Bloggiesta! Blogging Notebook and Calendar Mini-Challenge

Posted 27 September, 2012 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts / 42 Comments


Hola mi blogging amigos! This weekend, September 28-30th, is Bloggiesta hosted by Danielle and Suey. What is Bloggiesta? Well, it’s a weekend where oodles of bloggers get together for a little blog improvement. For me it’s an excuse to do some blogging things without allowing myself for feeling guilty. Yay me.

Hopefully you’re here for my Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Blogging Notebook and Calendar.

Let’s back up a bit.

I’m addicted to lists. I’m addicted to pens. Particularly colored lists made from colored pens. Somehow I don’t think I’m the only one of us who has this addiction. During last Bloggiesta I posted my very colorful to-do list and apparently it was pretty memorable because here I am hosting a mini-challenge!

THE BLOG JOURNAL – Brainstorming at your fingertips
As a blogger who is constantly on the go or not frequently in front of the computer, I hate having a blog idea pop up and then later I can’t remember what that idea was. After losing so many ideas that were so great that I knew I’d remember, I realized that I needed to keep a notebook with me so that I could write down my ideas as they came. This is usually at a stoplight. So my notebook is full of lists–my Bloggiesta to-do list (seen above), my Things in 2012 (and 2011). The books I’ve read this year. Sunday Salon posts. Lists. Lists. Lists. Even my household chore list. It’s not a very neat notebook and I have to use lots of flags to find my various hot lists, but I love having my blogging brain with me at all times.

THE BLOG CALENDAR – Staying organized and always a step ahead
I can’t believe that I’ve only started keeping a blog calendar in the past six months but I can tell you it’s helped do wonders for my blogging brain. There’s just something about printing off a brand new blank calendar each month. Then adding in the posts I know that I’ll have for the month. And then filling in some of the holes with wishful posts. As you can see from the picture above, I do change my mind so nothing is set in stone. But being able to see what I have on my plate helps keep me organized and always thinking one step ahead. I also use the blank space on the back of the calendar to keep a wishlist of posts in case the month looks kind of dry.

Ok, this is tough because my assumption is that you don’t already have a blogging notebook or calendar. If you do (yay!) then feel free to work through the exercise using what you already have.

Option 1 (Calendar – aka blog organization)
1. Print an October Calendar (I use Microsoft Publisher but I found a free template here and colored here)
2. Jot down your regular blog features or posts you already have planned
3. Next fill in some posts you would like to write. If you don’t want to commit to a day, list these in the white space of the calendar (I do this on the back, you can do this on the front so it’s visable).
4. If you still have big holes and want to post more, brainstorm a few more ideas and write them down

Option 2 (Notebook – aka blog brainstorming)
1. Find a piece of notebook paper/printer paper/printable online
2. Create a list of at least five posts that you’d love to write. Having trouble getting started? Well, may I suggest a discussion post? A list post? Maybe a meme you’ve been interested in joining (shameless plug)? A backlog of reviews you need to write?
3. Feeling really ambitious? Plug those five posts into a blog calendar!

Keep the notebook page close by during the rest of Bloggiesta so you can be sure to jot down any other ideas that cross your path. I have a feeling you’ll be adding more than just a few post ideas to that list. Maybe other things you need to do for your blog?

I’m giving away the below notebook with three colored pens. It’s not a spiral but it is hardcover and durable. Plus you guys, it’s just pretty. In order to be eligible for the notebook and pens, you need to sign up for Bloggiesta and complete one or both of the mini-challenges. How do I know you did the mini-challenge? Show me! Either tweet me a picture (@TriniCapini) or blog about your journaling/calendar. Leave the link to your tweet/post in the comments below. I am willing to ship internationally.

In order to be prize eligible, you must complete the mini-challenge and blog/tweet about it by 11:59 pm central time on Sunday. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments. I look forward to seeing your journaling.

If you are already a journaling/organizing extraordinaire, share your tips with us in the comments!

Happy organizing/journaling/bloggiesta-ing!

42 Responses to “Bloggiesta! Blogging Notebook and Calendar Mini-Challenge”

  1. I need to formulate some kind of calendar thingie…I’m flying by the seat of my pants much of the time, and reviews have sat in my “Reviews Coming Soon” section sometimes long enough that I forget what I wanted to say :( I need somehow though to develop a calendar system within the one I already use…if I have another calendar, I’ll lose it. But, grading demands are going to be tough this semester, and it would help my head to somehow have more of a blogging “plan” of action and possibly to even get ahead of myself…yeah, right ;)

    • Patti – I do find that having the blog calendar helps keep me a little bit organized. Now just wish that my calendar would actually write those posts for me! ;) Good luck–it’s tough when you have several calendars to keep up with.

  2. Wow, this looks familiar. ;-)

    Like you, Trish, I also enjoy writing down articles/ideas into a printed calendar (I use General Blue). However, for the first time this year, I started using Google Spreadsheet to chart my posts. I can access it on my phone and it’s easier to shift days around when it’s digital. I won’t lie, though, I’ll miss looking back at old handwritten calendars from previous years.

    That is mainly for AWESOME-tober-fest, though. I’m still trying to figure out a mobile way to keep and store general blog ideas. I haven’t found one that works as well as I’d like. For a while I was writing things down in a mini Moleskin journal.

    My behind the scenes are constantly evolving.


    • Pax – This is why you’re awesome. And I remember seeing your calendar and commenting on my similar (albeit simpler) system. I like the idea of mobile notes/calendar but I LOVE the idea of notebooks and pens. ;) I’ve been hearing about Evernote lately but not sure what it’s all about.

  3. Bloggiesta hasn’t started but I’m joining in! I got a double sided (one side 30 days, the other 60 days) dry erase calendar last month and I’ve been meaning to put it to good use. This’ll be awesome since once I updated my book database I can slot the reviews into the calendar :)

  4. I am only unofficially participating in Bloggiesta this year, but I was so tempted to sign up just to win your awesome prize. I love these sorts of things. Alas, I’ll just have to go shopping and pick up my own notebook instead. I love having a place to write down random ideas, but I am terrible about keeping it with me. It’s usually sitting on the end table in my family room.

  5. Almost makes me want to join Bloggiesta just for a chance at the prize. :) I’m a notebook/pen fanatic – and it’s genetic. Our daughter’s favorite time of years was back-to-school so she could get awesome colored pens, notebooks, etc. We tease her that she has a planner in which she plans how to use her planner, a back-up planner, and an alternate planner – just in case.

    So be prepared – Chickpea may want pen and paper shortly.

    Looks like some great organizational tips – but unfortunately I won’t be around to participate this weekend. I’m sure I’ll catch some good hints through blogs and Twitter, though.

  6. Love this post – I use a hard-cover notebook for my daily to-do lists, but I have found that keeping a blog calendar doesn’t work for me – neither paper nor electronic. Since I’m at the computer often, I just keep draft posts in my blogging software – and that’s where I put any ideas I get.

    I did a list of 20+ discussion post ideas for my Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge, so y’all can check that for some ideas :-)

  7. I am terrible at keeping notebooks. I always write notes and never read them again. But I think I can manage a calendar page! I know myself and my bad habits with paper, so probably for the best that I keep it online ;)

  8. Aww, loving your notebook and coloured pen(s)!! Keeping a calender with blogging topics is really a capital idea. I use my WordPress Calendar plugin to drag around drafts and to get an overview of my posts. I’ve found it very helpful so far.

  9. Colored pens! I love colored pens! And calendars! And lists! I think we’d have some great geeky conversations if we ever met up, eh Trish? :-)

    I am SO going to have an October calendar set up by the end of the weekend. I already have a notebook system, kinda. Hmmm, maybe that could be a blog post idea?!

  10. Yes, at stoplights and in the shower are when the ideas come! I don’t have time to take on mini-challenges this week, but I’ve started adding blog stuff to my online calendar already…maybe inspired by last Bloggiesta or just because I started to do a few blog tours that had real dates and deadlines I had committed to. But a notebook for ideas in the car — I really should add that.

  11. I practically live to make lists! Checking things off is whole other discussion… but I am definitely a list maker and your suggestions are great. A few years ago, though, I became a paperless list maker so now I make my lists in Notes on my laptop and my phone. Recently I started playing around with Evernote–it’s a software / service for taking notes, archiving things, etc. I like it because it automatically syncs my notes and lists between my devices. So if I make a note of something on my phone.. later when I open Evernote on my laptop, it’s already there.

    I don’t even have a paper address book anymore! :O

  12. I tweeted you the beginning of my list :) it is kind of boring but it is practical and it works. My printer is broken so I can’t print anything cute anyway.

  13. I love coloured pens!! I have a jar of them at home and use them for EVERYTHING!

    I had been using a calendar for the longest time. Not a printed out calendar, but my Entourage calendar. It worked well, but now I either make a list in a Word document and check them off as I go OR make a list in my notebook. A notebook works well! I like to write down ideas for discussions, or write down my Cover Love ideas.

    Great post! :)

  14. I use a calendar to write down my blogging ideas and pencil in what I’m hoping to blog about. It doesn’t help me to keep separate calendars for school, home, and blogging so I just keep one and use different color highlighters. It helps to keep one calendar so I can see up front how hectic my upcoming week will be. Great mini-challenge.

  15. I do the scheduling like you, but on Google Calendar so that I can just move things around if they change. I love the idea of having a notebook for brainstorming, but I’m so scatter-brained I probably wouldn’t always remember to bring it with me!

  16. I have done it!! But exclude me from the awesome giveaway, please. I just started a new notebook (almost the same color as your giveaway), and I’m trying to cut down on the ridiculous number of unused blank notebooks and pens I already have in my possession. It’s a sickness.

  17. I use a date planner with a built in calendar to organize everything, it helps out so much! I have one for next year ready to go too. I can also keep track of reviews that I post in advance with it :) I need to get out my regular notebook and great idea for the pens being different colours! Great mini-challenge!

  18. This is a great challenge even though I already have a journal and calendar. I am always looking for ways to improve my ways of organizing my blog!Hereis my post!

  19. I keep a notebook with me all the time. I actually have notebooks going back to 1977! It’s really fun to go back and see what was on my mind back then.

    Thanks for the fabulous suggestions! A calendar is a great idea.

  20. I love this mini-challenge! I’m always making lists, and I’ve been keeping a schedule for the blog for a while now because it’s so helpful. This challenge just motivated me to move the blog schedule from a spreadsheet to a proper calendar. You can see a screenshot of it over here!

  21. I just created a calender for October on my laptop. It’s all colour-coded and super organised. I’m now using my blogging notebook far more… although it’s incredibly scruffy, unfortunately. It’s handy for me to have when I need to jot down ideas asap. I feel like I’m about to go all light-headed from all this organising, haha!

  22. Well, I’m late but wanted to share with you anyway. I used a notebook for a long time when I started blogging and then stopped at some point (think I switched to a purse that was too small!). I have been a little lost without it – thanks for reminding me to pull it back out and especially for the colored pens idea!

  23. I did not participate in Bloggiesta, not because I didn’t want to, but because I am a during-the-week blogger, and I knew I’d be able to get some mini-challenges done during the week.

    Anyway, I love the idea of a blog calendar! I already carry a notebook with me constantly, and either plug in information there or on a cell phone app, but the calendar is a really wonderful idea!!!

  24. I didn’t do the Bloggeista but this mini-challenge is what I’ve started working on now. Thanks for the links to the calendar templates. I’ve sorta shied away from memes but perhaps if I got organized and scheduled my blogging better it wouldn’t seem so scary to jump into one. :) Thanks for all the resources and encouragement!

  25. Kay

    I thought I was bad with my post it notes but you have a full calendar lol I hope it makes life easier mine sure don’t