As a mother of 2 and a work-at-home-mom who not only runs a household but also a blog and an Etsy business, I am a very busy woman—just like you!
To keep my day (and life) in line, lists are a necessity. While I’ve normally used notepads to write down all my thoughts to keep them organized, all that’s accomplished is littering my home with paper! Things aren’t as organized when you can’t find the one list you’re looking for!
While I’ve tried digital means of organization like apps (Evernote and iPhone notes) to keep my thoughts straight, I found it hard to keep things well-organized. And as any Mompreneur knows, organization is vital when keeping track of family and business.
After discovering the online program Asana, I was ecstatic! It’s been a total godsend as a digital means of organization (Matt from MoneyLab has an amaaaaazing eCourse Asana for Bloggers where he shares how he uses Asana to run his businesses + blogs. You can find it HERE. HIGHLY recommended, packed FULL of useful information…but that’s a story for another day).
And yet, even with these wonderful, user-friendly digital projects and lists, I still yearned for a second, more tangible way of keeping my thoughts straight.
That’s when I turned to paper planners.
I love organizing thoughts and plans with a paper planner. I’m not sure what it is exactly that helps me unload my mind so well as pen to paper, but it does.
When it comes to my current business, however, I wanted a planner specifically designed for a blogger. Something that would help me keep track of ideas, vital tools, upcoming posts and plans, etc.
While there are many printable planners and blogger planners on Pinterest and Etsy, I decided to create my own to fit my particular needs.
Creating a planner for myself and other bloggers, while fun, is hard work! Of course, I enjoyed having control over what was included and where. Although I imagine I’ll tweak and add to this one as the months go by, I’m quite content with how it’s turned out. Along with the pages listed below, I’ve also included a page of stickers with the planner download.
2017 Ultimate Planner for Bloggers
With 19 pages and counting, Kandy Apple Mama’s 2017 Blogger Planner starts with a sheet for this year’s goals. Sit down and iron out personal, financial, family, and professional goals you plan to accomplish this year. Don’t just wish for it —do it!
Next, I included 3 resources pages. This is what I use to list where to find my favorite stock photos, scheduling tools, apps, storage programs, blogs I admire, and potential contacts for the year. It’s always a good idea to write out a list of dream brands or bloggers you’d love to work with! Set a goal of reaching out to a certain number of “potential contacts” and see if you can surpass it in 2017!
We’ve also created a passwords cheat sheet to keep track of usernames and passwords for favorite websites, programs and apps. I often find myself needing to update to new passwords, which can get confusing if you don’t keep track of them all.
The blog post checklist is for keeping track of all the elements of an epic blog post, of course! I know I’ve had to use this checklist so that I don’t forget things. Especially when implementing new ideas (every time I read a new eBook or take another eCourse). I may decide to share my own complete blog post checklist with you guys in the future, but for now I’ll let you fill in the blanks.
Monthly blog goals is where you can keep track of the monthly improvements you plan to implement, and the blogging education courses you plan to read or watch. This is one of my favorite planner pages to fill in. Always eager to improve, I just can’t soak up enough “blog-ed” knowledge or stop thinking of ways to implement what I learn!
Next we have a brainstorming page to think up ideas for posts and a theme for the month. I especially like using this page for aligning monthly themes. It helps me plan out post ideas and new content upgrades months in advance, instead of the week of.
Each monthly calendar spreads across 2 pages, with spaces to write in the days of the month, as well as notes in the margins. Personally, I use these pages as an editorial calendar to plan out when certain posts will publish. I also use the margins to write in themes and what the monthly focus will be.
Monthly stats pages are where you can keep track of blog and audience growth. Make sure your views and traffic are increasing, so that you can make adjustments for the next month according to what worked and what didn’t.
Every Blogger Planner needs monthly ledger sheets. How else will you know if you’re actually making a profit from your business? Keep track of income vs expenses for each month. In a year, it should be fun to look back and see how far you’ve come!
The sponsored posts page can keep track of posts you’ve accomplished or ones you plan to do, for sponsors. I include deadlines as well as the proposed publish date within the project column, plus all the sponsor is requiring. Of course, I also want to keep track of what I’m paid as well as the date payment goes through.
I don’t know about you, but I love hosting giveaways for my readers! And of course I need to keep track of them throughout the year. Whether you like monthly giveaways, quarterly, or yearly ones, this page gives you space to include the sponsors, rules and prizes.
Coming up with new content upgrades are vital for bloggers and business women. We all know email lists are the most important marketing aspect of any blogging business, and opt-ins are a sure-fire way of growing those lists. I like to use this page after I’ve come up with quite a few post ideas so I can brainstorm potential freebies that are actually related to those posts.
Lastly, the weekly focus pages allow you space for keeping track of important reminders, appointments and major tasks each day.
For this printable planner, I focused on bloggers and online businesses.
(In the future as I make updates, I’ll be creating another planner specifically for Mamas and another for Mompreneurs who run product-based businesses.)
It’s best to choose which pages of the 2017 Blogger Planner you want and how many of each before you actually print, that way you don’t waste paper printing a million copies of each. Plus, printing on both sides of each sheet can really save on tree waste! Plus, it looks prettier that way.
I placed all my pages in a pink binder complete with colorful monthly dividers. The front cover I’ve saved for interesting tidbits like greeting cards from my fiancé and crafts done by my littles.
I’ve heard from other bloggers that you can take a printed planner up to staples and have them bind it for you easy-peasy, but I prefer the 3-ring binder style.
The 2017 Blogger’s Printable Planner is free for all Kandy Apple Mama readers! It includes all the pages listed above, as well as any additional pages I may add in the future. I’ve also included a page of stickers as well!
With 19 different pages to choose from (and counting!) – plus a stickers sheet! – You can choose which pages you wish to print and use.
We’ll keep things updated as we continue to add to this awesome blogger’s planner.
Let me know what you like or dislike about the planner!
I’m always open to corrective feedback. If there’s a way I can make this planner better, I’ll be more than happy to!