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!

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75 thoughts on “Let’s talk about: Planning out my (blogging) life

  1. Lauren Becker says:

    Ooh fun post! I use one planner for life and blog stuff, but I really like how you keep track of your blog posts with stickers on the monthly calendar. When it comes to moving things around, I use an erasable pen sometimes or sticky notes, but that’s cool you always use sticky notes. Love it!

    -lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara @ The Bibliophagist says:

      Thank you! I used to keep my life stuff and my blog stuff in the same place, but I’m actually much worse about planning out my life stuff… mostly I just put that in my phone. An erasable pen is a good idea! That would have helped me a lot in my old planner, which was an actual disaster.

      Like

  2. Becky @ Velvet Spade Reads says:

    I wish I could use my planner… I’m so good at it for like two weeks and then everything falls apart! LOL. Great post! Thanks so much for sharing. I do have an ARC spreadsheet as well so I can organize when books come out and try to post reviews close to their release date (and so I don’t forget to review something NetGalley approved). ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sarah Stubbs says:

    I love this soooooo much! About a year ago I did a giant spreadsheet with all of the books I own and whether or not I’d read them but I haven’t been updating it so it needs to be redone. I’m totally stealing the planner idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alyssa Grace says:

    Omg this is so cool. I would never have the amount of coordination required to plan this far in advance–I outline individual posts, but your spreadsheets are another level entirely! Super in awe of your organisational skills. And it’s all so neat and pretty ❤

    Like

  5. Jennifer @ Bookish Devices says:

    I have to plan as well. The organizer bug in me would have it no other way! I only post to the blog once a week (99% book reviews), so I handwrite my dates into a little notebook. I mostly review ARCs and it’s super helpful to know when I’m searching NetGalley if I have time for a book that grabbed my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara @ The Bibliophagist says:

      I’m happy to meet a fellow planner! Before I started planning like this, I would end up with a bunch of ARC reviews that needed to be posted at the same time, and that’s just stressful… this also helps with my TBR because if I don’t have time to post a review, I just don’t request it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Erin @ Pages of Milk and Honey says:

    This is super amazing! I really want to get even more organised with my own books. Right now I have an ARC spreadsheet that I love, as well as a spreadsheet to keep track of my online book club. I do write posts in advance, but my biggest schedule has only ever been maybe a month long? For the most part I write posts when I’m feeling inspired, which so far has been often enough that I haven’t gone without posting in a long time. I also try to mix up my posts so I’m not posting like, four tags in a row or something. I definitely don’t post everyday so I commend you for that and am super jealous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara @ The Bibliophagist says:

      Thank you! ❤

      And yes, the planner definitely helps with not posting a bunch of the same thing in a row! I try to mix up the kinds of books I’m reviewing so it’s not the same genre or topic over and over and over again.

      I also wait until I’m inspired to write my posts, so I have drafts of a bunch of tags and discussion posts just hanging around until I actually feel like I have something to say. I was inspired to finish this post (and about ten different tags) while dogsitting at my friend’s house, which maybe means that I should do that more often. 🙂

      Like

  7. eclecticfrump says:

    Wow! I am in awe of those spreadsheets, even if I tried I’d forget to add something in a month or so. I’ve got a google spreadsheet for all my reads but I constantly forget to update it. I’m curious why all the hate towards your TBR – purchased awhile ago and they just don’t appeal now? That happens to me if I wait too long after purchasing them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara @ The Bibliophagist says:

      I’m not really sure why I hate everything that I own! My best guess is that my reading tastes have changed over the last year or so. I used to like erotica and dramatic new adult books a lot more than I do now. A lot of them were also Kindle freebies, so they’re not necessarily books I really wanted to read, just books that were free so I thought “why not.”

      Like

  8. rayasreads says:

    This post makes me feel even more of an unorganized mess that I am than usual.
    Since I’m new at this, I just go with the flow. I do think of planning ahead but I’m too lazy to actively do anything about it.

    Anyhow, thanks for the insight into your organization of blogging. This was interesting and inspiring to say the least. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. AJ says:

    I am a planner too and can’t imagine going anywhere without my planner! I like the idea of using sticky notes though as I don’t like when my planner gets messy looking!

    Like

  10. lifewithabookworm says:

    This post is so helpful! Being ridiculously skittish with writing blog posts is what I’m good at! Sometimes I find it hard because I work full time and I’m doing my masters but honestly this inspired me so much! Just got to get myself as organised as you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Paige Hammock says:

    This is an excellent post! It has given me so many ideas for growing my own blog. Which admittedly has been mostly reviews lately and just for me more than for anyone else, but I’d like to expand! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. She Wants The PhD says:

    How have I never thought about using a spreadsheet system to track books I’ve read?!? I’ve tried it for books in my “to read” pile but I get overwhelmed and scared off. This is a much better alternative! Thanks for sharing some of your brain with us!

    Liked by 1 person

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