It wasn’t long into blogging before I realized I needed some method of keeping track of everything or I’d probably lose my mind. For a while I used various calendars via Google but having them so broken up without any real way to take notes didn’t work. I added a spreadsheet which worked.. somewhat. But it wasn’t long before even that got incredibly messy and hard to work with. So I’ve come up with my new system that I’m using at the moment which is a combination of google calendar and Trello.
First I’ll explain Google. I am wanting to have something posted every day which I’m quickly learning is a pretty lofty goal but something I’m really striving for. For me I have my calendar set up to have a post every day. I code everything by color so I can easily see where I’m at with just a glance. As you can tell from my upcoming calendar – I’m a bit behind. But having this in front of me at least lets me know what I need to be working on. I forget a lot less than I used to.
My Color Code
Light Red – Books I’ve not read yet but want to post reviews for at least around this date.
Bright Red – These are books I’ve not finished reading but the date isn’t movable, usually for a book tour.
Light Orange – These are posts I just need to write up
Light Blue – Finished and Scheduled Posts
Yellow – Blogging Events like Read a Thons, etc.
The above works really well for planning but not so well for all the other things. For that I’ve found Trello to be incredibly helpful. You start out creating a board to organize everything on. You can have multiple boards for different projects. As an example I have my blog board and another (severely neglected) board for a book I am (procrastinating) writing.
Inside your board you create lists and on each list you can add cards. I have several lists that help keep me organized.
The first list is things I really want to get done for the blog but aren’t really posts. This could be graphic type additions, rearranging the layout, and things related to events. The second is posts that I still need to write up and is mostly just a back up to what I already have on my calendar. I also add things to this list that I don’t have scheduled but would like written up in advance. You can also set a due date for these which comes in handy. As the due date comes closer the color changes. Yellow is really soon, in the next day or so. Red however means you are probably late. Oops.
Inside each card is an area to add all kinds of stuff. I add notes, checklists, due dates – all of which keep the information where I need it without having to hunt down emails or rely on my memory. You can even add attachments to these cards so if you want to save cover art or anything else you have it readily available without digging through emails.
Next is my TBR List which I’ve found insanely helpful recently and the biggest reason Trello is saving my sanity. I went against all the advice and went into hyper “all the things” mode and signed up for a lot. Having the TBR list is helping me track everything I’m signed up for so far and separate it by month. This is a very tentative schedule and I’m certain I’ll have to adjust it but at least I have it all down and I can see it. Plus being able to check things off is, I admit, intensely satisfying.
The last list shown here is the Dates list – these are things I’ve signed up for that have a specific time frame or date and I still need to read them. They are also on my TBR lists but it lets me know they need to be more of priority at a glance.
The last list that I have is a “Pending List” – I’ve not completely populated this one yet since I don’t have much pending right now. My plan though is to jot down information about book tours, events, etc. that I sign up for or want to plan in advance for.
Quite a lot of my inspiration came from The Caffeinated Book Blogger in her Blogger Tips & Tricks . For this post I used Gyazo for all of my screenshots and highly recommend it. You can take any size screen capture plus GIF animations!
Even though I’m incredibly enthusiastic about the services I’m using this post is not sponsored in any way but the links to Trello are my referral links. Enough referrals and you get free months of ‘gold membership’.
In summary my system is far from being perfected and I’m constantly tweaking things as I need to. Do you have a system for organization or do you just make it up as you go along like the best and possibly first murse (male purse) carrier in film? (10 Points if you can name the character I’m referencing!) I’d love to see what other bloggers are doing to stay organized (or disorganized if that’s the case).