It’s no secret that I like my tech gadgets. I’m never very far from my iPhone, laptop, and/or iPad. But for years I’ve struggled to find a way to manage my blogging editorial calendar (and my other task management) with technology. For some reason, despite my love of technology, I’m just a paper lover when it comes to my organizing my work and my life.
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I’ve recently taken up bullet journaling to organize my calendar and to do list, and it has been working so well that I decided to try applying it my editorial calendar as well. I’m using a large classic Moleskine notebook for my regular bullet journal, but decided I needed the extra large Classic Moleskine to handle my editorial calendar for the four blogs I’m working on. The journal is divided into four sections, one for each blog, with washi tape bookmarks to mark where each section starts.
The foundation of my notebook are the monthly calendar pages. I use Post-It notes (small ones, cut in half) to schedule items, and then when the item is published I write it on the calendar in ink. It allows my calendar to stay flexible and for me to visualize as I am planning and move things around to accommodate changes or additions.
In addition to the date grid, I have space in the leftover area for noting events and themes during the month, as well as an extra column down the right side that will hold Post-its for articles that are waiting to be scheduled, or that I can write notes in.
I knew this system would work for me because I’d used it previously in purchased spiral bound calendars. It became too cumbersome because it meant having to haul a separate notebook for each blog, though, and I gave it up. The bullet journal means that with a little work I can create a notebook that contains calendars for all my blogs in one one book!
Some of the rest of the ones in my editorial calendar bullet journal are partially or wholly inspired by other bloggers. My favorite thing about bullet journaling is that I can take an idea someone else shares and then adapt it to work better for how I think or work.
In between each monthly calendar page, I have a page (loosely based on one by Kara at Boho Berry) that lets me write notes and summaries for each month. I can refer to this later for reference when planning for the same period the next year, or when having planning sessions to set goals.
At the beginning of each blog’s section, there are a few record keeping pages. The “blog plot” page is designed to show at a glance when (and what, through color coding for categories) I have been publishing. This page was adapted from Kim at Tiny Ray of Sunshine. Her version is a two page, 12 month version, that goes the other direction on the page. I preferred to make mine heavily gridded and only needed to make 6 months since that is all that is in my journal (four blogs times six months take up a lot of pages).
The statistics page for each site is a variation on one that I’ve been using in my smaller bullet journal to track my websites. I had a hard time remembering to use it with it being in that journal. I’m hoping I’ll be more consistent with it being with my other blog planning material.
The article index is a way for me to track where bullet journal notes and graphics files are for each article. This is adapted from a page I saw on Boho Berry, but I added the “files” column. It’s important to me to track graphics since my articles contain so many.
This page is also an update of one that I’ve had in my smaller journal but never remember to use. Hopefully with all of my blog planning and tracking being consolidated into one place, it will all get used much more reliably.
One of the reasons that people think they “can’t” bullet journal is because they don’t like their handwriting. Well, I’m one of those people! But if you looked closely above, you may have noticed that a lot of the titles and numbers weren’t handwritten. The secret is doing as much as possible with stamps! It’s a bit slower than handwriting, but the end result is much prettier. Plus, creating pages that are “typewritten” through stamping makes it easy to tell what on the page is your content and what is just the page’s template.
So far my must have stamp sets for this journal have been:
- Pink & Main “Planning Work” – Amazon, A Cherry On Top
- Technique Tuesday “Planner – Special Days” – Scrapbook.com, Amazon, A Cherry On Top
- Hero Arts “Calendar Pieces” – Scrapbook.com, Amazon
What do you use for your editorial planning? Paper or pixels? Are you happy with it?