Advice on Working Smarter, Not Harder | @coralsncognacs

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Let’s kick the week off on a productive note, shall we?

tips for blogging productivity

As a freelance writer/creator/blogger, I work in a lot of remote destinations — coffee shops, hotel lobbies and moving vehicles, to name a few. And whether it’s for travel or just a typical workday, one of my biggest personal pet peeves is having to tote around a ton of electronics on a daily basis.

I must have put this out into the universe (or, I don’t know, whined on social media), because HP has very kindly invited me to test a few of their newest technologies this month to see if and how they’d improve my overall workflow and blogging proficiencies. (I’m going to share a few of my latest tips and tricks to working smarter, too, so keep reading!)

best advice for new bloggers

The first is the Pavilion x360, which is pictured above. It’s a computer (er, gadget) that has a detachable keyboard and four specific “modes” to work and play in — laptop, tablet, tent and stand.

So, basically, it’s like a personal computer, tablet and music player rolled into one.


As I know you can relate, we’re the type of girls that wear a lot of hats. We’re bloggers, students, professionals, workaholics, mothers, caretakers — the list goes on. (Suddenly, I need a drink. Anyone?) In fact, what’d you do this weekend? One million things?

I know. Me too!

And to clarify, brunch counts.

soulcycle nyc

Whether its work, style or anything else — I’ve truly become a minimalist at heart.

I especially believe there’s no reason to make working/blogging any harder than it needs to be — and despite this, work/life balance is something that I really struggle with. (Yes, especially after I quit my full-time job, surprisingly.)

As a result, I’m constantly looking for ways to be more efficient and work smarter, not harder.

In an effort to draw inspiration from the HP Pavilion’s four ‘modes,’ that I’ve been experimenting in, I thought I’d share four habits and digital devices that I’ve been using to help streamline my work/blogging.

Here goes:

  • CANNED RESPONSES: I use Gmail’s Canned Responses feature religiously. You can set up responses for emails you often receive and with a click of a button insert them straight into an email. For instance, I often receive emails asking for everything from my media kit to advice on how to start a blog. I have responses set up for most of these inquiries, so I just click the appropriate response and voila. Archive!
  • GMAIL OFFLINE: We’ve talked about this before (in this post), but it bears repeating. Through this Google Chrome plug-in, you can download your inbox and access it offline. I use it every time I travel or head to a shoot location that doesn’t have wi-fi. Total game-changer!
  • STOCK IMAGES: You know those super cute brunch Instagrams you take 10 hours to stage? Or that awesome photo of the New York City skyline? KEEP THEM! Seriously — maintain a folder of your own images to use for various blog posts. This has saved me tons of time searching for images on Pinterest — plus, it’s a great way to back-link to your own content/social channels. I organize mine in a way that is easy to search (travel, cold weather style, food pictures, etc).
  • ONE LIST: … And it’s not a to-do list. This simple adjustment in the way we measure productivity is based on the idea of measuring your results, not your time. It sounds silly, but it works (for me). Rather than making a daunting task list of things you have to do, just start doing — then, keep a list of things you actually get done that day.  You may be surprised how much more motivated (and productive) you are.

hp x360 computer tablet review

Back to the HP: I’m still getting used to using Windows on this device (I’ve been a preferred Mac user to-date, admittedly), but I’ve found that it offers a really appealing combination of performance and convenience. I like how it folds into a tablet and has the full-functionality of a laptop PC, too.

When I’m working, of course, I use the notebook/laptop mode. At home, I’ll prop it up in the tent mode and listen to music or watch Netflix – it has really good, rich sound optimized for Beats audio, which is perfect because I am never not wearing my headphones. That reminds me, I am seriously behind on Scandal… No spoilers, please.


My favorite feature is the touchscreen technology – it allows you to tap, swipe or pinch the screen.

Oh, and another thing I’ve noticed: The battery actually lasts. It’s perfect for those days when you’ll have down time between errands, as you don’t have to worry about recharging.


All-in-all, it’s a really cool device — and it has the flexibility to meet my needs as a person who wears many hats.

I’ve been using it for about a month now, and with the combination of my four digital efficiencies (mentioned above), I’ve been working smarter and traveling lighter.

Now, any blogging tips and tricks you’d care to share?

soulcycle notebook

*In this post:

Chunky knit turtleneck: Zara (similar here and here)
Fleece-lined leggings: Plush
Glitter loafers: Jimmy Choo (similar here)
Headphones: Beats by Dre (can’t live without ’em)

*Click to shop: Turtleneck sweaters | glitter shoes
Beats by Dre accessories | This post (below):



Photos taken by Jessica Sturdy

To learn more about he HP Pavilion x360 (including how they’re currently globe-trotting with Meghan Trainor to document her first-ever tour, click here. And if you have any questions about the device, feel free to leave ’em in the comments below.

Created in partnership with HP. 

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