Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Life & Blog Planner - How I Blog Months Ahead and My Go To Planner Stickers

While chatting with some blog friends, I was surprised at how much of a planner I am compared to others. Of course there is NOTHING wrong with not being a planner; however, I plan all parts of my life and wouldn't want it any other way. I respond well to schedule and routine. I think it has something to do with being the oldest, the only girl and OCD.

As a wife and mother, I plan our weeks so that we have a balance of relaxation and busy, busy. Because I call the shots during the day, I try to balance our nights and weekends will activities that the boys want to do. As a blogger, I try to plan as far ahead as I can so that I can work on future material when I find myself with a bit of free time (not that that happens all that often #momlife).

Today, I'm going to share with you my planner, how I plan blog posts 2-3 months in advance and my newest obsession of planner stickers from my favorite Etsy shop, Plan In Color.

For my planner, I need lots of space to write and I don't need a hourly layout as I'm a SAHM and our days are pretty much the same, with no need for hourly reminders. Additionally, I wanted something I could carry with me and didn't break the bank. This planner is 8x10, thin and was only $16.99. The planner you choose is totally a personal preference and it took me some time to figure out what worked best for me. I recommend checking Amazon out for your planner needs; the prices are great and who doesn't love Prime shipping?

I use one planner for my blog and for life. Here is an example of a typical week for us. The weekly layout gives me plenty of room to jot down reminders, to schedule my cleaning and to make note of when we have planned activities. I could simply right in what's going on but when I discovered the amazingness that is planner stickers, I was hooked. I purchase mine from Plan in Color and can't recommend them enough. Amazing quality, outstanding customer service and budget friendly.

Last week, I used a variety to display play dates, laundry day, to do's, appointment reminders and so on. We are a pretty busy family so I have to have a place to put all our obligations and this layout and sticker system works great for me when keeping things in order.

On Saturday or Sunday, I'll plan our week ahead. I like to sit down and plan out when I'm going to clean, run errands, hit the gym... you know all the stuff that keeps us going, going, going. I grab my planner, my favorite pen and highlighter (more on that later) and my stickers. I have so many and user them all. It's fun making every day chores or activities a bit more exciting when you can schedule it with a cute sticker. For example, I use Plan In Color's animal sticker to remind myself of when the cat box needs clean. It's my least favorite chore but it looks cute on paper.

For those of you who blog, you are wondering how in the world I schedule and blog 2-3 months at a time, right? It's not as difficult as you'd imagine. I have a handful of posts that are monthly regulars. Each month I share the following posts: Month By The Numbers, Goal Recap, Picture Perfect Project, The Kids Behind The Blog, $10 at Target, Blogger Love, Friday Favorites, Must Make Menu and Rewind Friday. Friday Favorites is usually 2-3 times a month. What I just listed covers 8-10 days, which is 2 weeks worth of blog posts. Those posts get penned in my planner and then I fill the month up with miscellaneous topics. Not every single day is planned 90 days ahead of time. Currently, I have all of September and October filled and don't need a blog post idea until November 8th. Once I've written my post, I highlight it and move onto something else. This helps keep me in line and my blogger schedule full.

Where do I get my ideas? This time of year is easy for me to blog about. Mostly because I'm as basic as the next gal and blog my Fall lovin' heart out. In September, I am going to focus a lot of attention on Fall and have an entire week dedicated to the start of the new season. I pick topics that I enjoy and write about them. I have recently discovered how fun fonts are and how the can make or break you images so I've been sharing themed posts all about font love. I have one scheduled for September. I just share what I know and love. Not every post is Pinterest worthy and that's okay. I focus on making my space one that others enjoy and that I find rewarding.

If you are a new blogger or struggling to find topics to write about I have a handful of suggestions for you. This has been what has made my blog successful -- and I use that word loosely. I have in no way a "it" blog but I have made this space something special.

  1. Join monthly series. For example, I co-host 4 that would give you plenty of variety month after month and allow you to focus on 4 different areas. If you shop Target, you will love our $10 at Target series. If you want to document your family or life in photos, join us each month for The Picture Perfect Project. For more ideas, just scroll back up and visit the series that I hyperlinked above. 
  2. Seasonal material. With Fall right around the corner now is the time to focus on seasonal posts. Think recipes, crafts, decorations, family activities, etc. and blog about that. Any time there is a new season among us, you'll see seasonal material on my blog. This is also makes for great Pinterest material. 
  3. Share real life. I love my currently posts and weekend recaps. I don't usually edit any photos in these posts and just write from the heart. These posts allow readers to see you as a wife, mother, friend and not just a blogger. Friday Favorites are a great way to share the highlights of your week without the post being to pin worthy. I think a balance of pinnable posts and personal ones are a great way to keep the flow of your blog personal yet professional.  
  4. Gain inspiration by reading other blogs. I am in no way telling you to copy someone else's work but the more blogs I read, the more inspired I get. I love seeing the creative side to blogging and what people come up with to share on their sites. I started reading Whitney's blog, Come Home for Comfort, and commented on how I would love to find new meal ideas and Whitney asked me to join the monthly link-up to share such meals. 4 months later, I'm preparing some amazing meals and it's all thanks to the motivation to create something tasty for a blog post. 

All in all, blogging is very personal. Some blog 2-3 days a week while others share something Monday thru Friday. Whatever works for you is exactly what I would recommend. I love being able to share our lives on our blog but more than anything, I love that Wife Mommy Me has allowed me to be creative, make friendships and think outside my stay at home Mom box.

So for those of who wondering how I blog months ahead and where I get my inspiration, you now have my blogger secrets. For those of you looking to make your blog pretty, I have a treat for you. Plain in Color has offered one Wife Mommy Me reader a $25 shop credit! Enter to win by following the Rafflecopter prompts below and I will announce the winner on Monday, August 29th.

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