Last week, I shared my blogging routine which is a post I had scheduled before Brittany over at Book Bumblings issued her Be a Better Blogger Challenge for February. Once the February Challenge was up, I thought, “Well, I have a routine. I have that post scheduled there’s nothing I need to do.” But as I read her posts, I started to feel the need to improve my routine. There are things I do every week that are just in my head and I often wish I could keep track of those things. Is my Google spreadsheet the BEST way for me to keep track my reviews?
After looking at some the Editorial Calendar Tools that Brittany presented, I have decided to pair my Google spreadsheet with Trello. My Google spreadsheet will be an overview of my editorial calendar and Trello will be the step-by-step things I need to do each week.
My Blogging Routine: What’s in My Google Spreadsheet
I should mention that I’m project manager by day. My job depends on timelines and a somewhat regimented schedule. Routine, timelines, checklists and proving something has been done come as second nature to me. When I first started blogging, I was using Google Calendar, but I found it difficult to keep track of what I had done and what was coming up. I also found it difficult to move things around if I needed to change my schedule to accommodate a tour or meme or a discussion post. So I moved away from the calendar and created the spreadsheet.
As you can see from the image above, I’ve got columns for day of the week, month, date, name of the post, post type, number/sequence and then some columns for revision status and whether or not the review has been cross posted. The yellow means it’s a tour.
I’ve created and saved filters so I can easily focus in on certain types of posts. Since I number/sequence my reviews and Scenic Sunday posts this is quite helpful. Another example, I post reviews on Mondays and Wednesdays and can filter by day of the week so I can see where my holes are for upcoming months.
My Blogging Routine: Adding Trello for the Details
I created two boards on Trello—Regular Blogging Tasks and 2015 Blogging Schedule. Next up I created a card for each of the post types that usually appear on my blog and on each card I created a checklist for all the steps I go through when prepping a post. I did some color coding with labels. I created additional cards for other items I’ve been trying to do weekly and want to keep track of.
The next step was to copy the list and move the list over to my 2015 Blogging Schedule board. I update the titles on the cards to match my Google spreadsheet, delete the cards and tasks I don’t need and set deadlines. My plan is to archive the list once I complete all the cards on is so I don’t have to scroll left and right too much.
My Blogging Routine: The Pitfalls and Anticipated Changes
I’m not 100% sold on Trello. As you can see from the image of above, I’ve completed most of my cards for the week, but there’s no way to mark an entire card as done. This makes me cringe a bit until I look and see that the task count is complete. Right now I can’t figure out how to make a reoccurring card. I want a reminder at the start of the month to create my Rewind Review post. I’m still looking for a solution.
I can see right now there are columns on my Google spreadsheet I may no longer need as a result of moving the details over to Trello. This excites me a bit as I’m bad at updating those columns as I go. As I move away from using those columns in the spreadsheet, I will more than likely remove the final item from my checklist that indicates to update the Google spreadsheet.
I’m looking forward to keeping better track of the Shelf Love and Discussion 2015 posts. I’ve tried to read and respond to many of those posts. From week to week I forget whose site I’ve visited and commented on.
So what about you? What tools do you use to keep track of your blogging schedule? How would you like to improve your routine in 2015? Are there features I’m missing in Trello or Google Spreadsheets that I should be taking advantage of? Let me know in comments!