Geek Life

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.

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Nagareboshi
    July 26, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    That’s so organised! Maybe, just maybe… I should get more organised? ^__^

    • Reply
      Mariko
      July 29, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      If I wasn’t even as organized as I am I would get nothing done. And I still feel totally disorganized.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    July 26, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Hehe my planning is pretty similar to yours, but I don’t have an actual calendar, I just grab a sheet of paper and draw one out lol I need to go buy one, but this has been working fine for me so far 😛

    I also try and use two days (Friday’s and Saturday’s) to write up my posts… like you said, it doesn’t always happen… one week it did work out perfectly and I had the whole week ready and I was like “Damn I’m Awesome.” Haha.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      July 29, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      I totally know the “damn I’m awesome,” feeling. :p

  • Reply
    Fiona
    July 27, 2014 at 2:23 am

    I’m definitely a paper girl – I like to sit down once a month and think about my blog. Having something visual to jot down on I feel makes the process easier for me:)

    • Reply
      Mariko
      July 29, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      I have no problem just writing on the computer, but for planning and brainstorming, I need to have that physical/visual touch.

  • Reply
    Fiona
    July 27, 2014 at 3:55 am

    I plan, I have a little notebook (with squared paper rather than lines) and it’s full of different things: ideas for future posts, me calculating which topic is most popular, hand drawn calendars etc.

    Normally, my method is to get an idea then write it roughly, a a little later I’ll come back to it. Sometimes I’ll spend a day just writing all these ideas up and scheduling them (I’m at a point now where most of August is planned out but some of the series I do go as far as December)

    • Reply
      Mariko
      July 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      That’s sort of what I use my notebooks for. I find I need all my notebooks to be function specific, so post ideas go in one notebook, general, blog improvement ideas go in another notebook, etc… It seems more scattered, but it makes sense in my head.

  • Reply
    Jenn
    July 27, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I try to plan out blog posts and have a couple drafts ready for the week, but it doesn’t always work out that way! Sometimes I’ll have an entire week’s worth of posts ready or at least planned out, and other times I’ll have no posts at all because I can’t find the time. I think I’m going to try the planner method in the future.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      July 29, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      I find this happens to me too, even with the planner. I think my real issue is “time management,” which is probably my #1 thing I need to improve.

  • Reply
    Stephanie Medeiros (@ohnerdjoy)
    July 27, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! I just picked up a larger print calendar so I can use my mini sticky notes with it but the resources you’ve provided are so nice and have what I’m looking for.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      July 29, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      Cool. Glad I could help!

  • Reply
    kaycreate
    July 27, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Currently I’m just using a notebook for all planning purposes, but I adore the color Post-It option. I’ve seen it elsewhere too, and it seem so efficient. At the moment I’ll look into the printable ones too. Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      July 29, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      No problem, Kay. I’m here to help. I also like this method because it gives me a good excuse to stock up on fun coloured post-its.

  • Reply
    Jane Y.
    July 28, 2014 at 9:57 am

    so neat. i am most definitely a planner. sometimes i do have posts schedules a months ahead too. i would love to go back to using post its and a planner/scheduler. i just love the thought of writing things down. but right now i just use google calendar to schedule everything. perhaps when i’m a bit more settled down i shall rethink my editorial calendar!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      July 29, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      I’m just extra OCD about this sort of thing, so I use both. Plus, I find both methods are better for different aspects of the way I like to plan, so I continue to use both.

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    July 28, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    I use excel spreadsheets. Lots and lots of spreadsheets. I plan out everything; blog posts, when to add new artwork to my shop, even what and when to put things on twitter, pinterest, and tumblr. I’m crazy organized and scheduled, but it’s the only way I get anything done!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      July 29, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Yeah, I need to write everything done and organize my thoughts, otherwise nothing would ever get done.

  • Reply
    Lisa Stauber
    July 31, 2014 at 12:43 am

    So glad you found our Printable Editorial calendar useful! Let us know if we can help you blog better.

  • Reply
    Plans for World Domination |
    August 1, 2014 at 10:52 am

    […] doodle where I need to, and flip through the pages. I’ve been looking over a lot of options (Gamerwife just had a post about blogging organization that was so perfectly timed for my life) and although I haven’t decided on what type of […]

  • Reply
    Jenny
    August 18, 2014 at 6:52 am

    I wish I was that organized. And motivated. I used to be xD I think sponsored blogging and all the “make money” crap killed it for me though. Now I just kinda pop in and out with stuff no one really cares about.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      August 18, 2014 at 10:46 am

      Yeah, I know how that can go. I try to focus on communicating and sharing with people and that helps to motivate me past the “making money” stuff.

  • Reply
    Kendall Ashley
    February 9, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Post its! Brilliant! I always end up scratching stuff out, whiting stuff out, and re-writing. Post its would save SO MUCH TIME.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      February 10, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      Yeah, I can’t take credit for that tip, but it has been a LIFESAVER.

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