Blogging: The Blog Binder

I’m really excited for this week.  All my of newly laid plans for the blog will be in full effect.  I feel so much more in control of my little blog world.

How did this all happen?  I started blogging back in September to have on outlet while I stayed home with the Things all day.  Now I’ve been featured a handful of times (even on tt&j…holy crap!) and I’m a full on big girl blogger.  The last month has been a turning point on the behind the scenes side of the blog.  I’m no longer frazzled and left feeling like I have to scramble for ideas.  It’s magic!

Okay, not really.  See…

Meet my blog binder.  Love it!  This little darlin’ has given me back my blog sanity.  I like posting again.  I never hated blogging, it makes me happy, but doing something I like and not feeling overwhelmed…awesome sauce.  And I’m a bit of an organization FREAK when it comes to this kind of stuff, so this binder makes me a really happy control freak.
Here’s the break down.
Front page: Blog Format Ideas
  • Dates when I wanted to start my newly planned blog schedule
  • Big projects in a given month (ie. St. Patrick’s Day link party)
  • Weekly schedule
    • Sunday – Sugar-Coated (sweets)
    • Monday – Mildly Crafty / Savory
    • Tuesday – Off or Sponsored Post or Guest Post
    • Wednesday – Wednesday Whatsits link party & features
    • Thursday – 3.6.5.
    • Friday – Savory
    • Saturday – Namaste  (originally reserved as an off day just like Tuesday)
This gives me reserved days for extra things/posts to come up.  I’m only posting food 3 times a week, 2 savory and 1 sweet.  I have 2 days off Tuesday and Saturday (when I have a guest poster series).  The link party once a week…a happy post, but not something I have to create for…it’s a mini break.  A craft post to kick my butt in gear and a personal post to keep me happy.  I think this keeps things well rounded.
The best part for me?  I can take pictures anytime I cook or make something and slot that post idea into the calendar.  Posts spread out more and I feel under way less pressure to perform.
Okay, next.
Monthly Calendar Pages.
I’m very visual.  I like to see everything laid out in one place so I can look at what going on now and what’s coming up in the next week, two weeks, month, whatever.
All those orange squares are sticky notes.  When plans change or I need to switch things around, I cut a post-it note down to size and rewrite the plan for the day.  This way I’m not 100% locked into place or getting frustrated when I need to adjust.  I’m totally the kind of person to reprint and re-write the entire calendar page every time I need to adjust.  However, that’s not practical and post-its keep my crazy reeled in.
Planning is only half the battle.  Ideas for the future are important too.
I made myself a list of all the recipes I wanted to try from my cookbooks.  That’s in the Recipe Ideas section of the binder.
There are also pages for each subcategory I group my food posts into.  
I use page protectors so that I can throw anything in there and when I’m feeling that ingredient/recipe type I can dig around and see what I’ve got.  I use these pages for magazine pages I’ve ripped out, newspaper clippings, and recipes I print off.
Next in the binder are the project ideas.  Crafts, home decor, DIY, anything.
This list includes pins that have just been sitting there not doing me any good.  
Again, page protectors.  These ones are filled with the same kind of papers as the food pages, but there are different categories.  
A little masking tape and a pen work great for labeling.
And last, but not least, Project 365 idea lists.
My set if lists is from Capture Your 365.  These lists give a picture idea for every day of the year.  There is also a “How to Use These Lists” info page with January’s ideas.  I’d love to think I could find inspiration everyday, but it’s nice to have a back up plan to help me get past a mental block or to give me ideas I never thought of.  August and November look like they are going to be really fun.
There are some great free blog printables over at Infarrently Creative to help get your started.  I made my calendar pages on Excel.  I’m controlling like that.  I wanted my pages to be just so.
I hope this gives you all a little inspiration and makes you feel like you can control your blog…not the other way around.  Planning out my posts and what days I wanted to do blog “work” made me see the possibilities my blog had.  I would have never come up with a series idea (or cute alliterative and rhyming names) or had posts planned 2 1/2 months out.  That’s right.  I’ve got things figured out through May.  If something changes I can tweak the plan and keep on keeping on.
Remember, just keep swimming.  🙂  Happy Monday!
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  1. says

    Totally! I'm kind of an Excel freak. Lists, budget, forms, outlines, they all make me happy. I'm following you back now. 🙂 Thanks for coming by and joining my craziness.

  2. says

    A kindred spirit…YES! I have boxes and binders and folders (you should see my computer – folder crazy) for all kinds of things. I'm following your blog now. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. says

    Thanks for stopping by! I just had so many photos/recipes that I wasn't sure what to do with them. i didn't want to post a bunch of pastas too close together or do a week of chicken, ya know? The binder helps. 🙂

  4. says

    No! Don't say that. You're totally a big girl blogger. The binder had nothing to do with that. 🙂 I just have regular followers and a FB fan page and more of an idea what I wanted my blog to be. That's the big girl part. Okay, the features helped my ego, but it's about you feeling good about your blog.

    And your chocolate strawberries look INSANE! I want one right now, with a big bowl of whipped cream. Yes. That sounds like a fabulous lunch. I'm following your blog. 🙂 I can't wait to see more!

  5. says

    Nicely done! I have a binder in place too, but not quite as sophisticated as you! My husband made fun of me the other day with my binder, asked why I couldn't track everything electronically – which I could do, but it's easier to see it on paper than on screen sometimes. Thanks for sharing your binder!

  6. says

    OMG…this is amazing….you have definitely kicked me in the butt to get organized! Your blog is awesome and I'm following you on GFC so I don't miss any of your new ideas. I'd love for you to come visit my blog sometime. I hope your week is amazing!


  7. says

    Hi Julie, I'm visiting from the Show Me What Ya Got party over at Not Just a Housewife. This binder is awesome! I'm an new blogger and like you, I love blogging but don't want to feel overwhelmed. I love being organized and I'll be setting up a binder of my own now. Thank you for the inspiration!

    BTW, is that your Mom who commented up there ^? How cute is that?! My mom hasn't figured out how to comment yet. 🙂

  8. says

    Wow! You truly are organized. I have a calendar where I began writing down all my posts. This is a great help. I won a boutique flower shop in NYC, Every Monday, after selecting my flowers and waiting for my business partner to pick me up, I sit in Starbucks and make myself list 5 new ideas in several categories I can post on. I use Pinterest to store photos which makes writing my posts much easier.

  9. says

    Thanks for stopping by! I'm following you back. I'm glad you got inspired. I'd love to hear about/see your binder when you get things together. 🙂

  10. says

    Hehe. My mom is pretty good with technology. She's an excellent texter and comments on here sometimes, she's super cute! 🙂 I'd love to see how you set your binder when it's all done! Thanks for stopping by I'm following you on FB.

  11. says

    I'm a little Pinterest addict too! I've gotten much better and I've started using Clipix so that I can have private board with blog post ideas. I don't need 3 other blogs posting an Ohio State freezer paper shirt the same week as me. 😉 Brainstorming is my favorite way to think of post ideas…well, that ad watching cooking shows – I get SO hungry!

  12. says

    Wow Julie!! This is awesome. I started a blog binder too recently and it has been really helpful- but yours is way more in depth! I am glad it has helped you feel better about blogging because blogging is fun time!!!!

  13. says

    Great idea – I am toying with the idea of getting serious about this blogging stuff as well, and that binder would be a life saver. I love that you give yourself a couple of days off in the week. I did a 31 days to series in Oct last year, and it was really hard to find the time to actually photograph and edit and write each day.
    ~Amy @ Permanent Kisses

  14. says

    I've got the pages and calendars scattered everywhere…I need a binder! If I collected all my stuff and put them in a book, I could be organized too! (light bulb moment!) Thanks for sharing at the Rock 'N Share.

  15. says

    I tweaked things around a few times to finally get the binder the way I wanted. It really did do wonders for me. As of right now I have post pictures through the end of May (except one or two things) and I have scheduled posts set up through the end of April. I've never been this far ahead. It's making blogging and working full-time and hanging with the family totally manageable. 🙂

  16. says

    I was a scatter girl too! Then I recognized my recipe binders and saw all the things I'd never tried to make. I pulled them all out and figured I could use them for the blog…hence the binder was born. 🙂 Thanks for having me!

  17. says

    What a great idea!! I just began a new blog & know I need a method like this! Totally starting this today! I also love the schedule you created to know what to post when ~ right on! I'm pinning this 🙂

  18. says

    Thanks for the tips. I really needed to see something like this in order to get my blogging organized. Thus far, it has pretty well been a trainwreck!

  19. says

    Love the idea of the post it notes! I'm forever changing things and if the page gets messed up it drives me so crazy that I give up on the whole idea. (Neurotic, I know!) Using the Post it notes solves that problem very well. Kudos!

  20. says

    I found this thru Serendipity and Spice's New Blogger Series, and so glad I did! I am sooooo doing this! Dunno how closely I'll follow it lol but I really wanna do it to add some organization to my blogging life. My resolution this year was to post more regularly, consistently, and to post more of a variety of recipes. This calendar and binder can definitely help me schedule and plan better. I'm excited to start this! I wish we could see every page and how you have it set up lol. Off to find a giant binder and some tiny post its now!

  21. Crystal says

    I have to say that this is the BEST info that I have seen so far about how to organize a blogging experience for a newb like myself. Thank you for your post. I really enjoyed it. 🙂

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