Tools of the Trade

I thought it’d be interesting to share my Blogging Tools. These are the sites, apps, and tools I use for I Just Might Explode!



Macbook Pro: I would be nothing without my computer.  And, yeah, I am one of those obnoxious Apple people. If you’re still in the dark PC ages, it’s time you leave…

Canon 50d DSLR camera with Canon 50mm 1.4 lens: I love this camera and this lens. I would love to get a wider lens one of these days though.  Buy a class and feed the fund? ;)

WordPress: I absolutely love Self-hosted WordPress. I moved from Typepad and it took some getting used to, but I would never go back. Having full control over your site + your own domain = both a big deal to me. I use the Thesis theme. Pricey, but its been so worth it to me. I use Dreamhost to host all of my sites.


Wacom Intuos Tablet: What I use to add hand-drawn elements to image, like the TGIF heading etc… It’s also what I use to draw all the decalLOVE designs.

Computer Programs

Adobe Photoshop CS4: This is the photo editor I use for every image you see on IJME. I use Totally Rad Actions and some of my own tricks.

Adobe Lightroom: I admittedly do not use this to its full potential. I need to make myself sit down and learn it one of these days. I mostly use it to export  batches of smaller, web-ready files for clients or for blog posts with lots of images.

Text Edit: This is the word processor that comes with Macs. It’s extremely basic, but it’s one of my favorite places to begin writing. No frills and no pressure.

iPhoto: Again, I need to learn Lightroom. But, I upload my photos with iPhoto and (don’t really) organize them.

Cyberduck: Cyberduck is a free program for editing FTP files. I used it to edit the code on IJME and

iPhone Apps

Evernote: This is also a fantastic desktop program that syncs with the app. I use it mostly to bookmark blog post ideas when I’m on the go.

Instagram: I try to avoid using Instragram photos in posts, but sometimes when I don’t have my big camera with me, Instagram does the job! If I don’t feel like syncing my phone to my computer, I just email myself the photos straight from the app.


Flickr: I host my photos through Flickr. I should probably switch before Flickr falls into Internet oblivion. It’s just that the images are so pretty on Flickr… I paste the HTML code one by one.

: I love Twitter! It’s a fun and easy way to stay up to date with my online and IRL friends. I usually update there with new posts or just chitter-chatter about blog ideas. I also tweet about a lot of unimportant, silly things. at your own risk.

Gmail: I use to Gmail to host all my email accounts. I have 4 email addresses (a school one, a personal one, and kara(@) and by using Multiple Sign-In for Gmail, I can switch between accounts without having to sign out and sign back in. I also have all my email synced to my phone. Gmail is a great email client. (For the custom domain email addresses, I was able to do it from the Dreamhost panel. I don’t know how to do it if you use different hosting).

Google Docs/Forms: I actually stole this idea from Kam. I’ve only done it one month so far, but I vastly prefer it to the back and forth email system I was using before. Instead of sending out a mass email to IJME’s sponsors/advertisers with lists of the information I need back from then, I make a Google Form. I send  them a link and they fill in the boxes with the information.  That way I can pull all the information from that one Google “Excel” spreadsheet and it makes completing posts like these so much simpler.



Moleskine Journals: I love, love, love Moleskine journals. I use the blank, black, extra-large cahier journals and then tape in my blog schedule. I print off month calendars from this website(pick your month and then scroll down to where it says PDF calendars). I keep a few pages in between months to write out Advertiser information and blog post ideas.

A note on blog schedules… They really aren’t for everyone. I got serious about my blog schedule because I want to turn IJME into something that helps pay my bills.  Most people don’t blog with that intention. Since I have that goal, I find that I get much less stressed out with using one. I now prefer to write posts weeks in advance and schedule them to go live on their specific days. I don’t have time every single day to write a post and get it ready for that day, but I do randomly have a few hours here and there where I can commit to writing and preparing posts.

Google Calendar: I use this for work and some blog, work, and homework deadlines and have it synced to my phone. It’s saved my butt quite a few times!

What are some of your favorite blogging tools?

{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Annabel March 6, 2012, 8:53 am

    I love seeing other people’s tools and what-not, a great insight into blog life! :)

    I’m making the change and getting a macbook pro in the next two week! so excited, any tips mac-lady? :P

  • Chandre February 23, 2012, 10:12 pm

    THANK YOU!!!!!!
    Thank you so much for this post, I was loosing hope and this made me hopeful again. This is now my saved life saver moment, well blogs life saver.

  • Kathleen February 22, 2012, 1:48 pm

    Wait! Flickr is falling into internet oblivion???

    • karahaupt February 22, 2012, 11:39 pm

      Haha, not yet. But, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it go in the next couple years. It’s way less popular than it used to be.

  • Libby February 22, 2012, 9:29 am

    Google multiple sign-in: why didn’t I know of this before? It sounds genius! And I’m definetely hoping to turn some of the stuff I do online into something that can support me through university in a few years so this post is great.

    • karahaupt February 22, 2012, 11:40 pm

      Good luck, girl! It’s stressful, but also great at the same time. <3

  • Marisa February 21, 2012, 2:42 pm

    That tablet looks awesome. I’ve always wanted to get one but I don’t have any legitimate use for it. Also, I too love journals. For anything and everything.

  • nicola February 21, 2012, 2:29 pm

    Hey Kara, wow…lotta work behind the scenes eh. You are like the beautiful swan seemingly effortless but paddling like crazy under the water!!

    I don’t have a fancy camera or an iphone so make use of all the online apps like picnik and pixlr-o-matic to make my photos looks interesting. Plus I like the creativity of doing that.

    I also looove fonts, so download a heck of a lot from Ooooh I might go and download some now :)

    • karahaupt February 22, 2012, 11:40 pm

      Hahaha. The swan thing, too funny.

      Great tips! I also love Font Squirrel or Lost Type Co Op for other great fonts! <3

  • Danielle February 21, 2012, 1:39 pm

    I never knew of Gmails multi-sign in capability. Thank you for sharing! It has helped me greatly in just the past hours. It was so annoying to have to log in and out when I needed to switch especially with having three different emails!

    • karahaupt February 22, 2012, 11:41 pm

      It’s SO great! Glad that tip could help. ;)

  • Nicole February 21, 2012, 11:33 am

    Thanks for sharing, Kara! I love reading posts like these & finding new resources!

  • Sarah Rooftops February 21, 2012, 11:16 am

    All the same Google bits and pieces, but… no, Flickr can never fall into oblivion! I won’t have it! *stamps feet*

  • Cara February 21, 2012, 10:43 am

    Holy. Crap. Thank you so much for sharing this! It’s so encouraging and awesome to see all of the super great and even cheap tools you use! Are you advertising rates on your blog? Just for a small ad? Love your blog, Kara. Love being sisters in Christ. xoxo

    • karahaupt February 22, 2012, 11:42 pm

      Hi Cara! They sure are! Here ya go:

      Thanks for the love and glad you liked the post! <3


Next post: How To Make Art Giveaway!

Previous post: Say Hey…