Welcome to the Book Blogger Organization Challenge!
If you haven’t heard of this challenge and are interested in finding out more, check out the intro post! But basically the concept is simple: Whether you want to dedicate a lot of time to this challenge or a little, I’m here to help you get organized and work on blog maintenance in 2015! Everything is broken down month-by-month so you only have to focus on ONE idea at a time, so let’s hop into January!
JANUARY 2015 ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE
Reading challenges, scheduling, & resolutions
January is all about resolutions and planning and usually by February, I’ve forgotten everything. I outlined some things to think about in the intro post but here’s a more detailed list of what January will be all about!
First things first. Get into planning mode!
If you want to get more organized this year, you have to start somewhere! First, figure out if you follow ideas better on paper or on the computer. Then, start your organizing! Buy a nice, shiny 2015 planner. Start writing things down in Google Calendars. Open up a Wunderlist account and start making lists!
I schedule my posts ahead of time (or I’m trying to get back in the swing of things), so I use Google Calendars to color code my posts. It’s super easy to drag and move things if I have to reschedule something so I move it on my calendar first and then go back and change it on my blog. It’s easier to visualize and see what I have scheduled this way!
Think about a place to start keeping track of all of your stats too! When’s the last time you updated your stats on Netgalley/Edelweiss? Is there a big difference in your stats since the last time you updated them? I started a Word Doc with my “canned intro”, personal info, and stats for my blog and social media — then whenever the mood strikes me or when I think my stats have significantly increased, I go back in and update. I just make it a habit of updating my stats when I go to request a galley by copying & pasting the Word Doc instead of going back and hunting down those stats each time!
Did you do Jamie‘s End of 2014 Survey? I did in 2013 and couldn’t remember anythinggggg from the year as a whole. I made a “Best of 2014” shelf on Goodreads to help me remember which books were my favorite so I could keep track as I went along. (I’m also SUPER obsessed with creating shelves on Goodreads so you’ll see that as a lot of my suggestions haha!)
I know not everyone likes creating 50 million Goodreads shelves like I do though. There are tons of other ways to keep track of things! You can use things like Google Drives or Microsoft Office to make lists as well as Wunderlist (becoming a quick favorite of mine!). Keep track of incoming books for Stacking the Shelves, which books you’ve borrowed or received from an author/publisher, which books are being released soon that you want to read before the pub date, etc. These are also great places to make to-do lists (Wunderlist is also great for this! You can check it off when you’re finished)!
If you do posts like weekly/monthly/yearly recaps, posts from around the blogosphere, or “best of” posts, spreadsheets (or word docs) are also fantastic ways of keeping track of those links and posts that you’ve stumbled upon and loved! Any time you see one, just immediately throw it onto your spreadsheet and you won’t have to go hunting for it later!
Planning 2015 Challenges
Research which 2015 challenges you’d like to take part in. (I listed a few in the intro post!) By now you probably have your intro posts up so now’s the time for scheduling! Lots of 2015 challenges are year-long and that involves some planning to keep up! Go through your TBR and pick a few to read each month. If you’re a mood reader, give yourself a good selection so you can always pass up something if you’re not in the mood for it! My best suggestion would be to go month-by-month to see which books best fit the challenge. (You can sort through your Goodreads by publication date to see which books are out when!)
When in doubt, pick fewer challenges than you think you can handle. I picked way too many in 2013 and ended up dropping out of ALL of them because it was too much work to keep up with! I wanted to be a part of every challenge but trying to read so many challenge books a month didn’t allow me to read what I really wanted to so I gave up on all of them!
Picking 2015 Resolutions
Do you have anything BIG you want to do with your blog this year? Maybe you want to go self-hosted, buy the Ultimate Book Blogger Plug-In, purchase a new layout design, or add a new feature. Maybe it’s something as simple as trying a few books out of your comfort zone. Whatever you want to do this year, reflect on what you want to do with your blog this month!
I honestly haven’t looked at my 2014 Resolutions since I made them. I remember a few vague things but I really couldn’t tell you right now what was on that list. If you really want to try hard at keeping your resolutions, write them down somewhere! Make a list on your computer and put it somewhere you see all the time or draw up a physical list and post it somewhere in your house!
Find a Buddy!
Some people work better in groups or with someone else motivating them. If you read challenge books (or any books) better on a schedule with a friend, grab some people for a group read or a monthly “reading club”. It doesn’t have to be anything big so don’t over do it! This is also great for those big, scary books (like, ahem, A Song of Ice and Fire) because you have someone else “holding you accountable” for reading and they also motivate you to keep going!
Make Plans to Read and Write!
Some of us have such busy schedules that it’s hard to time the time to read. Maybe you’re someone who really does love blogging but have a hard time sitting down to write reviews or posts. Think about what sort of free time you have — maybe a day of the week or even time of day — and block out some time for yourself to read and write! Reward yourself with stickers (or coffee or candy — whatever works!) for accomplishing your goals!
Have anything else you want to get done this January? Let me know! And don’t forget to share what you’re accomplishing this month with the hashtag #BlogOrganization!
Grab the button!
NEXT MONTH: BLOG MAINTENANCE
Updating old reviews, pages, layouts, features/memes, contact info, clean up images, broken links, SEOs + more!