my blogging essentials - staying organized - The Dainty Squid

my blogging essentials - staying organized

Monday, January 25, 2016

tooth containers by Hello Hopscotch full of my favorite pens - the seven year pen!

Someone recently tweeted me to ask about how I stay organized which was the push I needed to finally write an updated post about my blog planning process and how I stay organized. It's been on my to-do list for a while now.

I know there are tons of apps, and websites for staying organized. Of course, even my phone has a calendar I could use to keep all my blog related stuff together but my number one tool for staying organized is, without a doubt, my editorial calendar. Keeping an editorial calendar, whether digitally or on paper, is, in my opinion, essential! Giving it a fancy name makes it sound so much more complicated than it really is. In reality it's just a planner from Target. It could be any planner, the important thing for me is that it shows the whole month on one page as shown below.


I write each individual blog post on a sticky note and then place them on the date I plan on posting them. I use sticky notes because I like how bright they are. It helps the whole process not to feel so mundane and it looks really pretty! Also, the real reason, I'm able to move posts if need be. There are some days I just don't feel like posting what I had planned or maybe another post just feels more appropriate for that date.  I can't stand scribbles in notebooks, or even use of two different pens together so using sticky notes just helps everything feel neater.

I normally begin working on an upcoming month's calendar a week or so before the first. I start by filling in any regular features, like Friday Favorites, or anything I've planned way in advance. Then I start to fill in the spots with well thought out ideas, and posts I have in my drafts. After I've queued a post it gets a piece of tape to indicate that it's good to go! I'd like to pretend that I plan out a whole month at once but I definitely don't. My goal is always to be one week ahead. Ideally everything is queued up, but as long as I have a solid idea of what I'll be posting I'm satisfied. The whole purpose is just so I'm not scrambling at the last minute for a post.


My two other must haves are...
▴ Notebooks and notepads x10000. You guys, I am a sucker for a pretty notebook or notepad.  Moorea Seal's office section has more than a few gems, Anthropologie has a great selection of paper goods, and Paper Source, of course, is home to lots of pretty notebooks! TJ Maxx might be my favorite place to grab them though. Most of the time they're around $2.99, and they're always getting new ones.

The newest addition to my "collection" is this notepad/calendar thing-a-majig. Seen above. I've found it super useful to keep track of social media stuff, and jot down notes for the whole week. Beside the column for Monday there is skinny blank column which I wrote down a few tasks I need to do everyday such as sharing posts on twitter, and facebook. I also use it to keep track of how much water I drink.

I use the above notepad to write down ideas, and things I need to do that are kind of broad. I use regular list style notepads for more specific daily tasks. Back in October I shared a post, which you can find here, about how I write my lists.

Notebooks are good for keeping track of post ideas. The one shown in the photos above (a TJ Maxx score!) is where I'm currently writing down all my ideas. I used some washi tape to break it down into sections.  Just like my list making, I do a lot of my note writing in a few different steps based on how thought out the idea is. Sometimes, if I'm super lucky, what pops into my head is a complete post idea. In that case I'll outline the whole post in my notebook. Other times I might have a really vague thought that maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to mold into a post - those go into a different section.

I've found the most helpful thing for me is to write every single thing down, no matter how crazy or irrelevant it seems. Usually I'll be able to work with it at some point, it might not be now but maybe in six months it'll be exactly what I want to write about.

▴ A good pen, obviously! Lately I've been using the heck out of this one. I like it for the same reason I actually disliked it when I first got it, I write really tiny with it! I guess I tend to write fairly large but with this pen I almost have to write small. My other favorite pens are the seven year pens by Seltzer Goods. They're super smooth, and can write 1.7 meters a day for seven years!

So that's that! I'm not the most organized person but making lists upon lists on pretty paper kind of makes me feel like I am! ;)
xoxo


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25 thoughts

  1. i do product demos for lots of different companies and i use post it notes on my calendar too! I get the little skinny ones and use a different color for each company. I also HATE scribbling out something on my calendar! I love the idea of putting tape on them, I have looked for an easy way to mark that they are confirmed, and that will be perfect! (and cute!)

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    1. I used to use super skinny post it notes to mark that something was queued but tape is a better idea because I now have a real excuse to buy lots of pretty tapes! :P

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  2. This is so helpful! I've always been pretty big on stationary staples, like my diaries and multitude of diaries, but I've never really thought of using sticky notes! I'll definitely be giving that a go... my diary is a right state as it is right now, haha.
    One thing I've really loved recently is my new weekly planner from paperchase. It's basically like an A4 flipchart, and on each page is a section for every day of the week, and space for additional notes. It's super cute, and I have it hanging up on my wall so it's impossible to miss. I bought it last week since I've started working and my shifts change each week, so it's been great for me to be able to see my shifts from a glance!

    Sara
    Herelectricocean.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Haha, I always had more than a handful of diaries growing up! I just love writing stuff down! :P


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  3. You. Are. So. Organised! I usually write posts a day in advance; I can only dream of prepping weeks in advance! Mind you, if I had all that lovely stationary... what am I talking about, I have loads but I still can't organise for shit. Basically GO YOU! :P -Sam

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  4. Thank you so much for this post! I took notes, teehee! I'm just starting a blog myself, after years of tumblr-ing etc. I'm aiming for 2 posts a week to start. So far I have a list of ideas but your sticky note on the calendar thing is a wonderful tip. Check out the beginnings of mine if you feel like it! <3 coonsmithsutlery.com

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    1. Awesome! Good luck with your new blog, Morgan! :)

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  5. I have also a lot of notepads, little ones in preference to have them on my purse so I can write down when I can.

    Then I have a bir agenda to write the posts by day. But I didn't use the sitcky method. It's way more perfect to change days :)

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    1. I keep one in my bag too! Never know when you're gonna think of an awesome idea. :)

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  6. I love this. You are so organized. Usually, I just blog from my bed. ;)

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    1. Hey, no one said I didn't blog from bed sometimes! ;)

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  7. I've never thought of using post-its on a calender. But it's a genius idea! Calenders and diaries kind of terrify me because I'm prone to changing my mind and get panicky putting something down in ink when I know I'll probably want to move things around. (Genius!)

    ~Melissa

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    1. Right!? I never knew there were so many of us out there who hated writing things permanently on the calendar! Post it notes change everything!

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  8. Oh I love this post! Between work, my personal life, and running a blog staying organized is always a bit of a challenge! Thank you for sharing!

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  9. Well if you're going to talk stationery OBVIOUSLY I need to chime in. I also love TJ's for notebooks! They always have so many pretty ones and the price kills me. Like I don't have enough notepads lying around!! And I love your editorial calendar style! The post-its are a great idea! If you like a place to plan and a place to draw, you may want to consider Moglea's Weekly Jotter (which *cough I have in my shop) First of all, it's hand-painted and hand-foiled but it UNDATED (win) so you can use it longer than a year and it has a week on one side and a dot-grid on the other for sketches. I love mine. Oh and also if you like to write skinny, Hi-Tec_C pens by Pilot. You can get them at JetPens.com. SWOON.

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    1. Ugh. I could go into debt looking at JetPens.com. I just want to try out every single pen!!!!

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  10. Your post on list-making inspired me to get my own to-do list pad and it's working out pretty well! I've been stumped for post ideas for the past few weeks, so I'm gonna try your method of writing out every idea no matter how ridiculous or vague it may be. Just being organized makes me feel accomplished haha. Great post!

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  11. I just arrived back from overseas and haven't found a planner book I love yet, so I am using a temporary printable calendar. Just did basic planning for the next 6 months (lots of blank spots but my regulars are filled in and ready to go :)..) I love the sticky note idea, I might need to try this when I get a new planner!

    Kate | themintedblog.com

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    1. Good luck finding the perfect planner! :)

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  12. I love your post-it-note idea! Thanks for sharing your organizing tips!

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  13. I love reading about how people stay organized. I swear by my paper calendar and use monthly and weekly sections to get my stuff done. Thanks for sharing!

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