Let’s face it – juggling between work, publishing 2-3 blogposts a week, having a neat looking Instagram Feed, shooting new content for the blog and brainstorming new ideas is tough! … and requires more than planning ahead. It’s not easy to stay on top of all the things that need to be done, but luckily, there are free ways and tools that help you to get things done. If you’re looking to get a grip on your busy life and stay organized, you’ve come to the right place.
This To-Do List Strategy will save your life
So this is the situation: You start the week with good intentions, fully motivated to tackle all the tasks on your To-Do list…well, you end up feeling overwhelmed, like there’s too much to get done and eventually don’t know where to start. This was me like 2 weeks ago, before I figured out this To-Do list strategy called 1-3-5 rule.
It’s a method, that helps you to prioritize your tasks and hence maximize your productivity. You’ll be finally on your way of getting sh** done without feeling frustrated and disappointed at the end of the week.
HOW IT WORKS
Prepare a daily To-Do list of 9 items. Keep in mind that you’ll prioritize one larger task a day, then three standard or less important tasks, and finally five small tasks – like I said, 1 – 3 – 5. Start with the big task – this is what’s usually taking up most of your time and what you really need to focus on, so you’ll want to tackle it for the day to be able to focus on other things. Complex tasks will be easier if you break them up into ,,call to action’’ bullet points. Trust me, you’ll better see what needs to be done to fulfill this tasks properly.
Next up, write down 3 medium priority items you need to work on. These should be less important than the big task and can be carried over to multiple days, if you don’t get them done in the first place. Last but not least, fill in 5 small tasks, that don’t take much priority, simply things you would leave for the end of the day. Keep these lists close to you during the day and tick them off before you move on to the next task. It leaves you with a feeling, that you’re always completing tasks and not just creating lists, that become unrealistic targets. Now go and tackle that list!
TOOL TIP: TRELLO: A platform that lets you create different boards/lists, add labels or notes, assign persons, set deadlines, prioritize your tasks and have it all in one place. Trello takes your project management to the next level and the set up is simple AF. I’m using the tool myself for more than 5 months now and I wouldn’t know what to do without it.
EVERNOTE: Similar approach but see for yourself and decide, which one you enjoy more.
WEEKLY SCHEDULE & Editorial Calendar
If you haven’t worked with an editorial calendar or weekly schedule before, you should definitely start now! An editorial calendar is where you plan out all of your content for a specific period of time – from 1 week up to 1 month, depending on how far ahead you usually plan. I’d suggest to create a broad list of content for the whole month and a more specific list for the coming 2 weeks. The more specific list is your weekly schedule, where you write down what blogpost you’re going to publish at what day, when you will start with the preparation for the post and it might even include a schedule for your daily social media channels. For instance, I always write down the times, I’d like to post on Instagram and Facebook for each day of the week, so I don’t miss any good posting times and have my social media presence a bit more structured. It doesn’t mean that you can’t go outside of that structure but the structure allows you to sort your ideas in a way that it can lead to more creativity. A weekly schedule and editorial calendar simply helps you to create a routine and consistency for your blog.
When planning your content for the coming weeks, make sure to pay attention to any holidays or special events, that would affect your content, such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas or even your birthday. Planning far ahead gives you enough time to brainstorm what would work for your audience during certain holidays and events.
- Use plugins for an editorial calendar, like this one.
- For your weekly schedule, use printable paper templates such as these ones from Eliza Ellis. I use them myself every week and it helps a lot.
Optional: Checklist for your Blogposts to make sure you have covered all the steps from preparation to the process of creating a blogpost and evaluation.
Apps for getting and staying organized
Basically, it’s a visual planner, that helps you create an aesthetic and awesome looking Instagram grid and even schedule posts. I tried other tools, such as Later and Iconosquare but found this to be the easiest app when it comes to organizing my Instagram feed. If you upgrade your free account, you can also get insights into the analytics of your Instagram channel, such as top performing posts, follower growth etc.
The 30/30 App ensures, that you stay on tasks during the day. Simply add a task, give it a color, set a timer and press go. After your time ran out, you need to move on to the next task. Knowing that you’ll only have a certain period of time to finish a task, gives you a feeling of pressure and eventually helps you to get things done.
The best App when it comes to project management and staying on top of your To-Do Lists.
Never forget any of your passwords again with LastPass. It securely stores all of your usernames and passwords, which you can access using your TouchID or master password. You can even share your passwords with friends and family.
I can’t say, how much I love this tool. Basically, while you’re browsing the internet, you can easily save articles, videos, links etc. to Pocket with just one click to check them out later. It just makes life so much easier, doesn’t it? Whether it’s that new cool pair of boots on ASOS, an interesting post on your favorite blog or a funny clip on Facebook – Pocket will automatically save and sync your files, links and pages across your devices and even suggest new personalized content for you to discover, when you ran out of inspiration.
Stop comparing yourself to others
None of us are happy with our Instagram following or engagement or the number of comments we receive on our blog – the truth is we never will be. But comparing ourselves to fellow bloggers with higher engagement and more followers just makes things worse. Good news is, we all do it from time to time, so you are certainly not alone with your feelings. I’ve myself lived most of my life comparing myself to others, especially in the past year since I’ve started my blog. I would wake up in the morning comparing myself to that skinny girl on Instagram with her flawless hair, bright smile and amazing look… It still happens every once in a while, sure, but it got a lot better. I remembered what’s really important in life and why I started blogging in the first place, you know, see the big picture. Your Instagram followings don’t say anything about who you are and what you’ve accomplished. You need to be proud of yourself and how far you’ve come. I mean you’re a badass writer of your own story and brave enough to share your experiences and inspirations with others. Agencies want to work with different personalities, different brands so they can reach different audiences. Everyone is unique in its own way and there is room for all of us. Keep that in mind, always.
MAKENA MANA COLLECTION
I don’t know about you, but I find work easier when I hold a lovely notebook in my hands. That being said, there is this really awesome brand called MAKENA, which recently released their first collection called MAKENA MANA, I’d like to introduce you to. The Leipzig based team designs marvelous ‘daily life helpers‘ made of paper just like the notebook you see here. The prints not only look good but have a beautiful and mystic story to tell. I literally fell in love with their collection the minute I saw them. The designs express so much calmness, strength and energy – perfect to tackle any stressful day and get things done. They are currently only sold at a small Leipzig store, called ‘Hafen’ but if you want to buy anything from their new collection, just contact me and I’ll put you into contact with them to find an arrangement for shipping.
What sort of Methods, Tools and Tips do you use to stay on top of your blogging business? Share them down below, I would love to hear them!