I am usually a planner by nature, but you wouldn’t know it lately. After writing a few weeks ago about how much I love to do lists and calendars, I haven’t been using either much recently.
Facing two out-of-town trips, the end of school, the start of swim lessons and goodness knows what else, no plan was not a good plan.
So I decided to spend some time Friday just planning. Instead of making a to do list, though, I built a framework for a couple of my sites that sets out a theme for the day that I can then build on with actual content ideas.
I think this is a great way to go about blog planning for a lot of reasons.
1. It makes planning easier. Instead of having to come up with an idea on any possible subject, you’re only on the hook for something about books, say, or a knitting technique. That’s a lot easier than thinking about all the topics you write about and trying to choose what you want to work on.
2. It allows you to get more done. If you do pomodoros or something similar where you work on a particular site or project for a certain amount of time, when you finish a task before your time is up you can easily go on to the next thing if you’ve fleshed out your themes into a full editorial calendar. You can also bulk schedule similar items and bust out a month’s worth of one type of content in an afternoon or two.
3. It’s a great insurance policy. Knowing that you know what you want to write about is really comforting. Even if you haven’t written it yet. You know that you have something you want to talk about, which means you haven’t completely washed out as a blogger. And even when you’re uninspired, you’ve got something to start with. I love the comfort of knowing I have a plan, even if I don’t always follow it to the letter.
4. It helps you maintain balance. Odds are there are a lot of different subjects you want to talk about on your blog. For me, here, it’s lifestyle, crafting with kids and for kids, creativity for parents, reading and writing/blogging. I haven’t been hitting all of those things for a long time. But when there’s a day assigned to each, it’s easier to come up with topics I want to talk about (see 1.) and to know that I’m covering all the things I really want to talk about.
Of course, planning is great for people who aren’t bloggers, too, or in parts of your life that have nothing to do with computers. Especially at this really busy time of year.
Take an hour to check in with yourself and your family, get all the upcoming events on one calendar and see where you might have time to add a little fun. Or even to plan to do nothing, which is really great while the weather is still nice.
Are you a planner or do you just do what you feel like when you have time? I’d love to hear your thoughts.