you-need-a-better-blogging-workflow

I Took The Plunge With CoSchedule And This Happened To My Blogging Workflow

Let’s talk about your blogging workflow for a minute.

How many different programs, spreadsheets, and processes are you using as part of your blogging workflow to plan and promote your blog content?

Three?  Five?  More?

I decided that I would find out, and my total was seven.

SEVEN different things I had to log into or reference in order to manage what should be ONE workflow.

Aside from the sheer ridiculousness of using seven things for my workflow (is that even a flow anymore?), the negative impact on my productivity was literally making me crazy.

Read on to find out how I solved my blogging workflow woes and how you can implement the same thing for your blog.

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Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Did you know that every time you switch tasks, it takes a toll on your productivity?

Yup – multitasking is more than just scrolling through your news feed while fixing dinner or putting on your mascara while sitting in carline.

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Check out the different things that psychologists consider to be multitasking:

  • performing two or more tasks simultaneously
  • switching back and forth from one thing to another
  • performing a number of tasks in rapid succession

I’m pretty sure that my entire day’s activities are covered by a combination of these. Whoops!

And here I was thinking I was really making strides toward more productivity by having each task in an ordered list…

Check out this quote on task switching from the APA:

“Although switch costs may be relatively small, sometimes just a few tenths of a second per switch, they can add up to large amounts when people switch repeatedly back and forth between tasks. Thus, multitasking may seem efficient on the surface but may actually take more time in the end and involve more error. Meyer has said that even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.”

best-workflow-for-bloggers-tip

What if I told you there was a way to organize all your blog + social + email workflows in ONE Place?

Too good to be true?

Nope

Way out of your price range?

Also nope.

Are you curious?

I thought so!

Meet the CoSchedule Essentials Plan 🙂

Eliminate the endless email threads, piles of sticky notes, and the dozen
and half moving pieces.
Focus on the real work of writing top-notch content
AND growing your audience.

I have been in love with the idea of using CoSchedule with my blog forever, but always thought it was way out of my price range.

So I was content to just read the CoSchedule Blog and participate in their totally awesome webinars for the time being.

At least, I was content until I got an email from them explaining how I could get the Essentials Plan AND join their referral network to reduce the monthly subscription price as much as 100%!

(a.k.a. there’s a way to get it for free…but you have to put in the work!)

Holy Cow! 

I could barely contain my excitement about finally setting up an efficient blogging workflow within just one app.

I signed up immediately and started digging into all of the amazing features.

With CoSchedule You Can Build A Seamless Workflow From Start To Finish

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You can sync all of your favorite tools and social platforms into one place, so you can focus on driving traffic to your blog (not jumping from one tool to the next).

Goodbye task switching!

CoSchedule even easily integrates with tools bloggers already use such as WordPress, Google Analytics, Evernote, Google Docs, MailChimp, Zapier, and more – so the endless logging in and out of multiple programs can be a thing of the past.

Imagine how much simpler sharing your content across multiple social media channels would be if you could schedule it out ahead of time and it just happened!

Even better, many of their features were built with bloggers and other solo marketing teams in mind, and their site is jam-packed with free tutorials, free checklists, and free webinars to help you make the most of your marketing workflow.

The video below walks you through exactly how to set up CoSchedule as a blogger, and I followed it step-by-step to be up and running in one afternoon.

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Overall, I have been thrilled to see such a big improvement in my blogging productivity since signing up for a plan with CoSchedule.

I was able to discontinue use of several other apps as a result, and without having to switch from one program to another, I can stay “in the zone” and get MUCH more accomplished!

If you still aren’t sure that it would be a good fit for you, they do offer a FREE TRIAL so you can give CoSchedule a try risk-free.

And if you want to check out some of their awesome resources designed to improve your blogging workflow and save you some serious time, be sure to visit the CoSchedule blog!

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Busy Mom's Guide to Bullet Journaling – Intro to Bullet Journal Basics

How to Organize Your Busy Mom Life – An Intro to Bullet Journaling

If you are anything like me, you’ve probably got tons of notepads and journals and planners gathering dust around your house that just didn’t quite fit into your life.

I have started lots of diaries, journal prompt lists, and even a digital journal, and just like with any calendar or planner, I forget to go back to them after the first day or two so I end up never finishing.

It’s really the inconsistency that bothers me – once I miss a few days I am so over it.

It makes me feel like it’s physical evidence that I just can’t hack it. 

I used to think that if I ever really had all of my thoughts and lists in one place I could get my life together…but that notebook would be so thick and heavy I still couldn’t use it!

I will be the first to admit it – I am a planner junkie, and if it claims to finally get my life organized, then out comes my wallet! I am a big fan of Erin Condren’s line of planners and her accessory line is awesome… but I also needed something with a little more flexibility to keep track of all of my ideas. (Side Note: Her teacher lesson planners are the coolest and I have been trying to come up with a reason to need one. Maybe I will add it to my teacher gift ideas list!)

 

 

Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

As a busy mom, it’s not uncommon to lose track of your responsibilities since things can get so hectic! Whether you are a new mom that is struggling to balance home responsibilities and motherhood, an overwhelmed mom tired of managing both your job and your household, or a busy mom who gets so wrapped up in the task at hand that you tend to forget everything else, you need an intro to bullet journal basics!

 

This is a unique form of journaling, unlike any other type you have probably tried out.

It takes a little more time in the beginning, as you learn the basics and get your bullet journal set up, but keeping up with it is so quick and easy. I thought I would never find a system that could help me juggle everything as a busy mom, but bullet journaling has totally changed my life!

And I really think you will find that it is perfect for bringing a little more order and organization to your busy and hectic life.

Before getting into the cool details of bullet journals and how to create them, I want to introduce some basic bullet journal concepts and terminology.

 

Intro to Bullet Journal Basics

I know I kept hearing people talk about their oh so fabulous bullet journal and saw tons of posts about them online, but I needed a really straightforward guide to help me get started with the basics.

It ‘s important to know the standard terms for the components because if you ever want to look up how others create their bullet journals when you are trying to find inspiration, it really comes in handy. Also, it can be a little confusing at first if you haven’t had an intro to bullet journal phrases and techniques.

What is a bullet journal?

  • A bullet journal, or “bujo” for short, is a type of journal that includes multiple sections in order to keep track of the multiple facets of your life.
  • Instead of having one journal for your finances and career notes, and another journal for household to-do lists and journal entries, everything is in a single journal. (What?!?!?! I was totally sold on the idea when I found this out!) Once one journal is filled up, you then switch to a new one and start again.
  • A bullet journal starts out completely blank, and it is up to you to customize it to fit your life.

What Is Rapid Logging?

  • You are not typically writing full-length journal entries when you use a bullet journal.
  • Instead, you summarize your points with short words and phrases, as well as using symbols (called signifiers) that you get to select.
  • The creator of the bullet journal concept, Ryder Carroll, calls this “Rapid Logging.”

What Are The Components of Rapid Logging?

  • Topics
  • Page Numbers
  • Short Sentences
  • Bullets

According to Ryder Carroll’s Getting Started guide, the four components of Rapid Logging are topics, page numbers, short sentences, and bullets.

This way you understand your notes and can find them on the different pages, but it doesn’t take up a lot of space or too much of your time. (Bingo!)

 

What Are Signifiers?

  • Symbols within your journal as part of explaining things, creating schedules and to-do lists, and for various other sources.
  • A signifier might be using a smiley face when you have a good day or putting a symbol of the moon when you are talking about an event taking place in the evening.
  • You will identify your signifiers somewhere in your journal using a guide called a key.

 

What Is An Index?

  • Your index contains a list of your topics and the page number or numbers.
  • The index is something most traditional journals or diaries don’t tend to have and is unique to the bullet journal setup.
  • When you start putting the bullet journal together, you decide on what sections to create, then you make an index for easy reference to help you easily locate the page you want.

But remember, there is no right way or wrong way to do this; that is the great thing about journaling in general, including with bullet journaling.

Everything is up to you!

8 questions you must ask when setting your goals for 2018.

8 Questions You Must Ask Yourself When Setting Goals

Are You Setting Yourself Up to Fail?

Setting goals for the New Year requires more thought than you may realize!

8 Questions You Must Ask When Setting Goals for 2018
It is vital to ensure that you are setting goals effectively so that you can be successful.
Make sure to get your free PDF of 8 Questions to Ask When Setting Your Goals to help you stay on track.

Answer the following questions to ensure that you have set the right goals for yourself:

 

1. Are Your Goals Specific and Realistic?

 
It takes a little research to ensure that a goal is realistic. If you aren’t sure if something is actually achievable then you need to research it further. Once you’ve set a goal that is indeed realistic, you need to be specific about the desired outcome. You want to make it easy to take the goal & work backward to create a schedule of actions needed to succeed.
 

2. Are Your Goals Multifaceted?

 
Focusing on only one part of your life is a bad idea. We live multifaceted lives & need to make goals for all areas of our lives. If you have a successful career but your family life suffers, then no matter how hard you work, you won’t feel complete. Something will always seem missing from your life if your goals aren’t inclusive. You want to make sure your goals include something from each aspect of your life, including your personal passion.

 

3. Is Your Schedule Realistic?

 
After creating your plan to reach each of your goals, you need to consider how representative it is of your reality. Say your goal is to reduce your cholesterol by 10 percent in six months. But you haven’t set aside the time needed to exercise & eat right. Since you didn’t schedule in the time for these objectives, you won’t succeed. It will be very frustrating to practice your new habits or put in place new tasks when time is against you.
 
For instance, if you are going to exercise 30 minutes per day, setting aside only 30 minutes isn’t realistic. You really need to set aside an hour to account for getting ready as well as cooling down or getting cleaned up to go back to work.
 

4. Are You Learning from Past Mistakes?

 
Often when setting goals and schedules, instead of learning from mistakes, we give up. If you notice there are things you’ve forgotten to take into account along the way, don’t give up! Learn from the situation & change your plan to be more realistic.
 
You might find that at some point you have to rewrite all your goals & your schedule in order to account for real life. (Like missing a week of work because your daughter has the flu). Many people believe this is something negative, but the truth is, top performers revaluate & adjust their goals on a regular basis.

5. Do Your Goals Represent You?

 
Many moms set goals that represent what someone else wants instead of what they want. This can cause a lot of bad feelings & resentment which can derail even the best-laid plans. As you set goals for your life, ask yourself if they’re what you want for yourself or what someone else wants for you. Make some goals for yourself that don’t involve anyone else’s needs or wants.
 
It’s okay to do things because of someone else, but it’s important that you are honest about that to yourself. Just be cautious before you embark on someone else’s journey.
8 Questions You Must Ask Yourslef When Setting Goals for 2018
 

6. Are You Scheduled to Stay on Track?

 
Schedules are very important to the success of reaching any goal in life. Mental to do lists pale in comparison to a well laid out calendar. As a mom, you need to set a schedule to get you from point A to point B. Ensure that you look at your schedule daily & note when you succeed in sticking to your schedule & when you don’t. Noticing a pattern of activity can be helpful in fixing a poorly written schedule. It will also help you stay realistic about whether or not you’re sticking to your plan.
 

7. Are Your Goals Motivating?

 
When writing a goal it’s important to write them in a positive way, or at least a way that feels positive to you. During your goal planning, try writing down a goal & then changing the words to sound more motivating. For instance, losing 10 pounds seems like a good goal, but for some, it might signify deprivation. Instead, you might frame the goal as improving my BMI by 10 points or improving my cholesterol by 10 percent.
 

8. Do You Have Too Many Goals?

 
Just as setting too few goals can be a problem, so can setting too many. If you have set multiple goals in each area of your life, you might tire yourself out & get overwhelmed. Instead, pick one or two goals from each area to focus on until you reach them, & then you can add more goals as time goes on. I prefer planning for the quarter, which I recently learned about which allows me to rearrange priorities every 90 days. You don’t need to do everything today. Slow and steady wins the race!

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Setting the right goals for yourself takes some thought and consideration. Make sure to get your free PDF of 8 Questions to Ask When Setting Your Goals to help you stay on track.

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If you want more help with determining your goals or planning your year, check out these links to additional tips from some of my favorite bloggers:
Goal Planning Ideas for Bloggers by Elna Cain of Twins Mommy
6 Ways to Start Your New Year Well by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom
Goal Planning for Busy Moms by Monica of Redefining Mom

Getting Myself into Gear

Time for a confession…

I am a dreamer. I am a planner. I am an analyzer. I am incredibly resourceful. 

But I have a problem with commitment. Really, it’s a twofold problem. 

  1. I will commit to doing just about anything Sometime. If the plans aren’t certain, the project not nailed down, or the brainstorming has just begun, count me in!
  2. I cannot bring myself to commit to anything that might box me in. Dinner next week? Maybe… Dinner next Friday at 6? Um, no, I don’t think I can make it.

This also flows out into the dreams I have, the plans I do make, and the decisions I endlessly analyze. I have heard it called “analysis paralysis” and I am certain that I have a textbook case. 

So far, I have failed myself by letting this stop me from jumping into this blog with the gusto that I dreamed about. But today, I resolve that I will not let my indecision get in the way of this blog. I will write, I will share my insights, & I will not worry myself  with getting everything just right.

Maybe sometimes, just getting started is enough.