With the initial scramble to ‘get organised for 2020’ over, I thought it’d be nice to lean into the organisation theme but be a little more specific this time around. I’m often asked how I stay on top of my blog and Instagram organisation and planning, and I’m always forced to give the somewhat vague answer of ‘I use my bullet journal’. When I first discovered the weird and wonderful ways of bullet journalling, I knew it’d be perfect for me because I was really struggling to use a diary for work, a notebook for blog things and a journal for my thoughts. Thus I use my bullet journal for all three, and it really does work cohesively for me these days.
The top things I wanted to address in my bullet journal were these:
- Planning future posts.
- Reflecting on the success of past posts.
- Having space to practically track for my content pillars.
As with my main bullet journal posts, I’d really recommend adding an Index to the start of your bullet journal. This acts as a contents page of sorts, and is great regardless of if the bujo in question is being used solely for blogging or for a mix of things (like mine). The idea is you add to it throughout the year and number your pages throughout so you can easily find your place. Not all of my trackers fall at the start of my bullet journal, so I find this really handy to have.
Daisybutter is a lifestyle blog written in a pillar post style, in that I don’t focus solely on my niche (sharing stories as a British-born Chinese woman), but I focus on a few branches. Namely, these are books, bullet journalling and mindful living. As such, I use a Reading Tracker to help me create my book posts.
My reading challenge for the year has actually changed (already) but the focus of this double-page spread is still the same. These shelves feature hand-drawn books which I can add title, author names, and a rating to, as well as colour in the ‘book’ to match the month in which I read it. I use Goodreads daily to track this sort of thing, but it’s far easier to refer back to my bullet journal on my desk when I write my bookish posts and round-ups.
Top Performing Posts Log
Something I’ve used for several years is a Top Performing Posts Log. On the 1st of every month, I spend an hour or so on Google Analytics, plotting in my stats from the previous month and I also log in the titles of the two top performing posts from that month as well. This is great because I plan Daisybutter posts up to three months in advance, and I can see patterns in the sorts of post, or even the title format, that do well.
This way of planning posts, however, also means that whilst I look really on top of things, planned topics may not necessarily match up to how timely or ‘wanted’ the post is. For example I may plan a post in April that shares how my fitness routine is changing, but when April rolls around, the Log shows that posts about how to do XYZ in the gym are more popular.
Adhoc Post Planning Pages
I’ve not actually managed to shoot any of these because the only ones I have in my current bullet journal are for upcoming posts! However I find these to be really useful for planning either long-reads, listicles or posts that I’m hoping to super-optimise for SEO.
I tend to draft a few different blog title options, jot down any words or phrases that I want to use within the post, choose SEO keywords or note down keywords I’ve researched, and generally brain dump before I actually put fingers to keyboard and formulate the post itself. I always write before shooting photos too, so often I’ll storyboard (sketch) a few photo ideas at the bottom, which is handy for my shoot days. This might sound pedantic and a bit fiddly, but it’s ideal if you find you often have lots of ideas floating around your head but struggle to realise them in a full blog post format.
Weekly Content Planner
I differentiate this from my editorial calendar — which I do on Google Calendar — because, and this is almost certainly because of my day job, I take pride in creating a cohesive yet unique experience of Daisybutter across my platforms. Within my weekly spreads (week-to-view diary page), I jot down the themes of the blog post, Instagram post and Instagram Stories for that day. When I’m working through my daily to-do lists, I can then make note of what I’m sharing where!
I hope this post has proved useful for at least some of you; I know a large majority of my readers aren’t bloggers themselves! And if you are, how do you keep on top of your blogging routine?