Let’s face it. We’re not always as organized as we should be. At least most of us aren’t (or maybe it’s just me?) And when it comes to college, you know you need to get your sh*t done. Honestly, I’ve never been the neat girl at school with a perfectly organized book bag, a million notebooks, highlighters, and those pretty colorful pens. And keeping my room tidy wasn’t always a priority on my to do list.
But staying organized should be a priority. I’ve learned this over the years, especially now as a blogger. Having a system and keeping things structured makes your life so much easier.
College is hard enough. Why make it harder on ourselves?
Plus throwing a blog into the mix can make things crazy. If you can’t stay organized for school, how will you ever keep both your college AND blog life organized? Being in college, you know there’s a set list of things you need to do. But having a blog too? Girl… that list is endless. And when you realize that, you can easily get overwhelmed and pretty much end up getting nothing done.
There needs to be a method to the madness. I had a sudden realization when this exact thing happened to me. My mind was filled with never ending thoughts and worries. What about that paper that’s due? What if I don’t have time to publish a blog post this week? When will I fit in time to take blog photos?
Or spending the evening creating content for my blog just to realize I actually had an assignment that I completely forgot about due at 11:59 pm that very same night. Ah, the memories. But that, my friends, is the old me. I had to crack down and figure out my life so I could be productive. So my tip to you? Declutter your life and seriously get down to business. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
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So, today I’m sharing my 5 college + blog life organization tips. These strategies have been life-saving and have definitely reduced stress and improved my efficiency!
1. Use a planner + schedule out your day
I am addicted to pretty little planners. I love using monthly planners and calendars to plan out deadlines, posts, and campaigns. They’re super easy to use. On the calendar portion I make note of important dates. When it comes to the weekly or daily part of the planner, I enter more detailed information like tasks I need to complete that day. This is basically where my to do lists come into play.
Once I’ve got that all set up, I create a schedule for my day. I like to do them at least a week in advance and time block my days so I have set times for each tasks.
There are several planners out there you could get to help you get started. Grab The Blog Planner to help you plan out your blog content, keep track of your social media, set goals, plan your opt-ins and so much more! It’s filled with 45 gorgeous pages to create your own yearly planner and turn your blog into a profitable, money-making biz.
2. File everything and keep it organized
Filing is the best way to stay organized! On my computer I have my blog and school files set up in a certain way and in a hierarchy. It keeps everything together so I don’t have to go crazy wondering where I saved my paper for school or that cool stock photo I found for my blog.
Here’s a quick look at how I keep files and folders on my computer:
- Blog Files
- Blog Posts
- Stock Photos
- Sponsored Posts
- Monthly Goals + Stats
3. Keeping an editorial calendar for blog posts
This one should’ve been number one! I cannot stress it enough. Editorial calendars are LIFE. As writers and bloggers, sometimes we have just completely go blank and run out of ideas of what to write. Then you’re stuck in a rut struggling to bring new content to your blog.
Stop right there. Here’s where an editorial calendar comes in. Create a spreadsheets of all your blog post ideas and check them off as you complete them. I created a calendar with dates and titles for blog posts for the rest of the year and it’s shaved hours off my blog routine. Use a paper and pen to create a brain dump and just dump a bunch of keywords and ideas for your blog. Then create a spreadsheet and enter each idea. I prefer to enter the ideas with ready-to-go blog post titles and plan a tentative date for them.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to go with the exact date listed and you don’t have to use the exact title you come up with. Just use it as a rough guide to help you feel less overwhelmed and less stressed.
For college, usually every class has a syllabus and course calendar. I print that out at the beginning of each semester and check assignments off as I complete them. Then I file them away from easy access later.
4. Use Google Drive
Google Drive is amazing! I didn’t know much about Google Drive until recently and it’s safe to say I am hooked. That editorial calendar I just mentioned? Yep, it’s in my Google Sheets. I’m really obsessed with using Google Drive for everything. I plan my blog posts in it and use it to safe photos and documents as well.
You can literally pull up any docs from any device with it. And if your university is anything like mine, then you know that group projects are big in college. I use Google Docs for projects because everyone in the group can work on their portion at the same time and you can see what everyone is working on in real-time.
You can correct Jack’s spelling before he even makes it to the end of his sentence. How cool is that?!
Right now I just use Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, and Google Sheets but I’m definitely going to be checking out Google Calendar and Hangouts very soon!
5. Take breaks
You could schedule and plan your life away, but one thing you cannot forget is to take a break. Give yourself some time off — it makes a huge difference. I try to plan a day or two during the week where I do absolutely no blog work or schoolwork. Usually it’s Saturdays that I plan to just chill, relax, watch Netflix, and have date night with my boyfriend. Whatever day you decide, just make sure you chill and take school + blogging off the brain for a bit.
Then jump back into it when you’re rested up.