As I’ve mentioned, 2016 was a bit of a slow year blogging wise. I read plenty of books (not as many as in previous years but still a lot) but I didn’t write anywhere near as many reviews as books I read. This is for quite a few reasons but one of them was that I didn’t really bother to buy myself a proper blog planner and have a place where I could record what was coming in and what I was supposed to be doing on what day.
When I started the blog, I just read whatever I felt like and reviewed whenever I wanted. As I started to accept more books for review and join blog tours where I was required to post on a certain date, I had a blog planner to keep me organised. Last year I was away in December and never really got around to organising one for 2016 and it seemed that the ‘begin as you mean to go on’ mantra rang true for me. At times in 2016 there was very little consistency to my blog posts….I think I went as long as a month without posting only to pop up and post 4x in a week, drop off for another 2 weeks etc. I’m aiming to reduce that a lot next year.
In 2013, 2014 and 2015 I used the same blog planner after meeting Shelleyrae from Book’d Out and seeing hers. It worked really well and I liked them a lot. I was going to order one of them again but then I saw a post that Erin Condren planners were 30% off from the US over the Black Friday weekend. I hadn’t purchased one before so that gave me an added 10% off which ended up making the price rather reasonable, including shipping it here. Us poor folks in Australia quite often get a raw deal when it comes to shipping things from overseas – it can cost more than the item. Sometimes many times more. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen something, gone to order it and then been hit with $100+ shipping. Once I went to order $20 worth of stickers from an Etsy store and it was going to cost $68 to ship them. Needless to say I didn’t go through with that!
I like planners that I can personalise and make my own. There are so many these days….I have a Kikki K planner for household stuff, my kids commitments such as swimming and school events etc but I discovered when I tried to repurpose one last year as a makeshift blog planner that it just didn’t really work for me. I’m a bit of a stationery nerd. I love notebooks, diaries, planners and all that stuff. I have hundreds of pens. I’m a visual learner, I like having things open in front of me rather than stored on an online calendar or in my phone. I love to flip pages. I like to write things down. That’s what works for me.
So I thought I’d share the planner I bought for next year and how I plan to use it. Note: This isn’t a sponsored post or anything. I paid for it myself, have no connection to the company etc.
I picked this cover for two reasons – one, I love the colours. Blues and greens are my faves…..if you saw how much I owned in the shades of blue/green, especially the colours that are a mix of the two like teal! It’s half my wardrobe probably. I also picked it because…..the quote works for me. I love reading. I love blogging. I may go through stages where I’m a bit fatigued with one, the other or even both but it doesn’t mean I no longer love either of them. I think having a reminder that I am doing this because I love it is a nice thing, every time I open the planner.
The layout inside is pretty simple….I’ve discovered through trial and error that horizontal is the only layout that works for me. I can’t stand vertical, although the vertical layouts of this particular planner seem super popular!
This is just a blank layout because although I have got things booked in for January, I haven’t actually marked them into the planner yet as I just received it. However whenever I get a date for a blog tour, I write it down on the relevant day. I note down book title, author, what I’m doing such as review, Q&A, guest post etc and the relevant publisher to send the link to. If I’m reviewing a book I’ve purchased myself, I just note down the title and author on the day I’ve scheduled the review to post. I also track my incoming books, noting down what I’ve received on what day and whether or not it was from NetGalley. That helps me notice if I have a blog tour coming up and the book hasn’t arrived yet or if I’ve received 2 copies of something (this happens occasionally). It also allows me to know how long some books have been sitting on my shelf! There are notes pages where I write down books that interest me from reviews I’ve read or seen mentioned or ones that are being released soon that I need to keep a look out for the next I’m in a bookstore. I might scribble down ideas I have for blog posts (the majority of never get written) as well.
One of my blog resolutions for 2017 is to be more organised and with that, more consistent. So I think that I’ve taken the first step to making that resolution a reality. I have so many awesome books to read and talk about and now I have the time to talk about them. My motivation is back so everything seems to be falling into place.
I’m curious to know how other people plan their posts – or even if they do. If you have a way of keeping organised, be it for blogging or work or life, let me know!