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How to be an Efficient Blogger

Are you starting a blog? Check out How to Start a Blog: A Simple Step-by-Step Post

It’s kind of funny to me that I up and decided to write a post on how to blog efficiently, especially since I didn’t post but once last week. Ha! While I do get a lot of things done, other things usually are simultaneously slipping through the cracks. But, I have found some tools that are very helpful for me and I thought I’d share them with you!

How to Be an Efficient Blogger

Some of these can be applied to anyone who works from home and is trying to be productive!

 1. Have a designated office space.

For the first year of blogging, I mostly blogged from my couch. At one point I made my dining room my “office”, but it was too out in the middle of the house. I needed a room where I could close the door if needed. And I could walk away and keep my work in the room.

How to have an Office and Guest Room

It’s hard to work from home, but this set-up helps a ton. I find that I am so much more productive when I am in my designated space and not sitting in front of the TV.

How to Be an Efficient Blogger: The Day Designer

When we moved into this house 2 years ago, I started with my office in the guest room. And now it’s there again. The set-up works perfectly for my needs and I love having my desk look out the window. I’m hoping to makeover this room this year. The inspiration board is in the works! But until then, be sure to check out my Pinterest board for more office inspiration. 🙂

Follow The Turquoise Home’s board Office on Pinterest.

2. Use a great planner. I have two.

How to Be an Efficient Blogger: Daily Planners

The Daily Designer by Whitney English – Even thought I don’t plan out each and every single hourly increment in my Daily Designer, I still use it to plan out my day. I’ve found that I get less overwhelmed by the to-do list in my head when I write it down. And I tend to remember to do the things I need to do when I’ve emptied out the extra contents and have allowed myself to think again. LOVE it!

{Note: the monthly tabs don’t come with The Day Designer. I bought them from Emily Ley’s shop** and applied them myself.}

How to Be an Efficient Blogger: The Day Designer

I adore the “daily gratitude” section, and where I can jot down what I plan for dinner. If nothing else, it just makes me think about it before 5 o’clock. And this helps me to remember to set out chicken to thaw or other ingredients that need to be prepped in advance.

Blogger Planner from Mama Miss – I love this second blogging planner because it helps me keep my social media management under control. Well, as under control as it can possibly be. As a blogger, social media can just be plain crazy. So, I love the “daily blog maintenance” page. It’s better than just trying to keep track of it all in my head. I also think having a schedule and plan will help me someday when I hire an assistant to do it all for me. 🙂 I can just train her in my system and she can take over. Fingers-crossed!

How to Be an Efficient Blogger: Blogger Planner

When you click on the blogger planner link above, Melissa will tell you all about how to download the printable and get it bound at Staples. {She is a genius, and suggests adding a clear sheet over the daily maintenance page. That way you can check off every item each day and then wipe it clean for tomorrow!} I followed her instructions and for less than $15, I had a beautiful blog planner that I love!

3. Create office hours.

It was hard for me to set office hours when I blogged from the couch or the dining room. The lines were too blurred between home and work life. And for a while when this was just a hobby, that was OK, I guess. But now I must schedule my time behind the computer screen. Otherwise it has the potential to take over every hour of my day.

My normal weekly work schedule looks like this:
During preschool: 9:30-12:45 {two days a week}
Nap times: 2-5 {Don’t be jealous because I have a three-year-old who is the greatest napper ever!}
Night: 9-midnight {In the past I would frequently work until 3 in the morning, but I’ve decided that sleep and my health is more important than almost any blog post.}

Weekly total: 36.5 hours

Now, I don’t always work constantly during those times. I’ll get up and make lunch or dinner, or change out a load of laundry.

A lot of my time while Miss A is in preschool is spent shopping for projects or buying home decor items. It’s so much easier to accomplish while she’s not with me. 🙂 I work on most of my projects and take photos of them during the nap time hours, since I have to be at home and the outdoor light is pretty good. And then I write and edit photos in the evening.

4. Have pretty organization.

I know pretty may seem trivial to some, but to me it is a necessity! If I’m going to stay organized, it’s going to need to be cute. Can I get an amen??

How to Be an Efficient Blogger: Pretty Organization

I need pops of color to keep me smiling and being productive. I fell in love with the See Jane Work line at Office Depot. They have so many pretty products, I kind of want them all!

Their decorative file folders are one of my favorite products. I keep a handful on my desk for every-day filing. In The Turquoise Home file, I’ll toss bank statements, receipts or contracts, just to keep them in one place. And about once a month I’ll go through and actually log them into the computer, scan them or even file in my larger file folder. It’s a great way to keep the piles off my desk or kitchen counter. I also have folders labeled “to pay,” “to file,” and “to do.”

The pretty floral pen cup holds my favorite pink poppin pens. {Say that ten times fast.} And their fabulous inbox trays keep me knowing what’s coming and what’s going.

Organizing is so much more fun when it’s pretty!

5. Bonus Tip

How to Be an Efficient Blogger: Grace not Perfection

And if you’re like me, then you need a little extra reminder that it’s not about perfection.** {P.S. It’s hard to take a picture of gold foil. Just in case you were wondering.}

Final Thoughts

I by no means have it all figured out. Like I said above, there’s always something falling through the cracks at any given moment, but these four tips are what helps me attempt to keep it all straight. There are days and weeks when I take a nap during Miss A’s nap time. Or I go meet a friend for coffee during preschool. That’s one thing I love about this job {that is so much fun and doesn’t feel like work}! I am my own boss and I make my own schedule. 🙂

Do you have an tips for being an efficient blogger or telecommuter? Please share!!

Check out my step-by-step guide to starting a blog …

How to Start a Blog: Step-by-Step Guide | TheTurquoiseHome.com

 

Don’t miss out on the behind-the-scenes fun!

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Click HERE to see where I party every week. Along with Remodelaholic and Home Stories A to Z.

**The items from Emily Ley are so cute. Find them in her shop: Notepads, Art PrintsSimplified Planners and accessories

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101 Comments

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  2. Ugh, this post is exactly what I needed! And yes, a cute office space is perfect for staying inspired and in the mood to change the world! Thanks for sharing this. Pinned! 😉

  3. This post is so timely as I recently shared my own home office inspiration. Once I get back to school in September I need to set aside some blocks of time for blogging and social media each day.

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  5. I really enjoyed this! I am still struggling with the time thing since I work full time. I am working through the organization thing too. I’ve bought/made three planners and none of them totally suited my needs. Recently I have designed an index card system that is working well for me so far but we will see how it goes over the long term.

    Stacy

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  7. This is exactly what I needed (I’m a new blogger, haha)! And I love that it’s all so pretty! Thank you!

  8. This is a great post! I am really impressed with how you run your blog. You are doing full time hours, but you set it up to fit in with your family. It’s really inspiring!

    I found this advice super helpful because I am one of those people that flicks between browser tabs for ages not knowing where to start! I do random blogging hours- basically whenever mine and my husband’s working hours don’t overlap and I am at home by myself. This post has given me the idea to plan out some template task lists, for instance “weekday evening” (when I can write but not photograph) or “weekend morning” (when I can cook and take photos and capture prime Pinterest hours) and then refer to them when I find myself with a blogging slot. So, thank you!

  9. Thanks so much for the great tips on organizing, and for the link to purchase this cute planner. I can’t wait to get started!

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  11. I agree with you completely that it is so much better, basically a necessity to have your organization stuff cute and attractive. Love all of the color you use. Thank you for sharing your schedule. It is nice to see how you manage it in the “real world” and love that you included when you shop for supplies.

  12. Hi Laura! I am slowly trying to organize myself which is hard since I don’t have a dedicated space to blog (and no space to create one). Maybe when we move I’ll get my own office space 🙂 I’m stopping to to thank you for sharing at last week’s Get Crafty Friday and to let you know that you’ve been featured this week! Have a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend!
    -Amy

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  16. I love these tips, especially that there are only 4, not 54, and they seem manageable! Thanks for this post and the links to the planners!

  17. I have to agree with you…..making organization cute is one of my favorite things. Great post! Thanks!

    -Karli

  18. Great tips!!! It really does make a difference when you set a schedule. I can totally get lost in time otherwise. 😉 Glad to see that you are already planning on getting a VA. You’ll get there quickly the way you’re going. 😉

    Thanks for sharing at Project Inspire{d}!!

  19. THANK YOU so much Laura!!! I so appreciate the love & am so happy you love it so much 🙂 So very grateful for your post & mentioning me xx

  20. Hi! I was wondering how you got Emily Ley’s tabs into the DD? I didn’t know she sold them! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!!

    1. Hi Kaya, they are a heavy duty plastic with a super sticky side to them. So they just stuck right on the paper. BUT, unfortunately she doesn’t sell them anymore and doesn’t plan to again. A big bummer, I know. 🙁 I’ll let you know if I see anything else like them around.

  21. Great ideas! Thank you for sharing the blog planner too. I’m going to check that out. I love how organized you are about your schedule too.

  22. I love your tips!! I have the Mama Miss planner and find it truly helpful. I need to check out Whitney’s too. It’s funny. I have a dedicated work space except it’s not pretty. I think I need pretty too!
    Michele

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  25. Hi Lauren! I love this post and your heart behind it! I’ve featured it as one of my Favorite Finds this week on my newsletter!

  26. Your space is so inviting. Things can get out of whack pretty quickly but it’s so awesome you have a system that works for you but not expecting perfection! Bravo. Enjoyable read.

  27. Holy Moly are you organized! Thanks so much for this post. I’m a newbie but I definitely struggle with keeping it all organized. A planner would work wonders for me! Otherwise, it’s so easy to get lost in the shuffle of life! Thanks again! 🙂

  28. Thanks for this post Laura! I just recently came up with more of an office schedule for myself and it has helped me so much. I feel like a better mom and find myself really focused since I only have a set time to get stuff done. Thanks for these great tips!

    1. Yes! Guilt-free blogging – my favorite by-product of a schedule. Although sometimes I still have to work outside of the schedule. It’s less often than before!

  29. Great tips! I’m all about organization but somehow always wind up with posts to get written and deadlines that get missed. Thanks for the tips. Sharing!

  30. Laura, I can relate with almost every one of your thoughts (minus preschool and naps, unless you count mine)!! Thanks for all the easy-to-incorporate pointers!!

  31. Laura, this is amazing! Those blog planners are soooo beautiful! Thank you for this! I’m trying to make my office space over and these are such great ideas.
    Hugs,
    Jamie

  32. Great ideas, I’ve tried so many ways to stay on a schedule but that’s just not me. I like the printable with the social icons to see what you’ve shared. I do that for my link parties but nothing else. Great tips!

  33. Great tips and beautiful planners! I found your blog through Ginger Snap Crafts and look forward to checking out more posts!

  34. Oh my goodness you are so organized and I am jealous. I’m going to use you as inspiration though. I want my desk area to look like that.

  35. LOVE your space and I so need to get a planner so I can stay organized. Apparently keeping things floating in my head is a bad idea, LOL!

    1. Girl, I try to keep things floating in my head far too often. I feel a mental sigh of relief when I write it down. 🙂

  36. Stopping by from Create Link Inspire and you have inspired me to get planning! I need a vital planner to start planning my blog posts, keeping track of them which will allow for me to manage my time — I will check out the Mama Miss’s planner. Thanks for sharing!

  37. The best tip to me is to keep regular hours. It’s too easy for a blog to over run your life otherwise.

    1. Yes, I soooo agree! Even with office hours, it still sometimes takes over when I have a big deadline or a big post. But most days I can keep it in check.

  38. Right now I am trying to convert my dining room aka storage room into an office, although it will be more open than a traditional office, it is the only space in the house that will work. It will be much better to have my computer, craft materials, and a spot to work in one location instead of spread around the house like it is currently!

    1. Yes, one location is always better than spread around the house! 🙂 And I say make your house work for you, however that looks!

  39. Thanks for the great ideas. I can’t wait until I can find the time to spend on my blog like you have. Between my 3 year old, 10 month old and trying to finish moving into our house I can’t seem to get it together as much as I would like. I have the kids who sleep well at night but not so much during the day. The little one won’t sleep unless I hold her but this is the time I spend on the computer so that works out ok. I just don’t have the best time create the ideas. Anyways thanks for the ideas I will use them when I can.

    1. I’m sure it will get easier as things settle down from your move. I’ve thought many times that I wouldn’t be able to give as much time to the blog if I had two kids instead of just the one. I’d love another baby, but I know when that happens, the blog will slow down a lot, probably.

  40. Thanks for these great tips! I completely agree with working in a designated space. I generally write my posts on the living room couch in front of the tv and it takes me HOURS longer than it would if I were using my office! I also don’t know what I would do without my blogging planner. I need to be able to check things off!

  41. Thanks for all the great tips. I can definitely use a pretty little planner. I bought a little calender one..but it’s not so pretty. 🙂 I have started to pick up cute organizing supplies…cuter is always better. Some days I feel like I’m all over the place with social media….I’m new so I’m still trying to wade through all this. Thanks for helping!
    Hello from Much ado about Monday!
    leelee @ paperbagstyling

    1. Most days I feel all over the place with social media. But at least some days I’m organized thanks to this planner! 🙂

  42. Thanks for sharing!. I have a 4 year old that still takes a 2-3 hr nap, so I can definitely get quite a bit done during that time. I totally agree with you on all the organization. Coming over from the linkup at C.R.A.F.T.

  43. Thanks so much for the inspiration. I desperately need to carve out an office space! Right now I’m doing what you’ve done…and not only has the dining room table resulted in some repetitive stress syndrome from me not tying with my arms properly aligned with my keyboard, it’s also too out in the open! 🙂 Love your suggestions and I need to get to work on this. 🙂

  44. You can have an AMEN TO ALL OF THESE TIPS. It’s so important to have a designated “work space” at least I find it is. If you’re on the couch or on the bed you’re more likely to end up trolling pinterest than getting in and out once having posted your blog post or whatever. Also, can I say? I’m in love with everything on your desk. Can I just shop your home? That will be a thing, thank you very much.

    1. Haha! Thanks Kyleigh! I have found it to be so true that I troll Pinterest and Facebook so much more from the couch. Hence being more efficient in my office. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  45. These tips are AWESOME Laura! I love seeing how bloggers actually break down their work days. And I 100% agree on the designated work space; even for my day job, I get more done when I’m working in my office than when I’m sitting on the couch and distracted by the TV. I definitely need to check out the social media management sheet you mentioned!

  46. You’ve hit the nail on the head! I definitely need it to be pretty to keep it organized. When I blogged before it was from my couch with a little one in my lap. I ended up feeling stressed, taking a break that lapsed into almost 2 years! So, when decided to start blogging again, I started over with more of a plan in place than last time and I can already tell I’m going to be much happier with it!

  47. I love, love, love, love all of these ideas! These small changes can make a huge impact when it comes to organizing your time. Thanks so much for sharing! My friends and I started a lifestyle link party called Be.You.Tiful where we focus on interior design, health, fashion, beauty, and things we find inspirational! You’d be the perfect person to link up to our party.

  48. Such wonderful tips, especially the part about office hours! I find that to be my greatest blogging challenge…. it’s so difficult to pry myself away from the computer screen sometimes. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  49. I really enjoyed your tips especially the one about setting your own hours. I blog when I can and that is not working so I am going to try to schedule it a little better. I don’t think I would stay up either to do a blog post until 3:00 am. Sleep is very important.

    1. You’re so right – sleep IS very important. I’ve been making it more of a priority and feel so much better!

  50. Awesome tips!! I especially like the one about having a designated work space! That has helped me tremendously!!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  51. Great tips! I need to work on setting and keeping office hours. Blogging can definitely take over a lot of time if allowed.

  52. I need to act on some of your tips! I was doing great for a while, managing my blog and business from home during designated hours (preschool and nap time are my faves)…then the new baby came. I am pinning this to look back at in a couple months when hopefully I can be more efficient. Thanks for sharing.

  53. You are right, pretty colors works for me too. If it looks clean & pretty, it makes me want to work in that space. I love that blog planner. I’m going to have to check that out. Thanks for your tips, it’s definitely something I need to work on. ;)s

  54. I love this! I can not wait until me and the sweetheart find our “nest” so I can finally create an actual work space! Its hard to feel like you’re getting anything accomplished when all your stuff is spread out everywhere.

  55. Thanks so much for this great post! I am a blogging newbie, and it’s nice to read about other people’s experiences. We saved up and bought a cutie desk at Target for my blogging endeavors, and it’s nice to have that designated spot. We are still working on formatting my blog (and it’s getting rather frustrating! Any tips would be appreciated! LOL) so I didn’t include my link here. However, I will make sure to follow you on social media! Your blog is adorable! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Katie. You’re too sweet. I did my own formatting on the blog for about a year {or less} and then finally hired someone to do it for me. best money ever! I say hire it out! 🙂 The girl who designed mine originally on blogger isn’t designing anymore, but there are tons out there who do.

  56. Great tip about “office hours” Laura – I find this especially hard with also working outside the home… I’m glad to hear it’s not just me! I have moved my computer back to my craft room to help with this separation!

    1. Oh, I wish I could give it to you! It was from Emily Ley’s shop, but she doesn’t sell it anymore, unfortunately. 🙁

  57. Thank you so much for sharing this post! It is so exactly what I needed! I am going to try to implement most of these asap & the printable calendar is adorable. Will be getting that too! Thanks again!

  58. This is fabulous, Laura. And it’s neat hearing how other bloggers do it. I definitely need to work on having an office space. Right now, it’s the couch or living room floor and it quickly becomes a mess, both literally and in my head. I have a roll-top desk just waiting to be painted and claimed as my own. Might have to bump that DIY up sooner so I can be more efficient FAST! Thanks for the tips and tricks.

    1. Oh, I’ve always wanted a roll-top desk or a secretary desk! But for now, my old college Target desk will do. I truly find that I am more efficient in the office, sitting at the desk. So much less likely to browse on Pinterest or Facebook for hours at a time. 🙂

  59. I need to work on this. I have a bad habit of blogging in bed! That also means I need to clean up my office/craft room! Tha
    Baka for writing what I need to read.

    1. Hmm, yes, I’ve been a blogger in bed before. 🙂 And sometimes I still do if I have to get up early and work on something. I’ll grab a cup of coffee and prop myself up on some pillows. But, I really am more productive in the office, I’ve found.

  60. My dear this is just what I needed! My life is turning into a piece of messy ombre artwork and I need to draw some lines before the blog takes over. I was trying to get away with not buying a planner (Mr. Krabs anyone?) but I know I need one and I am going to look into these. Thank you for helping a gal put her life back on the tracks so I can move full steam ahead! 😀

    1. Oh, I’m so glad this was helpful, Heather. I love the blogger planner if you wanted to start with something small. The daily planner is a little more expensive, but helps me keep my to do list in check {most of the time}. I still forget this from time-to-time. Like this week I totally missed a dinner. Oops!

  61. I love these easy ideas! I’m super inefficient with my tiny blog but hoping to get better. 🙂
    ~Amber

  62. where did you get your notepad with all the pretty post it flags? I’ve been looking for something like this for ages and I love yours!

  63. I agree with you, its mandatory to have an office environment to keep the things on right track.

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