It’s that time of year again, the first of the year, time to start being organized. Whether you made it a new year’s resolution or not (I did), as a blogger, organization is something that you must do. You will thank me for writing this post (and of course you reading it) once it comes time next year to file your taxes, or even next quarter if you’re paying taxes quarterly. You may also have to look back at your records for something for the year too, so it’s definitely good to keep documentation and be organized with it.
Do you always aspire to be one of those bloggers who continuously seem to be on top of everything? You know the ones who never forget a deadline, are always up to date with their emails, and their bookkeeping for the month? I have a few tips and tricks to help you out.
Now I’m sure you’re asking, what do I need to buy to be organized and how do I stay organized?
Have a clean workspace with no distractions
A clean workspace should be common sense, but it really allows for better work to be done without distractions around. No TV, no kids running around, no mess that has you thinking you should be getting up to clean instead of blog, etc. Make yourself an office with a desk, a nice desk lamp, and area to blog, write, and more.
A small notebook to keep track of mileage
You will definitely want to keep a small notebook to keep track of mileage. I keep mine in my purse so it’s with me at all times. Obviously another great place to keep it would actually be in your car. Keep track of mileage when you do things for blogging such as going to the post office to mail a blog related item, going to an office supply store to make copies to fax something to a PR company, going to dinner or a show for a blogger review, going to an amusement park that you’re reviewing, and much more. Those are just a few examples of why you’d keep track of mileage, there are plenty more. You’ll need these figures when it comes to tax time for a deduction.
A desk size planner or a dry erase board
Whether you use a monthly desk size planner or a large dry erase board, it’s so very important to keep track of what you need to do that week or month. Try not to put too much on yourself for one day, and try to at least take a day or even a weekend for yourself. Don’t burn yourself out by blogging every single day of the week. With a desk planner or dry erase board you can easily keep track and see what day you need to do what, as well as any deadlines you may have. I personally like a weekly desk size planner for what I have to do for the week, that way I don’t get completely overwhelmed by looking at a monthly calendar that may be full. Seeing week by week helps me get through the week with ease.
A planner that you can easily take on the go
I actually use a smaller planner that I keep in my purse, I also keep track of my mileage in that as well, as shown above, instead of a separate notebook. The planner I have shows month by month and also has notes sections, and week by week sections. I like that it’s a lot packed into a small planner, as I tend to like them better than the bigger and bulkier planners. It’s totally up to your preference though on what you’d rather use. I usually email myself with what I need to write down on what dates at the end of the day, then I fill it out in the morning. If I have a conference to go to, I will fill that in, well in advance too. I like having a smaller one as I always have it with me in case something comes up like getting a phone call for a blog event or a Twitter party or something of the sort. A planner is good to have to write down important dates like domain renewals, hosting renewals, bills that need to be paid like email services, WordPress plugins, and more.
A file folder with at least 13 different sections
You will want a file folder that has AT LEAST 13 sections, that way you can have a section for each month as well as an extra section too. My file folder is big enough to hold normal 8.5″x 11″ sheets of paper, that way when I get contracts or anything important that I need to print off, that they will fit in my folder. I keep all of my receipts in each monthly section, and I keep all contracts or any important papers in the 13th section in the back. I staple them together and write a date on the top to help keep them organized.
Google Drive Docs Spreadsheet, so you can access anywhere
It’s important to keep track of two different things via spreadsheets.
The first one of course is your blogging items/money received. Date, review item, review value, sponsored content, and money received. Make sure you do a sheet for each month so it doesn’t get too cluttered. That way you can easily see what you have review value wise each month, as well as money received that month too. I have included a VERY simple example below.
Secondly, you will want to keep track of your statistics for each month. That way you can see your growth, you can see what you may need to work more on growing whether it be your Facebook fans, Twitter followers, page views, unique monthly views, etc. I actually didn’t do this last year, and I really wish I would have so I could have seen the growth my blog took. You can even keep track of other information like top blog posts for the month. A lot of this will help you keep an eye on what you need to focus on each month on your blog. I made another simple example that you can see below.
PayPal Account or Bank Account to keep business separate from personal
This is something you will just want to do, it’s easier to keep track of everything incoming and outgoing. It’s also easier come tax time to prepare your taxes or for your accountant. You can also acquire a debit card for PayPal or Bank and use that for blogger related expenses as well. Make sure if you use PayPal to keep track of all of your fees you pay out if you receive a payment as well, as those are tax deductible.
Now I know this isn’t EVERYTHING you need to know, but these are some great starter tips. You will be on the right track if you’re following the above. If you have any more suggestions or thoughts, make sure to comment below and let me know! I hope you found this post informative!