Let’s face it! There are an insane amount of blog planners on the market!
How on earth are you supposed to figure out which one is best for you, which one will help you tackle your daily conquer list and keep your goals front and center? Just scrolling through Pinterest alone can be a very daunting task.
So today, my friend, I’m going to help you choose the perfect blog planner to best suit your needs.
For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links
I am often asked which blog planner I think is the best. Well, my friend, truthfully…..the best blogging planner is the one that helps you be the most productive you can be!
Ah man! Now that’s not fair, is it?
Don’t you worry, I’m going to give you some help on how to pick the best planner for yourself and I’ll share my favorite with you in just a bit!
What’s important in a blog planner?
As I stated earlier, there is an infinite number of blogging planners available with prices ranging anywhere from $0-$75. Until recently, I couldn’t imagine paying $75 for a planner. I mean honestly! (Stay with me, friend. The planner I use is nowhere near $75.)
But now that I’ve been blogging for awhile, I’ve found some great planners that are worth every single penny!
Since we bloggers have to work around all the other demands that are vying for our attention each and every day, some tools are just worth their weight in gold. And a planner is one of those very tools.
I never leave home without mine! Not only does it keep me organized and has everything I need at my fingertips, but my favorite is dirt cheap!
But before we dive into my favorite, let’s talk about what you should have in your blogging planner. You’ll want something that helps you to stay focused, organized and keeps your goals front and center.
Important sections to include in your blog planner
- Monthly and yearly goals
- A daily conquer list
- Monthly and yearly stats
- Finance Tracker
- E-mail campaign tracker
- Affiliate Tracker
- Social media planner
- Facebook advertising planner – I haven’t used this in the past, however, I’ll be starting Facebook ads soon, so I’ll be adding this section to my planner for 2018.
- Post topic and brainstorming guide
- A “brain dump” area**
- A “blog to-buy” list** – I keep a running list of items that I want to purchase for the blog and then as my income increases, I check the list and see what’s next to purchase to improve FOI.
- Website font and color list** – I really like having this close at hand while I’m designing media and pictures for the website and social media.
- Master to-do list** – This is a great place to refer back to for my monthly goals and daily conquer list
- Notes section** – I like to have an entire section dedicated to keeping notes on all the webinars and classes that I take throughout the year. That way I can refer back to them easily.
**See below regarding the starred sections
My favorite blog planner
A couple years ago, I came across the Blog Planner by Designer Blogs. I fell in love with it and have been using it ever since.
Here’s what I like most about this planner:
- I know I’ve mentioned it a couple times, but I have to say it again……It’s dirt cheap! In fact, the basic version is free. You certainly can’t get any cheaper than that!
- The extension package, which I highly recommend, is only $10! Seriously, my blogging friend, it’s a no-brainer!
- You can use it year after year. (They do have an upgrade offer each year, but you can easily get by without it.)
- You get all the pages, but print off only what you want.
- They offer 1 size in the free package and 4 different sizes in the extended. My favorite is the letter size!
- It’s delivered to your inbox immediately! No waiting for it to show up in the mail.
- You can take it to your favorite office store and have it bound for under $10 (in fact, if I remember correctly, it’s barely over $5!)
- It has all the sections that I mentioned above and more.
Setting up my Blog Planner
Here is how I set up my planner each year……..
I print everything double-sided to save on paper. All the starred items are something I make myself in PicMonkey to match this, already gorgeous, planner.
In the front of my blog planner:
- **Page 1 – Cover – I simply design the cover to say “Footprints of Inspiration – 2018.”
- **Page 2 – 2018 Website Colors and Fonts – I include all the color codes and fonts that I use on my site and social media so it’s all in one place to refer to when I’m designing pics and social media. (This ensures that my brand is cohesive across all channels.)
- **Page 3 – 2018 Blog To-Buy List – I included lines for writing and boxes to check off what I’ve been able to purchase. I have 1 double-sided page of this.
- **Page 4 – 2018 Master To-Do List – Another page full of lines and boxes. I make several double-sided pages of this list.
My monthly sections are in the following order. (I’m including what I have on each side of a double-sided page in the following order: front of page/back of the page.)
- **2018 Brain Dump – I add a double-sided page full of lines and boxes. This is positioned at the beginning of every quarter.
- Monthly Post Calendar/Monthly Blogging Goals – I have the monthly post calendar first (after brain dump if that’s a month for it) so that I can see, at a glance, what’s coming up for the month.
- Blog To-Do List/Weekly Post Planner – Blog to do list is what I need to accomplish for the month as well as any other notes that I need to keep front and center for my month. I love, love, love the weekly post planner. It’s a great place to record what posts will be published that week.
- Weekly To-Do List/Weekly Post Planner – I love having it in this order so that when my planner is open, I can see the entire spread for the week. I print enough of these pages to get me through the month. (4-5, depending on how many weeks are in a month)
- Monthly Stat Tracker/Monthly Finance Tracker
- Facebook Advertising
- Email Campaign Tracker (This is new this year and I’ll be incorporating it into my monthly section.)
- Social Media Tracker (This is, also, new this year and I’ll be incorporating it into my monthly section.)
In the back of my blog planner
The following is at the end of my planner in their own dedicated sections:
- Post Topics Brainstorming Section – I have double-sided pages of these for every category on the blog so that I can brain dump new blog post topics.
- Post Brainstorming Guide Section – I love, love, love this section. Anytime I’m thinking about something for a post, I can jot it down here and then forget about it until I’m ready to write the post. I print off a lot of double-sided pages for this section.
- An entire section with blank lines for recording all my notes from webinars and classes that I’ve taken.
Yearly Stats Section with the following in it:
- Yearly Blogging Goals
- Yearly Stats and Analytics/Yearly Finance Tracker
- Affiliate Programs (double-sided)
- Giveaway Tracker/and this year I’ll be including the “Change Tracker” – I love that they added it this year! I have a separate notebook for changes that I’ve made to Pinterest boards from month to month and I’m excited to have it in my planner to keep it all in one place.
Whew! That’s a whole lot of “focused goodness” for one place!
As you can see by how I lay out my planner, it makes a huge difference to be able to keep everything in one place, to have your goals front and center (both personal and business) and to help you stay focused on what’s really important.
In other words, how you’re going to get the best ROI (return on investment), both in time and money.
The absolute most important thing for you to remember is that whatever planner is going to help you stay focused and achieve your goals is the right planner for you.
And as I always say, a planner is merely an organizational tool. You are the one that has to implement.
The Blog Planner by Designer Blogs is the most comprehensive planner I’ve found for blogging thus far, however, if I find something that’ll help me work better, I’ll change in a heartbeat, and so should you!
Do you have a blogging planner that you love? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below and tell me all about it!
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Until next time, my blogging friend……
Special Note: This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own. By purchasing products through these links, I may receive a small commission, however, your cost for the item does not change.
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Learning how to put our complete trust in God isn’t easy. We say we trust God, but what we really mean is that we trust Him for what we want, when we want it. At Footprints of Inspiration we uncover who you are and why you were created; how to walk in healing through forgiveness; and how to go before the Lord with confidence. Through this journey, you’ll discover that it truly is possible to experience peace, even in the hardest times in your life.
Tammy Rotzoll is the founder and owner of Footprints of Inspiration and podcast host at A Faithful God Podcast (which can be found on your favorite podcast player). She lives in Virginia with her husband and together they’re learning how to navigate their fun, new adventure as empty nesters.
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