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Wednesday, February 10, 2016


On Blogging Organization: The Fabulous Planner

A fortnight ago ("Two weeks ago" sounds repetitive), I revealed some ways I organize my ever so busy blogging life with spreadsheets.

This week, I'm indulging you in planners.
I have far too many experiences with that. In third grade, I got introduced to planners – I don't think I used it willingly until middle school. In my past few years of high school, my planners are pretty empty – maybe the occasional due date or test date. Definitely the day (we go by block schedule), no schools, breaks, yada yada.

Little bitty important things that most of my fellow classmates probably don't give a bleep about writing down, based on the amount of "what day is it" I hear popping up every morning. (Actually, most of them don't care about reading either. All of my reviews in the school newspaper are probably entertainment in and of itself. Either that, or they're ignored. Okay, maybe a handful would take it seriously.)
Everything else is a bunch of scribbles. Don't forget my flash drive. Apply to M University by December 1. Finish college essay (done that). Email admissions rep with questions about M University (a common occurrence. I feel bad for doing that, even if I shouldn't.). Talk to counselor about a scholarship. Talk to Teacher 1 and Teacher 2 about recommendation letters for M University.

Stuff like that. (Those sentences killed me. Chop. Chop. Chop. More killing Sophia involved.)

I even put the occasional blogging tidbit for my own eyes.

Nothing special happens with my high school planner. It's full of the occasional decent handwriting, and everything else is scribbled illegibly to the point only I can read.

This year, however....

I convinced my mother to let me (hey, I'm the one who pays the bills) get a planner specifically for college purposes (it was a dollar, okay?).

In reality, I'm using it for blogging and maybe college. Said university may provide a planner as mother says, but I like to be prepared and not end up having to pay $7 for a pocket planner. That $6 can go into something else.

She does have a point that it might be a waste, though. Better a buck than seven (so I tell her). Plus, I can use it for other purposes, like blogging, instead of using my tablet all the time (more on that in a future post). Not that I'll ever tell that to my mother... (she might not likely blogging, but she's okay with blogging only because it's better than worse things other teenagers do.)

The planner is one of the few things I ever color coded in my life (I also color code my spreadsheets). It's one of those things I deem "necessary" to color code – I prefer to use a hierarchy style with my notes (bullet points). There is no bleeping way I can use bullet points with a planner and avoid adding more words all at the same time. I, however, do not use a bullet journal.
Side note: There is nothing wrong with color coding. I think it's really cool and all, but colored pens are expensive for me. I'm a child of poverty. Even if I preferred color coding, I would have to learn early on that I simply can't resort to color coding everything. And if I want to color code everything, I'll have to resort to basic colors. I suppose as a child living in poverty, I tend to become a little too creative sometimes and learn a thing or two.
Anyways, in my purse sized planner (it can fit in a big pocket), I use four very basic colors to set everything apart: blue, red, gray, and black.

I use blue and red for my own blog schedule (after I finalize it in the group "calendar") – blue is used for Bookwyrming Thoughts, red is used for In Wonderland. Funny enough, the color of the pen actually fits each blog's color scheme in some way until it all changes.

Even then, there's more than simply writing down the post: I use a few acronyms to distinguish the type of post. Here's a few generic ones that I use:
  • BT: Blog Tour
  • R: Review
  • AR: Audiobook Review – I've considered using AR as ARC Review and ABR or AUR as Audiobook review. I haven't really decided, but ARC Reviews are categorized as R currently.
  • D: Discussion
  • DS: Discussion Series
  • M: Meme – TTT means Top Ten Tuesday, WoW means Waiting on Wednesday.... then I mention who's going to be involved: L = Lupe, E = Ella, S = Yours Truly
  • FF: Fangirl Friday – only if there's something I plan on mentioning; otherwise, I write it out fully. Plus, this is typically handled by Lupe....
  • NN: Novel Newcomers – I've yet to decide on using this in my planner, or write it out like I do with Fangirl Friday.
In regards to cobloggers, I simply use their first initial and the type of post they plan on doing. If Lupe or Ella plans on doing a blog tour, I typically write LBT or EBT. (I find the EBT part a little funny because it also means something else and Ella is not a card.)

That's probably going to pose a problem when someone named Emily comes along as a coblogger.

That's okay. I'll mark anyone after Ella the first and second letter of their first name. Either that, or I can use first and last initials. SL?

Gray is the only one I can erase – it's a good old companion harped about by math teachers and can solve all problems (so they say). Since I use a pencil for this one (mechanical pencils are preferred; "old fashioned" pencils are kept as backup), I just write down posts I plan on doing on the day I write in. If I change my mind for any reason, I either erase it, or simply cross it out – that really depends if 1) I feel like erasing, and 2) I actually brought an eraser along.

I try to keep the planner as clean as possible – I try to finalize it before I write it down in my own planner. It avoids all forms of confusion later (I hope). Of course, at this point I have scratched out plans as well, like the very fact I had a review scheduled this week and last week.
However, if I actually decide to later finalize the post, I don't actually erase it. I just mark it in the color of their respectively assigned blogs. All in the name of keeping the planner as clean as possible. (Mom: I call it the lazy way. You're really good at that, aren't you?)

Finally, I use black for everything else. Aside from blogging, I honestly can't think of anything else I would need to color code to avoid confusion. After all, there's a stark difference between "Email Scholastic," "Ch. 1-7 in Time Transcending Classic," and "Work: 4-9pm" that I can probably set them apart even if I didn't try.

I use gray for everything else as well. I just use black for things I'm absolutely sure of. Gray is just... a gray area. Literally.

At the end of the day, however, I make a key of all of those colors in the very back of the planner where one blank page sits prettily (not so pretty now).

The first page is my scratch pad. I have it all planned out and ready to flip the rest of the year. And to bookmark it? I played with paper clips and unbent it like a naughty little kid.
That's all for this week, folks. Feel free to go back to last week's post on spreadsheets, or maybe even that one post I call a reflection of my blogling organization skills compared to my blogder (blog toddler) organization skills. And don't forget to come back in two weeks for more of my organization "secrets!" ^_^

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.