I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that I’m a bit of an organizational nerd. I do know I’ve mentioned that I’ve decided to switch over from WordPress.com to WordPress.org recently. It’s actually a pretty big decision because it means I’ve decided to seriously commit to blogging and make it a part of my life that I don’t make excuses about. But it’s more than a New Years’ Resolution: I’m trying to make it a source of income!
Starting from the ground up, that means I have a lot of work to do. Especially considering I get between only 1,200 to 1,800 hits in one month, judging from my first two months. If I want to get somewhere, I’ve got to work hard! And you know what that means?
It means I’ve got to get my shit together!
So I decided to go shopping for some organizational tools. (At home, of course. I really don’t like shopping otherwise.) I searched Pinterest and spent some time Googling and found some BEAUTIFUL planners that are specifically for bloggers! They’re generally fairly cheap, or even free.
* Please note, I am an affiliate for Corey’s planner & eGuide and Amazon, so the Moleskine planners. However, I recommend them only because I’ve used them and love them! You do not have to purchase these products through my link, but I do receive a small profit if you do. Thanks for your support! 🙂
Organizational Tool #1: The Planner
I settled on these two:
1. Corey’s planner & eGuide. Super worth it! It’s $12 USD (about $16 CAD) and it comes with her eGuide in which she walks you through her personal system. She’s a mom and her priority is being at home with her family, so she made her system very efficient. She shares how it works for her specifically, including some of her own goals, which helped me remember to work with what time I actually have and can realistically commit. Her guide is nice and simple too — I really love it! It covers planning your posts in an editorial calendar, using a social media planner, brainstorming, goal setting, and more.
2. Sarah Titus’ recommendation, the planner over at My Joy-Filled Life. It’s $6 USD, so also very cheap, but I’d say paying twice that to get the eGuide AND the planner for $12 USD from Corey is well worth it. Since I have both, I mixed and matched the pages to my liking. I love the colours and how pretty the one from MJFL is, but I like the system from Corey better. However, if you don’t think you need a guide, or you’re on a tighter budget, this one is a great choice. (Also, do check out Sarah Titus’ site, it’s very inspiring for a new blogger!)
I also found a lovely Blog + Life planner, which is just beautiful, but a little too expensive. The creator basically took everything you need in a blogging planner, life planner, and business planner and put it into one beautiful package. If you want to splurge, that’s the one you want!
The point is: if you’ve been considering blogging more seriously, whether or not you’re on the free plan or not, you may want to check one of those blogging planners out! I’m already noticing a difference in how much time I save. And it’s been two days.
If you’re not a blogger but you still want to get your organizational nerd on, I recommend Moleskine’s 2016 planners (click here for the Canadian Amazon site). They’re a tad pricey, but I got my first one this past year in Oxide Green, and I absolutely love it. There is lots of room to write and make your to-do lists, there are lots of colours to choose from, and it’s nice and compact to fit in any bag you use. It has more than you really expect in a planner, with a small compartment in the back for loose notes, a beautiful world map, and a conversion table. Plus the paper is amazing to write on! If I get one this year, I think I’ll probably get the mauve.
Organizational Tool #2: Evernote
I seriously swear by Evernote, now that I’ve been using it for… two weeks.
But for real.
Evernote is FREE, it lets you organize your notes into notebooks so you can easily categorize them, and you can clip info from the internet. This is what I think makes it really unique — it takes any part of the page you are on and clips it depending on which option you select. You can clip to make a bookmark that will go into your Evernote as a note, a screenshot that goes directly into a note (really good for writing a how-to for your unsavvy grandma), or clip the whole article which basically lets you look at a snapshot of the
whole page while still being able interact with it. You can also clip a “simplified” article which only has text and main images if you prefer, or select the portion of information you want. And each one goes into a new note! I’ve clipped a few of my favourite recipes from the internet so I don’t have to go through Pinterest or remember the website to access it from my bookmarks, and this way I can add my notes without messing up any formatting. And one of my favourite things is the ability to make a checklist — it has the option to add clickable checkboxes!
Finally, You can access it online anywhere, but I’ve downloaded the app for my laptop as well — it’s just easier for me, but you definitely don’t have to. Plus, there is also a free app you can get for your phone, which helps me when I have a new idea.
This app is great for bloggers because it’s an easy way to back-up all your posts, or write your drafts before you publish. But really, it’s great for anyone — unless you don’t really need the clipping. In that case, you might as well stick with Google Drive.
Organizational Tool #3: The Word “No”
Learn to say no.
This may seem like a cop-out tool, but if I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that it really is that simple.
This past year, I’ve been the perfect example of never saying no and letting myself get overwhelmed. It just got to be too much, and I didn’t have time to do the things I love — not even just having coffee with my friends. Even if you’ve got nothing else to do besides colouring books and puzzles and cuddling your kitten, say no every once in a while and take time for yourself!
You may not even realize you need it, but you do.
How do you stay organized?