When I began blogging almost two years ago, I had a pretty simple game plan for keeping track of my posts - I just wrote whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted...
That was before I began working with companies on reviews and whatnot. Now that I had deadlines on a weekly basis, Rebel Chick's Journey has become a little more tricky to manage. For a while, I was simply writing down each review item or promotional post that I needed to write on a yellow legal pad.
Yeah, I am old school.
Needless to say, that system did not work very well. I realized it was time to get my blog responsibilities more organized, so when I was approached by Buttoned Up to review their agenda and password log, I was all sign me up! I thought I'd share some of my organizational secrets with you - they apply not only to bloggers but to anyone who deals with appointments, deadlines and schedules!
5 Tips for Keeping Yourself on Schedule
1. Get an agenda and USE IT!
I am using my Buttoned Up weekly agenda planner on a daily basis. As new review items for my blog come in, I simply jot down an estimated due date that I'd like to have them completed by. As promotional post requests come in, I jot them down - it's a great way to keep my blog responsibilities organized. There's even a pen loop so you're never without a pen when you need to add something to your schedule.
The Buttoned Up agenda is pretty and it's small enough to carry in my purse, so I take it with me everywhere. When I am out and about and someone invites me somewhere, I just open up the agenda and jot down the date. I also keep track of my daughter's early release days, when my husband is traveling, doctor's appointments and when bills are due! The Buttoned Up agenda even has built-in perforated shopping and to-do lists, and two pockets for holding things like coupons!
2. If You Can't Do It, JUST SAY NO!
I have been guilty of it myself - overextending myself and saying Yes when I really didn't have the time or the energy to fit something into my schedule. This can be especially tricky during the holidays, when we are pulled in a million different directions: holiday parties, potlucks, school events, church functions, etc. If your schedule is full, don't try to fit everything in - give yourself a break. You do not have to do everything that is presented to you!
I won't lie, saying NO every once in a while does take some getting used to. But the rewards are worth the effort - you'll find that you have more time to dedicate to things that are really important, like sitting down to dinner with the family instead of rushing off to an event or being cooped up in your home office, banging out one last blog post for the night...
3. If Someone Offers You Help, TAKE IT!
You know what I am talking about; you're planning a holiday meal at your home and everyone asks you, "what can I do to help?" and you say, "nothing, don't worry about it!" When really, your mind has already come up with 5 things that you wish they would do for you. If someone offers to help you, just accept - it will give you more time to take care of other things, you'll be less stressed out and they will feel good about helping and being useful!
And if no one offers to help? Well, then ask them for help. At a recent family function, there was one family member that didn't sign up for anything on the to-bring list. Another family member simply asked them to bring a certain item and of course, they had no problem bringing it. Just ask!
4. Keep Track of Your Passwords!
I know that security experts say not to write down your passwords, but let's face it - some of us have so many logins to so many different websites that we can't possibly keep them all memorized. You are recommended to NOT use the same password for everything, so the easiest way to keep track is to use a log like the Buttoned Up Password Log. It's only $4.95 and is 50 pages long, with 2 passwords per page. It's a great way to keep track of your login information! I will say, however, that it is very important to keep this log put away somewhere - like in a safe, or a filing cabinet.
One of the most useful tools I have come across are actually free: Google Calendar and the Calendar App on my iPhone4. Google Calendar is free, and you set it up just like a normal calendar - events, appointments, due dates, etc. The date you schedule whatever it is, you receive an email reminder with the information you inputted when you set it up.
Now, I realize that not everyone has an iPhone, but I am sure that the calendar feature on other phones works similarly. I enter the information on the calendar, and set an alert - I usually choose 1 hour prior to the event and 5 minutes prior to the event - and you get a pop up message, much like a text, at the appropriate times. If it weren't for the calendar on my iPhone, I'd probably never make a Twitter party on time!
I hope that some of these tips have helped you! What are your tips for keeping on schedule?