6 Go-To Tools For The Organized Blogger
By: Hilary Rushford | Dean Street Society

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One of the greatest struggles of style bloggers — or any creative entrepreneur — is the guilt or frustration that comes with not being able to blog or create as often as you’d like. It’s not your fault. You’re brilliant! You’re sparking with ideas all day long! Ideas that need to see the light of day.

So, one of the best skills to develop is a system to collect all your unique ideas. Don’t let them evaporate. Don’t face writer’s block. Don’t stare blankly at your closet wondering if you’ve any new combos left to wear.

It would be lovely to have one perfectly written list in a luscious journal. But your life is too fast and varied for that, m’dear. Here’s the non-fancy system I use for Dean Street Society:

1. Tangible Notebook: I never leave home without my Rifle notebook. I have one page for “Ideas” and jot down any blog posts, future classes, webinars, offerings, outfits that come to me. {Alternative: “Notes” app on your iPhone}

2. Google Doc: I have an “Ideas” Google Doc which I can access from my MacBook, iPad, iPhone or any computer I sign in to. {Alternatives: Evernote & Penzu}

3. Gmail Folder: Sometimes I come across an article, email myself a Tweet I read or am typing on my iPhone as I power-walk. When in doubt I’ll send myself an email and immediately file it in my “Ideas” folder to get it out of my inbox.

4. Bedside Notepad: I keep a small pad of paper on my nightstand for those moments when something comes to me as I’m reading, falling asleep or having a bout of insomnia.

5. Reminders in iCloud: I keep my Editorial Calendar on my iCloud calendar & sometimes I’ll shuffle things around, post less in a week and have extra ideas that aren’t used. I copy and paste them into a reminder and when I go to look at my editorial calendar for the next month, my unused ideas are waiting for me. {Alternative: Anything that pairs with the calendar you keep, whether tangible or electronic}

6. 3-Ring Binder with Clear Sleeves: Flipping through a magazine or catalogue will often give me an idea of something in my closet I could pair together. I’ll tear out the page, jot a note about my idea, then tuck it in a binder near my closet so it’s on hand when I’m feeling stuck or running late for a photoshoot.

In other words: Every place you could possibly get inspired or have an idea. Actually, I left out the shower. HSN probably has something you can buy for that too.

So you have 892 incredible ideas! Now what? Schedule a “Idea Party” on your calendar every three months. {Jan, April, July, Sept works for me.} Open up each of these spots and wherever makes the most sense for you {mine is a Google Doc} keep a Master Idea List. Cross items off that are duplicates. Combine similar ideas. Use two ideas to make for one killer post. Then put them on your editorial calendar and you’ve got blog content for months to come!

How do you keep track of your blog & outfit ideas? Which one of these can you start implementing today?

 

By Hilary Rushford: Founder of Dean Street Society

Comments

  1. Avatar of
    Andrew says:

    I love my “tangible notebook”! I know that everything is online now (especially if you’re a blogger), but there’s something nice about being able to write something down without having to unlock a phone or open a computer. Great for storing post ideas, or just random Chanel doodles.
    theinclub.blogspot.com

  2. Rachel says:

    If I am near my computer I put the idea straight into a draft post or my editorial calendar if I know if it something I’m def. going to put together. If I’m on the go, I have a ‘Blog Ideas’ note in notes on my iPhone, next to my grocery list!

  3. I use EverNote on my IPhone. It’s my favorite way to keep track but I also carry a journal with me everywhere and post its on my desk at work. You never know when an idea will pop up!

  4. Avatar of Lauren - Slowburn Fastburn

    Journals and my iPhone. I would love to get an iPad for easy on the go scheduling and electronic journaling!

    lauren
    http://slowburnfastburn.com

  5. Avatar of Nikki Hodum
    Nikki Hodum says:

    I use sticky notes to jot ideas down when I am at work and then I keep them all in my planner (where I write out my editorial calendar and my planner is always with me). Then I have large lists that are on larger sticky pages divided into categories (a page for outfits, a page for diy, a page for trends, etc) and I move my ideas from the individual sticky notes onto the master idea list once I know where I might go with it. I also keep a notebook by my bed, have a folder for ideas I tear out of magazines, and constantly email myself articles, etc.

  6. Tina says:

    I use this app called Day One and love it! I love the fact that you can take pics of things and save it for future post ideas, etc.
    Tina
    http://www.ourwonderlust.com
    Discover. Share. Inspire.

  7. I love this because I do all of these things :) Great advice!

  8. VIKBeauty says:

    I always carry my notepad around just in case an idea jumps out at me. :)

  9. Absolutely all of these tools plus a WP plugin called “Editorial Calendar” where I can shuffle ideas around and edit directly fromt the calendar. Thank you for the great round-up and reminders of the tools at our disposal as bloggers and writers.

  10. Avatar of Hey Mishka
    Hey Mishka says:

    Seriously loving this post. I am a tangible notebook kind of girl but more often than not I don’t have time to lift my tea cup, let alone pull out my notebook and page through it. I use Google doc — which can get messy quickly, so I appreciate the tip on checking in to combine ideas and streamline the concepts you’ve added (though I have to do it every week or so!)

  11. Ellen says:

    I love the binder idea! I would love to have a binder or folder full of my magazine inspiration! Most times I just fold down the page in the magazine, but then I never remember what I was thinking at the time. Oh, and I completely agree with the tangible notebook! I’m rather new to blogging and I always keep my notebook on hand so I can sort out my thoughts! Thanks for this post!
    Ellen
    Style Major
    stylemajorblog.blogspot.com

  12. Hi…
    I have a question, actually i’ve been wondering, how can we attract people to come to our blog? What kind of content? I love pictures, so i put pictures to my blog, because i thought readers would want that, but my traffic is still slow…

    I mean, what does reader want?
    And how often should we update?

    Thank u! ;)

    • Hi AGLY, great question as I know every single blogger has asked this at some point. However, I’m afraid I don’t have a great answer because it’s the same question every single girl has asked at some point: How do I get a guy to like me? How do I get him to ask me out? How do I get him to not break-up with me? How do I get him to ask me to marry him? :)

      The truth is there just isn’t a simple answer! I think in both cases the answer is: Be the best version of yourself you can be. And, listen to feedback. If your readers say they love ___ & are silent when you post ___, take that with a grain of salt but note it. Just as you would if a guy said he broke up with you because ___ but loves ___ about you. You can’t listen to everyone’s opinion, but when you start to hear something repeated or something repeatedly doesn’t get traction, it’s probably time to take stock of it.

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  13. Avatar of Laura
    Laura says:

    Hi Hilary

    Thank you for this tips! I often have ideas during work or when I’m outside waiting for the bus etc. and never write them down! Will definitely buy myself a notebook so those ideas won’t get lost anymore! Thank you:)

    Cheers,
    Laura

  14. Avatar of Alexandra Haygood

    Evernote – I organize blog post ideas by “notes” and “labels.” It’s also great to store and transfer pictures for posts since it operates on that illustrious, mysterious “cloud.” I have it downloaded on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.

    Moleskin – There’s just something about actually jotting ideas down on REAL, lined paper. Plus I finally get to use all of those pretty pens I stock up on at Target. :)

    Pinterest – The sheer mass of pictures, quotes, ideas, etc. keeps my creative juices flowing. I definitely don’t want to copy anyone else’s ideas, but it gets me thinking of how I can put my own unique spin on an idea.

    xo, Alex

    Vast Aspiration

What do you think?