As I’ve jumped straight back into the deep end of blogging, I’ve been doing a lot of planning to make sure that I get all the posts I want up on time, so I thought I’d talk a bit about how I’m doing that today, in hopes it might help some other bloggers! I’m not saying this is the one and only way, but it’s a method I’m using to keep myself organized and to not crumble under the pressures of ALL THE POSTS THAT NEED TO BE WRITTEN. So let’s go!
My Blogging Google Calendar
The method to my madness is a Google calendar into which I put all my blog posts as a way to visualize what’s going up when. The bonus of it being a Google calendar is that I can see it on my phone or anywhere I decide to log into my Google account – and if you have co-bloggers, you can share these calendars with each other so you’ll see each others’ updates automatically. Now, here’s what my calendar for the month of August looks like:
As you can probably immediately tell: I use color coding
. This mostly comes because I feel like I am most productive when there’s that kind of physical reward of crossing something off of a to-do list. I keep a to-do list on my desk, and any time I finish an item, I get to highlight it in pretty colors. If you’ve seen my how to on my book inventory and TBR
, you might remember my spreadsheets with the “Read” columns, for which I use conditional formatting so that the cell turns green if I’ve read it. The green light to me means go – you’re doing a good job, so color coding helps me feel like I’m accomplishing something.
means that I’ve written and scheduled the post – it’s completely done.
is for reviews – if I’ve READ the book but haven’t written the review yet.
is for posts that I want to put up but haven’t written yet or reviews for which I still need to read the book.
Why this distinction for reviews?
My blogging schedule is also helping me keep up with my reading schedule
. I don’t know about you guys, but I have 10 or more September ARCs – and I know plenty of you have many more. Keeping up with ARCs can be a challenge – so whenever I get one, I put the review for that ARC in my calendar about 2-3 weeks before its release date. The goal is to, of course, read it before then, so that the review can go live as planned. So, in my calendar I can see that I at least need to finish 4 more books in August: The Miniaturist
, Heir of Fire
, The Jewel
, and The Vault of Dreamers
There’s a lot of yellow reviews in my calendar right now because of all the books I read in May/June that I didn’t write reviews of right away – but I’m trying to get myself back on track to writing reviews and scheduling them right after I finish the book, and it’s working for the most part.
I try to keep a balanced schedule
of different kinds of content, and my calendar definitely helps me there as well. Personally, I try to not have two reviews in a row, so I can break up the week with other content for readers who may not be as interested in those reviews. (Of course, I’m not saying that’s the only way – you can fill up your blog however you want, this is just what I do.)
I try to participate in Top Ten Tuesday every week – so whenever a new list of topics for the coming months goes up, I put those in my schedule. But the bigger challenge is more original content like discussions, columns, or how to’s like this – so whenever I get an idea, I plop it into the calendar as a reminder to myself to write that up in time. Those ideas come to me at all hours of the day, and I find this a really easy way to keep track of them.
But the schedule isn’t rigid!
I’m not the most perfectly flawless planner out there, and sometimes life does get in the way or I don’t feel like writing THAT discussion on that day, so what I like about the Google calendar is that I can easily drag and drop and shift things around – while still keeping an eye on the big picture to make sure the schedule is balanced and doable.
But tell me: how do you manage your blogging schedule? (Or do you not? That’s fine too!)