Guide to Set Up Windows 11 for Blogging
Let me guess, you love to blog and want to set up your Windows 11 for blogging by installing all the necessary tools and learning some interesting tips & hacks.
I have been using Windows 11 for blogging for some time now and it surely enhances my workflow.
In this Windows 11 setup for blogging guide, I will be sharing some interesting (and, mostly free) tools for blogging and also some tips-tricks to boost your productivity as a blogger.
The guide is going to be a bit longer, but you’ll enjoy it for sure.
Set up Windows 11 for blogging
First, I will share some amazing apps and then some tweaks and hacks to make your blogging experience outstanding on Windows 11.
Tools to install
Different people prefer different tools but here I am providing you with the tools that I have been using for years for all my blogs.
Tools that I use and suggest others to use (not to mention, most of the tools are completely free to use) are:
Writing and note-taking tools
I have tried a lot of tools for writing and note-taking but in the end, these are the 4 tools that I use to fulfill all my writing needs:
Obsidian is my favorite tool for writing. I use it to write all my articles and personal journal.
Obsidian is probably the simplest and fastest tool to write. It loads quickly since all the files stay offline on your computer, has a great search feature and tags help you quickly find what you’re looking for.
How to set up Obsidian on your Windows 11 computer?
- Download the app from the official website
- Install and create a new vault in a folder of your choice
- Do the initial setup and start writing
The learning curve is very easy, you do not even need a tutorial.
🎯 Get the Obsidian app (free)
Though you can take notes and write, Notion is more like an organization app. You can use it to manage all your personal and professional tasks and projects.
I have been using it for years to manage all my projects and it’s been great so far.
Initially, I used Notion to write too but the thing is it loads very slow and takes around a minute to create a new page and start writing. I have mentioned here why Notion is not for the writers.
But Notion is the best app to keep, manage, and track all your writing topics and projects.
How to set up Notion for blogging?
You do not need to install the Notion app on your computer, it can also work perfectly fine in the browser itself.
However, the Notion app does provide a few extra features that you may need. To install:
- Download the app from the official website
- Install and create a free account
- Create a workspace, and
- Set up an inline table with all the properties you need
Here’s how I track my blog’s progress in a Notion database:
The initial setting might be a bit tricky at first but there are various online tutorials on YouTube that will help you set it up the way you want.
🎯 Get started with Notion (free)
If you ever collaborate with your colleagues while writing, no tool can be better than Google Docs. It runs directly in your browser.
Sometimes, I need my articles to be reviewed and edited by someone else and Google Docs is my only choice for any kind of collaboration. The next person can simply go in the suggesting mode and easily provide suggestions to improve the content.
Everything that you write in Google Docs is associated with your Gmail account and there are no chances of losing it, ever.
Some of the reasons why most of the bloggers prefer Google Docs for writing are:
- Easier to collaborate with someone
- Clean and easy to use interface
- Changes are instantly and automatically saved, so no chances of losing your document
- Requires no download to start using
- Excellent voice typing feature
- Instant syncing with the smartphone app, etc.
Sometimes, I create a new Google Docs document from my computer and then open the same document in my smartphone to voice type. It works like a charm.
Remembering some commonly used keyboard shortcuts for Google Docs will enhance your experience even more. Some of the frequently used keyboard shortcuts are:
(You can download the above infographics for future reference.) 👆
And, here are some more keyboard shortcuts for Google Docs, if you want.
🎯 Get started with Google Docs (free)
Microsoft To Do
Recently, I have also started to use the Microsoft To Do app to note down writing ideas and it has surely increased my productivity.
Microsoft To Do app comes preinstalled on Windows 11 and even if it’s not installed already, you can quickly install it from the Microsoft Store for free. It also has an Android and iOS app.
And, whenever you get a blogging topic idea, you can quickly add it to the app from your computer or smartphone. It also has options to add text notes, reminder dates, file attachments, in each of the items.
Here’s a detailed explanation of how to use the Microsoft To Do app for writing.
The app loads very fast and all the details are synced to your Microsoft Outlook account.
🎯 Get started with Microsoft To Do app (free)
Blogging research tools
I do not use a lot of tools for keyword and competitor research for blogging. Most of the time, I’d research keywords manually from Google.
Still, some tools that I use are:
Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tool that you can use to audit your blog, research keywords, and analyze your competition. However, it’s a paid tool that costs $99 per month.
I am not subscribed to Ahrefs premium, instead, I use some of their free tools that are very limited. Here are some free tools by Ahrefs:
These tools are very limited yet do the job for me. Mainly, I just use the Keyword Generator tool for some keyword ideas.
And, Ahrefs doesn’t require any kind of installation on your computer. It runs directly in the browser.
🎯 Get started with Ahrefs (free)
Answer the Public
Answer the Public provides you with the long-tail questions that people search online. You can get some really profitable keywords from here.
Again, Answer the Public doesn’t require any kind of installation. You just have to open the website, enter the keyword and it will provide you with hundreds of possible topics to write a blog post about. Not all results are good keywords but some of them are really good.
Whenever I start a new topic to write about, I’d just go on the site, enter the keyword and note down all the topics/keywords that I think are good.
🎯 Get started with Answer the Public (free)
A new installation of Windows 11 has the Microsoft Edge browser installed by default. While Edge is a great browser, sometimes you’d expect more from the browser.
Here are 2 browsers that I mostly use:
I use Google Chrome only because of its better compatibility with Google apps like Google Drive, Google Docs, Gmail, etc. While these Google apps can work on any browser, I feel they are faster on Chrome.
Also, all the bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, reading lists, browser extensions, etc. are synced across devices on the Google Chrome browser. I can quickly send a link from my smartphone to my laptop, right into the browser.
Another benefit is that you can manage multiple profiles on your browser. For example, one profile can be for work, another for your personal stuff, and another for someone else in your family. And, all the profiles are completely separated from each other.
However, despite all the benefits, if you open a lot of tabs, Google Chrome consumes a huge amount of RAM and makes your computer run slow.
🎯 Get Google Chrome here (free)
If you open a lot of tabs for research, Brave browser is for you. Brave is built of the same Chromium engine that Chrome is built on but it’s a lot faster and consumes less RAM. Best thing, it also supports Google Chrome extensions.
Also, it has an inbuilt system for blocking annoying ads and harmful trackers. And, it makes web pages load a lot faster. The browser has Tor integration too to experience truly anonymous browsing.
When I am in the research mode during the writing process, I use the Brave browser. It seamlessly handles 10s of opened tabs and my laptop’s battery lasts longer too.
The Brave browser also has a system that lets you earn rewards (BAT) just for browsing and support fellow content creators.
🎯 Get started with Brave browser (free)
Browser extension tools
Browser extensions enhance the browser’s functionality. I use 5-10 Google Chrome extensions all the time to boost my productivity.
Please note that, whether you’re using Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Brave browser, you can always install extensions from Chrome Webstore in all the 3 browsers.
Some of the interesting Chrome extensions are:
It’s not possible to always have someone to review your writing for mistakes. And, the Grammarly Chrome extension is the best for correcting spelling and grammatical errors in your writing.
You just have to create a Grammarly account, install the extension and now, it will point out all the mistakes no matter where you’re writing on the web — Google Docs, Notion, social media, or any other online writing app.
Grammarly has a paid version too, but the free version works just fine for me.
🎯 Install Grammarly in your browser (free)
Sometimes, you do need to take screenshots of the web pages and annotate them. Zoho Annotator offers everything you’d expect from an ideal screenshot tool.
Zoho Annotator offers to take screenshots of:
- just a part of the webpage
- the whole webpage (scrolling screenshot)
- currently visible area, and
- any other app window open on your computer
And, it has amazing annotation features too. You can draw rectangles, circles, lines, arrows, highlight or blur some parts of the image, etc.
🎯 Install Zoho Annotator in your browser (free)
Raindrop is an advanced bookmark manager tool that lets you save unlimited links, photos, and files to it. And, the best thing is all the items are fully searchable.
I have recently started using Raindrop as my main bookmark manager. I have also set up some automation using IFTTT that automatically saves all the tweets I like (see above screenshot) and Reddit posts I save to my Raindrop dashboard in specified folders.
Also, while researching a topic, I create a temporary format and save all the links and images for reference. And, once I am finished with the article, I’d just
Here’s how my Raindrop dashboard looks like. 👆
You can also download your existing bookmarks in HTML format from any browser and upload them to Raindrop.
🎯 Install Raindrop on your browser (free)
Some other Chrome extensions that I occasionally use are:
- Save to Notion — to save links to a Notion database
- Scraper — for simple web scraping usage
- Keywords Everywhere — keyword research tool
Cloud storage services
I have committed the mistake of not backing up my important data to the cloud. Once my laptop crashed and everything was gone.
Not the heavy media files, but you should keep the important documents and stuff backed up on a reliable cloud storage service.
Cloud storage services that I trust and use are:
Google Drive is my first choice when it comes to storing my data online and one of the main reasons is its native compatibility with the Google Suite.
The free Gmail account comes with 15GB of storage which is shared among Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos, mainly.
I have filled the free 15GB of storage only recently and have upgraded to the 100GB plan through Google One from my Android device. Now, I have 100GB of cloud storage to save files from my computer in Google Drive and upload photos from my smartphone to Google Photos.
How to set up Google Drive sync on Windows 11?
Google Drive also has a desktop client. Once you install and set up, any files that you save in the specified folders will be automatically uploaded to Google Drive and becomes available to all the connected devices immediately.
To get started:
- Download and install Google Drive for desktop
- Sign in with your Gmail account, and
- Add the folders that you want to sync
And, every time you make changes locally will be immediately synced to the cloud storage and vice-versa.
I save every single blog post file (images, PDFs, Google Docs files, etc.) in different-different folders. For example, see the “posts” folder of “compile.blog” that I save in Google Drive in the above screenshot.
🎯 Get started with Google Drive (free)
pCloud is handy and affordable if you need to save large files on the cloud. Its lifetime plan makes lets you get huge lifetime storage of 500GB or even 2TB with just a one-time payment.
I have the 500GB plan of pCloud that I use to save all the large files like website backups and videos.
Again, you do not need to get this if you do not have huge files to save.
And, if you’re confused about which cloud storage service to get, here’s a detailed comparison between pCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Onedrive.
Much like Google Drive, pCloud also has a desktop client for Windows 11 that you can install from their official website.
🎯 Get started with pCloud (paid)
I also use the free version of Dropbox to sync my Obsidian .md (Markdown) files across multiple devices.
My free account has only 2GB of storage but it’ll take a long time to fill using just Obsidian notes. Right now, I just use 75MB of the available 2GB space.
You can also use it for something small that you want to keep separate.
And, much like Google Drive and pCloud, Dropbox also has a desktop client for Windows 11.
🎯 Get started with Dropbox (free)
Online meeting apps
For collaborating with fellow bloggers, you may need meeting apps installed on your system.
Mostly, I use these 2 apps for online meetings:
Zoom is widely popular and most people want to use this app for any kind of meeting. It’s simple and fast to set up.
- Download and install the app from the official website, and
- Create a free account and connect the app
And, you will be able to create or join Zoom meetings immediately.
🎯 Get started with Zoom (free)
Some people are more comfortable with Google Meeting and sometimes, I also have to use it for online meetings.
It’s associated with your Gmail account and you do not need to install anything on your computer.
🎯 Get started with Google Meet (free)
Tweaks and hacks
After spending enough time blogging on your Windows 11 computer, you will discover a lot of shortcuts, tweaks, and hacks to make your blogging workflow faster.
Here, I am going to share the tips-tricks that I have discovered to make the blogging process even more efficient:
Pin apps to the taskbar
Whether you have a center-aligned or left-aligned taskbar on your Win 11 computer, pinning the frequently used apps to the taskbar saves you a lot of time in the long run.
For example, I keep switching between Google Chrome, File Explorer, Obsidian, Brave, and Microsoft To Do apps. And, that’s why I have kept them pinned to the taskbar (as you can see in the above screenshot) to open and switch between quickly.
Learn common keyboard shortcuts
Instead of going through menus to click on an item, keyboard shortcuts help you complete tasks efficiently and quickly.
For example, trying to copy a file using a mouse takes much more time than just pressing
ctrl + C.
Here are some commonly used keyboard shortcuts that you can memorize:
(You can download the above infographics for future reference.) 👆
Here are some more keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10 and most of them apply to Windows 11 too.
Wrapping it up
You may prefer other apps over the apps mentioned in the guide, but try to choose the ones that are fast, secure, and free (or, cheap). And most of the time, you will easily be able to find replacements for those costly apps.
If you have any related queries, feel free to let us know in the comments below.
Also, share the information with your blogger friends who have just got a Windows 11 computer.