You may have noticed from my post “Preparing for 2019” that I have 2 planners set aside for my blog, in this post I will explaining more about them and why I need them in my life.
First up is my Gemma Correll Ohh Deer project book planner.
As the pages are undated and marked out with sections for “Day/Month”, “Notes”, “To Do/Done” and a “Doodles” section this planner lends itself beautifully to being my content and ideas book. I use the “Day/Month” section to write in a title for my post along with a rough date for the post which helps me to keep track of ideas for posts. Sometimes this may be the only thing I fill in if I’m in a bit of a hurry or think of something to write about when I’m in the middle of doing something else. I use the “Notes” section to write a bit about what I want to post including ideas and any other information that I want to include. The “To Do/Done” section I fill in after I have written out my ideas for the post, it will include things that I need to do in order to get the post actually written and will include a list of things like “take photos of x, y, z…. Upload photos, links for materials, write post, publish…” I can tick off tasks as they are done and helps me to stay on track with the post and not get to overwhelmed with what needs doing or missing off things and overlooking them. This planner for me is the most important tool for my blog as it’s where the ideas are generated and kept, and while I may not use the ideas for a while I will always have ideas ready for posts in the future.
With its handy monthly overview page and its week on a page format it will be easy for me to schedule posts and check off when they are published. I can carry this around in my bag at all times so if I think of a post that I’d like to write I can pencil it in and write a short synopsis of the idea in the week to view section. I can refer to it if I want to write a post and I’m away from home, my blog content and ideas planner and my computer. I have the WordPress app on my phone and am able to post blogs wherever and whenever I choose so this diary will be super helpful to me in 2019! I can’t wait to start using it!
The other blog planner I have is a basic excel spreadsheet on my laptop which I have set up with a calendar that runs from sept 18 all the way through to the end of december 19 and I am currently using that to track which posts should go where and to space out posts that have a similar content so that my blog doesn’t get overloaded with too many posts on a similar topic. I transfer all the blog idea titles from my content and ideas planner to the spreadsheet and break them down into different themes by highlighting the titles with different colours for different things, like all food orientated posts I colour green. I then look at the list and decide on the placement of them in the calendar spreadsheet. Once I have these posts in an order I’m happy with I will then transfer them over to the Bright Side diary so I have quick and easy access to all the scheduled content ideas.
In all, I need my blog planners to help me with generating ideas for posts, coming up with content, keeping on top of the to do list and not forgetting anything, and to help me see where I am with my schedule. Maybe running 3 different planners for one blog seems too much but they all perform different tasks and help me in managing my blog and content.
How do you manage your blog schedule and content? Do you use planners?
I’m one of those people who can never seem to get excited about Christmas and tend to roll my eyes at the hoards of people that want to get into the Christmas spirit, haul out the decorations and put up the tree as soon as Halloween is over. I even feel a bit disheartened when heading to the supermarket at the beginning of October and see the start of the Christmas stock being put out on shelves. It all just feels like one massive hype for one day, and the preparation seems to go on longer and longer than before…its just so tiresome to me.
There are, however, 2 times in the year that I do look forward to and get a bit excited about (aside from my Birthday!) and they are when the shops start preparing for “Back to School”, around the first week in August, and October time, both for the same reason – new stationery and new diaries! I am a sucker for all things stationery related, whether it’s a new notebook, pens, pencils or filing system and I’m an even bigger sucker for a new diary or planner.
To me, there is nothing better than the promise of starting a new year (whether it’s a school or calendar year) with a new, blank diary of sorts, that is waiting to receive your notes, ideas and plans for the year ahead. I always get a feeling of wonder when I recieve a new diary, the year is so full of promise and things to come, a perfect way to schedule your future and make new dreams along the way.
I’ve used several kinds of diary in the past, from pre-printed tiny little things, to filofaxes of many different shapes and sizes, bullet journals and just plain note books in which to map my future in. I’ve tried spiral bound books, lay flat designs, ring planners, the list is almost never-ending, and this year (I know… It’s still October…2019 is Monnntttthhhhsss away….) coming is no exception… I currently have 5 different diaries for different purposes that I am going to be using….
Filofax Malden with Stripes Illustrated Inserts (this is an affiliated link, by clicking on it and purchasing I may get a small commission fee and no cost to you) as my carry around, everything organiser. I love my Malden and that it is so portable and contains so much in it, I am able to carry around note paper, a diary, telephone numbers and addresses, sticky notes, all sorts of things! And the size of it means I can use it for shopping lists, making notes on the go, having it out on my desk at work, it seems to fit everywhere.
A planner similar to this (the one I purchased was in the sale, the layout is the same but the illustrations are butterflies) which will be my home planner. I bought this with my Birthday voucher from my brother and his family for my Birthday, the layout of the pages caught my attention… there is a monthly overview, places for thoughts and ideas as well as space for plans each week, not to mention that the months are divided out with their own tabs (which always makes me happy!) It is a fairly hefty planner which I wouldn’t like to carry around with me for several reasons – it would be too heavy, I’d need a huge bag all the time and I’d probably end up spoiling it. I decided that this would be perfect for keeping at home, the monthly overview pages will be useful to track my household bills and appointments, the thoughts and ideas pages can be used to make notes of any meals I’d like to cook, things I’d like to see and places I’d like to go to, along with the weekly sections serving as household “to do”, reminders (like which bins get emptied and when), and chores that need to be done…)
This hard backed book diary , of which I owned a previous years one and loved it! This diary has a monthly overview and a 2 weeks to view layout which will be perfect as my blog and social media planner. It is pretty small and takes up hardly any room so it is perfect for carrying around if necessary to jot things into. The one I had a few years ago was used for the same thing and it was perfect for this job!
This soft cover diary which I totally fell in love with on a recent trip to London. I am unsure whether to use this one as my work diary (I like to keep a log of all the different tasks I do on a day-to-day basis in work) or as my “a few lines a day” personal journal though I’m swayed more towards using it as my personal journal, there are sections for “Must Do”, “Will Do Soon” and “Next Week” which would lend itself nicely to using as a personal journal or for work purposes, though the daily section, which is a week on a page format, might be a bit too small for all the tasks I usually complete daily in work.
This teeny, tiny, cute diary that I bought partly because of how cute it looked but also to get me back into drawing every day. I have several sketchbooks that I have started and never quite managed to get into a proper routine of using daily. When I was in college and uni I drew pretty much all day, every day and I sort of miss it. So, in purchasing this, I’m hoping that it will force me into a routine of at least doodling something each day and working on getting back the skills that have, not so much gotten lost, but maybe gotten a little rusty over time.
THE BONUS DIARY… this is the one that I have owned for several years now and never used as I’ve been too worried about spoiling it or forgetting about it or whatever…I don’t really know…I love it. I bought it from Ohh Deer and is by illustrator Gemma Correll though I can’t find it on the site anymore (there are other, similarly laid out versions here if you fancy similar…), its undated and has a to do/done check list, a doodle section and a notes section. Technically, it isn’t really a diary as its undated…it’s more of a project book…and more to the point, I have a really good use for it this year…I am going to use it in conjunction with my Bright Side blog and social media diary 🙂 Its main function will be to plan out blog content, using the notes section to write a synopsis of the blog post, the to do/done section to track what I need to do in order to get the post published (like research certain things, take photos, upload photos etc) and the doodle bit I can use to plan the layout of the post and decide what goes where!
I’m itching to start the New Year already and start planning my year out but I have a tradition that I like to stick to and always look forward to once all the main festivities are over, and that is on Boxing Day and New Years Eve I will make myself a cup of hot chocolate (a dash of Baileys or kahlua optional), sit down in a quiet place, in my comfiest pjs with a box of chocolates and my favorite pens and start writing out my New Years Resolutions, filling in the information sheets, start making plans for the first few weeks of January and adding in all the celebrations that I have to look forward to like Anniversaries and Birthdays.