Chromebook for blogging — the perfect combination?
Chromebooks are very lightweight machines that you can carry anywhere easily and can provide a battery backup of hours — the perfect choice for bloggers and writers. Like right now, I am writing this blog post on my Chromebook sitting in the morning sun in my garden. 😍
These Chromebook laptops are way cheaper than a regular laptop and the Chrome OS is optimized in a way that it offers a decent performance even with the lower computing power. However, if you try to install a lot of apps, it’s going to get annoyingly slow — speaking from personal experience.
I have been using the Chromebook for a few months and now, after a lot of iterations, I have the optimal setup for my blogging tasks. In this blog post, I will be talking about the apps, tools, and tips tricks that you should use to make the blogging experience excellent on Chromebooks.
First, let’s go through some amazing apps, and then we’ll go for some interesting tips-hacks that I have learned.
Tools to install
I am sure not all of you will prefer the same tool, but I am going to mention a few options too. I will list the tool that I use and then some tools that may be great for your use case.
On my earlier Linux and Windows computers, I used Obsidian to write but on Chromebooks, you will have to install Obsidian via Linux which is a bit lengthy process. Also, I noticed that my Chromebook runs slow while running Linux apps. Now, I am back to using Notion for all the writing stuff.
Some of the writing tools and apps that I would recommend are:
- Notion — It’s the most popular note-taking and project management app that you can use for all kinds of writings. While there’s an Android app but I think, you will enjoy using the web version more.
- Standard Notes — It’s the simplest yet most secure (end-to-end encrypted) note-taking app and you can install the app via Android. I use the app to voice-type notes from my Chromebook.
- Joplin — Joplin is another excellent app that is secure and provides a way to sync your notes between computers using various cloud storage services like Dropbox. You can install the app via Android.
- Google Docs — Google Docs is well compatible with all kinds of Chromebook devices. It runs directly in the browser and is a great choice for collaborations. You can even install the app as a Chrome app so that it opens a bit faster.
- Grammarly — Grammarly helps you avoid any kinds of grammar or spelling mistakes in your writings. Just install the Chrome extension, create a free account and it will keep checking for errors anywhere you write.
Again, I would not recommend using Obsidian on Chromebooks unless you have a really high-end Chromebook.
Most of the time, I have my days planned from earlier, at least a day earlier. And, here are some Chromebook tools that I use on a regular basis:
- Microsoft To-Do — You can use the tool to plan your days in advance — it’s completely free and syncs all your works on multiple devices. I have been using it to note down writing topic ideas too, works like a charm. Microsoft To-Do app is available via Android on Chromebooks.
- Notion — If you’re a heavy planner and need to note down everything in detail then Notion can be a great choice. I would suggest watching Red Gregory’s YouTube videos on using Notion to manage your whole life.
Online meeting tools
If you’re serious about blogging then chances are you are also collaborating with a few fellow bloggers and for that, you might need to hold online meetings. And, for all kinds of online meetings, I recommend the following two apps for Chromebooks:
- Google Meet — Most probably, Google Meet comes preinstalled in Chromebooks and even if it doesn’t, you can install it quickly as a Chrome app or use it directly inside the web browser. It’s completely compatible with Chromebooks.
- Zoom — Again, Zoom can also be installed as a Chrome app in your Chromebook. It is well supported and I haven’t noticed any kind of lag during the calls.
Other useful tools
Here are some other Chrome extensions and apps that definitely enhance your blogging experience on the platform:
- Zoho Annotator — Zoho Annotator is one of the nicest screenshot and image annotator tools. It comes as a Google Chrome extension that has amazing features like full-page screenshots, sensitive data blur, highlighter, and local image annotation features. As a blogger, it helps you a lot to take and present screenshots in a beautiful way inside blog posts.
- Raindrop.io — Raindrop is probably the best bookmark manager tool that is completely free to use. All the saved bookmarks are fully searchable making it easier to find what you’re looking for. I also use the tool to save all my liked tweets to Raindrop for future references. You can install the Chrome extension to save web pages and images directly to your Raindrop account — it’s free.
- Ahrefs free tools — For tasks like keyword research and backlinks research, you can use the multiple free tools created by Ahrefs. Again, it directly runs in your browser.
Tips and hacks
Here are some interesting tips and hacks to make the blogging experience better on Chromebooks:
Pin important apps
Opening the main app drawer every time when you have to open an app isn’t an efficient way to operate a computer. You can pin all the frequently used apps in the taskbar by right-clicking on them — it makes the app launching process easier and faster.
You can see how my taskbar looks like in the above screenshot.
Enable voice dictation
Another amazing feature that I love about Chromebooks is the voice dictation feature — you can voice-type all your writings and it works well.
You can enable the voice dictation feature from Accessibility options and after you enable it, there will be a microphone icon appearing in the right-side taskbar. Whenever you have to voice-type, just click the icon and start speaking (see above screenshot). It’s really a very handy feature.
Learn keyboard shortcuts
If you’re using a Chromebook for the very first time, you’d notice that some keys (like Capslock) are not present. Learning some commonly used keyboard shortcuts definitely helps you speed up the blogging process.
My favorite keyboard shortcut is
⌕ + shift + space which opens up the emoji picker.
You can find other commonly used Chromebook keyboard shortcuts here.
I have tried a lot of tools and then got settled with the ones mentioned above. Most of the apps mentioned here are completely free to get started and most likely you will never find the need to upgrade to the premium version.
If you use other Chromebook tools that help you improve your productivity as a blogger then feel free to let me know in the comments.
Also, kindly share the information with the people who you think might be looking to use their Chromebook for blogging.