This post on creating a Blog Binder to help you keep organized has been submitted by Julie Bonner from declutter it. I first heard Julie speak about her Blog Binder in passing in a b5media forum discussion and thought it might be something others might find helpful. I asked her if she’d write it up and here it is:
Ever since I started blogging, my mind is always going a mile a minute. I find myself constantly thinking about new article ideas, new monetization models or tips I had heard that I knew would add value to my blog.
Before I knew, it my desk was cluttered sky high with scribble notes and articles I had printed out. I also could not sleep! It was driving me crazy. My mind was so full of ideas that when I would lay down at night, the wheels would keep turning, I felt like I was on a hamster wheel.
It’s ironic that I let my desk and my mind get to this point because I used to help people get organized for a living. That means I’m supposed to be perfect right? Well, I have my weaknesses too, and getting my online businesses “organized” was turning into a real problem for me. I knew I needed a system and quick!
That’s when I came up with what I call My Blog Binder. It’s not a clever title, but hey, it works! Here’s a basic description of what I keep in it and how it helps keep me on track and focused.
My Work Schedule
At the beginning of my binder, I have my work schedule written out. Now for me, this schedule has no times on it, but only subjects. I dedicate each weekday to one subject. For example: Mondays I focus on SEO, Tuesdays I visit new blogs, Wednesdays I focus on building traffic, etc.
These subjects are all separate from the actual blogging. I try to blog everyday.
Staying Organized with More Than One Blog
Instead of having separate binders for each blog I have, I decided to condense them into one. It just makes it that much more simple and easy to use.
I have labeled dividers with the title of blog on it. Behind each divider I have several sheets of blank paper. On each piece of paper I have 1 title:
Article Ideas – This is where I write anything and everything that comes to my mind for an article idea. I am never short of ideas, and if I am having one of those days where I don’t know what to write, I go back to this page. This has helped me through many days of writer’s block.
Must-Do List – This is a list of to-do’s that I need to implement within the next few days. These are things that I do not want to forget about and remember weeks down the road.
For example, let’s say you are browsing through a blog and you notice an “Add This to Your Technorati Favorites” link. You then tell yourself, “I really need to add this to my blog!” So, instead of making a mental note that never seems to stick around, you write it on your Must-Do list. The next time you are working on your blog, you check your list and add that link.
Running-to Do List – This is a list of things you want to implement at some point, but it’s not necessarily time sensitive. For example: playing around with your blog’s colors or possibly looking for a new template.
Blogs to Visit – Within each of my niches, there are a number of blogs that I like to visit. Instead of trying to remember which ones they are, I write them down here and this is usually one of the first things I do in the morning. Be careful to keep this list short. You don’t want your browsing time to take away from your productive work. It is so easy to get sucked into blogland and see 3 hours of your day pass by.
Another option is to add these sites to your favorites folder on your computer. It’s all a matter of preference and what works best for you.
Are you still with me? Good.
Organizing the Great Articles I Read
Have you ever been on someone’s blog, read an amazing article and you said to yourself, “Wow, that was good!”? You then continue browsing, telling yourself you won’t forget that tip? Most of the time that tip has left your brain within 5 minutes and you are irritated that you can’t remember it.
What’s the solution? Print out the article and file it in your binder! I have an excellent selection of articles that I refer back to time and time again. After I print out the article, I hole punch it and put it behind the correct divider. Here are the sections I have:
This has worked wonders for me and I have even referred back to these articles when helping other people with their blogging woes. When the sections start to get too thick, I will weed out the articles that are outdated.
Keep it Simple
If you decide to create a Blog Binder, I have a few words of advice:
- Don’t create too many categories. Keep the categories very general at first and as you use it more, you may find more specific subjects to add.
- Actually use the binder. You may be thinking, “Well, duh!”, but I have been in the organizing business long enough to know that we all have good intentions that slip through the cracks. I leave my binder at my desk at all times. It is usually open and ready for me to flip through or take notes on.
- Don’t become an insomniac because of your blogging. If you are like me and you find yourself laying in bed thinking of these wonderful, life-changing articles you want to write; get out of bed, open up your binder and write it down. Then proceed to get a restful night’s sleep.
These tips are obviously for those who still know what paper is. If you are not paper- oriented, but prefer to do everything on your laptop, you can take all this information and apply it electronically as well. Just be sure and keep your computer files well organized and easy to retrieve.
I hope this has helped you in some way on your path to becoming a more focused and productive blogger.