Friday, October 7, 2016

FRIDAY FREEBIE - Blog Planner Inside

Last week I gave you a slideshow of my blog planner. Now I'd like to talk a bit about my planning process and why this format works for me.

A quick reminder. All of the printables I used are available at 
Specifically, the planner pages can be found HERE

Pretty, Inspiring Dashboard

(not pictured)
To provide content on a regular basis that will inspire others while acting as an on-line resume for freelance opportunities.

The Monthly Blog Tasks are not set in stone. Rather they are nudges of things I need to do each month to keep on track: 
* deleting blog posts that are no longer relevant
* correcting/ deleting dead links 
* linking older posts to current/ up-dated posts
* Set guest posting plan for coming month
* Plan and promote future promos, giveaways or special features
* Set editorial calendar for coming month
* Set blog, brand and business goals for next month

Daily Blog Tasks include:
Reviewing Daily Tasks
Brain dumping new ideas as they come to me that I can incorporate into the Weekly Tasks 
Pin Original Content
Share/ Repin content from others
Tweet - both mine and others
Respond to comments on my blog
Respond to email queries
Make sure posts for the next day are clean and ready to go

Weekly Blog Tasks:
Clear out the email box - making sure all follow-ups have been attended to
Check analytics
Promote upcoming week
Spread Brain Dumps from the daily into appropriate 43 folders system
Set Posting Schedule on sidebar for the coming week

Daily Schedule:

I used to think that working from home meant I didn't need one of those 'time-spread' schedules where every minute was accounted for. However, after reading Time Management 2.0 By Hank Reardon (unfortunately, out of print) I realized that some form of time management is important to staying on task. Here is my breakdown from a post I did on my Angela Drake blog at the time: 

Up at 6:30 (note only a 1/2 hour earlier than I'd been getting up)
          I use this time to boot up the computer, make the coffee, check on all the critters, etc.
7:00-8:00 I ENJOY my coffee and cruise sights like art boards and Pinterest - not to work but to ENJOY!
8-8:30 I exercise. 
          I use a variety of things from videos, to Wii Fit to just walking on the treadmill while I watch something           on the DVR. Then a quick shower.
9 -10 All about the email. 
          This usually doesn't take an entire hour - for all 3 email accounts. 4 if I sign into Yahoo to do Groups
10 - Brunch
           Sometimes in this hour I will also get outside for a bit but usually I am multi-tasking household chores
           like doing dishes, hanging laundry, running the sweeper.
11 - You'll notice the exampled says Party List Part 1. 
        That's a Wednesday only thing. I have one blog post that must be on my music blog by 7 a.m.                       Thursday mornings for various radio stations. The post takes me all day on Wednesday to do. 
        The right hand side is for doodling and art work. 
        On other days I work on contest entries and critiques for other authors 
1 - It's lunch time. 
        I'll also spend this hour multi-tasking around the house and walk down to get the mail
2-5 - I'm back on the Party List post (Wed.)
        This part of the Wed post requires adding over 50 links to artist/ venue websites within the post before          uploading. Sometimes I'll move to the sofa for this part and let a movie play in the background.
5 - Final check of email.
        I respond to anything needing a response and take care of others. But no longer than an hour.
6 - Computer is shut down for a couple hours.
      I fix and enjoy dinner, take clothes off the line and anything else I can do.
8 - I'm back to write fiction for a couple hours.
      I do this by word sprinting with long-time writer buddies on Yahoo Instant Message. 
      Very productive time.
By 10 p.m. (sometimes 9) I am DONE for the day. I can sit on the sofa, put my feet up and enjoy some of my favorite shows - with or without Bob home. I'm not working til 11 p.m. or midnight AND I'm getting my projects done AND fiction time in.

Next in the binder is my Monthly on 2-pages

I liked that Melissa offered this as non-dated so that I can use the same file every year. 

The next two pages are behind each Month On Two Pages.

I have a page that comes next behind each month that I failed to photograph the front side. The page is This Month At A Glance. There are 4 boxes - each broken down into Monthly Statistics for Social Media, Top Post/ Page Views, Notes/ Google Analytics. I can also make a note as to what my Goal for PageViews is so when I go back and do this summary, I can tell if I'm on track and what I need to adjust.

The back side of that page is: 

This page breaks down the individual Social Media avenues.

Next is a front and back page for braindumping. This lets me keep all of my thoughts in one spot instead of on pieces of paper scattered everywhere.

Now, it's time to break the binder down into the individual blog categories. I have six. That's why this Blog Planner is a necessity in my life.

I turned the file folders into blog dividers. You'll see each blog separately in a minute.
Behind each tab, I have a page for each month. Each page is broken down in the dates of Monday - Friday. I post specific topics on set days of the week. This allows me to write down what the topic will be for each day during my planning sessions. When I sit down to write the post, I know where I'm going.

These last pictures are of the blogs and each shows the Editorial Calendar for each blog:

Two Not Shown:
Angela Drake - this blog is under construction right now so not sure how the Editorial Calendar will flow.
Cauldron Cafe - Not sure why a picture didn't wind up of that one. Hmm

Once the blog post is written/ scheduled, I put a spot on the coordinating post on this Blog Board. This is a visual for me so I can see at a glance what I am missing.

And a close-up:

Now that I have a plan in place, I am already finding myself tapping away on the keyboard trying to get as many of those dots moved into place as possible before Bob comes home on October 12th. 

Whether you have one blog or ten, having an Editorial Calendar in some form is important. A magazine without one would fail miserably and your blog is your magazine. 

You do not have to be as OCD as I am.. but being organinzed in a form that FITS YOU is critical to the success you are striving for. 

Creative Blessings!


  1. Wow! and Wow! You are just the most organized stamper I know. These are all just fabulous!

    1. Thanks Maggie. I'm thrilled to have this in place as my life gets busier.