Despite blogging being such an electronic medium, I actually don’t work that well on computers. I can type fast, get my images set up, and schedule links, but I can’t plan digitally.
Planning On Paper
Maybe it’s because I’m just young enough that I largely grew up without computers, and when we did get a computer, it was for basic stuff only (because that’s literally all it could do). Or maybe it’s that brain connection thingy that writing seeps the information into our brains better. (Yes, I’m sure there’s a more technical way of putting it.)
I use a combination of things. I have a big A3 sheet that is a basic, undated calendar. There I can note a title of a blog post under the date I plan for it to go live. This sheet is set up so that I can do this for all my blogs at once. It’s a good overview. I also have tick boxes for when I’ve written it, added an image, and scheduled the links for publication day.
It’s basic, but it lets me write it down and easily track where I’m up to. As it’s A3, I tend to only work on this kind of major overview planning when I’m at home and can easily spread out the sheet of paper.
When I’m out, I nearly always have an A5 notebook on me. In 2017, I trialled using broad themes for each month on the blog. It’s not to be prescriptive, but to help me brainstorm ideas. I have some notes in my small notebook about blog post topics/titles – a great way of capturing the idea when I can’t write the post immediately. (I have a habit of getting ideas at the worst possible time, like in meetings at work.)
I also use a WordPress calendar plug in so that I can see an overview of what has been scheduled on my blog. Thankfully this takes no maintenance from my point of view, so it’s a handy tool to let me have a visual overview when I don’t have my A3 forward planning sheet of paper on me.
I don’t know if this hybrid system of planning all over the place would work for everyone, but it does seem to work pretty well for me.
Do you prefer paper to plan? Do you find it sinks in more that way? How do you plan your blog posts?