Blogosphere Travels #4: Blogging Tools

Posted December 19, 2013 in Blogosphere Travels / 0 Comments

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Today I am going to be sharing a lot of helpful organizational tools from Octavia at Read. Sleep.  Repeat. I’m also promoting her blog, so check it out if you want! I love Octavia, she’s amazing. Some of her ideas helped me TONS. I’m going to basically be summing up all of her organizational posts so far, but if you want to check out the originals, I will be providing links to those as well.

APPS

Octavia recommends using the apps Evernote and Wunderlist. I downloaded Wunderlist yesterday, and I LOVE it! It’s basically the ultimate list app. Check it out immediately. I have 8 lists going right now with tons of things on each, and it’s so easy to add things to lists and create new lists. It’s wonderful- I mean wunderful.
She also recommends using Evernote, which is another organizational tool. I looked at it but didn’t download it, mostly because it has a lot more features than Wunderlist and I like to keep things simple. But by all means check it out and decide if it’s something you want to download! Both apps are free.

ARC SPREADSHEET

Octavia created this super-useful spreadsheet for organizing your upcoming ARCs, including places for your rating, the release date, and when you schedule your review post. I wasn’t all that into organizing these things before (I’m sure you’ve heard me ranting about how many ARCs I have on my shelf way past their release date that I haven’t looked at in months- I signed up for a challenge next year to help with that) but this should help tons. It’s a free download from this page.

See the original post for the above two ideas on her blog: My Favorite Organizational Tools

What’s even better is that she’s created an Official Book Blogger Planner that you can buy and print out (which I have done so). You can buy it here.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLOGGER PLANNER

This is part 1 of her Organize Your Blog! series of posts, which will continue on Mondays throughout December. You should stay tuned in!
In her super-colorful planner, she includes pages for the month and then goes by day, with spaces for ARC info, a review notes section, a giveaways section, a tour and blitz section, a blog spending section, an ARC tracker section, and a random thoughts section. Unfortunately, you have to print and assemble it yourself (which uses up ink) but you can pick and choose what to print. I myself am doing it one month at a time, and I already have my January section ready to go. I only printed the giveaway page, the ARC tracker, and the tour page in addition to the calendar.
She also suggests you use mechanical pencils and ONE highlighter when filling this out. You can write things in and then highlight them when you are done, which keeps things super simple.
Then she goes through her usual posting week and suggests you get into a rhythm of what you want to do for the month- for instance, I do my Favorites Friday posts on Fridays, occasionally do Top Ten Tuesdays, Musing Mondays on Monday, and reviews scattered (but now I’m going to organize it a bit more).

THE ULTIMATE BOOK BLOGGER PLUGIN

ATTENTION SELF-HOSTED WORDPRESS USERS: She also suggests using the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin to format your posts so you don’t have to start review posts from scratch each time. But I’m on Blogger, so what do I do? I copy the HTML from the last post with the same star rating as the review I’m about to write (so I don’t have to upload a new picture) and then just re-write the details. It’s not difficult, but if you’re on WordPress, you might find this easier.

EDIT: I’m on WordPress now, so of course I bought the plugin, and it’s the most amazing thing ever. I seriously endorse it.

SCHEDULING IN ADVANCE

In Part 3 of the series (the latest so far) she discusses the advantages of scheduling in advance- mostly memes and such, because they’re so EASY to do and take a very short amount of time (in comparison to reviews).

For me, I’m going to have to work double time THIS month getting posts out for December and writing them for January, but once I do that I can always be one (or two, depending how fast I work) months ahead.

So check out her post series! It’s awesome, and has helped me out a great deal.

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