Hi all! First off, I wanted to apologize for the lack of posts thus far this week. I am actually preparing to leave on a two week vacation, and so things have been hectic around here to say the least. I have been working my tail off to make sure everything is prepped and ready for the blog and shop while I’m away, because I definitely don’t want to leave you guys high and dry! I have some really fun posts planned for you guys while I’m away, and I think you’re really going to like them!
Anyways, on to today’s post! I have been wanting to write and share an updated look at my blog planner for quite some time now. I shared a first look at this planner here, but since then a bunch has changed. I’ve made a lot of tweaks and adjustments as I realized more of what I do and don’t need from my blog planner.
The first thing that needed to happen was updated dividers for my planner. This is actually a pretty recent change, but one that had been begging to happen for a while. I previously had the same sections from when I first set up my planner, and I just wasn’t using a lot of them.
So after I made some new dividers for my smaller discbound planner, I was inspired to make some for my blog planner as well! I’ll also be sharing a post with a closer look at these dividers, and how I made them, very soon. The sections I decided to go with this time around were Monthly, Weekly, Social, Lists, Notes and Money.
The first section holds my month at a glance calendars. Previously I wasn’t getting much use out of these calendars, as I didn’t really know what I wanted to track and organize in them beyond my posting schedule. I still keep things relatively simply (I like a nice clean overview of my month and important happenings), but I have been getting a lot more use out of my monthly calendars recently. I still track when my blog posts are scheduled (the orange rectangles), and then write in the titles once the post actually goes live.
I then track any other important dates I’d like to be aware of, like due dates for the Studio L2E Creative Team. This month I also marked which days I will be gone on my cruise using some washi tape, and I also decorated a bit for my third blogiversary happening this month! I also marked a special launch I’m planning for later this month with a blue rectangle, to be filled in later (stay tuned!).
In previous months I had also played with daily goal tracking (pageviews/follower counts) but found that way to cluttering for my monthly view, so I’m still trying to figure out exactly how I want to do a few things. I love having my planners be a constant work in process, changing and evolving to always better fit my needs.
Next up is my weekly section, and this is where the bulk of my regular planning occurs. Each Sunday, during my weekly planning session, I plan out my week ahead of work for the blog. I use week per page inserts, and use Studio L2E checklists to list out the tasks I’d like to accomplish each day.
I also use stamps to plan out my Instagrams for each day, and to plan out the blog posts I have scheduled for that week. It’s a very simple system, but I have found it works perfectly for how I plan. When each day rolls around, I simply pull out my blog planner, and transfer any to-dos listed for that day into my daily planning page.
To keep things fun, I switch up some of the details (like ink colors, checklist shapes, etc.), but I usually keep the structure of these pages basically the same week to week.
After my Weekly section, I have my new Social section. The main inserts in this section were previously in my planner, I just renamed the section to work better for how I want to use my planner.
After every one of my posts is published here on the blog, I immediately go to the currently month’s insert in the Social section. I write in the post’s title on the current date’s line, and check off that the post was written and published. Once I share that post to each of my social channels, it will also be checked off there. This page keeps me accountable, and helps to ensure I share all my posts on all my social profiles.
I’m planning to expand this section for more well-rounded social media planning, but for now I just have one more small insert in here. I started to accrue a number of personalized hashtags I’ve developed for different purposes (mostly for Instagram). I wanted a place to write down all these hashtags, so I wouldn’t forget about them. I didn’t need anything fancy, just a simple list of all my personal hashtags.
Next up is my Lists sections, previously To Do. I have moved way from specific To Do sections in most of my planners, in favor of broader Lists sections. This allows me more flexibility with my sections, to fit my needs. Previously I would basically use the To Do section for a single to-do list insert, which was hardly efficient.
With the section relabeled as Lists, I can be much broader in what the section can hold. I also now have a bunch of lists I want to keep track of in this section. One of my favorites being an entire list devoted to each section of Label Me Merrit, for post brainstorming ideas. These pages are where I write down any post ideas I come up with, or any requested posts you guys ask for.
Finally I have my Money divider. I’m not going to go too much into detail in this section, since I do want to keep my blog’s finances private, but I do want to share a little bit of what I use to keep my finances organized. While I’m starting to use QuickBooks for the majority of my bookkeeping, I still like to keep a general overview of my finances on paper in my planner.
The first insert I keep in this section is a yearly income overview. There are rows for each month of the year, and an additional row for a yearly total. Then there are columns for total income, expense, and profit for each month. These pages give me a nice, clear overview of how my blog is doing financially, as well as totals in each column for the full year. These are technically A5 inserts (which you can find here), I just didn’t cut the page down the middle. This way, I can track 4 full years of finances on one letter sized page.
After the yearly financial overview, I also have specific sheets for various advertising and affiliate programs I’m involved in. Each month, I record how much was earned from each channel on it’s corresponding sheet. This also helps give me an overview of how well a revenue stream is doing, and if I need to adjust or cut completely the effort I put in maintaining that stream.
I hope you liked taking a peak through my blog planner, and I hope it gave you some ideas if you’re working on setting up your own blog planner! Feel free to ask me any questions about my blog planner or how I organize my blog in the comments below 🙂