Organisation is one of my favourite topics.
I’m not claiming to be particularly good at it, you understand: I mean, I still have a long way to go before my home looks anything like any of the Pinterest boards I’ve been trying to model it on, but I do try, and that’s at least half the battle, right? Oh, and I’m just a little bit obsessed with stationery… which means that every January (or December, rather), I get to go through the thoroughly enjoyable process of working out how I’m going to organise my blog and my life over the course of the next year.
I’ve done a couple of these posts in the past, but my methods of getting organised tend to change slightly over time (plus, I never get tired of talking about them, apparently), so here’s how I’m doing it in 2017…
Paper Vs digital
Although my iPhone is rarely out of my hand (other than those times when I’m randomly dropping it on the ground, and shattering the screen, obviously…), when it comes to forward planning, I much prefer good, ol’ fashioned pen and paper. I’m not really sure why, because my handwriting is so bad that I can barely read it myself, but I just prefer to get some things down on paper, so while I do use the ‘Notes’, ‘Reminders’ and calendar apps on my phone to keep track of things on the go, if I’m sitting down to plan a week’s worth of blog posts, or brainstorm ideas, say, I’ll want a notebook for that. Preferably a pink or gold one, as you’ve probably guessed from the photos. Believe it or not, I actually didn’t choose to give 2017 a colour theme, it just sort of picked itself. Not complaining, not judging…
Because I know someone will bring it up, I did toy with the idea of a Bullet Journal, and even briefly started one last year, but, I dunno, it all just seemed a bit too complicated for my liking? I realise that will sound ridiculous to those of you who have one, and that the beauty of the bullet journal system is that you can make it whatever you want it to be, but I kept forgetting what all of the various symbols were supposed to mean, and would constantly forget to number my pages, or update the index, so I gave up after a couple of weeks and just accepted that I need some kind of predetermined structure to my planner if I want it to work. (Also, I know it’s not obligatory to decorate them, but I kept seeing all of these beautifully illustrated journals on Instagram, and as I have neither the time nor the talent for all of that, I felt a bit like I was letting the side down, to be honest) So, here’s what I’m using instead…
The Blog Planner
Yeah, it’s that same Ban.do planner every second person on Instagram has right now. What can I say? It would appear that I’m as basic as it gets – please pretend you didn’t already know. In my defence, I didn’t just buy this because I thought it would look good on Instagram. I mean, it was mostly because of that, but the fact is, over the years, I’ve tried quite a few different planners for my blog, and so far this is the one that best meets my requirements. Those are actually pretty simple, as it happens: I basically need a month-to-view calendar, with boxes big enough for me to write in the titles of each blog post, plus some kind of weekly diary which I can use to note down goals and tasks for the week. And that’s pretty much it, really.
This planner wasn’t specifically designed for bloggers, but it has both of those options, plus a bunch of blank pages for notes, and a whole lot of stickers… which I confess to not having used at all so far, because, like I said, I’m not really into decorating notebooks, and I never really know what to do with stickers. (Er, I obviously know I should stick them on things, it’s just deciding which things that stumps me. What if I put a sticker on one thing, then I decide I don’t like it there, and that I’d rather stick it somewhere else, for instance? WHAT IF, people? I just can’t commit to stickers. Maybe therapy would help?)
OK, so maybe I don’t need the stickers, but I do use everything else in this, which sets it apart from my LAST planner, which seemed awesome at the time, but which had a ton of pages which I just never, ever used. As for how I use this one, meanwhile, well, that method hasn’t really changed: basically, when I have an idea for a blog post, I’ll pencil it into the next available slot (taking account of any “‘themed”days: i.e Fridays are for ‘Three Things‘, Sundays are for blog tips, etc…), then, once the post is written and scheduled, I’ll go over it in ink, using a different colour for each different category – fashion, beauty, life and blogging. That allows me to see the month at a glance, and to quickly decide if there’s too much of one topic and not enough of another, or whatever. (That’s what it’s supposed to do, anyway… sometimes I will end up posting about the same damn thing all week, but I try not to worry about it too much). I use the weekly diary section, as I said, to write down my tasks and goals for each week, and the blank pages are for yearly goals, passwords, and other blog-related things I might need to remember.
I feel guilty about not using the stickers. I will write it down as a ‘To Do’ for next week.
Everything (or most things) blog-related goes into the pink planner (Not to be confused with The Pink Panther…), so everything else I need to remember goes into this little gold diary, which I picked up in Sainsbury’s last month. This is basically where I organise my life, so any appointments, birthdays, anniversaries etc go in here. Er, I mean, I’m sure you’re familiar with diaries, aren’t you? I’ll stop explaining this one, then, and simply add that I went for a pocket-sized diary this year because I
don’t really have a life find that most of the planning I do tends to revolve around work anyway, so I don’t need a huge amount of space for everything else. I no longer keep a “proper” paper diary – partly because I do so much “journaling” here on the blog that I don’t really feel the need for one, and partly because I really wasn’t joking when I said I can barely read my own handwriting.
(I did briefly take up “proper” journaling last year, but I ended up transferring it all to a Word document on my laptop, because although I said I prefer pen and paper for organising, that definitely isn’t the case with writing. It’s just much easier and quicker for me to type something than to write it by hand, and it also has the benefit of being legible, too, so if I ever do get the urge to spill my guts to a blank page, it’ll be a blank page on a computer screen, thanks very much.)
I do, however, still do some writing by hand, and I do it here:
Notebooks are one of the great joys of life, as far as I’m concerned, and no matter how many I have, I can never resist the lure of just one more … especially one with a bit of a motivational slogan on the front, because, like I said, basic. (All of the notebooks in the photo came from TK Maxx, by the way, which is an awesome source of stationery – just don’t blame me if it ends up bankrupting you) I currently have three main notebooks on the go, with a bunch of other ones also in regular rotation. Of the three you can see above, however, one (‘Good Vibes Only’) is for anything blog-related that didn’t go into the planner: so, random ideas for posts, lists of things I need to do but know I’ll never get round to – that kind of thing. The ‘Just Be You’ notebook, meanwhile, is for a top secret project I’m working on at the moment, and contains everything pertaining to that, and the ‘Fear Less’ book is my daily gratitude log, which my ‘Three Things Friday’ posts come from.
And that’s about it! Well, sort of: as I said, I do use my iPhone’s calendar and ‘notes’ app from time to time, plus a bunch of other, random notebooks which contain anything that doesn’t fit into the three above. Er, it’s much less complicated than it probably sounds, I promise: and it works for me… for now. I’m sure I’ll have another one of these posts for you next year, when I’ve decided to change things up again (or to buy a new diary and planner, at least), but for now, this is how I’m organising my blog and my life.