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Color-Coded Solution for Keeping Track of Multiple Posts on Multiple Blogs

blog-calendar.jpgRecently Mary Mimouna, author of Expat Abroad shot me an email telling me about how she uses a simple color coded system to keep track of her posting on multiple blogs. I’m always interested to hear how bloggers organize themselves and I thought it might make an interesting read for others in a similar position – here’s what she shared.
 
Do you write multiple blogs?  Do you have trouble mentally keeping track of what you’ve recently posted, and when?
 
Over a period of two years, I’ve gone from writing one blog, to seven.  If you are also writing multiple blogs, no doubt you are having the same problem of keeping your momentum going equally on each blog.  As you get involved with the writing on one blog, it’s easy to lose your momentum on the others. 
 
I recently discovered an easy solution to this problem which I thought would be useful to share with other bloggers.
 
Keep a simple calendar with squares, and use a different color pen to mark each blog entry.  A glance at the calendar can tell you immediately which blogs you’re close to getting behind on, as well as to see if you need to do a follow-up post on a topic you already started.   For example, looking at this calendar, I can see immediately that the Women’s blog and the Feng Shui blog need immediate entries.  Additionally, the Women’s blog needs the second part of my three-part series on Divorce.
 
With this simple system, you don’t even need to be on-line to check your progress or think about your next entry.  This handy reference tool will free up your mind from trying to remember these details, and give your creativity a boost.

From Darren: How do you track your posting? Do you have a tool or system for this type of thing? I’d love to hear about it in comments below.

blog-calendar-1.jpg

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Haha, great tips, I have color coded post it notes for my sites.

  2. gautam hans says:

    Great way to organize, will save a lot of time. At this time i don’t do multiple blogs but i am going to so this will help me a lot.

    Thanks!

  3. Dan Smith says:

    I only write on two blogs right now, so I can still keep track in a notebook. I have two columns (one for each blog) and I put down potential and real post topics. This is simple and easy for me, especially since I only post daily on one of the blogs.

    But someday I hope to have enough writing to go to a color-coded system!

  4. I used to do a similar thing on my websites. Visual aids are the best when it comes to things like this.

  5. Markus says:

    Is there any chance we could get bigger versions of the pictures?

  6. Our site has two blogs and multiple authors, so we use google calendar to keep track of the scheduling. A calendar for each blog, and standard slots for posting keeps us sane!

  7. Mario Lopez says:

    I keep track of two blogs I manage in English and Spanish by managing several Microsoft Outlook based folders containing messages and notes of past and upcoming posts based on information I find and keep.

    Regards.

  8. Good tips. I’ve never even thought about trying something like that before. Thanks.

  9. Well I have divided days among my other blogs. In this manner my readers know when my next post is coming and they will be ready with pop corns or while eating, they just read.

    Yeah sometime may be twice or three times in a month I post a surprise post as well.

  10. poorblogger says:

    I’ve a multiple blog ( about 10 blog) with different niche.. I’ve a diary but not all of them update in same time.. Some of them I’ll arrange on day like you…

  11. Jaky Astik says:

    Things I do to organize time for my 3 blogs

    1. I use Google Tasks
    2. Work with FIFO method – First idea in, first blog post out
    3. Spend a perfect two sessions for my each post – drafting and finalizing.

  12. JoseOrestes says:

    Good idea, the first thing I do is get a large calendar like the image, and a box of markers, a more comfortable solution to Google calendar, greetings

  13. Ash says:

    This is quite a nice concept for and good if you have multiple blogs ,color coding .. it really is a problem when you have multiple blogs and you don’t have good management techniques strategies or plans..

  14. Adele Haze says:

    I use a family calendar, where each member of the family is supposed to have a column. I use these columns for my blogs, and schedule titles of posts a couple of weeks in advance.

  15. Haha,

    I still remember that when I was studying, the girls in my class were using different colors to take notes.

    So it can also use it for organizing as well.

  16. tish says:

    This is an incredibly simple solution. I currently have 5 sites to manage and tend to fall behind on or or another because a couple of them demand my attention. In an everything-is-electronic world, a simple dayplanner like this makes sense. I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the idea.

  17. Stephen says:

    Good idea.

    Very simple way to stay organised. I like visual reminders like this as you can learn a lot from just a quick glance.

  18. Darren Alff says:

    I do a similar thing with my calendar. But I don’t use an old fashioned paper calendar (mainly because I travel so much and can’t carry a calendar around with me all the time). Instead, I use Google Calendar and I have a different color calendar set up for each of my businesses (not all of them are necessarily blogs, although most of them do have blogs associated with them).

    I currently have 5 calendars and 5 colors that I use to separate my tasks. There are 4 business calendars for my 4 separate businesses and 1 of my 5 calendars is for personal tasks/events.

  19. Tasha says:

    Hi DR,
    Coming from a rather anal mom I have always kept lists.

    So I have three blogs & I have three lists for the full year of blogging. (blue=tashaharris~thee angels are watching / yellow= tasha harris / green= thee angels are watching)

    Go to MSWord, make a table.. list name/ blog/ teleconf / date.
    I fill in the info under those headings. I am not struggling with WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT or did I or didn’t I write about that.

    So on the last page of hand write in ideas I get from you or others. Most ideas I get are form other HOW TO STAY ORGANIZED sites. Write down the most odd line of one sentence on a page and there is your next blog….sept of 2010…ha ha ha. I have a unique niche so I tailor the sentence to my SPIRIT blogs.

    I keep those, what…12 pages, on my copy holder stand AND I NEVER move them. (when i build up to many post its, I add all them to the bottom of the lists and the list goes back on the stand.)

    Thanks to you Darren I use Windows Live Writer, So on Sundays and Thursdays, I take out my blue, yellow, green pages of blog ideas and fill in my date “done” for THIS blog and type up all three at one time.(about 5 hours)

    Thanks for all your great wisdom, I truly appreciate you.

    Tasha Harris
    http://www.theeangels.com

  20. Cathy says:

    I too use Google Calendar for my planning. Not only for my blog, but for each one of my kids, my husband, my to do list…. Google Calendar rocks! LOVE your site!!

  21. Prasanga says:

    Great Idea thanks for sharing. I think it can save me lots of time.

  22. teratips says:

    amazing post
    http://teratips.com

  23. Thanks for sharing. I like to hear about ideas like this. I create an editorial calendar in MindManager. First I have a dashboard map with all 12 months (January-December) in different branches. Each blog (I have 3) has it’s own branch and color. Each month there is a scheduled theme (readers like to know what’s coming up to). As I read, ideas pop into my head and I add them to a branch in the appropriate month. Since one of my blogs has been up since 2002, I have a weath of past posts I’ve tracked. Since mindmapping is easy to see everything all on one page, it’s easy to keep an aerial view all the time. And the search feature is wonderful to see what I wrong on anything before. I can set that up in a resource part of the post as well. Helpful because in Typepad is difficulty to search on past posts (they are going to improve this in the future I’m told).

    When I began mindmapping the posts (about 3 years ago) I had a lot of history posts to get caught up on. It took many months to get them into the map but when I did, wow, I was able to see things in a whole new different view.

    And since everything connects to Outlook tasks or I can use their alert system. I can finalize ideas a week before the end for the coming month.

    I also cut and paste a copy of the post in the notes section to that branch so if I want to print out in booklet form the posts for a particular blog I can and use it for other things.

    I can also cross reference mark from one to another blog easily with a relationship marker in the software.

    Plus I can add research hyperlinks to each branch/post in the mindmap to Office docs, like Word, Excel, or web pages. Everything is one click.

    I’ve even created a 2010 content calendar template available for free in http://www.biggerplate.com (just search on Catherine Franz, author) and you’ll find it.

    Love most of your blog posts. Have for years now. Thank you for all your hard work!

    Catherine
    Twitter @catherinefranz

  24. Pookie says:

    This is actually a very good Idea I often lose track of what im posting.I can see how this can help me get organized.I will be implementing this asap!

  25. Eric B. says:

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve always done my organization online, and I don’t know what I would do without internet access!

  26. Yousef SOLIMAN says:

    Yeah, I really need to manage my time better :).Just curious as to why you have an Islamic calender?

  27. Robby G says:

    That’s interesting. It’s hard to keep so many blogs going at the same time, but people are managing to keep blogs and jobs and leisure time all balanced. I try to post at least 4 posts per week on my main blog, and on another blog which I use to market my novel I only post when I have some news on the novel or on my progress. The latter is based on a fanbase I’m trying to grow, but keeping the two blogs separate and not yet using any reminders.

  28. I don’t really have a great system… I try to go in and get 6 months worth of content scheduled in advance… and I have other people writing who come in and write content when they want to… I try to get them to post 2-3 articles/week on the various sites, but I don’t have a good system for this yet, so I really appreciate this post and the suggestions people are making.

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

    Jonathan
    http://www.greatlegalbenefit.com/today

  29. Dean Saliba says:

    At the moment I am finding handling four blogs quite easy, but I can see how this kind of thing would come in handy if I ever have more.

  30. I have a mental (no paper) scheduling system that works fine for up to about half a dozen blogs, but that would probably get unwieldy after that.

  31. I imagine it must be hard writing for several blogs. 1 is enough for me.

  32. color-coded system! This is a valuable tip for bloggers updating multiple blogs

  33. i keep an excel spreadsheet, with date, title, permalink, and tiny url (if i generate one).

    I also indicate which have been contributed to specific aggregate sites.

    I can search the spreadsheet for keywords (in the title)

  34. BudiTyas says:

    I instal feeds of my own blogs on my central blogger blogspot bloglist. The newest always on top, so i just write post by looking the bottom of the list.

    Sorry, i miss the ‘s’ at previous comment. Language problem, LOL

  35. I’ve been using the calendar in Outlook to do the same thing. I really need to be able to look at something and see how my posts are spaced out and where I need to put more effort.

  36. Rajendra says:

    Thanks for sharing that powerful stuff, Darren.
    Man, that’s pretty amazing stuff.
    This really reinforces by belief that you can get to where you want to be, but with a different way of looking at the process.
    I think this was great and informative stuff. We have a lot of fear in our mind and this is what holding a lot us from doing things that we want to do. We have to believe in us that we can do anything that we want to do.

  37. poch says:

    I’ve been using this method for years but not for my blogs!
    I concentrate on only 2 anyway.

  38. ITrush says:

    Great idea, might implement it right away!

  39. Adam Baird says:

    Excel spreadsheets for the win!

    Color coded is something I should try though…good idea!

  40. I have been using Excel to keep track of what I write, but since it isn’t in front of meall the time I tend to ignore it. I may try a more visual form to keep me going.

  41. Hi Mary,

    Nice tip. For the reason that you can keep track for the multiple blogs you’ve made.

    Moreover, you can monitor also the day to day activities in blogging.

    And also one good thing is that calendar is very well known papers to everyone. Can be seen anywhere and anyplace at your home.

    Thanks for the great idea. Keep up the good work.

  42. Seth W says:

    Usually Google Calendar has been the best way to manage my online and offline tasks and daily events. With the automatic events, I can plan recurring activities throughout the year with the single click of a button.

    Also, the calendar allows for mulitple coloring of tasks and events to make it very easy to instantly know what is going on with my life!

    Otherwise, blogging, family, school, and the variety of other events can easily overrun your schedule.

  43. Patty Reiser says:

    I am currently maintaining two blogs. My business blog I have divided into 5 basic categories and I have scheduled to write to each of those categories once per week.

    For example: Monday – Finding Your Success; Tuesday – Network Marketing; Wednesday – Blogging for Leads; Thursday – My Business; and Friday – Business Basics.

    This system keeps me organized and focused on content and my readers will know what to expect from my blog. And I do occasionally throw in extra posts when I find something new and exciting I want to share.

  44. romanzick says:

    i have dummy blog and put some codes in it which i myself know what and how. maybe its the same as your nice calendar but i try to make it online. but sometimes, it is getting complicated also. so, your ways to color-coded i think is simple and brilliant !! .. thanks

  45. Jamkeng says:

    nice article ..
    this will help me to organize:)

  46. Dave Doolin says:

    I’m running two main blogs, and a half dozen where I post more or less monthly (staking claim, building longevity).

    My technique is to write in batches for each, often 3-7 posts.

    I don’t usually finish all these posts.

    Instead, I frame the structure, and write everything I can write from the top of my head, without having to look up links, write test code, or whatnot.

    Then my morning routine tends to be “log into blog, find easiest post to finish, finish and publish it, move to the next blog, repeat.”

    This has worked for about 2 months to produce daily content. Over the last two weeks, my focus has changed to generating product and writing sales copy, so I’m not publishing daily posts for now.

    Once I get the product/sales skills down pat, I’ll be back to more regular blog posting.

  47. I have been obsessed with colored sticky flags for years now. Since my college days required a lot of reading, I’d use these handy stickies to keep track of my readings for each course.

    I like them because they look better than my handwriting and allow me to easily keep track of what I’ve done and what I need to do next.

    Agreed, Google calendar is a super tool as well.

  48. Mary Mimouna says:

    Thank you everyone for your great comments. I’m glad my idea seems useful to some people, and I enjoyed reading about how others organize their posts.

    I really needed an off-line system for organizing since in my part of the Middle East we have computer and internet failures all the time (I find on-line calendars and to-do lists don’t work well for me for the same reason).

    It was Darren’s blog which inspired me to start my first blog over two years ago. I feel honored to be writing this guest post on his blog today! Thank you, Darren.

    Mary Mimouna, post author

  49. Leslie Truex says:

    I used to use a calendar system too because its visual. I found it over whelming to plan by month and I have so many tasks that I couldn’t fit them in the month calendar boxes. I now use a weekly system with a list of my blogs and other items (work and personal) that need to be done on specific days. There are blank lines next to it so I can fill in the topic I plan to cover. Tuesday is Laundry, 3 blogs, PR, and project #1 day:)

  50. Bd says:

    Google cal is a great tool to do this if you dont have the space to have a whiteboard calender.