Keeping organised in any part of life is hard enough. But when you’re a blogger and you’ve got ideas falling out of your brain like nobodies business you want a way to keep on track before those ideas are forgotten and fade away into the distance. I’m really bad for going through phases of keeping organised and then becoming a working mess. But I have always found that when I’m most organised I’m most productive, and I create my best work. Some people work better in havoc, but that’s certainly not me!
Where to start?
Now, you might like to keep all your blog post ideas in one place, perhaps a journal, note pad or calendar, but I prefer to have mine digitally so I can move bits around and edit things without it becoming one big mess. I find if I use physical notes I become more obsessed with how neat it looks over actually getting any work done.
Personally, I use the Numbers app on Mac (basically Mac’s version of excel). I love it because it transfers to the app on my phone too, meaning I can edit and add ideas on the go without pulling my laptop out. It can take a good chunk of time to get your ‘sheet’ working for you, but once you’ve got that nailed the rest will be easy. I actually made this sheet years ago, way before Theodore was born, and over the years I’ve adapted it to work for the current me!
You can see I have plenty of columns to make sure I don’t forget things. I also colour code by blog category, therefore when I’m deciding which posts I’m going to do when, I can make sure I’m mixing up the type of content I’m putting out, instead of writing about one subject all the time. This helps keep readers interested! It also helps me know what new post ideas I need to come up with. You can see on that table I only have three post idea’s for my home category – so I need to get thinking of some more!
Next, I have my checkboxes. To me, ticking things off gives me a great sense of achievement. It helps me get things done. The more ticks I see? The happier I am! I think this is the case for a lot of people, that’s why to-do lists are so popular. You’ll have your own ideas of what checkboxes will benefit you but I find my “started, written, photos, Pinterest graphic and scheduled” columns most useful for me. These are all the bits and pieces that need doing before I can publish the post.
The all-important bit and the bit that my whole table is ‘sorted by’ is the date. I have 2/3 posts a week written in from now up until our 2nd baby is born. This means I’m not left constantly wondering what I need to get done this week. Yes sometimes I fall behind schedule and have to play catch up, but does anyone really notice – nope! Seeing the dates really pushes me along to catch myself up because I can see how behind I’ve become. Even this post is late, originally it was supposed to be up yesterday, the 24th of February, but here I am on the 25th still trying to finish it.
The next lot of tick boxes are for after the post has been published. These are to make sure I’ve shared the post to all my social sites at least once. I usually try to share my posts socially as soon as I can after they’ve been published, otherwise, I find I just totally forget about them. I should probably promote my posts more than just the once, but again, its remembering to do so. I promote each post a tonne on Pinterest usually for a few weeks after publication – mostly because Pinterest is one of my largest sources of traffic.
Daily Checking of my list
Checking this list daily helps me get motivated massively. It keeps me in check. Say if one day I don’t feel like writing but I fancy getting my camera out, I can see what posts are coming up and batch photograph for a couple of them. If I can’t be bothered to take photos, or perhaps it’s such a dull day outside that the lighting would cause problems with my images then I’ll just start writing a few posts. I might write a whole post in one sitting, or I might flip between a bunch of posts just writing introductions, it really depends where my motivation lies that day.
If you haven’t heard about batching then you really need too. Batching has really changed the way I manage time in all aspects of my life. Batching is basically how you get more done in less time. Flicking your brain between writing, editing, photo-taking uses a lot of energy and you’ll find yourself getting lost between tasks. Batching is setting yourself an allotted slot to do one certain thing.
You can batch anything! Not just work, but general life tasks like cleaning – anything that YOU need to get done can be batched. Say I’m chopping vegetables for dinner, I’m in the ‘chopping’ mindset, I have the knife and the board already out, so I will grab some fruit that needs preparing out the fridge and chop it and box it up back in the fridge. This will save me 10 minutes tomorrow preparing the fruit. If I’m dusting the living room I will go and dust all the rooms, I’m already in the dusting mindset, I already have out my cloth and polish so let’s just get it done. If you start batching similar tasks together you will find yourself completing your to-do list much quicker.
I find that being organised as a blogger is about working smarter not harder. Using your time effectivly to get tasks done will help you to stay productive and motivated for so much longer. Set chuncks of time to certian tasks, once that time is finished, have a 5 minute break and then go onto another bunch of tasks that need to get done.
Use a method that works for you. The digital document is what has worked for me on and off for a few years. I have tried different approaches like note books that are specifically for bloggers but always a) get bored of them or b) loose them. Having a safe digital copy thats easy to adapt fits me and my work-to-life lifestyle easily.
What do you do to stay organised as a blogger or for life in general? I definitely need tips on how to stay organised with the house work, I’m yet to find a method where I can keep on track of what I need to do when for that. I use a large family calendar thats on our fridge for everything we’re doing, that has been my most successful way to keep track of appointments, playdates and special events for years.
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