Get Organized and Stay Organized as a Blogger
Whether you are a new blogger or a seasoned veteran staying organized and on task can be a challenge. Staying focused and productive can be especially challenging if you are a work from home blogger. The distractions of daily life can pull at us and decrease our productivity. Family and friends pulling at us from every angle can detract from our blogging to-do list.
As work at home bloggers we need to make the most of our time. Time is truly money in the blogging world. Thankfully plenty of bloggers have gone before us so we don’t have to reinvent the organizational wheel. We need only to find the wheel that fits best for us.
In speaking with fellow bloggers the following 5 key steps have helped them stay organized and productive in their work from home space.
Set Office Hours
If blogging is truly your job, even if it is only part-time set office hours. If you worked outside of the home you would have office hours, the same should remain true within your home. Even something as simple as early morning, nap time, and evening hours will help establish a work routine and increase productivity. If you are fortunate enough to be able to block out office hours during the typical workday then please do so. You have to find what works for you and your family’s schedule. The key to setting office hours though is sticking to them. Avoid outside non-work related appointments during your set office hours. Also steer clear of the temptation to meet friends when you are supposed to be working.
Dedicated work space
With set office hours comes a dedicated work space. Productivity and organizational abilities increase exponentially when you have a specific place for all of your work related paperwork and other necessities. A desk or work area will allow you to avoid shuffling everything off of the kitchen table so your family can eat. A work area also allows for a clearer separation between personal and work time. When you are in your work zone it is time to work and focus. When you leave your desk area you have clocked out and are now on personal time. Making this distinction might sound trivial but it truly makes a huge difference in productivity and organization of your work related projects.
Online filing cabinets (Onenote, Evernote)
Blogging is largely an online industry. Bloggers write, research, create images, and network from their computers. Keeping track of your blog post ideas, images, inspiration, networking contact information, and other digital files requires an online filing system. Online filing cabinets such as Evernote and OneNote if you are a Microsoft fan work wonders for saving, organizing, and collecting everything you need to run your blogging business smoothly and efficiently. The beauty of these online filing cabinets is that you can access your filing system from any electronic device. Bookmarklets and the websites make working from a laptop or desktop easy while apps of the same name allow you to save additional notes, web links, and write blog posts from your smart phone or tablet. With the help of these systems there is truly no where you can’t get work accomplished.
So after you have set your office, created your work space, and started your online filing system the next step in becoming an organized blogger is to find and utilize the perfect blog planner for your personal style. Personally, this is an area I struggled with for the longest time. I am not a planner-type of person at all so I just assumed I didn’t need a paper planner for my blogging business. As I sat staring at a blank blog post screen one afternoon, my thoughts a million places about the next post I needed to write, and no real focus on where I wanted to go with the article it hit me like a ton of bricks, I needed a blog planner.
A good blog planner includes all of the forms, trackers, and organizers that you need to not only get your writing organized but every other portion of blogging business as well. Are you tracking your mileage, business expenses, contacts, link parties, meeting notes, or any of the other vital components of running your online business effectively? A good blog planner will get you so organized that you will be able to transition from writing to managing the business side of your blog seamlessly.
As I mentioned, I was not a planner type of person at all until I found myself over my head and overwhelmed with writing and managing my business. I just couldn’t keep it all up in my any longer, I needed to write it down so I could remember it later and focus on the task at hand. After extensive searching and various recommendations by my blogging friends, I found the Blog Like a Pro Planner and have absolutely fallen in love. I purchased the master planner package and it has every form I could possibly need to write and manage my growing blog business.
Mind maps are the fifth way to organize your blogging business. Much like spiderwebs, thought webs, or brainstorm exercises, mind maps are graphic organizers that help you organize you thoughts around a particular blog post. Mind maps are also great if you are planning a blog series or you want to write a variety of posts on a similar topic without repeating yourself.
Mind maps are also a great way to get around writers block. Using a graphic organizer you can brain dump your ideas, thoughts, and inspiration to get your writing back on track.
The Blog Like a Pro Planner I mentioned has a wide variety of highly useful mind maps including these free ones for TOTS readers.
They key to remember in all of this is that you need to be an organized blogger to be productive and successful. If you are professional blogger writing for income or want to turn your blog into an income earning platform getting organized and staying organized is critical to your long term success.