Monday, July 02, 2012

PIN-demonium: Printable Blog Planner

I've decided that I need to try out some of the things I've been pinning on Pinterest. So here goes...

I am a blogger. I have a couple of highly neglected personal blogs and I do a business blog (which is really more of a portfolio). I also get paid to write blogs for several companies.

As you can imagine, it's really tough to track all that blogging—what with the deadlines and guest posts and special events and all.

So when I saw this pin for a printable blog planner from Infarrantly Creative ...

I decided to check it out—just to see if Beckie's system was better than mine.

This is what I liked about her planner:
  • It's pretty.
  • It's colorful.
  • The weekly pages have nice big blocks to write in.
  • Love the file folder idea to hold the finished weeks out of her way. 
What I didn't like:
  • The monthly squares are too small for me.
  • You have to hand write in the day and holidays.
  • By the time you print and bind it, it costs a little more than my current system. Plus I'm lazy. I like to order things online and have them sent to me rather than get in my car and go have them bound.
But Beckie's system might work perfectly for someone else, who isn't tracking so many blogs all at once. In fact, it might be perfect for you! Go check it out.

Here's the system I used—as well as a couple of Beckie's ideas that I've decided to incorporate into what I'm already doing.

A few years ago, I started using the Mead Large Monthly Planner (TL260-10) to track my blogging. It's 9 x 11" and has big unlined squares to write in. I have a separate calendar for each company I blog for, plus one for my personal blogs. (I love it when I can find them in multi-colors, but that's not always possible.)

Here's a photo of one of my client blog planners and how I use it:

  1. First, if there's some kind of special event—like blog anniversary or contest—I write that up at the top of the month. This helps me remember to do it.
  2. I never blog on Sundays, so I use the Sunday squares to track which week of the month it is. I do this because some post topics vary depending on which week it is. (Example: 1st week I might write about books, 2nd week I might write about music.) I write the number in a colored felt tip pen so it stands out—because I need that visual cue.
  3. The date numbers and national holidays are pre-printed. I like this because I'm lazy. I highlight in yellow the holidays that I need to consider when creating the post for that day.
  4. If I'm going on vacation or out of town for some reason, I circle the start date and draw a little arrow (--->) to remind me that I need to write these posts ahead of time.
  5. I do the same thing at the end of the vacation, with the arrow pointing the opposite way (<---). This is a very visual reminder of extra plan-ahead work.
  6. In each square, I write in the title or topic of the post for that day. I check the date number when the post is written and scheduled. For some clients, like this one, I sometimes do multiple posts in one day so the BIG SQUARES are an absolute necessity for me.
Ideas I stole from Beckie:
  • Going to start tracking my stats. I'll do the business ones daily because I need to know which days of the week and which topics get the most interest. (The big squares make this easy.)
  • Blogger to Encourage: I really like this idea—sort of a karmic, pay-it-forward opportunity. So on the Sunday block, I'm going to list specific blog to visit and comment.
  • I like that she does three projects a week. That will work great for my personal blog. Except maybe I'll start with two and work up.
  • I love that she has pretty covers on her planner. While I can't really add a cover to an already bound planner, I can add pretty stickers to it.
I'm interested to hear how you plan your blog—if you plan your blog. Do you have a different system that works for you? Do you track something that Beckie and I have overlooked? If you adopt Beckie's system, be sure to go give her a shout-out and let her know how much you like it.

*This post is part of Pindemonium—where I actually try out the things I pin. Come visit me on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/karleneb/

1 comment:

Chimica said...

When I use to blog A LOT.. I used a teacher planner book. Like yours - no work on weekends ( YEAH! ) but much more space. Plus I had about 5 or 6 blogs to update so keeping track of them all was hard. The only drawback was no dates --- I had to print them myself .. Have you looked at Etsy.com for blog planners? There are tons there! I also cover all my planners and notebooks with scrapbook paper.. I love the pretty colors and images. Maybe you could try that too! Best of luck!