Planners have been around for a very long time. The need to have an organised daily activity prompts one to devise a means that aid scheduling and this is where a planner comes to play.
If you are one who likes to write thoughts on paper, or you wrote stories / made story books with coloured cardboard paper as a kid or even just enjoy collecting stationaries, chances are, you started journaling really early and that is something we definitely have in common.
I have always been one to keep a diary (well, I stopped when someone went into my locker and stole my diary in high school), slum books, picture books etc and all these were usually written in journals or fancy note pads (including souvenirs from Nigerian Weddings) .
This meant that once I started blogging consistently, I naturally had a journal for my blog content, a seperate one for blog notes (which I read off the internet or other content creators), a journal for thoughts not relating to blogging and even had another one when I needed to put down my thoughts in April 2017 in preparation for the A to Z Writing Challenge.
Having all these journals were helpful (because it helped me stay organised) but it also got really difficult to carry about because I always wanted them with me. Circa April 2017, I started thinking about getting a planner that will contain every idea I needed to write. Thanks to being spontaneous, I went to the mall and got me a diary.
The plan was to get a proper blog planner in 2018 (which I now have) and I will like to share some reasons why you need a planner too.
Before I go ahead to explain how a planner works for me, I know that that a lot of people have their opinion about needing or not needing a planner. I have heard people say they prefer writing on ‘any’ paper, regular notepads, they will rather use apps like Evernote etc or they just write articles or do things off their head.
While I respect the fact that we all have what works for us, let me add that the only way to achieve your goal is to actually put in work and use a tool properly.
So, whether it is specifically a blog planner, a journal, a notepad, a life planner, finance monitor, a phone application or ‘any’ paper, a productive end result depends on how well you utilise your tool.
I like to believe I had a conviction before I eventually got a blog planner and that is the reason why it works for me. This applies to every other thing we need to do in life. Be determined, be ready to put in work, equip yourself and never stop planning.
It is safe to say that this post also doubles as a guide on what you should look out for in a planner as I will be reviewing how my planner serves me as a content creator.
THE NEED FOR STRUCTURE
While using a journal to collate my blog content, I realised I wanted structured pages. I first wanted dates so I sorted this by getting a makeshift planner (diary).
Then, I also wanted to have specific pages for blog topic ideas so I bookmarked the empty pages in my dairy to write topic ideas.
I also wanted a page in my makeshift planner (diary) to write blog notes, non blog notes, expenses e.t.c. The need to have a structured planner just kept increasing and I kept improvising.
If you like to be organised, you should definitely cop a tool that will make your activities seamless and that was what I did when I got the Cassie Daves Blog Planner.
2017 Makeshift Planner vs 2018 Planner
Every content creator needs a tool that provides structure (feel free to define what structure means to you). It helps to know what area to look, what folders to find a particular item and if your tool does not provide structure, you are prone to being disorganised.
The Cassie Daves blog planner gives me the structure I need and it is so detailed and convenient.
Here are some of the structured pages I currently work with:
A daily blog checklist
The Cassie Daves Blog Planner also has dedicated pages for your blog manifesto, Year Goals at a glance, blog topic ideas, important dates, to do list and a lot more.
TO WRITE OUT YOUR BLOG NOTES/IDEAS.
As a blogger, content creator or even a stay at home mum, you will have ideas you need to write, you will probably do a lot of research as well. To be organised, you should use a tool that allows you write out your ideas without restriction.
Personally, when I had the need to get a planner, I only wanted my pages to have dates and enough space to write out blogging tips. From the pictures above, you can tell my current planner gives me more that I bargained for and the prompts are useful because it reminds me to do certain things on my blog.
Regardless of what planner you use, your tool should give you ample space to write out your ideas. This helps with ensuring all related thoughts are captured and can be easily refered to.
For content creators, you should have important websites, contacts, dates, applications and useful tips written in your planner and a dedicated page just makes it more organised.
CREATING CONTENT/ SCHEDULING POST
A lot goes on behind every well written blog post, presentation, script, photo shoot etc. As a content creator, you need to always put out content that will engage your audience. Writing out your plans, from the type of graphics, to quotes, video script and even bullets points, they all go a long way to ensure your implementing stage is seamless once you start.
With an adequate planner, you can
- Write out your content on the date it should be published.
- Visualise your content for week or month and plan ahead.
- Prioritise your daily,monthly or yearly goals.
- Avoid running out of content ideas
- Manage time effectively
- Immediately reschedule items not visited.
- Planning helps you implement under less pressure
The Cassie Daves Blog Planner allows me revisit my goals, prompts me to write out what methods worked and what methods need to be changed. It just triggers me to keep working effectively.
MONITORING YOUR PROGRESS
It is not enough to just put out great content, you also have to monitor your engagement which basically involves writing out and comparing the number of engagement on each post, your site traffic, subscriber list and social media followers. This is also important for creating a media kit.
Keeping track of your records help you know what areas appeal to your audience. It is also one way that can help you decide what niche you should focus on. When you do better, your productivity increases and this will be evident in how much engagement you have.
KEEPING YOUR THOUGHTS TOGETHER/ARCHIVING.
In the past, I have had to use more than one journal to put down my thoughts and this includes finances, to do lists etc. From experience, I believe it is more convenient to have just one planner that can accommodate most areas of your life and style.
A planner should allow you express every area you are interested in and I like the idea of keeping records of every idea from brainstorming stage to actual implementation.
The Cassie Daves Blog Planner serves the purpose of enabling me create useful content as well as organising my blog goals, scheduling posts, finance records and my daily blog routine. The prompts gets me excited and I find myself thinking of ways to put in work so I can fill the pages.
Asides being a very important tool, it also has an appealing appearance just as I like it.
My planner serves the purpose of keeping me organised and I always look forward to putting down my thoughts in it daily. What’s interesting about this planner was getting it customised to have my blog name, so I definitely love it.
The Cassie Daves Blog Planner is currently available to order in Nigeria and Ghana.
Have I missed any reason?
Share your thoughts
Do you use a planner?
What kind of planner helps you stay organised?
Journals, Phone Apps?
Why do you use a planner?
I will like to read from you