How I found my way in the blogging world – the Blog Planner
I was overwhelmed when I was setting up my blog. There is so much to do and so much to keep track of. Blogging can be tough for beginners! Because I am an avid planner I knew what I needed. I needed a plan. So, a huge part of how I found my way in the blogging world is the blog planner I use each and every day.
I read all the blogging tips I could find. Then I sifted through all the blog planners I could find on Pinterest. There are lots of great options! However, I never found the One. The planner I needed didn’t exist because the blog is only one of my businesses I handle on a daily basis.
I need a planner that incorporated my blog but also managed my other business and the rest of my life as well. This is a pretty tall order. I never found it. Anywhere.
I had to build the blog planner to fit my needs.
This is what I came up with:
- An editorial calendar. This is a full month at a glance spread over 2 pages. I write big and need space. It also has a column on the right side to list my goals for the month.
- Daily pages Section. These pages include 3 separate To Do sections. One for my blog, one for my other business, and one for my personal stuff. My daily page also includes a Time Blocking / Appointment schedule bubble, a “Connect With” bubble, and a bubble for keeping my Pinterest stuff on track. In the past I also kept my meal plan here. I’ve moved the meal plan away from this planner. I created a little “kitchen” planner that has our recipes, meal plan, and shopping list. We keep it in the kitchen so The Mr. has easy access. He is now helping with meal prep and I love that! 🙂
- Working Blog Post Tracker sheet Section. I developed a printable that includes all my must do’s for each post, lots of room for idea development and notes, keywords, and even my headline analyzer score is included.
- Scheduled/Published Blog Post Tracker sheets Section. These are the same as the working post tracker sheets. After the post has been developed and scheduled it gets moved to this section. These sheets also have tracker info for future promotion, linking, and that kind of stuff.
- Printables Section. I actually print my printables so that I know they are going to come out just as I want them to for my readers.
- Notes Section. This is just blank notebook paper. It is where I capture my thoughts without having to flip over to my OneNote notebook on my computer. I don’t brainstorm here. My brainstorming is done in OneNote because it is synced across all my devices and I can note anything that crosses my mind no matter where I’m at. When I get to my brainstorming time block I open up this section of the notebook and get it all out. I’m more productive brainstorming on a keyboard than with a pen – so this works well.
- Style Sheet. I have a sheet listing all the colors for my blog (RGB and html), the fonts I use, the image sizes that are best for my theme, and other branding notes that keep the look and feel of my blog consistent.
- Stat Tracker Sheets. I have 2 stat tracker sheets. One for each of my businesses. Each is very different from the other so the tracking sheets track very different things.
- Improvements Section. This section is only about my planner and nothing else. In this section I keep ongoing notes about what I want to add or delete from my working printables. If I find I need something – or am not using something – I note it here so that the next time I go to print some blank sheets I have all the updates I need to fine tune my work.
This is my process for getting it all done.
- Once a month I review my goals for each of my businesses and my personal stuff. (I already have my monthly goals listed because I sit down once a year and break my yearly goals down into monthly goals to accomplish them in smaller increments. This keeps me on track and I don’t get overwhelmed in accomplishing BIG goals by doing it this way.)
- I determine what actions I need to take to accomplish the monthly goals. These actions are noted as ToDo’s in their appropriate bubble throughout the days of the month in whatever order makes sense with whatever else I have going on in the month. Next to the ToDo I note how long I need to commit to completing this action next to it.
- At the end of each day I schedule my time blocking for the next day. This is done by reviewing my To Do’s for the next day and how long I’ve given myself to complete them. I block out the time in that day’s Time Blocking / Appointments bubble to arrange my schedule for the day. This is the last “work” thing I do at the end of each day. I know lots of people schedule their time blocking further out – like once a week or more. That doesn’t work for me. I need more flexibility so I don’t schedule work tasks until the day before.
Each day I wake up knowing what is on my schedule. I also know I haven’t lost track of anything because I know my process and my planner work for me. Most importantly, I know that if something is not working well for me I have a process in place to correct it.
Now you know how my planner works to incorporate my blog, my other business, and the rest of my life. I want to know about you! What type of planner do you use? Is your planner customized to meet your needs? What is missing?
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