My Blogging Routine (Part 1) | The Tools I can’t live without!

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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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
  • Finished
  • Posted

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!

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31 thoughts on “My Blogging Routine (Part 1) | The Tools I can’t live without!

  1. I love this post! I’ve used a regular old paper calendar to plan blog posts on for years, and I just haven’t been able to part with it. I love being able to highlight a post when I’ve finally scheduled it–so satisfying!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 Ahaha, I can definitely see how that would be satisfying. And I tried so many times to use bullet journals and notebooks to make to-do lists and schedule my blogging but it never worked for me, I always abandoned my notebooks halfway through. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Omg. Your level of organisation fills me with such happiness but also gives me the drive to do something similar BUT I’m just not that person. I mean, I try and I do have good intentions when I set out to do all this organising *of my life* but I am so bad at following through or sticking it out until “the end”. Your calendar and drive gives me such joy though, especially the colours and how it just looks so well organised! You’re definite goals, Alex 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahaha, that’s why I love google calendar though! When I don’t do something I can just move it to a different date as if it was supposed to be like that anyway. 😀 I do slack and procrastinate more often than I’d like to admit, and having a digital organizer where I can easily move and erase tasks is a lifesaver. Lol

      Like

  3. You’re so organized! I’m a mess right now in a lot of aspects and I’m really trying to get my groove on again for my blog and ig and I might try out google calendar… I actually love making a paper calendar with colors, post its or even messy blue pen ones since I always have extra sheets of lined paper from old, half-used school notebooks.

    It’s kind of interesting but we some pretty opposite things I always write my posts on wordpress (bc autosave and I just edit the blocks as I go) and I never keep a copy of my posts on my PC (in my head: they’re online so they’re there forever) because I’m not really scared of losing anything. If I suddenly lost all my posts I’d be upset but I’d just start over again, I guess. Can’t wait to see part 2!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All of the comments on this post make me look better than I actually am 😀 Ahaha, I love organization, but I definitely procrastinate a lot. That’s why having something digital that allows me to move, erase and reorganize tasks as I go really works well for me 😀

      I love the whole idea of real paper calendars and vision boards, but (1) I never find time to do them the way I want them to look and (2) they become a real mess very quickly with all tasks moving around. lol
      Uh, that’s so interesting! I love to see everyone’s different methods of writing blog posts. Writing them directly on wordpress does make a lot of sense and saves a lot of time. My only issue is that Grammarly doesn’t seem to work on in wordpress editor (or maybe only mine).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I find it so therapeutic to see how other people organise their lives, especially when it comes to book blogging! Unfortunately I have nothing to share with you in return – I use bullet journalling just for my everyday, personal life, but Nish & I post so sporadically that I don’t really have an organisational method for book blogging/reading! 😅

    💛 Ngoc

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this post! That’s awesome that you’re staying so organized and on top of things with Google calendar and docs. I have a few spreadsheets on Google Docs:

    + “2020 books” – this spreadsheet has sheets on it for books I buy, TBRs, what I read (star ratings, etc.), and pre-orders all for 2020.
    + “ARCs/Review Copies” – this spreadsheet is a list of all the ARCs/review books that I got and release dates.
    + “Books I Own” – this is a spreadsheet for all the books that I own, which I still need to update since it’s been a few months haha.

    I also have one for all the series I’ve started and need to finish. If I start a new series then I add it to that list, so I can remember and maybe one day finish them? 😛 I love Google Docs since you can use it anywhere. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, fellow google sheet enthusiast!! 😀 Exactly, they are easy to use and access anywhere! (so I can sneakily work on my blog posts when I’m at work. Lol)
      Your “2020 books” sheet is similar to mine. I track all the books I read each month and respective stats so it’s easier to make graphs at the end of the month. And I’ve been meaning to create a spreadsheet for book series for a very long time now… but only managed to make a list in gdocs… There are more than 60 series there… D:

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahhh, so many series! I kind of stopped reading series over the last few years since I have so many that I never finished. I started to feel so guilty for starting new ones, so it’s rare that I even start a new series….which is also kind of sad because there’s so many I want to read.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I also always love to see how other people organize their blogging lives!! I use Google Calendar a lot too, I love how much I can personalize it, and a few other apps. But I’ve probably always written my posts directly on WordPress, perhaps with a couple of exceptions, when I didn’t have any Wifi connection. But I’m not as updated and on top of things as you are, unfortunately xD Can’t wait for part 2! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’ve done such an amazing job this year! This is something I’m trying really hard to get on top of, especially reviews. It’s been tricky because between work and study I have very few free hours in a week and get so disappointed when I run out of time!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Okay, so I just came from your second post in this series (binge blog hopping much? haha) and my question is how do you keep on top of your blog hopping/notifications. I personally struggle with WordPress Reader and while I tend to keep returning to Feedly I struggle to keep it under control. Any tips?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 I try to stay organized, but maaan… wordpress notifications can get overwhelming very quickly! I’ve never tried Feedly before [thank you for mentioning it!]. Usually, I try to check wordpress reader and notifications every single day. Otherwise I lose track of what posts I’ve read and commented on, and what posts I didn’t.
      But obviously that’s not always possible, sometimes I’ll only focus on notifications and skip blog hopping for a day or two, which sucks but… 🙂

      Like

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