I just had the chance to review the Blog Like a Pro Planner from Katie Horner, and I loved it! I know what you’re thinking—isn’t January the month you’re supposed to focus on getting organized? Well, I have to be honest. Life was too crazy for organization in January, so I’m trying again in February.
The Blog Like a Pro planner has more than 80 forms divided into 12 sections:
- Products & Marketing
- Task Management
- Website Maintenance & Statistics
- Financial Tracking
- Affiliate & Sponsors
- Team Management
I’m going to focus this review on the three sections that I was the most excited to read about—goals, website maintenance, and speaking.
I am a list person. I write lists about everything. While I am sitting here typing this for you today I can look down and see two To-Do lists and a sticky note of tasks with a few more things I thought of when I wasn’t near one of my “official” To Do lists. I need lists. The problem is, sometimes I make too many lists and I lose things. I make notes in so many different places I can’t find them all. I write about a project in one place, then more notes about it in another place, and still more notes in a third location. When it comes time to actually sit down and create the project, I can’t remember where all my notes are!
I also tend to create stress for myself by trying to remember too many things at one time. For example, maybe today I have an idea for a holiday-themed project that won’t be due for another six months or more. I jot the idea down on a piece of paper. Then, in a few days (or weeks) I type the note into a file on my laptop that holds ideas that are waiting to be developed. Let’s say it’s a Christmas project and I have the idea in February. What do you think the chances are that in September, when I need to doing the early steps of planning the project out, that I’ll open the file and go, “Oh, that’s right, I need to work on that Christmas idea”? To be honest, the chances are slim. In September, I’m not thinking a lot about Christmas. Christmas still feels a long ways off then, and so I focus on the immediate things that need done.
My brain will likely start turning toward Christmas projects right around Thanksgiving. If I look for my Christmas project notes then, I am going to have several problems. First, it’s a proven fact that time moves faster between Thanksgiving and Christmas (OK, not really, but it certainly feels like it!). Second, we all get busier the closer it gets to Christmas, meaning I am less likely to have time to create a product from scratch. And third, if it takes me all month to create the product, you won’t have it in your hands when you need it (which is probably right after Thanksgiving!).
Katie created a packet of goal planning forms that allow you to make quick notes by month or by quarter of what actions need to be taken when. So, for example, I could make a note in September to start planning the project, in early November to complete the project, and in late November to release the product. This is so very helpful!
This is an area with which I struggle behind the scenes. Hopefully it’s nothing that you, my readers, notice. But I have needed a better system for noting what blog posts need to be updated when. For example, while working on my site last night, I found a mention of a sale at the bottom of a post. The sale expired almost a year ago. That is no longer useful information to you, and it needed to come down long ago. I did delete it last night, but it made me wonder how many other similar entries I might find on my site. Katie has a lovely form to help me keep track of that. If I create a post or page, or make special mention of a limited-time offer, all I need to do is write it on the list and note when it expires. When that day comes, I can delete or update the information and cross it off of the list. How simple is that?
I also very much enjoyed Katie’s speaker forms. I have given some workshop sessions in the past about various ministry and homeschooling topics, but I would like to be much more intentional about it in 2016. The hardest part is that in order to be considered for 2016 opportunities, I need to be applying in 2015. Last month, I submitted a speaking proposal to a writer’s conference to be held this June. I thought six months out was a good time to open the discussion, but I was wrong. By January of this year, they already had their June speakers finalized. I need to start submitting proposals for 2016 over the next several months, but I also need a way to keep track of who I have approached and when (and keep that information somewhere I can still find it next year!). Katie’s forms are a great resource for doing exactly that.
Plus, when you purchase the Blog Like a Pro Planner, you receive access to a special bonus section with more forms, tips, and resources!
So if you are a writer or speaker who could use some extra help getting organized, I highly recommend the Blog Like a Pro Planner. You can purchase the entire planner or just the sections you need!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the Blog Like a Pro Planner in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this information in compliance with FTC regulations.