Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Organization and Scheduling Posts

Posted 27 September, 2012 by Amanda / 101 Comments

I have a thing for organization. It’s true. I’m a planner. I like things neatly ordered. And for Bloggiesta, I decided to share a few tricks that I use to keep me organized. I want to stress a few things here:

1. Everyone is different when it comes to being organized. You must keep trying new things until you find what works for you.
2. There is no right or wrong way to stay organized. If it works for you, that’s what matters.
3. What I have listed here works for me, but if these don’t work for you, we can work together to find something that does. I am HERE for you.

There are three parts to this challenge. You can do all three or two or one–whatever works for you and your style of blogging. Please share what works for you, whether it’s something I’ve listed here or not.

Very quickly, in case there are any questions: here is how you schedule posts on Blogger and this is how you schedule posts on WP (works for both .com and .org).

Create a Blog Schedule


Creating a blog schedule allows you to look at any given month and figure out how many reviews, memes, and features you need to schedule. It keeps you consistent and predictable. Schedules also help to keep you on track. For example, I can look at January 2013 and know that I need to have at least nine reviews for the month. Having easily quantifiable goals can keep you motivated, especially if you easily get caught up in trying to post as much as other bloggers. Stick to your schedule. Having a blog schedule can also make you appear professional. If you work with other bloggers or authors, having a set schedule makes it easier on them. I can tell Kelly, my associate reviewer, how many reviews I need from her (and what days are her review days) a month in advance.

I can also tell you that I need about 104 reviews per year to maintain my schedule. With an associate reviewer, that means I’m personally responsible for about 74 reviews every year. I read more than 100 books per year, so this schedule works for me. Reading more books than I have review slots for allows me to schedule ahead AND gives me the option of not reviewing books if I get burnt out on writing reviews. It’s a sad fact, but getting burnt out on reviewing books seems to be a natural part of book blogging. It’s important to give yourself cushion so you can ride out the storm without needing to shut down your blog. A good blog schedule can help you with that.

(Note: if you don’t read many books, you can still set specific days you post your reviews. Just because you have a “review day” doesn’t mean you’re absolutely required to have a review that day.)


  • Monday — Review
  • Tuesday — Top Off Tuesday
  • Wednesday — Review
  • Thursday — Open
  • Friday — Discussion| Giveaway | Interview: Character | Interview: Author | Review
  • Saturday — Open
  • Sunday — Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge

I’ve used this schedule for over a year. Notice how I don’t schedule something for each day. This is something I want to stress: you must do what works for you. This schedule works for me.


Create your own schedule. You can post your schedule somewhere on your blog, or you can post your schedule in my comments. What do you think about your schedule? Try it out for a bit and see how it goes.

Questions to ask yourself while creating a schedule:

  • How many days per week do I want to post?
  • Can I realistically meet my schedule every week? (i.e., is the amount of content too much/just right/too little for the amount of time I have to devote to blogging?)
  • What memes do I participate in, and what days are these on? (I scheduled my reviews around my memes.)
  • Does my schedule allow me flexibility if I need to switch things up?

Make Monthly Blog Lists


I know this sounds a little scary, but bear with me. Having a visual reminder of what I need to accomplish keeps me organized because I can point at it and say, “Yes, I need three more reviews and one Friday post this month, and then I am set.” This also means that if I have a couple hours to devote to blogging, I don’t have to hunt down what I need to do, or sit there and come up with a list before I begin. The time I devote to my blog varies considerably from week to week, but keeping a list like this allows me the freedom to slack off a bit if I’m ahead or if I’m incredibly bored, work ahead.

If you have a lot of review books to read, making monthly to do lists for your blog could help you keep track of which books are released in any particular month.


I use note cards to make my lists, and, as you can see, it’s just a list of dates. As I complete them, I cross them off. At the bottom, I write down possible discussion post ideas. It’s not fancy, but it works for me.

Click here to see what the same to do list (pictured above) looks like 9/27 (rather than at the beginning of September when this post was scheduled)


Make your own blog list. Your list does not have to be like mine. You could have a monthly or weekly planner (last Bloggiesta, Jacinda @ The Reading Housewives linked this blog planner). You can use a task scheduler or Google calendar to send yourself reminders. Whatever works for YOU. When you have your blog list completed, come back here and tell us what worked for you and how you’re tracking your things to do.

Things you may want to include on your list:

  • Titles of books you have agreed to review or that release that month
  • The number of reviews you need
  • Any special events you’re hosting or participating in
  • Memes you need to schedule
  • Ideas for discussion

Use Templates to Your Advantage


Having templates of posts you feature on a regular basis (memes, reviews, other features) can cut down on time you spend drafting, writing, and scheduling posts. Additionally, if you have free time, you can draft posts out. Last year, I drafted my weekly recap post out by six months. It sounds a little crazy, but when I was in the middle of teaching, it was SO HELPFUL because I never had to worry about remembering to start the post. It was always there. For memes, having a template means that you can schedule your posts months in advance. Part of staying organized is taking advantage of the free time you have. If you have a couple hours to spare, why not schedule out memes for three months? That means fewer posts you have to worry about for the next three months, which can free you up to work on other things.

Example (my review template)

[Book Title] by [Author]
(series, #)

In Six Words:



[Author] — Website |
Amazon — Paperback | Kindle
Add it to Goodreads

Book Order


Why I Started Reading This Book and Final Verdict

My Thoughts

Other Reviews


What you do for this challenge depends on whether you already have templates and how much time you want to devote to this challenge. You can:

  • Make templates for posts you publish on a regular basis
  • Draft (meaning create a new post from your template with the correct scheduling date) posts of templates you have created
  • Schedule posts for memes or features.

Creating Templates


I talked with Kelly, my resident Blogger expert, about what she does for templates on her blog. Unfortunately, Blogger isn’t as template friendly as WP is. But here is what Kelly said: set up a template, then copy the HTML (this part is very important; Blogger has a tendency to add extra span tags if you just copy and paste from the “Compose” window) and paste it in a Notepad document. Whenever you need that post template, you copy it and put it back into the HTML window on your Blogger composer. If you do something different, please share!

Brianna from The Book Vixen is a major fan of Windows Live Writer, and she’s hosted a mini-challenge on it. If you’re interested, check out Brianna’s WLW challenge. has a feature called “copy a post.” What you do is create the bare bones of your post (review, feature, meme, etc) and then copy that post into a new one. does offer a short tutorial on this in case you need more help. (self-hosted)

Because does not have the copy post feature like, I use a plugin called Duplicate Post. It works in much the same way that copying a post does on I create a post that is the bare bones of my post, and then I click the “New Draft” option any time I want to start a new post.

Now go forth and become organized!


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101 Responses to “Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Organization and Scheduling Posts”

  1. Editorial calendar is on the TOP of my list to do this weekend. It originally wasn’t but after that Bloggy Boot Camp it became a priority.

    Making my blog SEO friendly is my 2nd priority.

  2. Your blogging schedule/calendar looks a lot like mine. I also thrown in titles that I want to review. I usually schedule books that are either most anticipated/more people know about or books that I think that fall under the radar but are really, really good.

    I also think a template is something that you need to think about when you start your blog. I find it easier to have one rather than do it haphazardly.

    • I’m too much of a moody reader to really plan out which books I’m going to read. I just pick up whatever I feel like reading at the moment. It’s probably a good thing I don’t take review requests. >.< Yes! Templates are amazing for saving time. I started off without them, and quickly realized their value.

  3. What a fantastic post Amanda! I’m obsessed with my calendar for the blog – I live by it. I fear I wouldn’t be able to function without it:) You mentioned flexibility – and that’s one thing I need to work on building into my calendar. Sometimes I schedule up the entire month, and then a fun tour or something will pop up and I have no room to add it, so I need to leave a few days open here and there each month so I can add new opportunities in as they present themselves:)

    • Yup. I also tend not to have a lot of commitments (blog tours or review requests), so I can shift around posts that have already been scheduled to make room for something. But… I’m kind of an oddball in that respect. Most bloggers I know participate in blog tours and such.

    • It’s quite hard for tours because depending on the tour companies, some don’t give much notice whilst others do. Some don’t post the media kit until 48 hrs before, others again give you more notice. Then you don’t know if your getting accepted, this is what I wanted to ask Amanda…

      When you sign up for a tour, do you put the date you selected on your calendar immediately or when you are chosen as a participant?
      Angelica recently posted…The Heartbeat Thief by AJ Krafton ~ Victorian Tea Guest Post + GiveawayMy Profile

      • I personally don’t sign up for tours, so I can’t answer this confidentially. But I would likely pencil the date in so I knew it could come up eventually.

  4. I love being organized! I actually have a lot of the things you mentioned done, but I’m sure this will help loads of people out.
    I made the schedule for my blog a few weeks ago, and I have an Agenda date book where I write when I want things to go up, and when they’re scheduled and such, it really helps for getting reviews secured for the next month. I even have been using a template for Reviews, since doing it from scratch was getting time consuming.
    Great mini-challenge idea!

  5. I use templates (and I’m on Blogger); I have the html in a Google Doc. But while reading this it occurred to me that I could use draft posts right on Blogger instead. Even if there’s no duplicate post option (sadly), at least I’d be copy-and-pasting from right within Blogger, rather than having to open up Google Docs.

    Also, I just set up Google Apps when I switched to my custom domain (yay!), so I now have a calendar just for my blog, which I’ve started putting read-a-thons and whatnot on, so maybe I’ll start using that as an editorial calendar! Right now all I do is schedule posts, and look at the dates to see where there’s a gap that needs to be filled.

    • Yup. If you’re interested in learning how to set up templates within Blogger, I would suggest talking to Kelly. I know that she mentioned she does have some sort of template set up.

      The calendar on Google is a great idea! I did use that for myself while I was on, and it will definitely be a good editorial calendar to have. :)

  6. I highly recommend anyone using Blogger (and a PC) to use WLW. I haven’t posted a blog post using Blogger in over 2 years. Blogger’s formatting is chaotic, at best. I use the Dynamic Template plugin for WLW and I have a template for everything. Reviews. Memes. Giveaways. Guest Posts. Promo Posts. You name it.

    Great mini-challenge! I love how organized you are :)

  7. I too have finally created a template after seeing it done by so many book bloggers, it makes it easier, I can simply plug in the info for the top them sit down and do the real work at the bottom by adding in my opinion, that takes longer and it certainly isn’t as easy as it looks.

    As for the book you linked to about blog olanners. Thank You so much, I have a note book that I have been attempting to keep track of my info including ideas as they pop into my head, and boy that got sloppy fast. I can’t wait to clean up the blog thanks to this challenge.

    Happy Blogging and thanks for sharing

  8. I have a calendar where I write everything down–what reviews are when, what publisher, author. It’s where I schedule posts and all that and it gives me a quick look at what I’ve already done and when I’m open for tour dates and stuff like that. An organizational system is a MUST!

    • I agree: you must have an organizational system. I don’t think it really matters what kind of organizational system, though, as long as it keeps you organized and it works for you. That’s what is most important.

  9. I have a schedule for my blog too – i.e. what I post on certain days, and it has really helped take the stress off (I have it posted on my “about me” page). But of course, like you said, I allow for flexibility and don’t worry too much if I break away from the plan on occasion.

    I’ve tried various calendars systems, but I find that I never keep up with it. I usually just draft the post in my blog software – even if it’s just the title, and the date I want to post it. Then I work on it directly there.

    • Yup. I think that schedules should be more like guidelines than anything. Not being able to be flexible can create more stress than it’s worth.

      I have a weekly/monthly calendar book that I tried to keep track of all my blog stuff with, but it’s currently sitting open for the week of August 27th, so you can tell it’s not exactly effective for me. Drafting posts works well, too! Great idea! :)


    I already have a schedule up on my blog (the idea of which I got from you!) and it does help, but now it REALLY helps after I copied your idea of writing down the dates of what I need for the blog. You’re so right! It’s great to have a visual of what I need (I’ll have to take a picture of it for Twitter). It makes the whole idea of scheduling a little less daunting. My October is FULL of so many posts that I wondered if I would feel burned out by the end of it, but having a schedule and knowing exactly what I need makes me feel like I can totally handle it.

    As for templates and drafts, I used to draft posts for reviews in WP, but now I usually write up my reviews in Word after I finish reading a book (which is hard to stay on top of, but I try my best!) and then I copy them into WP when I have time. I just learned I can copy a post in WP which makes it so much easier for drafting my reviews. Though I do like the idea of creating the “bones” for a review and copying that draft. That’d make it easier to write up my reviews!

    Thank you for this! You are my inspiration for organization! :)

  11. I’m a very organized person, but when it comes to blogging, I’m actually doing what feels good to me. I don’t have a schedule, because I don’t want to force myself. I want blogging to be fun and it works this way :D I always participate in WoW and Showcase Sunday, but top 10 Tuesday & Feature & Follow are memes I like to follow if I feel like it. I also have a template I follow. This would have been SO helpful at the beginning. Thank you for sharing your way :D

  12. I am such an organization freak, I don’t know why I didn’t think of these things earlier, but thanks so much for the tips and kick to get organized!

    I added a schedule to my rating system and policy page

    I also pulled out my planner (that contains my world) and added post-it notes to each week for the next month with posts that need to be done. I think I will get a whole binder for organizing my posts, that way I can print my reviews (and attach author emails).

    Thank you for the tips on using templates for Blogger, I have been having issues with the extra spaces but now I know to use HTML instead!

  13. Thank you so much for this push, I needed this! I haven’t updated on of my blogs in a year, really, because there was no ‘reason’ (and I’m chronically ill). Planning things might be reason enough. I already thought of it, but now it popped up in bloggiesta it must be synchronicity!

  14. Some great ideas here. Since The Book Monsters is co-hosted, so organization is key. Personally, we use Google Drive and a spread sheet to keep us organized. Thanks to part of my goal for Bloggiesta, I have added a tour schedule as well. Seems like I can keep up with everything else easily but the tour events are easily forgotten.

    I have included a link if any one wants to take a peek.

  15. BEST Freaking post ever!!! I really needed this! I’ve been struggling coming up with an organizational system for months now!!!

    For Step 1, I’ve already had a “schedule” in my head based around the 2 memes I participate in, Sunday Post/Clock & WoW. Everything else fell around those. Now I’m actually going to use Step 2 to map out days to have reviews so it looks like this:

    Monday: Review
    Tuesday: Off/Open
    Wed: WoW
    Thurs: Review
    Friday: Giveaway/Open
    Sat: Off
    Sun: Clock/Sunday Post

    This way I can stay open for blog tours, author stuff, etc. I’ll have it mapped better once I…

    Step 2. THANK YOU for sharing the printable blog organizer from last Bloggiesta!!! I’m going to use that first and then maybe transition to Google Calendars. I’m not a fan of GC so I’d love to find a calendar app that works with my iPhone, too. But I’ll try GC first. I’ve been using Wunderlist for a while but it’s more list formatted, not calendar.

    Step 3. I’m going to do a blank template (put it on my list to do) for memes and reviews right now. For memes I’ve just been cloning my previous post and for reviews, well, I’ve just been starting from scratch (hence I have no format for my reviews yet – I keep changing how I’m writing them :(

    Thank you, again, for sharing your organizational brain cells!!

    • Schedule looks great! Scheduling around memes seems to be the easiest route to take.

      Despite the fact I usually only use note cards for my monthly lists, I still do think it’s important to see visually on a calendar how it all works out. I’m an Android girl, so I can’t help you with something useful for iPhone, though. =/

      Hey! Maybe you can find a challenge about review formats?

  16. Thanks for this awesome tutorial! I started off using a free calendar template and just writing things in but now I’m more using Google Calendar because then I don’t have to use so much white out. :) I do like your idea of creating (and sticking to) a schedule. I went to my Google Calendar and made this schedule:
    Monday – Review
    Tuesday – Open
    Wednesday – Pinterest
    Thursday – Review
    Friday – Fitness Post
    Saturday – Open
    Sunday – It’s Monday Meme

    I’m going to start using notecards as well for blog lists! What a great idea! :) I’m really excited to have been introduced to this blog! Can’t wait to get to know you better!

    • Yes! I’m so glad we connected!

      That looks like a great schedule. Sticking to my schedule really helps me stay focused on what needs to be accomplished so that I can work ahead. And working ahead means more time to goof off or take a break and not worry about my blog. I hope your schedule works for you! :)

  17. I use a blog planner that I MUST have. I’m so behind on posting though! I think your notecards would be way helpful with me! Think I will try them this weekend!
    Great post!

  18. I keep a schedule of my posts in Google Calendar. I have different colours for “Blogging – to do” and “Blogging – done”, so that I can both track what my actual blogging looks like and what’s on my plate coming up.

    Also, for WordPress – there’s a plugin you can get to make templates by simply clicking one button on a new post page, instead of having to copy an empty post. It’s called “Simple Post Template”. :-)

  19. Great tips! I use post templates as well and they save me a LOT of time! Whenever I have some free time or if I don’t feel like reading at that moment, I just save some of these templates in my drafts, edit the book covers and such so that whenever the time comes, all I need to do is write the review itself and I’m done. :)

    I’m also using a calendar to keep track of what I need to do in the following weeks and it helps an awful lot!

  20. What a great post!!! I tend to be super organized with some things and fly-by-seat-of-my-pants about other things. And both apply when it comes to my blog. I buy one of those monthly calendar at the beginning of each year – the tear away ones – and I use that to keep track of the tours that I commit to. But when it comes to reviews for books of my own choosing, I post them when I get to them. I don’t have an official printed schedule anywhere but in my head and I try to adhere to it whenever possible, going so far as to schedule tours around the memes I like to do!

    Here’s my schedule:
    Monday: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading meme
    Tuesday: open
    Wednesday: review
    Thursday: review
    Friday: Sound Bytes meme (audio reviews)/Book Beginnings
    Saturday: open
    Sunday: Stacking the Shelves

    1st: Month in Review
    5th or 6th: Monthly Giveaway (open until 25th)

    Of course, this schedule is not set in stone, but I do try to follow it when I can. I try to be as flexible as possible, b/c after all, this is a hobby!

    I also have 2 notebooks going on – one that keeps track of all the books I’ve read, separated by year [goes back to 2003 – way before I started blogging!] and one that I use to keep track of what books I get each week – I find this very helpful for my Stacking the Shelves post as well as for the Off-the Shelf challenge [can only count books obtained before the current year]. On top of that, I have a memo pad that lists the reviews that I need to do. I love making lists and then crossing things off them! — I know this seems anal, but it helps keep my organized!

    I love the blog planner – I am definitely going to bookmark that and come back to it later.

    Thanks for all your tips – great things to think about!!!

    • Your schedule looks great! I like to think of my schedule as more of a guideline than a set of rules.

      This is an organizational fiend safe zone, by the way. You’re free to be as anal as you like without judgement. ;)

  21. This is a great mini-challenge! I have a calendar that I use to stay organize. Here’s my blogging schedule for October:

    Sunday -Sunday Salon posts
    Monday – open
    Tuesday – review
    Wednesday – open
    Thursday – review
    Friday – Weekend Cooking
    Saturday – review

  22. I’ve been wanting to figure out how to set up a template in Blogger. Never thought to use Notepad and HTML. Thanks for the tip. I had a new template for my Sunday Salon post that I wanted to try and it’s set up and ready to go now.

  23. I am TOTALLY going to get some templates made! I’ve been wondering how to do that in Blogger and yay, now I know! Thanks!

    I’m going to make a blog schedule as well. I’ve been putting that off for some reason. No time like the present!

  24. Thank you so much for an amazing challenge! I already use templates, so I just did step 1 & 2 and it was a huge huge help – I started off with a weekly schedule, got distracted and totally abandoned it. I’ve now created a totally new one – fingers crossed I can stick to it.

    Thanks for all the help and advice :)

  25. I made a rough schedule of when I want to do certain kinds of posts. I wrote down all the events I wants to participate in regularly, like Weekend Cooking, all the October events I’d like to take part in, and other occasional events – for example I only do Top Ten Tuesdays once in a while when I really like the topic. I can’t schedule reviews because my reading is too erratic so I don’t know how many per month I can do. But doing that has already helped me see how much time I need to spend on blogging, very useful challenge, thanks!

  26. Fantastic mini-challenge! I have templates setup already for my Mailbox Monday meme and my reviews. However, the Duplicate Post plug-in is really going to help with the reviews. Instead of copying and pasting from my Word document I can just click a button. Truly neat.

    I think I’m going to go with a planner like Jacinda uses. I like being able to look ahead at different events and get them planned out.

    I’ve modified my current posting schedule to something that I can keep up with. The guilt of not getting my posts done in a timely manner has been keeping me from posting at all which is even worse, I think.

  27. I just finished scheduling the rest of this year’s Waiting on Wednesday posts. Using a template on WLW made the process quicker and far less painless! (Using Blogger really makes my head hurt!) I also created a Blog Schedule…already I feel more organised! Thanks for the challenge! :)

  28. Thanks for your informative tutorial on creating templates! I use Blogger, which as you mentioned does not support templates. I’ll try the trick of saving HTML templates in Notepad on my computer – I have a a weekly feature and one other semi-regular feature with formatting that I like to keep consistent, so a template for both would definitely be super helpful.

  29. I bow to down to the organizational amazingness that is Amanda. :) I’ve utilized your post and it has really, really helped get my head straight. I used to sit down and plan out every month with no real rhyme or reason. You’re system is a lot easier.

    I’ve tried using a blog planner. I’ve tried using a calender. They both seemed to take up more time than was necessary. Your index card system has been working greatly!

    I have used the duplicate post in the past but never thought to have a draft of a bare bones post for duplicating. I’d duplicate the previous post and delete all the old info out and add in the new.

    I just wanted to stop by and say THANK YOU!! :)

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