blogging tips

Blogging Tips: 5 Reasons You Should Have a Journal or Planner

Blogging Tips: 5 Reasons You Should Have a Journal or Planner

I always like to preface "blogging tips" posts with this: I am not a blogging professional, nor do I claim to be. For example, I didn't post for the last week and a half because I was sick and life got crazy. I just like sharing my personal blogging tips and what works for me. I'm constantly learning, and I think it's awesome to share what I've learned with others! A few weeks ago I shared my super simple photography backdrop, so if you haven't seen it, be sure to check it out too!

One of the most common questions people ask me is, "How do you come up with all of those ideas?" I write 2 posts per week for Crafting a Green World and 1 post per week for Feel Good Style. With 1-2 posts on here, that adds up to 5 posts per week. That's a lot. The answer? I keep a journal with me at all times. Yes, pen and paper. It's so old school, I know.

Here are 5 reasons why I have a journal/planner and why I think you should have one, too:

1. A place for ideas

This might seem like an obvious reason, but it is incredible to me how many ideas I can forget about if I don't write them down. When my brain is fried and I need ideas for posts, I go to my journal and look at my lists. Often times I find ideas that I've forgotten about completely. I have a page in my journal designated to post ideas for each site I write for. As soon as I think of an idea or feel inspired by something, I write it down.

Blogging Tips: 5 Reasons You Should Have a Journal or Planner

2. Reminds you where you've been

I've shared this photo on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter before, but I had to share it again. Why don't I just store my ideas and schedule in my iPhone? Because eventually I'd have to delete the millions of notes I would create over the years. I can literally pick up my burgundy journal from 2011 and turn to the page where I was deciding on a blog name and logo (and see the glorious check mark next to it). It reminds me where I've been and how far I've come -- keeping me thankful and humble for what God has blessed me with through this blog.

3. Keeps you focused on where you're going

 In the same way a journal reminds me where I've been, it also reminds me where I'm going. I make goals every so often for myself and for this blog -- whether it's social media goals, page view goals, etc. It's awesome for me to track goals and then physically see my goals turn into accomplishments (which goes back to point number 2). Keeping a journal also helps me stay focused on what I want my blog content to be and to make sure every post I do supports that.

Blogging Tips: 5 Reasons You Should Have a Journal or Planner

 4. Gets you organized

It's been a while since I've been as organized as the picture above, but in a perfect world, this would be a normal thing for me. I love planning out posts weeks and even months at a time. It helps me build themes and helps me plan for holiday crafts, too. I'm the type of person that realizes on February 13th that I should have posted Valentine's Day projects... sad, I know. Even if you don't want to plan out months at a time, it's great to make a weekly goal list for posts. It will help motivate you and keep you accountable.

5. Helps you balance work and home

If you're anything like me, time management is key. I work at an antique store 2 days a week, and travel quite a bit with Crystal Padilla Music and Tim Johnson Band, so I have 2-3 days per week to get all of my freelancing work done and keep up with my craft booth. That might seem like a lot of time, but I've realized it's not. I have to manage my time well or my work won't get done. I'm also ashamed to say that sometimes I have to pencil in time for friends. For you blogger moms out there, I don't know how you do it. I cannot even grasp how you make time for your children, husband, work, social life, and blog. You have tons of respect from me! What I do know, though, is that by writing down everything I need to accomplish, it helps me organize and prioritize my time, therefore helping me balance work and home (social) life.

So, with all of that said, can I introduce my favorite journal/planner to you?


Blogging Tips: 5 Reasons You Should Have a Journal or Planner
Not only is it totally adorable with sheet music and a bird on the front, but it really is the best planner ever. You write in the month and day so it doesn't start/stop with a specific date or year. As you can see in the picture below, it has a section for each day, but it also has a middle part for my overall to do list. I like to put everything I need to do in the middle part and then divide it into days so I manage my time as best as I can.

Blogging Tips: 5 Reasons You Should Have a Journal or Planner


In the back of the journal, it also has a section of lined paper where I make lists and have post ideas.

The bad news? I found it in the clearance section at TJMaxx, so I have no idea where I can tell you to find one, and where I can find one once this one is finished. It does say "Molly and Rex" on the back page, but I didn't find their planners when I googled them, just their stationary. If I find it in the future, I'll update this post! Luckily, I found 1 more journal in the store so I'll at least have it for a little while.

So, what about you? Do you have a journal or planner? Do you have a favorite journal or planner? I want to hear all about it so leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Linking up to these awesome parties:

Monday-- Monday Funday at C.R.A.F.T; Manic Monday at Serendipity and Spice; What's In the Gunny Sack Link Party at The Gunny Sack; Weekend Warrior Mondays at Ask Anna; Motivate Me Monday at Keeping it Simple; Tuesday--  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm; Be Inspired at Elizabeth & Co.; Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife; Trash to Treasure Tuesday at Kammy's Korner; Wednesday-- Show Off Your Stuff Party at Fireflies and JellybeansUnder $100 Linky Party at Beyond the Picket Fence; Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style; Thursday-- Thriving on Thursdays at Domesblissity; Catch a Glimpse Thursday at a Glimpse Inside; Hookin' Up With House of Hepworths; Transformation Thursday at Shabby Creek Cottage; Everything But The Kitchen Sink at A Little Knick Knack; Friday-- Financial Friday Link-Up at The Grant Life; Feature Friday at Blissful and Domestic; A Pinteresting Link Party at Tutus and Tea Parties; Tickled Pink at 504 MainFriday Frolic at Pocket Full of Pink; Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots and JelloWeekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now; Frugal Friday at the Shabby Nest; Functional Friday at The Not So Functional Housewife; Inspire Me Please at Liz Marie; Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed Saturday-- Spotlight Saturday at Classy Clutter; Head to Head Showdown Saturday at I Can't Stop Crafting; Funky Junk's Saturday Night Special; Get Schooled Saturday at Too Much Time on My Hands; Sunday-- Sundae Scoop on I Heart Nap Time; Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming; Think Pink Sundays at Flamingo Toes;

 

Photography Ideas: My Super Simple Photography Backdrop

Photography Ideas: My Super Simple Photography Backdrop

If you have a blog, you might know the feeling-- going to those old posts that you were really proud of... and dying when you realize how horrible your photography was. Yup, that's me. I certainly don't think I'm a professional photographer now by any means, but I have improved over the few years that I've been blogging and freelance writing for other sites like Crafting a Green World.

A few weeks ago, I did a post on how to turn an old camping stool into a side table. I had every intention to sell it at my booth, but once I finished the tutorial, I began using the table to photograph my craft projects. The white washed wood top was the perfect backdrop and, because I never officially screwed the top pieces to the base (shh!), it was easy to put away. Plus, it was easy to move around to wherever the best lighting was.

So, here's what I started out with:

 I painted the base a pretty gray and removed that oh-so-ugly fabric. You can find the wood boards at Home Depot in the lumber section-- I think they call them "craft boards" and they're already cut for you. I simply white-washed them with some white paint that I had on hand.

Photography Ideas: My Super Simple Photography BackdropJust so you can get an idea of how it looks as a background, here are some tutorials I've done over at Crafting a Green World and Feel Good Style. The links to the projects are below, if you're interested.



Like I said, I'm definitely not a professional photographer, but if you're like me and you just want to step it up, this is a great option! You could even just use the wood if you don't have a little camping stool.

Here are some other photography back drop ideas that I love:

Use Fabric as a Backdrop via Young House Love
DIY Photo Backdrops from Gift Wrap via Cleverly Inspired

If you're a blogger or shop owner, what do you like to use? Share your ideas with me-- I would love to pin them to my "Blogging Goodness" board on Pinterest!

Linking up to these awesome parties:

Monday-- Monday Funday at C.R.A.F.T; Manic Monday at Serendipity and Spice; What's In the Gunny Sack Link Party at The Gunny Sack; Weekend Warrior Mondays at Ask Anna; Motivate Me Monday at Keeping it Simple; Tuesday--  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm; Be Inspired at Elizabeth & Co.; Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife; Trash to Treasure Tuesday at Kammy's Korner; Wednesday-- Show Off Your Stuff Party at Fireflies and JellybeansUnder $100 Linky Party at Beyond the Picket Fence; Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style; Thursday-- Thriving on Thursdays at Domesblissity; Catch a Glimpse Thursday at a Glimpse Inside; Hookin' Up With House of Hepworths; Transformation Thursday at Shabby Creek Cottage; Everything But The Kitchen Sink at A Little Knick Knack; Friday-- Financial Friday Link-Up at The Grant Life; Feature Friday at Blissful and Domestic; A Pinteresting Link Party at Tutus and Tea Parties; Tickled Pink at 504 MainFriday Frolic at Pocket Full of Pink; Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots and JelloWeekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now; Frugal Friday at the Shabby Nest; Functional Friday at The Not So Functional Housewife; Inspire Me Please at Liz Marie; Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed Saturday-- Spotlight Saturday at Classy Clutter; Head to Head Showdown Saturday at I Can't Stop Crafting; Funky Junk's Saturday Night Special; Get Schooled Saturday at Too Much Time on My Hands; Sunday-- Sundae Scoop on I Heart Nap Time; Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming; Think Pink Sundays at Flamingo Toes;

How To: Use Pinterest to Create a Project Gallery on Your Blog


I love, love, love all of the gorgeous project gallery pages on my favorite blogs (like Liz Marie Blog-- beautiful). I looked into creating one of my own, but it kind of got put on the back burner with my new blog design.

Until today.. one of my blogger friends (Art is Beauty) shared on Facebook this fabulous new feature from Pinterest-- a widget builder. You can even create a widget to share your favorite boards. Then, it hit me:

What if I created several boards that I could turn into widgets for my project gallery?

Here's how I did it:

1. Create your boards. You'll want to separate them into categories (Furniture, DIY, Crafts, etc).  

2. Pin your projects to them. (Tip: I created my boards as "secret boards" at first, pinned my items, and then made the boards public.. that way I didn't annoy my followers with all of my old blog projects)

3. Then, go here to make your board widgets.

4. Insert your Pinterest board URL.
5. Then, click on advanced options. 
The image width will adjust the size of each image within your widget. I set mine to 200.
The board height will obviously adjust the height of the widget. I set mine to 1100 for my furniture projects widget because I have lots of furniture projects. My craft widget, though, was set to 2300 because I have a ton.of.crafts.
The board width will change the board width-- for that, I left it blank for auto. You can play around with it, though, if you'd like!


 6. Click the "Build It!" button. Then, copy the link like so:


7. Paste the link where you would like to display your widget(s). I created a "Projects" page where I pasted 5 different widgets-- Furniture Projects, Toilet Paper Roll Projects, Craft Projects, Craft Booth Tips/Tricks, and Ramblings & Giveaways.

Oh, and if you haven't loaded the javascript already (pictured above-- it's right below what you just copied and pasted), you'll need to do that too.


When I put up a new post, I pin the feature image to whichever board (category) it belongs to and the widget automatically updates.

Now all of my lovely readers can view my project gallery through Pinterest (yes, it does open a new window on the Pinterest site when you click on an item in the gallery, but could allow more people to follow Revolutionaries on Pinterest-- fingers crossed!)


Pretty easy, right? Let me know if you have any questions, problems, or suggestions for improvement! I'm still learning, too, so we're all on the same page!

If you like this post and it helped you, please pin it! :)

UPDATE: I changed the title of one of my boards and the widget disappeared.. so, be aware that if you change a board name, you must update the widget as well.

Linking up to these awesome parties:  
Monday-- Bedazzle Me Monday @ Everything Under the Moon; Make It Monday at Brassy Apple; What's In the Gunny Sack Link Party at The Gunny Sack; Weekend Warrior Mondays at Ask Anna; Motivate Me Monday at Keeping it Simple; Life Made Lovely Monday at Life Made Lovely; Amaze Me Monday at Dittle Dattle; Tuesday--  Tute Tuesdays at A Law Student's Journey; Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm; Be Inspired at Elizabeth & Co.; Show Me What Ya Got at Not Just a Housewife; Naturally-Nifty Linky Party at Natural Nesters; Trash to Treasure Tuesday at Kammy's Korner; Wednesday-- Show Off Your Stuff Party at Fireflies and Jellybeans; Link Party at Passionately ArtisticUnder $100 Linky Party at Beyond the Picket Fence; Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style; Thursday-- Thriving on Thursdays at Domesblissity; Catch a Glimpse Thursday at a Glimpse Inside; Hookin' Up With House of Hepworths; Transformation Thursday at Shabby Creek Cottage; Everything But The Kitchen Sink at A Little Knick Knack; Friday-- Financial Friday Link-Up at The Grant Life; Feature Friday at Blissful and Domestic; A Pinteresting Link Party at Tutus and Tea Parties; Tickled Pink at 504 Main; Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints on the Fridge; Freestyle Friday at Happy Hour Projects; Friday Frolic at Pocket Full of Pink; Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots and Jello; Simply Creations Friday at My Simple Home Life; Fabulous Friday at Ohh Baby Designs; Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now; Frugal Friday at the Shabby Nest; Functional Friday at The Not So Functional Housewife; Link Up with Me, Liz Marie; Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed Saturday-- Show Off Saturday at Nutmeg Place; Spotlight Saturday at Classy Clutter; Head to Head Showdown Saturday at I Can't Stop Crafting; Funky Junk's Saturday Night Special; Get Schooled Saturday at Too Much Time on My Hands; Share Your Creativity at It's Overflowing; Sunday-- Sundae Scoop on I Heart Nap Time; So Creative Party Time at So Very Creative; Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop at Homemaker on a Dime; Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming; Think Pink Sundays at Flamingo Toes; Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper;