How I Keep Semi-Sane: Blogging Workflow & Productivity Tools

As you may know, blogging can take up a lot of time from planning content to creating it to writing up a post for said content — and that’s just keeping up with one blog. I technically have three blogs; this one here, my photoblog and my food blog. Granted, I really keep up with the first two more and update third when I have time to squeeze that in.

To give you an idea, an outfit post typically takes me about two to three hours to prep — an hour to shoot three outfits, an hour to cull & edit the photos, another hour to prep the post and schedule. A typical engagement or wedding post will take me longer depending on how many photos I am prepping for the post — usually about four to five hours. And don’t even get me started on how long it takes me to film a tutorial, edit the video and photos, upload and prep the post (one video post took me at least eight hours from start to finish — a full time job all on its own). This post, however, took me about an hour to write up since all I had to do was add some photos and mind-dump away. =P

So it goes without saying, how on earth do I find the time to do all of the above, keep a full time job and have a photography business on the side? I used to think that too before and I can’t say up till now that I did a very good job at it. Not until only recently did I incorporate a content calendar like the one pictured below that really helped with my workflow. I created one for a client at work and thought why not use it for myself as well.

content calendar1

Since I’ve been using a content calendar, you may have notice the increase of postings on this blog — been able to execute them in a more organized and timely manner. Coupled with using Google calendar (am lost without it!) to schedule time to shoot outfits or film a tutorial has really worked for me to remain semi-sane. This content calendar will be a true test once wedding season is in full gear with May being my busiest month so far — a wedding every weekend.

I love that I can access my content calendar hosted on Google docs anywhere to adjust blog topic posts whenever necessary. I typically plan out my content calendar at least one to two months ahead listing out outfit or content ideas, then schedule time accordingly to execute those posts. It helps me to see what topic is coming up and keeps me focus on meeting my own set deadline. Also to avoid any distractions, make sure you have any desktop alerts turned off such as Tweetdeck and I have been keeping my phone face down as mentioned here.

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image credit: Rapid Rabbit

In addition to the above, I recently incorporated this iPhone app called Pomodoro mentioned to me by a blogger friend, Meg to increase my productivity. The app times you in 25-minute interval where you work until the timer stops, get up to take a 5 minute break and set the timer again. After 4 consecutive Pomodoro sessions, take a 30 minute break. Your brain is like a muscle and taking short breaks in between gives your brain and body a chance to rest and regroup, which in turn will help you to stay focused and increase productivity.

There is also an online version that you can use here, since I like to use it at work and don’t want my phone to go off. Sometimes I feel as if I am working faster to try and finish the task before the timer goes off. =)

Anyways, I hope you were able to pick up tips on how to be more productive and gives you an idea on how you can better manage your blogging workflow. Also, if you are new to blogging and want to know the ins and outs of getting started, please head over to the B Bar, created by Meg Biram at The Edit & Victoria at vmacandcheese.

They have “concocted” a clever way of “mixing” up several helpful categories that are beneficial to help you get “buzzed” on blogging. Seriously, all puns aside, I wish the information was there (such as accounting for bloggers or how to build a media kit) when I first started, but hopefully will prove helpful for you to get up and running with your own blog.

I realized the post became longer than expected. =P Feel free to comment below with any questions and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability.

All the best,

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  • mandy

    It’s so interesting to see how bloggers who post regularly keep up with it!
    This can be helpful way to budget time for school due dates. Especially since I’m a procrastinator hehe Thanks!! :D

    • http://www.labellemel.com/ Melanie

      lol – definitely! usually if I have a date in mind on when thing’s are due, that’s a good kick in the butt to actually get the stuff done. =D

  • http://www.helloframboise.com/ Hello, Framboise!

    You are so organized! I am a crazy planner and scheduler at my day job and in the rest of my life, but I’m pretty laid-back when it comes to scheduling out my blog posts. I wish I had the time to do more tutorials and incorporate video, but it’s just not really possible at this point.

    I think I might give Pomodoro a try for work–seems like it would help me a lot when I have to do a big chunk of research and writing.

    • http://www.labellemel.com/ Melanie

      lol – I wish I was more organized in all areas – believe me! at least I am heading towards the right direction. lmk how pomodor works for you! =)