How to Be an Organized Blogger

I began freelance blogging and writing after I got laid off from my job. After applying to countless job positions and either not hearing back or not being offered a position, I decided to pursue blogging and writing ill time. It has been an amazing opportunity, allowing me quite a bit of flexibility, including being available for my family in case they need me, having the shortest commute ever, and being able to learn entrepreneurship. As awesome as it is to be a freelance blogger, I’ve run into a couple of road blocks along the way. Most of these blocks include time management and organization.

Being a freelance blogger is all about being organized and using your time wisely. It’s easy to get distracted when you work from home. There’s mindless television on at all hours, and then the regular events at home can get in the way. Add an event in and your schedule can be thrown out of whack for weeks! Here are tips on how to be an organized blogger:

Have a schedule: Just because you’re working on your own doesn’t mean you don’t need hours of operation. Have a clear schedule set for yourself where you’ll do a task for a certain amount of time. Everyone works differently; I used to be a night owl but now I’m a relatively early riser. Make your schedule fit your best working time.

Use a planner: This has been something I use to do all the time but I’ve been slacking on lately. I like to have things planned out. If there’s a project I don’t need to start until a few days or weeks out, I have to write it down or else I’ll forget. As much as I enjoy the Internet and the many tools it gives me, in my opinion, there’s nothing better than a planner you can write in with a pen.

Reliable Internet: My entire work revolves around access to the Internet. I may not need the Internet to write or type, but I do need it to manage communications and publish. Thankfully, I have pretty reliable Internet, and if not, I do have some backup areas I can go.

A Clock or Watch: It’s so easy to lose track of time if you’re doing something you love. I like to set alarms for when it’s time to move on to the next task. It keeps me on track and keeps me efficient, so that I’m not wasting time on one task and leaving other things for the next day.

E-mail labels and filters: I write different things for different people, and e-mail tends to be our primary communication. E-mail labels and filters have become my best friend. I use filters and labels to organize who I should contact first, what post goes where, and what takes highest priority.

Paypal: For some of my positions, I’m graciously paid for my services. Paypal keeps my finances and accounting on track. I’m able to send invoices, let my clients know what I’ve done for them, and receive my funds all in the same place. This keeps just about everybody sane.

Blogging is so fun, it almost doesn’t even feel like a job! However, because it is my profession, I have to treat it as such and make sure I remain professional at all times. Organization skills like the ones mentioned above keep me sane and keep my business thriving.

So, how do you stay organized?



Comments

How to Be an Organized Blogger — 22 Comments

  1. These are some solid tips. One of the most important things for me is choosing a time to work when I am flowing efficiently. Like you, I can be a night owl, but my current preference is mornings. I also use a timer, so I guess I am somewhat more organized than I thought 🙂 Cheers!

    • Finding a an appropriate time of day is my challenge. I always seem to have to tag on blogging to something else I am working on. I am glad you have been able to find time in the morning to dedicate to your blog. I am still trying to find my time of day.

      A timer hey? Interesting idea. I may just have to try to that; give myself limits so that other things don’t pile up.

  2. I try to do certain recurring tasks on the same day of the week. I have Google Calendar reminders for each of my repeating tasks, and each day at 5am, Google sends me a consolidated list of things to do for the day. If I can cross these off my list (or at least most of them) on a regular basis, I find that things stay pretty well organized.

  3. Sole Searching: The 90 Day Blueprint to Becoming Your Own Best Friend, Love Interest and Boss (After Being Unfriended, Dumped, and Laid Off)

    @Roshawn: Thanks! A timer is a great idea. They have a few timer tools online that I’ve read about. I should try them out.

    @Miss T: I was switching my times of day according to my husband’s schedule. Since he worked different shifts, I would adjust to when he was at work, when I’d be least distracted. Try different times and see what works.

    @Money Beagle: That’s a great idea. Remember the Milk is good for that also. I also get a Google email every morning, but I guess it won’t list anything if I don’t put the tasks on my calendar haha.

    @Aaron: Yup, weddings are a sure way to get thrown off. Plan a catch up day then get back in motion.

  4. sometimes i have no organizational skills. I wonder how i get anything done. Keeping organized is work in itself and i do find myself neglecting it more than I should. Perhaps I need to take it more seriously to get even greater results

  5. I stay organized by using a handy little application called omnifocus. It’s my lifeline! The app was created for a person who follows the “GTD” or Getting Things Done method

  6. @Charles: Being organized can definitely feel like another job, but it’s so worth it.

    @YFS: I’ve heard of Omnifocus but never used it. Looks like I should check it out.

    @krantcents: A list of tasks certainly gets the job done!

  7. Evernote is my main go-to utility. Every time I think of a post I go in and jot down a working title or subject and some quick notes to use an outline.

    I also developed a routine for what I should be doing once I publish and it’s also in Evernote so I know where I need to go to promote and spread the word.

    That program really saves me a ton of work and hassle.

  8. Those are great ideas… I’m just learning to organize my life better (blogging). I think mapping and planning out the upcoming posts keep me from being too unfocused and wasteful with my time.

  9. @funancials: Yes! And 10x more likely to remember it.

    @Eric: I’m the ultimate Evernote fan girl. I use it for just about everything. I use it to write my freelance posts & come up with ideas.

    @Doctor Stock: Great point. No one wants to waste their time, so planning ahead is important.

  10. Setting – and sticking to – a schedule is definitely the part of freelance writing I struggle with the most. Its so easy to sleep in or stay up late, and its easy to get distracted when my boyfriend comes home from work, even though I’m not “off work” yet.

  11. Sole Searching: The 90 Day Blueprint to Becoming Your Own Best Friend, Love Interest and Boss (After Being Unfriended, Dumped, and Laid Off)

    @Paula: Exactly! Funny enough, my dog is who keeps me on schedule. He wakes me up around the same time every morning and his bed time is between 9 and 10, so I go by his watch haha.

    @Hank: I’ve heard so many good things about Freshbooks. I didn’t know it integrates with PayPal. I’ll have to check it out.

    @OneNewVoice: Thanks for stopping by! The Internet can be a huge time sink. There’s some programs that can block sites like Facebook when you’re supposed to be working.

    @BeatingTheIndex: A roadmap sounds awesome; I’d love to see an example. A full time job definitely gets in the way of blogging.

  12. This is so timely for me! I’ve been feeling out of control lately and have been trying to figure out how to get organized, especially with blogging. While I have all of the tools listed, I’m certainly not using them effectively. The biggest problem I have is no schedule. I really need to get me one of those!

  13. I’m just finishing up my second month as a freelance writer. I’m bombing, in my opinion. I have a huge, lucrative project that I could have done weeks ago and then worked on another round but I suck. I’m not managing my time well, at all. I’m going to start planning my day better and stop sleeping in!!

    I need more money and more jobs but it hasn’t been working for me yet.

    • Sounds like you need to be better organized or not take on too much at one time. I too have been guilty of being too ambitious in the past and I have paid for it either in health or reputation. Be realistic with what you can accomplish. It is the only way to actually accomplish something. Best of luck figuring it out.

    • You can do it! I agree with Miss T. Try not to take too much on in the beginning. Get the hang of things and see how you like to schedule your day. Maybe you work best in the morning, maybe at night, maybe weekdays work for you and maybe just weekends. Take some time to figure it out then take on more projects. It’s going to be difficult but it gets easier.

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