Friday I’m In Love

Mario Versus Bowser by Erin Hunting

Mario Versus Bowser by Erin Hunting available at Etsy

Hi Everybody!

Sorry for the sporadic posting lately. Having my brother visiting last week made me realize how badly I needed a vacation myself, so I took some time away from the blog to recharge and refocus. And I’m kinda glad I did because I just got some insane news: the panel I’m a part of was approved by PAX Prime!

I’m going to Seattle!

I really didn’t know if we’d get accepted so I hadn’t really made any plans since PAX Prime is super sold out, but now I’ve got 4 weeks to plan my trip, find accommodations and finish the TWO cosplays I’ve been planning. Eep.

In other news, I had a chance to chat with Gabriella over at Vulcan Sugar & Spice as part of her Gamer Famelle series & I won another giveaway, this one hosted by The Nerdy Girlie.

Things are coming up Mariko all over the place!

Your Kickstarter Pick:
The Hole Story – The winner of the inaugural Girls Making Games Demo Day, judged by gaming luminaries such as Tim Schafer & Kellee Santiago, needs your help to become a full-fledged game. The game is a top-down RPG with puzzles in lieu of combat and centers around a would-be anthropologist and her trusty shovel. Support girls making games!

Link Time!
Sassy diaper covers. For pets.

Nostalgia alert! Check out the original design documents for Maniac Mansion and the birth of the SCUMM engine!

Montreal indie friends Double Stallion & Kitfox Games dish on their decision to ditch free to play as a monetization model.

Like many of you, I dearly love anything Pony Chops does, but I think I flat out need this Grumpy Mankeki Neko clock.

Can playing games in the office help your business?

I absolutely adore this approach to games for good: licensing, instead of appropriating, cultural experiences.

Sad, but legitimately fascinating.

And finally, the true origins of superheros.

How I Plan My Blog Posts

How I Plan My Blog Posts

This post was inspired by the feedback I got back when I posted about My 5 Favourite Blogging Tools. A number of you wanted to know how I used my editorial calendar, so I figured I’d do a little post about how I plan my blog posts. I actually use a combination of built-in blog calendar, paper calendar and a series of notebooks for jotting down and expanding upon different post ideas.

How I Plan My Blog Posts - Planner

Although I do use (and love!) CoSchedule as my digital editorial calendar, I also like to use a paper calendar to plan out posts a month or two in advance before I commit them to CoSchedule. My basic method is adapted from The Dainty Squid, who uses a Target notebook calendar and colour Post Its to keep her posts organized. I really like this method for a number of reasons:

  1. Cute notebooks.
  2. The Post Its make it easy to shift things around as ideas shift and evolve.
  3. Using different colours for my different post types helps to make sure I don’t flood certain weeks with more of one type of post.
  4. Keeping it portable makes it easy to make adjustments whenever inspiration strikes.
  5. I like the tactile nature of moving and writing on the Post Its. It helps me remember.

I find that now with review requests and blog link ups that it is quite easy for me to have a full month’s worth of blog posts all planned out in advance. I keep a variety of notebooks with me at all times for recording blog post ideas and starting to flesh them out. For example, I’ll scribble a possible title or theme written at the top of a page with the rest of the page open for examples or notes to prompt me for when I finally get down to writing the post.

Some people like to use printable sheets to plan out their blog posts, so I included some links to some of the better designed and useful physical blog planners I’ve seen.

However, even if you prefer doing your organizing online, CoSchedule isn’t the only option. Before I upgraded to CoSchedule I had a lot of success with the basic Editorial Calendar plugin for WordPress. And if you aren’t able to use plugins, Gwen from This Fashion is Mine has a great post on how to use Google Calendar to organize your blog posts.

How I Plan My Blog Posts - Notebook

After I have everything all planned out, I can then schedule myself two days a week where I sit down and write, edit, produce images for, and schedule posts in advance. It doesn’t always work out the way I’d like, but it works enough of the time to still be my go-to method. I know this method won’t work for everyone, but I find it works well for me and saves me lots of time and torment when it comes to writing time.

How do you usually organize your blog posts? Are you a planner, or do you prefer waiting until when inspiration strikes?

*This post contains affiliate links.

Nerd Block Jr. Girls Unboxing July 2014

*Full Disclosure: I paid for this box out of my own pocket. However, this post does contain affiliate links which means I get a small commission if you sign up for the service through the link. All opinions expressed are my own.

Hi all!

Sorry I’ve been kinda MIA lately. Trying to keep up with my brother was a lot more taxing than I’d realized. However, I had a fantastic time and a fantastic visit. So, now that he’s back in Vancouver I’m all set to get back to blog life.

And with that, I bring you a brand new video!!!

Here’s a bit more info on Nerd Block in case you were interested in getting one yourself:

Nerd Block is a nerdy subscription box service similar to Loot Crate which I had previously reviewed here, except that Nerd Block has 4 different box “types” that you can choose from. There’s the Nerd Block classic for $19.99 , which is your basic box of toys & t-shirts a la Loot Crate. They also offer Nerd Block Jr. in boys or girls flavours for $13.99. These ones don’t come with t-shirts, but do seem to include craft items and books as well as the toys and action figures. Finally, Nerd Block also offers a Horror Block for all you fellow horror aficionados.

The Nerd Block site is very easy to navigate and canceling your Nerd Block is as easy as sending an email to their cancellations department, instructions which are clearly stated in their FAQ, unlike Loot Crate who seem to make their cancellation process as obscure as possible.

I also like that Nerd Block has distribution centers all over the world, which means that I got my box here in Canada at the same time as everyone else in the US or Europe. No waiting around like a looser watching everyone else’s unboxing videos for me.