This post is Day 7 of the 28 Day Blogging Breakthrough Challenge. You can chat about the challenge on social media using the hashtag #BloggingBreakthrough. Click here to view all of the challenge prompts.
The other day I needed to find a pretty important document that was in my bedroom. I remembered that I'd put it on my desk. But over a few days (plus Christmas), I'd also put a lot of other things on my desk. So much so, that I couldn't see the surface.
I was going back to work and my untidy bedroom had made me feel like my whole life just wasn't organised. So I tidied and cleaned it - afterwards, I felt a whole lot better.
Let me ask you something - can you relate to this with your blog?
Something we all want as bloggers is to be organised. We've got images, documents, calendars, ideas, printables and so much more that we want to be able to find quickly.
But if these are all over your computer, then it makes it quite difficult to stay organised, right?
Welcome to Day 7 of the #BloggingBreakthrough challenge. Today I want to talk to you about how you can create dedicated places on your computer for all your blog-related items that will save you a massive chunk of time. Plus, you'll be able to get it done quickly. I'll be telling you the system I use so you can start using it too. All you need is some motivation and your drink of choice (tea for me). Let's go.
Spoiler alert – I don’t have anything on my desktop.
Nope. It’s a free zone of everything. All I've got is my pretty desktop calendar from The Blog Market and that’s it.
Some people have their desktops full of everything. And that might work for you. But to me, that just shows mess and clutter, which makes me feel like I'm not on track with anything.
The method I use takes away all of that. It’ll feel like a breath of fresh air!
If you’re on your computer reading this and you’ve got your folder open with all your documents that’s a fab place to start. But first, there’s something else to tackle.
Step #1 - Make a List of Everything
I mean this as in everything you keep for your blog. Get a pen and a nice notebook and start writing. What do you have to keep on your computer for your blog on a monthly basis? I know this isn't a pretty task, but there’s a point to it, I promise.
Here are some of the things I can think of that I keep on my computer for blogging:
- Blog posts
- Content Ideas
- Social Media Ideas
- Guest Posts
- Analytics spreadsheets
Everything you can think of, just write it down.
Step #2 - Make a List of Folders
FYI – you’re still not doing anything on your piece of tech just yet. Keep your paper and pen for now.
Before you start moving everything around, you want to know exactly where you’re going to put everything. It’s best to create a sort of breadcrumb trail so one thing leads to another. Here’s what I do.
I have a main folder in Documents and Pictures called A Branch of Holly. So everything for my blog is under this folder.
Within those folders, I've got a folder for each year. Then within those, I've got twelve folders for each month.
So each one looks something like this:
Documents > A Branch of Holly > 2016 > January, February, March…
Pictures > A Branch of Holly > 2016 > January, February, March…
Then within each month I've got relevant folders for everything that I save to my computer – that’s where the list you just made comes in.
So in Documents, for each month you could have a folder called “Blog Posts”, “Guest Posts”, “Content Ideas”, “Social Media Updates” and so on.
In Images, you could have a folder within each month called “Blog Images”, “Social Media Images” and so on.
Then you can go even deeper.
Instead of having all your blog posts listed within each month, why not put them into your categories?
Let me show you.
Documents > A Branch of Holly > 2016 > January > Blog Posts > Blogging, Motivation, Career…
So within your “Blog Posts” folder, you’ve got folders for each of your categories. Then you can put each blog post into the relevant category folder.
Now that’s what you call organisation!
Step #3 - Create the Folders on Your Computer
Go into your Documents and Pictures and start creating those folders based on everything you keep for your blog.
Don’t start moving anything around just yet – you want to have all your folders ready so you’ve got somewhere to move all your special things to.
Now here, I’ll mention eBooks and Printables. It’s so easy for all of these things to get lost. What I do, is create a main folder called Education or Learning, and then have subfolders for each category that I collect all of these things for. So you could have “Branding”, “Social Media”, “Design” – and then include each eBook or freebie under the relevant category.
Step #4 - Start Moving
Now it’s onto the fun part – moving everything! You can go through your old folders and move anything into new ones. Then once a folder is empty, you can delete it.
It’s also a good idea to delete any files you don’t want as you go along. This will save you so much time in the long run, rather than going back to do it all at the end!
I know it can get hectic sometimes though, so you can still have a place to “dump” everything. For me, this place is in my downloads. Then once a week, I’ll move everything from there into its relevant folder.
A Quick Note About Online
You can easily use this process to organise your online life. This is what I do using Google Drive, where I store Google Docs and Images – in exactly the same way as I store files on my computer.
If you use an online storage system you can definitely go through these steps to organise that too.
Go through these steps until all of your blog files are totally organised.
For some of you it might take minutes. For some of you it might take longer. But think how good you’ll feel once it’s done!
As you go along, remember to take some pictures and tweet me with your progress using the hashtag#BloggingBreakthrough. And if you’ve got any questions or you’re struggling with anything, feel free to get in touch!
TO GETTING A BREAKTHROUGH WITH YOUR BLOG
Let’s talk in the comments - do you keep all your blog files organised? Will you go through this process to get everything sorted?