Let’s talk about: Planning out my (blogging) life

This post has been in the works for a long time, but I think I’m finally ready to talk about how exactly I plan and schedule my posts so far in advance. I’ve talked about it a little bit in a couple different tags and in the comments with a few different people, but I wanted to go into much more detail in hopes of maybe helping somebody.

Back in June when I did the Secret Life of a Book Blogger tag, Libby commented that she wanted to know more about my planner! I didn’t know if I had enough to say about my planner to do a whole post about it, but I figured I could combine it with my many other organizational methods and write something about how I keep track of everything I need to do when my brain is always moving in 23 different directions at once.

To start off, the planner. This is the planner that I have and I absolutely love it. It’s shiny and it has month views and week views and pages in the back for notes. It has a pocket in the front for stickers and sticky notes. It also gives me advice and compliments every week, so that’s nice.

I used to actually write in my planner, but I’ve recently started doing sticky notes instead. I can just move those around if I need to, instead of crossing things out and making everything look messy.

When I have a post planned for a day, I add a sticker to the month view so that I can really easily see whether I have time for something else. October is fully booked!

My theme for November is cats (shocking, I know) and I love it. November is almost full at this point, which might sound impressive, but really isn’t. Let me explain.

There are some posts that I do every week: Top Ten Tuesday and the Weekly Update. That’s already eight posts planned for November.  Then there are the posts I do monthly: page count, monthly favorites, and a Monthly Motif update. So we’re already at eleven posts. I also review three books for my #killingthetbr challenge (the last three Fridays of the month), so that’s fourteen total posts planned, or almost half of the month, without really any effort on my part. After that, I just fill in the blanks with other book reviews, reading challenge updates, and lots of tags.

I might do a lot with my planner, but it’s really just the beginning.

Because I’m possibly the most neurotic person you’ll ever meet, I have to organize things in fifteen different ways before I’m satisfied. It’s not enough for me to write everything down in a planner. No, I also have to use spreadsheets. This is the point in the post where you realize that Google Docs might actually be my best friend.

I have a spreadsheet for everything. I actually have more spreadsheets than I’m sharing here because I think just sharing these already makes me look a little excessive. I also used to have more spreadsheets than I do now, but some of them weren’t helping me as much as I’d hoped, so I got rid of them. Anyway, I have one big Google Sheet called BOOKS that houses all of my various spreadsheets.

So, there’s one for my Killing the TBR challenge.

As you can see, with the exception of Saint Anything, I hate almost every book that I own. Currently I’m only tracking the books that I’ve read for the challenge, but I think I’ll tweak the spreadsheet for 2019 so that I can more easily see which books qualify. That would be much more helpful.

Then, of course, there’s the spreadsheet for my Debut Author Challenge.

You can see that I’ve tended to like most of the debuts that I’ve read this year! They’re listed in the order I got them, so obviously I really need to get on The Queen’s Rising. This is also kind of an old screenshot since I read (and reviewed) How to Breathe Underwater more than a month ago.


On to the Monthly Motif sheet:

Sometimes I kind of, sort of plan out what I’m going to read for the Monthly Motif challenge, but sometimes I also wait until like the 25th of the month and then totally freak out because I haven’t read any appropriate books. This is a really old screenshot, too. August is over and done with and I’m also already done with September’s prompt.

My favorite of all my spreadsheets is the ARC tracker. It’s empty right now, so here’s a very old screenshot of it! I’m not requesting any more ARCs until next year (it’s time to catch up on the books I actually own), but this thing is so helpful. The last thing I want to do is forget about a book I’ve agreed to review!

This last spreadsheet is how I’m keeping track of everything I’ve read in 2018.

Here I track (1) how many books I’ve read, (2) the format, (3) the rating, (4) when I finished it, (5) the number of pages, (6 & 7) obviously the title and author, (8) the gender of the author (J means joint), (9) where the book came from, (10) the age group, (11) whether it’s a debut or not, (12) anything special, and (13) whether I wrote a review yet.

I haven’t really done anything with this spreadsheet yet (other than not forgetting to review something), but I think it’ll come in handy when I do my big yearly wrap-up post.

That’s pretty much the basics of how I plan everything out! Do you plan out your blog posts, or do you just go with the flow? Do you have any questions for me? Let me know in the comments!

Book review: When by Daniel H. Pink

When by Daniel H. Pink
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: AmazonTBDGoodreads
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Source: Borrowed

Everyone knows that timing is everything. But we don’t know much about timing itself. Our lives are a never-ending stream of “when” decisions: when to start a business, schedule a class, get serious about a person. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork.

Timing, it’s often assumed, is an art. In When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Pink shows that timing is really a science.

Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink reveals how best to live, work, and succeed. How can we use the hidden patterns of the day to build the ideal schedule? Why do certain breaks dramatically improve student test scores? How can we turn a stumbling beginning into a fresh start? Why should we avoid going to the hospital in the afternoon? Why is singing in time with other people as good for you as exercise? And what is the ideal time to quit a job, switch careers, or get married?

When I first saw When show up at my library, I was pretty excited. So were a lot of other people, because I ended up having it on hold forever before I finally got the email that it was ready. Then I got distracted, as I often do, by a bunch of other books I’d checked out or bought or decided to read for the heck of it, and all of a sudden the book was due back in two days and I had to marathon it. (Why do I do this to myself?) Luckily, it’s only 272 pages and let’s be honest, it’s not that deep. It’s a really quick read.

The book is fine. Just fine. I don’t know that I really learned anything. I don’t know that it really lives up to its premise. But it’s fine. If anything, this book is about learning to listen to your body. Pink advises us not to try to change ourselves to fit someone else’s schedule. He says not to try to make important decisions when you’re tired and to plan your workday around your natural highs and lows. None of this is really that groundbreaking, but it’s entertaining, at least.

Would I recommend it? I’m not sure. Maybe if you like psychology or you’re looking for some non-fiction that doesn’t require a ton of thinking. If you’re looking for something really insightful, you can skip this one.

Have you read When? Are you interested in psychology?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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