Considering the latest development with Covid-19 in Europe and all over the world, I hope you’re staying safe and healthy! I won’t dwell much on this subject as I feel like it’s all people are talking about nowadays, so let’s dive into a less sad subject: Organization!
As the book blogger, of course, I love talking about books and reading, but I also love seeing how everyone else organizes their reading and blogging routines. What tools do you use? How do you manage to work/study/read books AND blog about it on the Internet? These are the subjects I love reading about.
Today, I’ll be sharing with you my blogging routine (basically my whole life organization routine). This is the system I used for a couple of years now. At the beginning of 2020, I made a couple of tweaks to it, which greatly improved my productivity (let’s hope that it stays this way for the rest of the year!).
This is going to be Part 1, where I talk about all of the different tools I use for blogging, reading, and organization. A couple of years ago I also shared with you the list of mobile apps I use for everyday for blogging, reading, and bookstagram. Surprisingly, I still use all of them. Each one serves a different purpose. But I also use other tools that I’m going to show you today.
1 – Google Calendar
Google Calendar contains my entire life in it. I started using it mostly for blogging, but slowly it conquered its place in my heart, and today I use it for my to-do lists, for book releases, and many other things.
I tried many different tools in the past – physical planners, bullet journals, other to-do apps and calendar apps, Trello, etc. None of them stuck for too long. And when I stop using something I know it’s not working as it’s supposed to.
Google Calendar is easy to use for a variety of reasons:
- It’s accessible everywhere. I can access it at work, on my laptop, at bf’s place, on my phone. Basically, anywhere I need it.
- It’s connected to my Gmail account, which I use ALL the time. I’m an “email junky” if there is one. There doesn’t go a single day when I don’t check my e-mail (multiple times per day). I also love how it automatically syncs my e-mails with calendar and schedules in events and flights that show up in my e-mail.
- It’s versatile and allows me to delete and move things around. This is a huge deal for me! Most of my physical planners didn’t work exactly because of this. I would write something down and if I suddenly changed my mind, or decided that the post should go up on a different date, I’d need to cross it over, make a mess in my journal and write it down again. For me, that was very inefficient.
- I love its monthly view. Another reason why other apps and tools didn’t work for me. I much prefer the monthly view over others, and it just looks very good on my screen with all the color-coded notes.
Here is a print screen from my January calendar (make sure to click on the image below to zoom up and take even closer look in my life! 😀 ):
As you can see I track a variety of different things in my calendar. Let’s break them down:
- Blog posts. My goal this year was to post three times per week, and I managed to stay on top of that last month. My uploading schedule is Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and there is a reason why I chose those particular days of the week, that I will discuss in Part 2 of My Blogging Routine.
- Book releases. I like to keep track of book releases, especially the ones I received ARCs of, so I don’t miss the release date and know exactly when I should read and review it. The book releases I’m the most excited about also go in this category – for example, the books I pre-ordered, or the books I know I’ll be purchasing the minute they are released.
- Main events & Anniversaries. As I said, I use Google Calendar not just for blogging, but to organize my whole life. All anniversaries are tracked in there, and I also add all read-a-thons I want to participate in, movie releases, trips, basically anything that I need to remember.
- To-do lists. This is a new thing I introduced in January. One of my main goals for 2020 was to learn how to organize my time better. The first step was to change my mindset that the day was over once I’m done with work. Because my working hours can be very demanding, I found it difficult to come home and still focus on other things – be it reading, blogging, studying, etc. That led to me cramping my weekends with TONS of things, and then I’d get frustrated with myself because I couldn’t do all million things on my To-Do list in two days. In January, I started to schedule additional tasks for after work, and even left the notes for myself when I should start reading a specific book, when I should write review, and when I should dedicate time to studying. I feel like this works so well for me, and I managed to accomplish more things, while also finding some time to relax.
2 – Google Drive & Google Docs
It appears that I’m a big fan of all things Google. Let’s continue…
From the very beginning of my blogging “career”, I decided to not keep files only on my laptop, afraid that I’d lose them, and started using Google Drive and also Google Docs to write my blog posts. I usually spend a couple of hours, writing each review, and it would be terrible to lose that file just because my laptop suddenly decided to die on me.
As a result, I only feel comfortable to write blog posts in Google docs. I don’t know why… I use MS word at work all the time. But for some reason, the view of the doc in my browser is the only way I can focus on blogging.
Here’s the view of my “BLOG” folder on Google Drive:
I separate my posts into three different categories:
- Work in progress
These are very self-explanatory I think. My FINISHED folder houses mostly book reviews I’ve written but haven’t had a chance to post yet, and it is very handy when I’m late on writing posts and urgently need something to schedule for tomorrow.
And that’s how I organize my blogging routine, making sure that I stay on top of my posts, books, reviews and many other things. Sometimes life gets too crazy and I have to put blogging and reading to the side, but I still try to dedicate at least 1-2 evenings per week to do the bare minimum to not miss any of my planned blog posts. I also make a good use of my backlog reviews. In fact, I posted mostly reviews in February only because I had no time to write & prepare other type of posts.
How do you organize your blogging time?
I love seeing other organizational methods and trying different things to see if I can improve my routines. So make sure to share yours down below!