Since June, a new journal joined my planning team. It’s a journal that is entirely dedicated to the blog, and it holds all the ideas, projects and checklists I need to organize this little Internet corner. This way, all about the blog is in one place and it makes it more easier to get a big picture of what’s happening and what needs to be done around here. Ready for a tour of my brand new blog journal?
This blog journal is not a real bullet journal, and I wouldn’t call it this way: I’ll add an index very soon to keep things organized, but there’s no future log, or monthly and daily spreads. This journal is nothing fancy, but basically a collection of collections. I separated them from my regular bullet journal to have more space, but this blog journal and my personal bullet journal are meant to work together, and there’s a synergy between them. As I didn’t had a clue about where to start this, I took some inspiration from Rebecca’s business bullet journal found on her blog Hiphomeschooling to draw my first spreads.
My blog journal holds 2 kind of collections : yearly and quarterly collections, and posts and projects collections.
Yearly and quarterly collections
2017 blog stats
Even though the blog is a hobby, I found out that it is very satisfying to follow the growth of my website (visitors, sessions…) and the several social media accounts I have. I know it can sound a bit awkward to give importance to numbers, but to be honest, seeing that my efforts are crowned with success is really motivating (and I can’t thank you enough for this!). It’s certainly not the only motivation I have to keep it up with the blog and everything else but it definitely helps.
Besides the stats plugin I have for the blog, I also track my stats the old fashion way in my blog journal on a monthly basis. For each month, I log the stats in the first line and the balance in the second one, taking the previous month as a reference. This way, I’ll be able to follow the evolution on several months, identify trends and make some actions plans for new ideas and projects for 2018.
My blog journal is a Habana notebook by Quo Vadis (gift from the brand)
Q2 review and Q3 goals
As making a review is not just looking back at what’s been going wrong or right, but more about progress, I put my Q2 review and Q3 goals collections on the same double page.
I opened the blog in April, and I took some time at the end of June to make a review of these first 3 months, trying to identify successes and failures and figure out the whys. This review has been of a huge help to draw some conclusions and to point out some areas of improvement especially about my inexistent working routine and some technical details on the blog. After doing this review, I started to set some goals for Q3, including some for the identified areas of improvement.
I did some brainstorming based on the conclusions of my Q2 review to define the goals I will pursue for Q3, adding some ideas I wanted to implement anyway. The goals are both quantitative (visits on the blog, Instagram followers…) and qualitative (working routine, blog optimization…). For each of these goals, I then created collections to make concrete action plans: weekly routine, tasks lists…
This collection is one of the most important in my blog journal. When I opened this little corner of Internet in April, my goal was to release 2 posts a month and to keep posting on a regular basis on Instagram. But the time spent for each blog post, and especially the French to English translation part has exceed what I expected and I struggle to find balance between my work, personal and my online lives. So one of my goals is to set a routine for the blog to run a marathon instead of an endless sprint, to avoid exhaustion.
So I created a collection to write this routine down as a reference. The first page is dedicated to a weekly planning, with all the blog recurring tasks in the left column and the social medias ones on the right. On the right page, I simply jotted down some tasks I’m supposed to take care of on a daily (Instagram post, Pinterest update…) and on a monthly basis. To be honest, I’m still struggling to keep it up with this routine, but I’m pretty confident I’ll get on the right tracks soon!
Editorial calendar and posts history
Quarterly editorial calendar
This spread is the cornerstone of my blog journal: my dynamic editorial calendar inspired by Ink by Jeng’s guest post. It basically allows me to plan my articles, make sure I vary the posts contents on the whole quarter and to organize myself when I need to work on some projects that take time (especially all the printables).
The weekly calendar itself is the static part of the spread, and the post ideas the dynamic one. At the beginning of the quarter, I made a big list of post ideas, writing down each of them on a mini sticky note, and start to draw a schedul putting them into the boxes. This way, I have a clear overview on my editorial plan and I can change it depending on my inspiration and my available time: I just have to take the sticky note and move it to change my plans. Once a blog post is released, I remove the sticky note and write the title in the box, and I log it in my blog posts log.
My blog posts log is basically a history of all the posts that I’ve released on the blog. Once again, the aim of this spread is to have an overview of what’s already on the blog, to make sure I vary the content type and topics of my posts (printables, supplies review…). It’s a collection I’m referring to to adjust my editorial calendar and find some new blog post ideas.
Blog post collections and projects tasks lists
Just after all my yearly and quarterly collections come my blog posts and projects collections, created as needed. For each post or project, a new collection is created in my blog journal.
These collections are the perfect place to gather all the information I need and all the ideas I have on a specific topic. When I’m starting to work on a new blog post, I start to jot down thoughts in my blog journal: global framework, ideas for smooth transitions, details to highlight… It clears my head, helps me draw the outline of the post and I can then start to write with a pretty good idea of what I should end up with. I also include some “technical” information in the top box such as post title, post URL, key word…
And when I’m starting a new project, I also start a new collection in my blog journal (implementing a newsletter, creating the freebies library…). It usually is a pretty basic master tasks list, that I then plan using my personal bullet journal.
Some of the collections I’m keeping for blog posts and projects. My Quo Vadis notebook is a bit larger than a A5 and it maked all the difference when it comes to write big tasks lists in it!
Creating a synergy with my personal bullet journal
My blog journal and my personal bullet journal are complementary tools and are supposed to work together. When I start a new project or plan to write a blog post, my personal bullet journal helps me to make a concrete action plan, according to my schedule (appointments, events, vacations…). Some of my bullet journal spreads are linked to my journal blog.
Monthly editorial calendar
My dynamic editorial calendar, in my blog journal, allows me to have a post schedule on several months. This blog post schedule can also be found in my personal bullet journal, on my editorial calendar monthly spread.
In facts, this monthly editorial calendar is mainly dedicated to my Instagram posts, helps me plan everything to keep it up with posting on a regular basis and to jot down stats when I’m posting (posting time, amount of likes and followers). But I also included a reminder of my blog schedule on this spread: a list of the blog post I intend to write and release and the ideal timing (I’m just creating a small box on the ideal day in the super tiny first column). This way, it’s also easier to coordinate my blog posts with my Instagram schedule.
Trackers et routines
One of my Q3 goals being to have a working routine for all my blog related tasks, I set some tools up in my personal bullet journal too. It’s really nothing fancy: I just created a morning routine collection and some new weekly trackers.
I don’t follow the Miracle morning method, but I created my own early morning routine and the corresponding collection in my bullet journal. I found out that I’m more productive in the morning, before heading to work for any task I need to focus or think hard (and writing posts is one of these tasks). So I hope that this morning routine will help me find a better balance between online, personal and work, and to stick to the weekly blog routine I want to follow. To make sure I’ll work on this, I included some of the success factors of my own miracle morning in my weekly trackers (going to bed before 10:30pm, no work after 9pm…).
This blog journal and my personal bullet journal are complementary. And if I’m still struggling to optimize the synergy between these 2 tools, I hope I’ll find the right balance in the following months… And be able to post more regularly here!
I’m really happy about how this blog journal turns out and I love to open it to throw my ideas on paper as needed. Having a separate notebook was really needed! I’ve got a lot of projects I want to work on for the blog, and the amount of collection should grow to help me keep them on tracks and implement my ideas!
– Habana notebook by Quo Vadis (gift from the brand)
– Muji erasable pen and pencil
– Black Paper Mate flair M
– The headers are homemade stickers