The Best Digital Planning Tools For Bloggers
One of the most important aspects of blogging is having a plan and sticking to it. Knowing what the best planning tools for bloggers are will help you out right from the start. Without a plan there will be no content (or at least no consistent content)! I’m sure every blog post you’ve ever read about starting a blog or growing your blog has mentioned how dang important it is to plan ahead and remain consistent. And if they haven’t, go read some more because those two things are IMPORTANT!
A little fun fact about me – I used to have a book blog. I honestly loved that blog but I had no real game plan when it came to it. Which was fine because it was mostly for fun but when I wanted to start growing more followers… well I realized that lack of plan was hindering my success. Posting once here and there with no real rhyme or reason wasn’t working and eventually I gave up. I don’t want that for you!
I’ll start by saying that the book blog didn’t just die. I kept my Instagram account which is steadily growing and I’m back to having a lot of fun with it (so it was a *fail* but I came back from it)! The difference now, I keep a rough content calendar for my posts. I also, of course, have a content calendar with this blog AND a few other helpful tools that make my life easier!
Comparing my experience with my first blog attempt to now with Life By Deanna I think my main reason for feeling more successful is my plan. By planning ahead I know what I will be posting, I know when I need to start working on a post, and I can work smart if I need pictures or anything specific for the post so I’m not rushing at the last minute (and possibly missing the post altogether)!
If you are a person that struggles to keep up with posting on Instagram and other social media platforms on top of creating content for your blog, posting to Pinterest, and all the other things you need to do… this is for you!
Like I mentioned above, one of the key things to running a successful blog is planning your content! It doesn’t need to be super strict (which is what I struggled with at first). All you need is a rough plan that you can follow. The plan comes in handy when you are feeling uninspired because you already have all the ideas right there in front of you!
Here are some content scheduling & planning tools for bloggers that will make your life easier:
DIY content calendar:
So, if you are like me and like to organize everything in a particular way, you might benefit from creating your own calendar.
I personally use google sheets and just created a spreadsheet including blog title, approximate word count, publish date, a spot for any notes, and column to check once I’ve posted on Pinterest and Instagram. I like to have everything in one place and just have it be stupid simple!
You could also try:
- Google calendar
- Your phone calendar
- A physical planner
Buy pre-made content calendars:
There are a lot of options out there for pre-made calendars. Some bloggers created digital templates and you can find lots on Etsy. It will just depend on your style of planning and what works for you!
Check out these pre-made content calendars:
Use an online platform/software:
Airtable is a great option! They are an online platform that lets you plan and schedule your content in an easy way. There are options for customization and you can use it to plan for all your content needs (social media and blog). There is a free version which just has less features but still does the job. Or you can pay for it and have access to all the features! Really just depends on how you want to use it.
Once you have all your content planned and ready to go, you need a way to schedule it! If you are able to stay on top of everything and post to your social media platforms on your own then that is fabulous! Keep going girl 🙌🏻
If you aren’t able to keep up, I would suggest using a tool that can do it for you!
Maybe you are familiar with Canva and already use it (I use it to make graphics and Pinterest pins)! However, Canva now has a cool feature in which it will post to your social media platforms directly! You do need to have the pro version but it’s not too expensive and could be really helpful in the long run if you need that help!
Many bloggers, influences, business owners, etc. use apps to organize their Instagram feeds. This not only helps with scheduling posts but just overall for the aesthetic.
I use the Preview App which is completely free. With the free version you can plan out your feed and make sure you have all your photos organized nicely. With the paid version you can actually have it post for you!
Later is similar to the above options however, it also gives you analytics which is really cool. Again, there is a free and paid version. It seems like the paid version is the way to go though because it has a lot of features!
Basic organization and ideas for ongoing content creation
If you are anything like me then you have a million ideas running around in your mind at all times. It can be hard, if not impossible to remember everything and there is NOTHING worse than having a kick ass idea and then forgetting. We’ve all been there, it sucks!
So I have a few different ways that I like to organize my thoughts. Its important to note that there is no right or wrong way to do this. Any way that works for you is the right way. I function best when I keep lists. So I use a few different tools that allow me to create lists:
Evernote is such a good tool. I have used it over the years for many different things like school notes or projects when I was in college to present day with my blog! It is totally free and has soooo many cool features. I like to make different pages for different things. For example I have pages for blog topic ideas based on seasons. It has so many other uses as well. You can create tables and graphs if you want to track analytics from your blog. You can save pictures as well so if you are a person that is into mood boards then you could create mood boards for inspo. Whatever floats your boat!
I write pretty much everything related to my blog posts and social media posts on google docs. It is really easy to use and access on my computer and phone. I like that I can go back and forth between devices. It’s a super basic tool but let’s be real, you don’t need anything fancy when it comes to blogging. You just need something that works.
This is more a way for me to store ideas and inspiration. We all use Pinterest so I don’t need to go into it too much but it’s a great tool to use for getting and saving ideas! The best part is you can create secret boards so if you want to save something that isn’t really part of your aesthetic or just want to work on something secretly, you can do that.
Planning/ organization tool in summary
- Planning your content for your blog and social media account is key
- There are tools that can help you plan ahead and make a content calendar (DIY calendar, google calendar, pre-made content calendar, an online platform like Airtable)
- Scheduling your posts can be super helpful if you are tight on time
- Scheduling platforms like Canva, preview app, or later can make your life way easier
- Keeping all your ideas somewhere allows you to be more organized and prepared for content creation
- Some places you can keep your ideas include Evernote, google docs, or Pinterest
- At the end of the day the best tools for planning and organizing are the tools that work for you
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What tools do you use for planning and organization?