After my blog post about gaining followers and interaction, you were quite a few to ask me do write something down about my blogging organization so, I’m very happy today to answer your questions and to do a full-length blog post about how I manage to keep track of everything and organize myself fairly well to blog.
Before heading into this, please note that I am not the most organized blogger. Please also note that I have my own rhythm and while this may work out well for me, it might not work out for you. That being said, I hope that everyone of you will be able to take something from this post and hopefully will find it useful as well! As always, if you have more questions or want me to develop on anything else, let me know in comments and I’ll be happy to answer.
Another small disclaimer: I am not the first one talking about book blogging and organization and I love reading every kind of blog post about it all. I will link a couple of blog posts with bloggers sharing their own organization and spreadsheets in this blog post, too, feel free to give them a read, too! They’re amazing.
Alright, let’s get started with the advice part of the post, a.k.a the one you’ve been waiting for…
Also, if you’re interested in my spreadsheets, I will share them here so keep on reading!
🕒 Find time to blog : dedicate your time wisely
Whether you have been blogging for a couple weeks, months or years, you all realized (or will sadly realize) that with all the time we can spend book blogging, this could be a full-time job. While blogging and making money, or solely living off blogging is not a viable option, at least not that I know of, we are still taking a bunch of our lives to dedicate it to this hobby. Yet, we all have to juggle with other things in life: school, university, full or part-time jobs and so many other things as well. Basically, book bloggers are REALLY busy. And sometimes a bit overwhelmed.
That being said, my first advice here has to be about time and time-management as a book blogger.
What has been working fairly well for me, when it comes to organizing my time, is to cut up all the time I have in little halves and dedicate it to some particular blogging things. Basically, I divide my time in three big halves:
- One time where I write blog posts – 200% of the time, this happens on the weekend. I plan out my blog posts for the next week on the previous weekend.
- One time where I’m blog-hopping – I’m doing a little bit of this every day, except for sometimes on Saturdays and Sundays, where I’m just writing my blog posts.
- One time where I’m answering all of my comments – A little bit every day, as well.
This system works out well for me, but I’m not saying it could, for you. We all have different lives and times at home during the evening to do everything we want to do, squeezing blogging in sometimes is a struggle.
What’s important, at least for me in order to be an organized blogger, is to know what I’m supposed to do next. To keep on going, little by little and to do “blog-work” (putting this in quotation marks, because even if it is work, it’s also and before everything a hobby), I like to be able to have time-frames dedicated to some things. It helps me move on and be on track with everything.
Please note that I am not saying that you can’t be a mood blogger or / and write blog posts and blog hop whenever the hell you want. You do you, just sharing my system.
You can also read: how to blog-hop
📆 Have a blogging schedule : how to and how to keep track of it all
This is a magic word for any kind of organized blogger here – or wanna-be-organized: A SCHEDULE. I am the kind of person that needs to know what will happen next – well, as far as the next week comes, since weekends are only so long and, even if sometimes ideas are flowing, I can’t possibly plan out blog posts for the next month.
I am also working full-time and, without a schedule, without planning thing out ahead, well, let me tell you: I probably wouldn’t be blogging at all – or at least, not as much as I can with this scheduling system.
Scheduling is my life-saviour when it comes to book blogging okay.
Now, before getting into scheduling, this is important to know, especially if you’re one of these people a bit wary about scheduling : I started book blogging by posting 4 times a week. My life has changed since three and a half years ago and I had to narrow it down to 3 blog posts a week. I sometimes only do two, I sometimes just write one review a week. Having a schedule does not mean restricting yourself, for me. It means you can sort of keep track on everything, but you can also adapt your schedule to your life at the moment, because obviously, life comes first.
Okay, now that this is off the table, let’s continue.
As I mentioned it before, I am writing and scheduling my blog posts on the weekend for the upcoming week. I am using a Post Schedule Spreadsheet that I fill out with the blog posts I need to do, the ideas I have and my progress with it all. Honestly, I love how having a schedule written down like that helps me figuring out what’s coming next, what I have to do, the ideas I had and wanted to explore and so on.
My book blogging spreadsheet was inspired by my fellow, unfortunately former book blogger and overall amazing person, Reg @ She Latitude. If you are interested in seeing it or using it, feel free to click here for my post schedule and ideas template. (To save it up, go to File > Make a Copy or File > Download).
Some people also use the Google Calendar to plan things out, which I find is an equally brilliant idea. You can use a notebook, your phone, anything. What matters here is that if you get a random idea about blogging, you should definitely keep it somewhere, even if it’s not right away in your schedule. Chance are, if you don’t write it down, it will be gone forever.
You can also read: how to find ideas and inspiration to blog.
📚 Keep track of your books, reading and ARCs
Oh, books. Now here’s the tricky part of book blogging. Obviously, when you are a book blogger, you are reading a whole damn lot and it’s hard to keep track of everything.
Well… confidence time: I might not be that organized, because I don’t have a reading spreadsheet at all. The only way I am keeping track of everything I read is by using Goodreads and adding the books to my shelves and, aerm, that’s it.
There is something I realized I would need, when it comes to reading, though: an ARC tracking spreadsheet. Some place where I can keep track of the ARCs (Advance Readers’ Copies) I asked for, the ones I got approved on and the ones I need to read, review and so on. I am not the biggest ARC-requester out there, mainly because I am an international blogger and, as much as I love being denied things, well, you know. Ooops, that was bitter, sorry about that. More honestly, I was not the bigger ARC-requester until a little while ago, like a couple months ago only, where I found out that, I too, wasn’t that small or useless to publishers and could get books, too. So naturally, being human and all, I tried and keep on trying to spread the love for books.
Sorry, wow I went off topic here. SO. I use TWO things, when it comes to tracking my ARCs. First of all, I have a Gmail account – the account linked to my book blog, where I send all of my emails and requests. I use the very practical option of adding a label to the emails I send. This way, I can easily track all of the emails I sent regarding ARCs.
You can see here the ARC & Review Copies label on the left menu, as well as in my emails.
Click here if you want to find out how to create labels on Gmail (it’s really easy!)
- All you have to do is go on the left-menu to find the “Create a new label” button.
2. From there, a new window opens, you can name your label.
3. Once this is done, you can simply select your emails, whether they’re received or sent emails, and label them this way:
Then, I use my ARCs spreadsheet.
This spreadsheet allows me to keep track of the books I requested (you know. not to request it twice), the ones I got approved on, the ones I got denied on. I also keep track of my ARC TBR with this spreadsheet, as well as on all of the contacts list I had. I also happen to use Gmail and the label to scroll through my emails quicker, but I like having a spreadsheet with the contacts directly.
If you are interested in seeing it or using it, feel free to click here for my ARC spreadsheet. (To save it up, go to File > Make a Copy or File > Download).
If you are looking for more information on reading spreadsheets and how some people organize their reading as a whole, I can recommend May @ Forever & Everly’s post with track reading spreadsheets, as well as Fadwa @ Word Woonders’ posts on how she manages her reading. I can also recommend Aimee @ Aimee Always’ post with her own ARC spreadsheet.
After sharing all of this, I need to say something. You can totally be a mood blogger and don’t have a schedule at all. You can keep track of your books using goodreads only, using nothing at all. You can have a billion of spreadsheets, or none. Being an organized blogger does not mean doing what everyone else is doing. You can totally write whenever the heck you want, be a spontaneous blogger or a planning-obsessed.
It always takes a bit of time to find out whatever works for you, but if you love it and want to blog, you will find the right organization for you.
I really hope you found this post useful and could take something out of it!
Do you consider yourself an organized blogger? Do you have spreadsheets? What do you use them for? If you don’t use spreadsheets, how do you keep track of your blogging?
Do you also have some time dedicated to blogging, writing, reading blogs, etc? I’d love to know your thoughts, tips and tricks in comments!