When I started this blog over three years ago, I had no plan and no system for organization. Since it was just a hobby with no income for the first year, it wasn’t a big deal. But as soon as I started getting serious about my business and earning money, it became necessary to find systems to help me organize my blog and business.
After more than three years of blogging, I’ve gone through a lot of trial and error and have been able to find what works and what doesn’t work for me, at least at this stage of my business. In this post, I am sharing three of the essential tools I use for blog organization.
After trying many other tools to organize the framework of my business, I’ve finally landed on Asana. It’s by far my favorite of the tools I have used (previous tools have included Trello, a bullet journal, and a regular paper planner).
The different interface options in Asana make it easy to use for many different parts of my business. First of all, I use Asana as an editorial calendar. I have the ability to see my upcoming posts either as a list or in calendar form. And within each blog post, I can create tasks that I’ll need to accomplish for each and every post. I also keep a running list of blog post ideas and when I’m ready to add one to the calendar, I can just move it over to the correct project.
I also use the board feature in Asana to create my to-do list for each different part of my business (blog, Etsy shop, etc.), and each category gets it’s own column on the board.
Thanks to the calendar feature in Asana, I keep a marketing calendar of all of the products I’ll be marketing throughout the year (both affiliate campaigns and my own products) and sponsorship opportunities I’m taking part in.
Finally, I use Asana to create a launch calendar for myself for my eBook. I used it last time around and found it made everything super easy to keep track of, so I’m definitely using it again for the next launch!
The options of what you can do with Asana are pretty endless. You can create projects to fit just about any part of your life, and the different interface options allow you to customize it really nicely. It’s also a great way to keep on top of personal tasks and events as well – I have a separate project for non-business to-dos.
Google Drive is another tool I use as a catch-all for additional blogging and business organization. Most importantly, this is where I write all of my blog posts before they are moved over to my blog dashboard to be published. All of my posts follow a similar format, so I have one template that I copy each time I start writing a new post. In addition to the post, I also write up keywords I plan to use, which category it will fall under on my blog and the publish date.
I also use the spreadsheets in Google to keep track of my blog stats for traffic and social media and to plan my social media posts for the week on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I try to plan and schedule these a couple of weeks out to make sure I’m always on top of it, and a spreadsheet is an easy way to see all of my upcoming social media posts.
QuickBooks is the tool I use to organize the financial aspects of my business. I switched to this tool at the beginning of 2017 and it has made managing my business finances infinitely easier.
QuickBooks connects to my business bank account and my business PayPal account, so I am able to see all income and expenses in one place and categorize them appropriately. This will make things a heck of a lot easier when tax time rolls around!
Another thing I love about QuickBooks is it’s connection to TurboTax. Since they are both Intuit products, they work in unison. QuickBooks tells me what I owe for quarterly taxes, and then I am able to pay those through TurboTax. And next year when it’s time to file my 2017 taxes, I’ll be able to use QuickBooks to submit my business income and expenses to TurboTax, which I use to file my taxes.
Because of the number of things going on behind the scenes of my business and the number of different projects I’m working on, it’s super important that I have a system for keeping everything organized. After more than three years of blogging and trying lots of different systems for staying organized, these three have become my favorites!
These are the tools I use to organize my blog and business. What tools do you use to organize your blog or business?
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