One of the biggest challenges with having a blog is managing your posts. I went through a period a few years ago of posting once a day just to see if I could – I made it a whole year, and then realised there was a fair amount of time that I was talking complete drivel – thank you to all of you long term readers who were too polite to point this out ;o) After that I had to experiment for a while to find a schedule that worked for me, but although I could identify a pattern of days of the week when I wanted to post things, actually keeping track of what I was going to write about was more challenging.
My first tracking attempt was with Google Calendar:
Google Calendar has some plus points, in that it reminds you in advance to write the post, with both pop-up and e-mail options, a choice of how long before the event you want to be reminded, and, in fact, the option for 2 different reminders.
The main bad point is that I have to go through each week and enter the specific project title on the day I want to post, other than WIP Wednesday which I have as a recurring event. Recurring events will tell you to do the same thing every time, as the title remains static. What that also means is that I don’t have a long term view of what I’m posting, so if, say, I don’t get as far as creating the tutorial I’d meant to ahead of the post I’d planned for it I don’t quickly have a view of what I can put in instead.
My next attempt was with my whiteboard next to my sewing table:
This is actually a pretty good option – the board is intended to be used by families, but I use each row for a different week rather than for a different person. I have a 4 pack of whiteboard fineliners that I use to help me quickly spot what I need to. Red is blog posts, green is sewing, blue is non-sewing related (eg noting when I’ll be away, or out for dinner with friends etc) and black is dates. If needed I can easily erase and rearrange what I’m going to write about.
The down side is that I don’t actually have the whiteboard with me, so if I have a spare moment at lunchtime to make a few post notes, other than WIP Wednesday, I often can’t remember off the top of my head what the week was meant to contain post-wise.
That meant it was back to electronic options, and a friend suggested Trello:
The biggest plus side of Trello is that it has both a web and app front end, so I can use it on my desktop via the web, and on my tablet and phone as an app. You can also share it with other people, so if I suddenly found myself with an embarrassment of riches and could employ people to help, they could log in and see the same thing as me.
The picture above is of a page for this blog that I just created for sharing this post. It’s easy to create multiple boards which are visible to those you share with:
So after I added in several more it looked like this:
Within the boards you then create lists:
For the purposes of blog managing I use one list per post. Lists are subdivided into cards, so I use a card for each section I intend to write. Opening up the cards you can then add notes about what should be in that section:
There are lots of other features you can employ, such as colour coded labels, due dates etc, and there is also a tracker that shows who has done what and when on each board. With the due date functionality you can then generate an iCalendar file for the board which can then be opened in other programs such as Outlook.
At the moment I’m still exploring all the options for Trello, but I’m very happy with what I have so far. What do you use, if anything, to manage your blog posts?