Blogging has always been a hobby for me. Well, “always” may not be the best term to describe my love affair with blogging. When you think about it, blogging is a relatively new thing. And I’ve only been at it for 8 years. And it’s been pretty sporadic. So scratch the first sentence of this blog post. It’s a lie.
I guess the point is that I enjoy keeping a blog and I’ve always dreamed that my blog would reach people who need hope. I’ve spent a long time figuring out what I like in a website. I can’t tell you how many blogs and web design platforms I explored before finally deciding on something and investing in it. It’s risky to take a hobby and become more serious about it (and I’m not just talking financially). But blogging is something that’s exciting to me. It’s practical and tangible. It lets me dig into myself and into life. It lets my willingness to embrace transparency and vulnerability have a shot at changing the world. At least that’s the way I like to see it.
So I’ve been reaching outside of my comfort zone and exploring social media and the blogging community at large. I’m amazed at all that is out there, guys. It’s incredible. I discovered that I needed what is called a “blogger planner.” Well many of you know my obsession with office supplies, so of course I latched onto the idea of a planner. For my blog. I mean, it doesn’t get more perfect than that.
I started browsing around the internet and found countless options, but one of them really stood out to me. I found myself at Mama Miss Designs and fell in love with Melissa Klinker’s beautiful collection of downloadable products. I was especially hooked when I saw her “Mid-Year Series”. That’s right, I didn’t have to buy a 2014 planner and waste half of an entire year. She has a line of planners that cover July 2014–June 2015. It couldn’t have been any more perfect! I’ve never paid for a one-time pdf download, so I was a little bit nervous about how it all worked. But I wanted to support a fellow blogger and she seemed like she had a good thing going on. So I decided to give it a try.
Mama Miss doesn’t just supply you with a pdf. Melissa provides plenty of pictures and step by step instructions of how to make your own planner. What I love about the whole thing is that it is truly customizable. Purchasing a Mama Miss pdf is so much better than buying a planner at Target or Staples because you can arrange the pages however you would like (although she does provided a “suggested order” of pages if you’re not feeling too creative).
Personally, I decided to purchase both the Blogger Planner Bundle and the Calendar Planner Bundle. I initially bought just the Blogger Planner, but then discovered that there were pages from the Calendar Planner that I wanted to include. Looking back, I probably would have just gone ahead and purchased her All-Inclusive Calendar, Planner, and Menu Bundle. But it was definitely worth it!
Once I downloaded both files, I was able to move the pages around and arrange them in the perfect order. This part is a little bit tricky, though; you can’t combine pdfs in simple programs such as Preview or Adobe Reader. My dad has Adobe Acrobat, so he was able to help me combine the pdfs and rearrange the page order to my liking (thanks, Dad!). If you don’t have an advanced program that can do this, you can still print the pages in the order you would like. It will just be a little bit more tedious.
Once I had the pages in the right order, I saved the file to a flash drive and had the pages printed. I took it to a local copy place which turned out to be a little bit pricey, so I would suggest printing out the pages yourself if possible. I then followed Melissa’s suggestion and took my planner to Staples where I bought the dividers and had everything spiral bound with a clear front and back. I am in LOVE! It looks so professional and is exactly what I wanted. I didn’t have to settle on a mediocre product and I have something that uniquely meets my blogging needs. I even learned a few lessons and tricks along the way.
To give you a general idea of the layout for my new blogger planner, I’m providing a list of pages and a few pictures (I’m also noting which pdf each sheet came from):
- Blogging goals (blog)
- Yearly overview (cal)
- Comprehensive list of holidays (cal)
- Seasonal theme ideas (blog)
- Dates to remember (cal)
- Monthly cover sheet (cal)
- Monthly calendar (cal)
- Monthly blog post calendar (blog)
- Notes (cal)
- Ideas & supply list (blog)
- Monthly stats (blog)
- Pinterest board tracking (blog)
- Giveaway tracking (blog)
- Linky parties (blog)
- Guest posting (blog)
- Monthly income (blog)
- Blog sponsors (blog)
- Maintenance needed (blog)
- Daily blog maintenance (blog) *I especially loved Melissa’s idea of making this page the back cover. I have a clear back cover, so I can use a dry erase marker and check through this list daily. It’s brilliant!
I definitely encourage you to check out Mama Miss and support this creatively brilliant young woman! It’s a decision you won’t regret!