My blog celebrated one year in August and during the last few months I realized that having an editorial calendar is vital to avoid burnout and feeling stuck, so I started gathering advice and I tried EVERYTHING, like every single (free) tool on the market, including printable planners. But nothing actually helped me to stay organized.
I ended up finding my own workflow using 3 different tools at the same time: Trello, Asana, and Evernote. It would look a bit crazy at first, why not using just one? Well, I’m a procrastinator by nature and I need a constant guidance through my day to not fall in the un-productivity trap. So here are my 3 steps to organize my blog.
Disclaimer: I’m not going to explain how exactly these tools work, but I’m going to link some useful articles that helped me to understand the several features they have.
Step 1: Trello
Trello is a wonderful visual tool that allows you to manage multiple projects alone or with other team mates. Each project has its own Trello Board. I share one with my two geeky friends to organize our blog Travelling Geek Show, I have a board for personal stuff (like those Amazon wishlists you have to reach super quickly), finally I have a board called Editorial Calendar, that I use to manage The Geeky Burrow (I used it to plan also my Middle-earth News and TGS posts, but it was a bit messy, so I step back to only my blog).
As you can see, I have five stacks of lists (or cards, to use the proper language): when I brainstorm an idea, I create a card under Post Ideas and then I move it in an other stack when I assign it a date, for example. The colored lines you see are labels, they help you to color code your stuff. I use the red one for scheduled things, yellow for drafts and green for published ones. Trello allows you also to activate some free power-ups, like the calendar view, which is super useful and helps you to see your month at a glance.
Once the month ends, I usually archive all my cards to clean up my stack, starting another month.
Favorite posts about Trello:
- How To Use Trello as a Blog Editorial Calendar by Boho Berry
- How to Organize Your Content with an Editorial Calendar by My Life as a Teacup
Step 2: Asana
Once I planned all my blog posts for the month, I have to put them somewhere, using some checklists to actually get things done. Asana is the answer. Born as workplace for teams and groups of people, it’s also perfect for working solo, managing several different projects both for work and your personal life. (Kristin uses Wunderlist the same way, more or less, I prefer Asana.)
Using your company email (instead of Gmail) allows you to create an Organization which is the highest level in Asana hierarchy. In my main Organization, I created different teams (The Geeky Burrow, Other Blogs, Templates) to help myself diving my projects and creating color-coded checklists of things to do, assigning also due dates.
It might look a bit confusing the first time, but having a page with all the tasks about all the various sites I manage online is perfect to me. When I turn on my laptop, I immediately open Asana to have the big picture of my day, week and month. This way I know what exactly has to be done that day.
Favorite posts about Asana:
- How to Use Asana for Projects by Nora Conrad
- The Simple Digital & Paper Organization Systems That Keep My Business Moving by Kyla Roma
Step 3: Evernote
I use Evernote for a ton of things, both personal and blog-related. Concerning the last one, it’s where I store all my drafts, notes, inspiration and links of interesting readings for my Happy Monday series (thanks to the Web Clipper browser extension).
I have different notebooks for my blog stuff and a personal stack of notebooks, like Archive and Bookmarks, where I keep the things I like to refer back in the future. When I have to write a blog post, I open my Blog | Drafts and Ideas notebook, I create a new note with the blog title and I write the whole post there first, then I export the text to my blog and I add my images and links.
Favorite posts about Evernote:
- A Complete Guide to Evernote by Nora Conrad
- Get Organized: How I Use Evernote to Organize My Life by My Life as a Teacup
Here it is! My 3-steps organization system to manage my blog. It might look like a ton of work, but believe me, when you have to study several hours a day, attending University classes and preparing for exams, writing everything in decluttered lists and notebooks is the best way to stay organized.