Twitter’s great and all, but it does have its problems. One issue I’ve always had is that there’s really no way to schedule your tweets. If you want to post an interesting story about something, you’re posting it now, or you’re going to have to come back later.

What if you want to spread your tweets out over the course of the day, so as to avoid spamming your contacts? What if you’re at work and you know that Tweeting will get you in trouble, so you don’t want the post to go live right away? What if you simply won’t have access to a computer later, and you want to post before you forget about it?

There’s a few tools that can help you out with that – which one you use depends entirely on how much functionality you’re looking for.

Oh, and all the following tools are completely free.

Option 1: Twuffer 

This one’s for anyone who’s looking to put together a whole list of tweets, then schedule each of them for specific times and dates. Great for tweeting announcements, running contests, and giving everybody updates on an event your organization might be running. The interface is a little minimalistic, but hey- it works and that’s the important part, right?

Option 2: TweetsQueue

True to it’s name, TweetsQueue lets you set up a “queue of tweets.” Any tweets you enter into the application will be tweeted at an interval of your choosing. Want to throw out a tweet an hour? Set the interval to 60 minutes, and go nuts. While it doesn’t necessarily let you schedule your posts in the same way some of the other applications do, it’s pretty handy for spacing out your posts to Twitter if you don’t have the time to do it yourself. Plus, it includes a URL shortener.

Option 3: Future Tweets

Want to schedule a Tweet on a friend’s birthday? Looking to tweet an announcement about the end of a contest or the beginning of one event or the other? Want to tweet something at work, but can’t bear to be caught in a lie? Future Tweets can help. Using their simple online interface, you can schedule a Tweet to be sent days, weeks, months, or even years down the line. Pretty handy, eh?

Option 4: Auto Tweeter

If you want a means of scheduling posts, but don’t want to have to install any new applications to your Twitter account, Auto Tweeter’s the app for you. It’s a java API that installs directly to your desktop. Not only will people not know you used an auto-tweet scheduler, it provides exactly the same functionality as all the other items on this list.  This is the one that I myself use.

Option 5: Twaitter

Designed to be used by both businesses and consumers, Twaitter offers support for multiple accounts, connection to other social networks, a scheduling calendar, and the ability to create groups and view tweet statistics. It’s one of PC World’s top-ranked Twitter applications, so you really can’t go wrong if you choose this one – particularly if you’re an enterprise user.

Image Credits: Media BistroThe Next Web, Mashable