already have access to it. Just log in with your AIM username and password and you can start uploading those most used files. Now you always have access to your files and you don’t have to worry where that USB drive is.

POP To GMail

For branding purposes, I recommend all bloggers get their own domain name with their own domain email. Instead of using [email protected] or [email protected], you would use [email protected] and access it via Outlook or another email client. The problem with this setup is it limit you to checking emails on your computer. If you move to another computer or laptop, you can’t get at your emails. Sure, you can enter your email information into Outlook Express on a computer at a Net cafe but that opens up an another can of worms.

Fortunately, Google’s GMail service can check your domain email accounts for you. Simply go to the GMail settings and choose Accounts. From there, you’ll be able to enter your blog domain email information. Now you can read and reply to emails sent to [email protected] from any computer in the world. The only downside to the service is GMail limits you to a maximum of five POP accounts.

Google Docs Is Your Friend

Since discovering Google Docs, I haven’t used Microsoft Office for a very long time. The key difference between Docs and Office is Docs is online and accessible at anytime from any computer, anywhere in the world.

Docs also has a really nice collaboration feature so you can invite other people to help you work on a project. For example, my CES party invite list was done with Google Docs. Myself, Stephen Fung and Bob Buskirk all had access to the file to add and remove names. It made it very easy to produce a final invite list that was free of dupes.

Think Remote Everything

As I stated at the start of this post, the key to being a location-free blogger is to always have access to your key files and information. The above is just three ways to do that. There are tons more. Feel free to share your remote blogging methods. You know you got it right when you can run your business not just from your personal computer, but from any computer.


39 thoughts on “How To Be A Truly Mobile blogger”

  1. Chris says:

    I am completely mobile these day, and use Zoho a lot. It has a great suite of programs and has some amazing tools for working wiht all of your online friends.

  2. I see what you’re saying John but personally, I like to have access to the files on MY computer and I’m not comfortable with relying on an internet connection.

    I’ve use google docs and I agree that they’re great!

  3. Great points, Google Docs are great alternative for me and I have been using it more and more over the year. Keeping things accessible online makes life so much easier! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. I do the same, I start to edit a document using my desktop computer, and when I have to go to work I continue editing the document at my work place.

  4. I don’t agree with being mobile.
    Sometimes I just have to be sitting down in front of the old trusty laptop in my office to write anything.
    Wriitng on the run seems to make me write half-a**ed content pieces that are disjointed in thought.

    Maybe that’s why my blog is like yours, eh?
    Might be a lesson there.

    Thanks,

    Dan
    http;//danielmcgonagle.name

  5. I haven’t really used Google Docs before but I just had a look and there was one of my files from around 9 months ago! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  6. I never thought about using Google Docs before. I am going to investigate it.

    1. It’s a great piece of online software, and it’s getting more powerful every day. I like the new menu features… not all documents have that, yet, though and it doesn’t show up in Calc mode yet.

      Kenneth

  7. Kabatology says:

    I use the Firefox Foxmark – The Bookmark Synchronizer(its a plugin) to import my bookmarks from home. This way i always have all my bookmarks with me. Learn to use Firefox and you’ll be amazed

    1. Flash says:

      I’d suggest the Google Labs plugin instead, it not only syncs your plugins, but also your history, cookies, and open tabs/windows. I can be using either of my two computers at work, go home, open up Firefox there, and it as if I hadn’t changed computers.

      My wife is non-mobile, but I still have that plugin installed on her computer to make one less item that needs to be regularly backed up. Already she has benefitted twice when a hard drive crash and a O/S crash did not mean a lose of her bookmarks.

  8. Another downside to using Gmail to access your mail via POP is that Gmail only checks for mail like once an hour. It has some serious lag time that gets very annoying. I actually do have a email for my domain name, but I never use it. My gmail account is just easier to use. Is it less professional? Maybe. But we all use it so I don’t really care.

    1. I simply go to settings and have it check my mail when I get ready to answer emails. I get the advantages of email with an email address that doesn’t look amateur and never have to wait for my mail.

  9. Keith Lock says:

    When I thought about going mobile a long time ago my first thought was my bookmarks. I wanted to have access to all of my bookmarks from anywhere. I created an ASP driven system to add/edit/delete/share bookmarks so I can access them from anywhere and my business partner could too. This was all before Social Bookmarking sites like Del.icio.us cam around. Dammit! LOL

  10. Wade Shuler says:

    I can’t wait till I become mobile. I really hate sitting in the spare bedroom stuck to a desk. It would be nice to plop out a laptop and watch TV or at least be in the same room as my family. I have a wireless router set up and all, but it is for when people come over that have laptops.

  11. Keith Lock says:

    My server also lets me check my POP mail from a web interface. If I setup Outlook to ‘leave on server’ then it’s all good. I hate GMail dare I say it.

  12. Those are really great tips. Maybe I’ll carry my laptop the next time I go out to grab a bite and take advantage of blogging on the go. ๐Ÿ˜›

    1. Syed Balkhi says:

      yes that is a must thing to do for a blogger.

      1. Hannah says:

        Yup… I don’t think I’ve gone a class in months where I haven’t had my laptop on me.

  13. Jim says:

    There we go, thats just what the doctor ordered ๐Ÿ˜€ . Great post John, I love the tips on Google Docs and on the online storage. I think I stil prefer the flash drive just because of reliability, but the online thing is going to get more and more popular as the years go on ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Simon Lau says:

    Mobility is key, google docs is great. I first tried it when building a plan for a travel trip I’m going to do at the end of the school year.
    I was also looking up google mail server stuff earlier today, this post timed quite well with what I’m doing.

  15. But why stop at X Drive? Store ALL of your files online with a service that you don’t have to worry about dissapearing tomorrow…Amazon’s S3. Go through Jungle Disk (www.jungledisk.com)…it’s awesome and dirt cheap. Check it out for yourself.

    1. Why not use your WebDAV for uploading files… you’ve probably got tons of storage on your own space at your primary hosting company. Why not use that?

      Kenneth

  16. nate says:

    Notebook with wireless broadband is the way to go. Good point on the online storage vs flash drive. I’m not even sure where my flash drive is right now. Also, my commodore 64 is lightweight and fits easily into an overhead compartment.

    1. You don’t know what a flash drive is? Quick someone get this guy out of the PC age.

  17. SiteHoppers says:

    Great post, that Aim and 50GB space will definitely help out.

  18. Actually, I use both gmail and my website email which both can be intergrated with Windows Mail. While it is true that I do have to be on my laptop to check my email, it also is a time saver because I don’t want to be checking my email everytime my blackberry goes off. This way, I force myself to check my email at least once a day when I am connected to the net but not required to check every 5 minutes on the hour.

    Haven’t been here in a while, John, did you clean up the website a little, looks crisper somehow?

    1. By the way, I have a little personal issue with the concept that Google can store my other emails on their server. How else can you talk about Google without Google bots scanning your email?

  19. Robert says:

    Whenever I travel, I take my laptop. In fact, as I write this comment, I am sitting in a hotel room (on a business trip), on the hotels wifi, and writing blog posts.

  20. Syed Balkhi says:

    I always take my laptop everywhere which contains everything I need to write. Most of my recent stuff is online so just incase if I am at the university campus, I can continue my work. Good tips john

  21. For my TTD list I use http://www.BackPackIt.com

    For my calendar I use Google Calendar which allows me to share any calendars I wish with appropriate people.

    Of course Google Docs, iGoogle and a Web Folder on one of my sites allow me to keep everything online.

    This allows me to access any work info from my desktop, laptop or iPhone. If I have an idea come to me while I am standing in line at Wal-Mart, I can add it using my iPhone–no more post it notes.

  22. David Chew says:

    Nice post john, bringing a laptop and blog whenever there is a free wi-fi.

  23. Hannah says:

    I was wondering if I could access my POP e-mail through gmail, thanks for the post. Very useful!

  24. This post was featured in today’s Daily Blog Summary–a summary of the best of the top 50 Make Money Blogging sites.

  25. Michael says:

    The best way to be a truly mobile blogger is to use IMAP email accounts so that everything you do on your email client is reflected on the server. The next step is to use online apps like Google Docs and FotoFlexer so that you can work on any computer. Use an online bookmarking tool like Delicious so that no matter where you are you can access your bookmarked pages. Lastly use Google Reader instead of a desktop RSS reader, Google reader is just as good and you can use it from any computer.

  26. SanDisk Cruzer is also a great way to be mobile, and you don’t have to rely on your internet access to get stuff… it works. Except on Apple, I think!

    Kenneth

Comments are closed.