Organization for Bloggers – My Favorite Tips

Hello everyone!  Thanks for stopping by.  My topic for today is something that for me has been and will probably continue to be a work in progress.  I’m talking about organization.  If you’re at all like me then you’ve probably struggled at one time or another (or might still be struggling) to keep all your ducks in a row.  Below I’ll share a few of the methods that work well for me.  I’d love to hear what you use to organize your blog world in the comment section below and be sure to ask any questions you are having too.  Let’s get started.

MY FAVORITE TIP for organizing potential post content + saving crediting links:

For far too long the method I used to save post content involved thousands of folders on my desktop…many of which would become so buried by other folders that I’d lose them until it was too late to use the content in them.  All this changed with one free online site: Wishpot.  While technically a site for creating gift giving/receiving wish lists, its ability to create lists, add tags, etc. makes it the ideal tool for busy bloggers.

Here’s a little video I put together to show the simple process I use to save content and links via Wishpot.  Note: There are a few times in the video where there is an odd static noise – sorry about that.

The best part about wishpot for me is the visual element.  It is incredibly handy to have a thumbnail image to view while trying to put posts together, and the fact that I can also add tags to help me organize my picks by subject is invaluable.  I also like to recommend Wishpot to friends and bloggers because it is free – which means anyone can use it!

Other methods of organization take the more standard route and are probably things that you currently use or have tried in the past.  A few that I use on a regular basis are:

  • Weekly Planner – used to organize advertising info and post schedules.
  • Spiral-bound notebook – used to jot down ideas, doodles, or pre-write post content (specifically for these Better Blogging posts).
  • Google calendars – occasionally used to keep track of scheduling (I’ve kind of fazed this one out recently).

You might also consider:

Downloading an App for your phone or iPod that is designed to keep you organized.  I have one called Chores for my iPod and use it to keep track of thoughts and ideas that I have when I’m away from my computer as well as create checklists for tasks I need to complete or want to complete over a long-term time frame.  I also use the calendar setting on my iPod quite regularly…so if you have one at your disposal, then these two methods can be a great way to stay on top of things.

These are the specific methods I use to keep myself organized.  The next phase with any organization plan involves putting it all together in a system that works for you and with your available time.

One of the questions I’ve received on more than one occasion (and is something I’ve struggled with over the years) is: How do I stay on top of blog comments, emails and submissions?

Again the answer to this will vary for each individual.  For me what works best is scheduling a portion of each day that is devoted specifically to correspondence.  I’m not perfect at staying on top of things by any means, but when I keep myself to a set schedule I find that I can actually manage my inbox instead of fear it.  I highly recommend picking a time of day that allows you as much uninterrupted time as possible.  For me this is generally the evening.  None of us have infinite time or patience for correspondence, so experiment around with the time you can devote to the task until you find the amount that works for you.

Remember that you are just one person and unless you have superhuman powers (please send some my way if you do) you can’t possibly reply to every comment, email, submission you receive every day.  As your blog becomes more successful correspondence will only become more challenging, so setting yourself to an impossible standard of perfection will ultimately just cause frustration and stress in your life.  I recommend establishing a system for yourself that loosely categorizes your correspondence tasks by importance/urgency.  Tackle these items first during the time you’ve scheduled.  If you find that you have time remaining, take on the second and third tier correspondence tasks.  Again you will be the best judge of which items need immediate attention or not.  Trust yourself and know that you are doing the best you can.

MY FAVORITE TIP for staying on top of emails:

Canned responses (available through Gmail accounts).  I know it sounds horrible and impersonal (and seems like one of those things that I probably shouldn’t be telling the world), but once you start using canned responses you will see how easy they are to customize to each individual email.  I have a long list of responses that I’ve written that address the main topics for which I receive emails (advertising inquiries, product submissions, blogging advice, etc).  After inserting the canned response that fits the email I’ve received I can then begin to add the customizations I want.  The content ends up being exactly what I would have written out anyhow…and ultimately saves a huge amount of time.

I hope you will find some of these tips to be helpful.  Next week I’ll be addressing the topic of blogging etiquette.  If you have any questions or comments on the subject I’d love to hear them.  See you then.  xo Ez

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28 Comments

  1. Make, Do & Send / / Reply

    I am really interested to try Wishpot it sound like just what I have been looking for. I think keeping track of post ideas is where i really struggle as I dont always label bookmarks and images properly for them to be useful.

    I have found Pinterest to be a really handy blogging tool for keeping track of artist ect I like so I can look at more of their work at a later date but as there is no private function you cant really pin new images you want to use in posts unless you dont mind everyone seeing them before you blog them yourself… :/

    I also like to keep a notebook by my bed as post ideas seem to always come in the middle of the night. If i dont write them down they just keep going round in my head and i cant sleep haha… i think i have blogging on the brain. Sorry for such a loooong comment, Alex x

  2. Make, Do & Send / / Reply

    I am really interested to try Wishpot it sound like just what I have been looking for. I think keeping track of post ideas is where i really struggle as I dont always label bookmarks and images properly for them to be useful.

    I have found Pinterest to be a really handy blogging tool for keeping track of artist ect I like so I can look at more of their work at a later date but as there is no private function you cant really pin new images you want to use in posts unless you dont mind everyone seeing them before you blog them yourself… :/

    I also like to keep a notebook by my bed as post ideas seem to always come in the middle of the night. If i dont write them down they just keep going round in my head and i cant sleep haha… i think i have blogging on the brain. Sorry for such a loooong comment, Alex x

  3. Make, Do & Send / / Reply

    I am really interested to try Wishpot it sound like just what I have been looking for. I think keeping track of post ideas is where i really struggle as I dont always label bookmarks and images properly for them to be useful.

    I have found Pinterest to be a really handy blogging tool for keeping track of artist ect I like so I can look at more of their work at a later date but as there is no private function you cant really pin new images you want to use in posts unless you dont mind everyone seeing them before you blog them yourself… :/

    I also like to keep a notebook by my bed as post ideas seem to always come in the middle of the night. If i dont write them down they just keep going round in my head and i cant sleep haha… i think i have blogging on the brain. Sorry for such a loooong comment, Alex x

  4. Make, Do & Send / / Reply

    I am really interested to try Wishpot it sound like just what I have been looking for. I think keeping track of post ideas is where i really struggle as I dont always label bookmarks and images properly for them to be useful.

    I have found Pinterest to be a really handy blogging tool for keeping track of artist ect I like so I can look at more of their work at a later date but as there is no private function you cant really pin new images you want to use in posts unless you dont mind everyone seeing them before you blog them yourself… :/

    I also like to keep a notebook by my bed as post ideas seem to always come in the middle of the night. If i dont write them down they just keep going round in my head and i cant sleep haha… i think i have blogging on the brain. Sorry for such a loooong comment, Alex x

  5. emily b / / Reply

    Thanks again, Ez! I’ve just started using Evernote to sort all my thoughts. After watching your video on Wishlist, it seems to be very similar. We will see. I’ll take any help I can get organizing my life! -e

  6. Make, Do & Send / / Reply

    I am really interested to try Wishpot it sound like just what I have been looking for. I think keeping track of post ideas is where i really struggle as I dont always label bookmarks and images properly for them to be useful.

    I have found Pinterest to be a really handy blogging tool for keeping track of artist ect I like so I can look at more of their work at a later date but as there is no private function you cant really pin new images you want to use in posts unless you dont mind everyone seeing them before you blog them yourself… :/

    I also like to keep a notebook by my bed as post ideas seem to always come in the middle of the night. If i dont write them down they just keep going round in my head and i cant sleep haha… i think i have blogging on the brain. Sorry for such a loooong comment, Alex x

  7. Make, Do & Send / / Reply

    I am really interested to try Wishpot it sound like just what I have been looking for. I think keeping track of post ideas is where i really struggle as I dont always label bookmarks and images properly for them to be useful.

    I have found Pinterest to be a really handy blogging tool for keeping track of artist ect I like so I can look at more of their work at a later date but as there is no private function you cant really pin new images you want to use in posts unless you dont mind everyone seeing them before you blog them yourself… :/

    I also like to keep a notebook by my bed as post ideas seem to always come in the middle of the night. If i dont write them down they just keep going round in my head and i cant sleep haha… i think i have blogging on the brain. Sorry for such a loooong comment, Alex x

  8. Make, Do & Send / / Reply

    I am really interested to try Wishpot it sound like just what I have been looking for. I think keeping track of post ideas is where i really struggle as I dont always label bookmarks and images properly for them to be useful.

    I have found Pinterest to be a really handy blogging tool for keeping track of artist ect I like so I can look at more of their work at a later date but as there is no private function you cant really pin new images you want to use in posts unless you dont mind everyone seeing them before you blog them yourself… :/

    I also like to keep a notebook by my bed as post ideas seem to always come in the middle of the night. If i dont write them down they just keep going round in my head and i cant sleep haha… i think i have blogging on the brain. Sorry for such a loooong comment, Alex x

  9. Make, Do & Send / / Reply

    I am really interested to try Wishpot it sound like just what I have been looking for. I think keeping track of post ideas is where i really struggle as I dont always label bookmarks and images properly for them to be useful.

    I have found Pinterest to be a really handy blogging tool for keeping track of artist ect I like so I can look at more of their work at a later date but as there is no private function you cant really pin new images you want to use in posts unless you dont mind everyone seeing them before you blog them yourself… :/

    I also like to keep a notebook by my bed as post ideas seem to always come in the middle of the night. If i dont write them down they just keep going round in my head and i cant sleep haha… i think i have blogging on the brain. Sorry for such a loooong comment, Alex x

  10. Ludmila {creamylife.com} / / Reply

    Thank you for suggesting Wishpot, Ez. Will register immediately and hopefully this way will organize somehow my inspirational files. Thank you for another great post. xo

  11. jenn / / Reply

    this post is sooo helpful! i have a wishpot account, but had never made the connection between it and blogging. great suggestion! :)

  12. alissa / / Reply

    this is exactly what i’ve been looking for! signing up for wishpot now!

    many thanks to you for sharing copious amounts of knowledge!!

  13. Felicity / / Reply

    Thanks again Ez for sharing so much with us. I just started using Google calendar last week and i’ve found it immensely helpful to see an overview of upcoming posts. Plus, it’s nice to stash all my ideas there in one spot, so I don’t have endless scraps of paper nagging at me. I’m gonna go look at wish pot now

  14. Jeweleee / / Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing all that you do. Everything is always so helpful. Never thought to try Wishpot, I am going to try it out. Pinterest is also handy for storing great finds.

    Looking forward to your next post!

  15. niko / / Reply

    thanks so much again EZ! we actually just moved and have been searching for a new couch and wishpot is so much better visually than traditional bookmarking! it’s made comparing 4000 times easier!! i’ve also been tagging things for the blog. pretty genius!

  16. Erika at Delphine / / Reply

    Thanks, Ez. Like Jenn, I had a wishpot account but never really used it — I’m going to start using it now : ) Then maybe I can get my bookmark folders reined in.

    I have a topic idea for you: how to organize photos for posts (i.e. your original photos). I know you have a Flickr account — is that where you store photos? Are you nervous about a. copyright infringement/people stealing your images or b. losing your photos if something ever happens to Flickr? I have all my photos on (several) external hard drives, but it’s starting (actually, waaaay beyond starting) to get out of control. I do have a Flickr account, but haven’t figured out an efficient way of using it. I have heard that using Flickr can help drive traffic to your site. is that true? I’d really appreciate your insight on this topic : )

  17. Sara / / Reply

    I love this series! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and experience with us!

  18. giozi / / Reply

    I’m very sand I can download the botton, my pc said that it has a virus :(
    :`( :`(

  19. Nancy / / Reply

    yay for wishpot!! I have no idea how I ever survived without it! It’s not only handy for blogging, but also for feature writing. It’s been a breeze keeping track of my "style me" products and book review links. thanks for being so generous with your blogging know-how :)

  20. Charissa - The Gifted Blog / / Reply

    Ah ha! Wishpot; genius. Thank you so much for sharing your organizational secret! I had been bookmarking things in various lists, but the lack of an image meant I was always having to open and re-open links to remind myself what the heck they were. I'm starting up on Wishpot, but for some reason no images are appearing. Has anyone else run into this? It doesn't seem to be addressed on their FAQ page.

  21. Charissa - The Gifted Blog / / Reply

    Oops, should have poked around longer on Wishpot. Apparently, items added manually (cutting and pasting the desired URL in) don't show images. Good to know! Looking forward to experimenting with this tool.

  22. Eadaoin / / Reply

    Thanks for this post, I've been wondering how to keep track of all the things I come across online and want to store for future reading or sharing. I tried Delicious but it just doesn't work the way I want it to! I'm off to give Wishpot a try. I love this series of helpful hints, I've been reading a lot lately about better blogging and I'm delighted to have come across your advice :)

  23. Kristen@PrettySweet / / Reply

    So glad I found your "better blogging" series! I'm excited to give Wishpot a try – it seems like a fantastic way to organize blogging ideas. I especially have a problem trying to remember what new recipes I want to try/blog about next. And I'm pretty excited that it's free! =)

  24. hagar / / Reply

    Thank you for this wonderful tips!
    As one how recently start my own blog I found your series about blogging inspiring and very helpful, thanks again!

  25. Sarah / / Reply

    WOW Wishpot! Pure Genius Ez! I cannot tell you how much this is going to bring order to my chaotic thoughts! Thank you thank you for sharing!

  26. Pilar / / Reply

    Thanks for the info. Your blog is becoming a must for me. I find a lot of inspiration in it and also veru useful tips.

    Besos

  27. onelittlebird / / Reply

    This is very useful and thanks for such a great screencast! I use Evernote, but you have to pay after a certain amount of info is stored. This is certainly better for me!

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