I love technology. I love my laptop, smart phone, Pinterest and Evernote. I love keeping in touch with family and friends through Facebook and email. But there are times when using good old fashioned pen and paper works best. For example, blog planning.
I often brainstorm best on paper. I can write, draw, and scribble to my heart’s content. I don’t have to worry about backups, battery life or hard drive failures. (Been there, done that. Cried a lot. *lol*) Although I love how organic pen and paper can be, I still needed some structure and help when it comes to effective blog planning and organization. Enter the free “Yearly Blog Planher” by Homeschool Creations.
Jolanthe of Homeschool Creations put a lot of thought and and effort into creating this wonderful free 60 page blogging planner. It’s gorgeous to look at, and finds just the right balance between form and function so that the colored portions serve a purpose beyond just being pretty. I didn’t cringe too much printing it at home in color, although another option would be to having it printed at an office supply store.
I placed mine in a three ring Better Binder from Staples, although you can have it spiral bound if you wish. Honesty Time: I printed out some sample pages and had them comb bound, but quickly discovered that I needed the flexibility of a binder. There are pros and cons to each format, pick which one suites your needs best.
(My binder pages are blank because I scribbled all over the first version and started over again.)
*Twelve monthly undated calendars so you can see a month at a glance. I especially like this feature because it allows for flexibility and usability from year to year. It also has space at the bottom for making notes. I use Post-it Tabs to mark the months. They say “This,” “Next” and “Last.”
*Review/Giveaway page. At first I was wishing there was room for more than just three review/giveaway items. But I quickly realized that doing more than three a month would be a recipe for blogger burnout. It has spaces to record the item, due dates, contacts and more. Not to mention checkboxes to remind me about images, links and when it’s been completed. There is also a handy Notes area.
*Week at a Glance. I love that I can expand on ideas for posts on these pages. Each box includes checkmark areas for Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and G+) to remind me to link up my posts when they go live. It also has a space for SEO, which I’m still learning about. If you need more than four weeks, Jolanthe has a simple tip on her blog page on how to add an extra week.
There is also a section of extra page helps that is useful for bloggers who are interested in tracking their stats and perhaps growing their blogs. These pages include website analytics, a space to save username and passwords, hashtag tracker and more.
I printed most of these pages single sided so I could have the back to scribble on if needed. *smile* Also, I’m relatively new to tracking stats and such, so I wanted the extra space to help get a feel for how to use these particular pages.
I’m grateful to Jolanthe for making such a wonderful resource free. Overall it’s perfect just the way it is, although I would have liked to have a few small things changed. I wish the Year at a Glance page only included 2013 and was a bit larger for my old eyes. Also, it would be nice to have the option of filling in some of the blank spaces on the PDF files before printing them out. Specifically, entering the month and dates on the monthly and weekly pages. I have terrible handwriting.
Ready to get your own copy? Simply click on this link HERE, or on the image below. You will be whisked over to the Homeschool Creations blog so you can download a planner for yourself!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through Mosaic Reviews in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.