5 Essential OSX Blogging Tools

As most of the readers of this blog know, I’m an OSX user and also a blogger. I’m not entirely sure why that conjures a self-help group image in my mind, but I’ll just have to get over it. I’ve not been an OSX user for an awfull long time, only around a year, but in that time I’ve been completely sold on OSX as an operating system and Apple as a company. Probably the best thing I can say about OSX is that I know very little about it, it just works. Compare this to my first year as a Windows user and I had to fix so many problems I already knew the inner workings intimately. besides from my obvious inclination towards OSX, how does it work out as blogging platform? Very well, I can report. Below I’ve listed my favourite five (six really) OSX tools for blogging, even though they can all also be applied to web design.

  1. Analytics WidgetAnalytics Dashboard Widget (Dashalytics) – Some people love the Dashboard, others hate it. Personally, I sit in between. I wish it used less memory but if you get the right collection of widgets, it can be very handy. One of the great advantages of using dashboard is the ability to quickly display small bits of information. One such application is the ability to view your Google Analytics statistics right in your dashboard. This is a winner for me because it not only supports multiple sites but also multiple statistics, and it’s all displayed in a very nice interface. Personally, I love this dashboard widget because it very quickly gives me access to the headline Analytics stats I’m interested in without having to dig through the slightly overwhelming Google Analytics interface. Of course, sometimes you do need to dig right into the stats, and when you do you need to know what stats to be be interested in.
  2. Google Adsense Dashboard WidgetAdsense Dashboard Widget (RevenuSense) – With the danger of this becoming a Google/Dashboard love-in, I thought I should cover this great little widget as well. All this widget does is show you your daily adsense earnings, along with some other key stats, like ePCM and hits. You can’t really get much simpler that that and so far, RevenuSense is the only Adsense dashboard widget which seems to actually work.
  3. TextMate LogoTextMate & Transmit – There are so many free and open source text editing and ftp clients out there, it takes something special for me to go out and actually spend money on some. Fortunately, both TextMate and Transmit are so far ahead of the crowd, they are really worth the investment. TextMate has become an essential tool for OSX bloggers for two reasons. Firstly, through the use of a bundle, it has easy support for WordPress (and other platforms) theme creation. This means that you don’t need to head off to the WordPress codex to find out the syntax for every tag, it’s right there in the editor. Secondly, through the use of another bundle (a bundle is TextMate’s equivalent of a plugin) you can post directly to your blog. A whole boat load of different blogging services are supported, including WordPress and Moveable Type, and it’s pretty fully featured, allowing things like images to be uploaded, custom fields and updating existing posts. Transmit DropletIt’s very sleek. Have a look at this blog post on the TextMate blog for further details, and be sure to check out the linked screencast. Transmit is just a great FTP client for OSX. One of the features bloggers will especially like is the ability to create “droplets”. A droplet is an icon you can drop files onto and have then automatically uploaded to a pre-determined location. It’s the quickest way to upload files, period. If you’re into theme creation, using TextMate and Transmit together is simply a joy. You can edit files that are on a remote server using the two applications, which is fantastic.
  4. FireFox –
    This is a personal thing and will depend on how you compose content for your blog. I’ve found that Safari doesn’t cope well, or at all, with Tiny MCE, the JavaScript library that allows for rich editing in WordPress. So, if you compose your blog posts within the WordPress admin area, Safari probably isn’t going to cut it. Beyond this obvious limitation, I find that some of the Extensions available for FireFox make it an excellent blogging tool. And I should probably leave it there, you’ve probably already made up your mind as to whether or not you like Safari or FireFox.
  5. Stikkit and QuicksilverQuicksilver (+Stikkit) – I’ve covered both Quicksilver, and my method for managing blogging using Quicksilver and Stikkit before, so I won’t bother reiterating it. Suffice to say, I’m yet to find anything better (or even close). What I will say is, I’ve got a fantastic post on Quicksilver coming up in the next few days. It may completely change the way you use it.

If you liked this post, and you use OSX, why not have a look at 5 Hidden OSX Gems, 5 More Hidden OSX Gems and Why OSX is the Ultimate Web Design Platform. If you liked this post and are a blogger, why not check out How to Scientifically Identify Content that’s Perfect for your Blog, 5 Ways to Monetize your Blog and One Week to a Professional Blog.