Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Blog Orginization Made Easier With Help From @ericahomeschool #MosaicReviews

I have been blogging for several years now and one thing I have learned is that if I do not stay organized, I get overwhelmed.  In the beginning it was easier.  I didn't have much to keep track of and my reviews were part of a team effort, so I had a lot of reminders to keep me on track.

Then I started to get busier.  I took part in weekly link ups, I began to contact PR people to do reviews outside of the team, and eventually vendors even began to contact me to solicit my help!

As my blog grew I had to develop a system to keep track of the products I was receiving, the giveaways I was conducting, and the deadlines I had approaching.  I created a spreadsheet which I print out as needed.  It has columns for all the relevant to do items.  As I complete a task, I check it off.  When all the boxes are checked, I run through it all with a highlighter pen and I know it is completed.  It is functional - and it is ugly.  Very ugly.

What I have never had, to this point, is a lovely record of the fruits of my labors.  When I saw this beautiful Blog Planner that Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler created I thought it was perfect!

You can see the pretty cover page on the top of this post.  Now look below and see the different page designs.  I chose the format in which each day has a line, but there is also this calendar style, where each day has its own box instead.

Blog Planner Calander Layout - Confessions of a Homeschooler
Both types include a Year at a Glance page that has handy graphics to signify holidays.  Then there are  monthly day by day pages.  These include a check box for if the post is scheduled and boxes to indicate if the post of the day is a review - and if it includes a giveaway.  Each day's line or box also has checkoff areas as reminders to share the post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.  Because my blog feeds to 3 out of 4 of these already I tweaked the system and checked off that I remembered to add a link to the product's social media pages, instead.

There is also a page for blog notes where I can add giveaway and review details and to jot down post ideas. (so I won't keep forgetting them!)

The planner is easy to download and print.  Just go to the page I have linked above, and  choose the style you like best and download the .pdf file to your hard drive.  Next, follow these simple instructions:
  1. Print the cover and back pages first.  (you may want to use cardstock or heavier pages for these) 
  2. For double sided pages, print the even pages 4-28.
  3. Keeping the pages in over, turn them over and print the odd pages 5-27 on the other side. 
  4. Last, spiral bind or 3-hole punch the pages. 
I brought mine to be spiral bound, since I am sure I will get a lot of use out of it,and I like having this attractive easy to use record of my work.

Erica has a lot of other wonderful resources on her blog, and she is very good about sharing them. If you are a homeschooling or a scrap booking parent, you'll enjoy her blog very much. She is on the web at You'll also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Although this is a free download, I found it thanks to Mosaic Reviews.   The team has formed, and to get warmed up we were asked to choose one of several free blog planners to review.