I don’t care how many planners you have, how many to do lists you have, how often you check your mail, there is going to come a time within those 365 days of the year when your neat and tidy organized system gets shot to hell. The end of the year is a perfect time to take care of those blog and computer organization items you’ve written down all year.
No matter how organized you are, there will come a time during the year when your system gets thrown off track. If you do not have a solid system in place to begin with, it can mean the difference between spending a couple of hours getting organized again, or having to spend a week or more attempting to get organized again.
The point is, you are going to get disorganized and misplace things. It’s a fact of life – I don’t care how awesome you are at organization. So today I am sharing some of my favorite blog and computer organization tips with you from a few friends and what I have found to work for me!
I was thinking about this over the weekend, just 16 days till 2015 will be here. As if life were not hectic enough with last minute Christmas shopping, I’m here to tell you that you need to start thinking about doing a bit of blog / computer cleaning as well. Julie DeNeen from Fabulous Blogging has a killer article published today – Get Your Blog Ready for the New Year. Julie covers absolutely everything you need to do with regards to your plugins, crappy posts, your categories, etc. to get your blog spruced up, fresh and clean, and ready for the new year.
You can find some more great tips and advice at Blog Organization and Amy Lynn Andrews has a great roundup post with 12 Blog Organization Tips for you. Be sure to check out the other sections of Amy’s blog for even more great advice!
I started working on my list of things to do yesterday and was actually awake until 5:00 a.m. this morning still working on the first of many projects. Here is my list of things that I am going to be doing before midnight strikes on December 31. Perhaps there are a few things you can find in my list below that will help you as well!
- Organize all of my contacts in one central location. There is absolutely nothing more annoying than syncing all of my contacts on my phone and having someone’s name and email address appear four or five different times because there is information in Google, information in Facebook, information in Outlook. So all of my contacts have now been organized into categories in my Google Contacts. Took me almost 18 hours to do it all, but it is done!
- Organize this year’s blogging information and documents. This includes getting my spreadsheets updated with contact information and winner information for the various giveaways held; as well as ensuring that all of our review products and compensations (sponsored posts, paid opportunities, etc.) are also recorded. Make sure you have copies of the last giveaway reports for your sponsors in the event they ask for them.
- Purge whatever is no longer needed. I’m a computer packrat. I download and save literally everything – sometimes multiple times because I don’t remember that I downloaded it five days ago and put it into another folder. I usually have about four of five “sort” folders on my desktop with anywhere between 75 to 200 items in them that need to be organized and put in their proper folders.
- Pictures you’ve uploaded onto your blog – get rid of them. You don’t need them taking up space on your computer any longer.
- PDF reports that you’ve downloaded with blogging advice, recipes, social media tips, etc. either get stored in the cloud (Dropbox, One Drive, Google Drive, etc.) or purged off the computer. If it is a particularly useful document that I know I will refer to in the future, it gets sent to my Kindle Reader and stored in my library so I can pull it up on my tablet when I need to.
- Family photos. I take pictures with my phone almost daily. It’s nothing for me to take almost 100 photos every week or every two weeks. That adds up to a heck of a pile of photos taking up space on your computer. Be ruthless – cut the crappy ones, and organize the good ones that you want to keep. Print them off for a photo album, or again, store them in the cloud. (My One Drive account is exclusively for family photos).
- Prepare for the new year. The only real way that I can stay even somewhat organized is with my folders. I start out with the basics and expand as the year progresses if need be. Here is how I set mine up.
- 2015 Family – inside this folder there is a subfolder for every month labeled 01-2015, 02-2015, 03-2015, etc. Receipts, tax documents, payroll, photos, bills, anything that has to do with the family goes into the right folder for that month. So in June if I need to pull a receipt for our property taxes that were paid in February – I know exactly where it is.
- 2015 Blogging – this particular main folder is a bit more complex.
- Campaigns – this subfolder is what holds my spreadsheet for campaigns that I work on. The spreadsheet consists of the contact, email address, company information, campaign information (date due, payment offered, etc.) post or social share reporting columns, and finally a place to record when payment or the product was received. The campaign folder will also hold subfolders for each company. For instance, I have done campaigns this year for BlogHer, Wendy’s Bloggers, Best Buy, Mom Central, Sverve – and each of those companies have their own subfolder. When I receive the campaign acceptance email with the posting requirements and deadlines, it gets filed in that subfolder with the date due and the campaign title – such as 12/15 – Wendy’s Bloggers – Idahoan On Your Table (which is one of the campaign posts I have due today). It makes it super easy for me to find the information I need when I’m working on a post or scheduling my social shares.
- Reviews – this subfolder is set up the same way. There is a notepad file that contains the contact, product, and company information along with dates received and dates due (I try to do my best to have all reviews done within two weeks or sooner of receiving the product). Any photographs that are emailed to be used with the review are placed here in this folder and labeled accordingly.
- Giveaways – this subfolder contains a spreadsheet as well that includes the giveaway item, the value, date the giveaway began and ended, and the winner’s information and the date that they received their prize. I try to follow up with winners to ensure that they received everything in a timely fashion and if they are happy with their prize I will usually ask them to post about it on their social media site of choice and let their friends know about it. Each giveaway has its own subfolder to hold the photos from the sponsor or those that we create, in addition to a list of participating bloggers for each giveaway.
- Articles – if I come across a great PDF that pertains to blogging – it goes in this particular folder. For instance, Julie DeNeen is offering her Fabulous Blogging Bootcamp Workbook absolutely free until Christmas Eve with 76 pages of tips, resources, and ideas for boosting your performance on social media. Items like this go in the articles folder. Just click the link to her article I referenced above and you will find the download in the right column of the page.
So that is my project for the next two weeks. I’m planning on getting all of those “sort” folders cleaned out and everything put in the proper place. Once that is done, I will keep a copy of the spreadsheets and reports on my desktop in a 2014 folder, zip up the rest, and store them in the cloud. That way if there comes a time when I do need something, I know exactly where to find it.
I hope my own personal brand of organization helps you out with your blogging and family document organization. Do you have some tips to share on organization that our readers could benefit from? Leave a comment below and let us know!