I’m most definitely not the most organized human being out there. My blog has survived without any sort of formal systems in place. There’s always been somewhat of a routine with my work from how I write my posts, shoot content and the like. But nothing felt super consistent outside of a few tasks I always had to do. What a lot of people don’t tell you about blogging, is that it’s a hell of a lot more than just pretty photos and Instagram.
With a long list of things to do in the blogging world I needed to get myself more organized. I found myself drowning in to-do lists, a head full of ideas, and scrambling to find details for projects with upcoming deadlines. It was clear I needed a system!
I ended up getting inspired to take control of my business and how it was organized thanks to Kate Waldo + Co. She spoke at the 2019 Annual Blog Societies Conference and it’s what inspired me to finally make a change. She talked about having systems in place and using Asana to do it. Plus, by doing this, you can then set yourself up for success should you want to hire someone down the road. Which I eventually did for a few months before COVID. Without having the systems in place, hiring my assistant would not have been possible.
Regardless of hiring someone or not, creating a system and schedule for your blog or creative business is key for success. I signed up for Asana and tried to get my life organized. But I’ll be honest, I was overwhelmed when I looked at Asana. It seemed to be designed and tailored to real businesses and major projects. I’m just someone who wanted to organize my weekly tasks and small projects. I couldn’t find a tutorial on how to organize this for me and I grew more and more frustrated.
I basically stared at my screen for hours with no idea how to tackle this. Until my friend Emily helped me.
I’m so thankful my friend Emily of The Style Hunt helped me to get my Asana organized. She’s worked in digital marketing and is a blogger so she knew exactly how I should set it up for success. So thanks to Emily for the guidance here. I think I would’ve 100% given up if you didn’t show me the way!
What Is Asana?
Asana is a platform designed for project management. It’s totally free, but there are paid options for larger businesses and more tools. But for a solopreneur or a small team of just a few people, the free version will usually do the trick. It’s a fantastic program for managing projects, tasks and teams to make sure you’re staying on top of deadlines and easily communicating with team members.
How To Use Asana As A Blogger
Asana has a few different ways of setting up your systems and tasks. It took chatting with a friend who not only uses this for her day job, but also her blog, that helped me get myself organized. We ended up setting my Asana up in two ways. One weekly schedule to help me batch work tasks, and two, a way to track projects and outreach.
Weekly Batch Tasks
To set up my Asana to get me organized with batch work, I first wanted to come up with a list of all the things I need to do for my blog. Then I could put them into buckets that make sense. I wouldn’t want to work on busy work ALL day, or spend an entire day coming up with captions and blog copy. Sometimes you need to break up your tasks to give you a creative break. I wrote down all the things I need to do for my blog business that happened often. So think of things that are done weekly or daily. Here’s what was on my list.
My Weekly Batch Task List
- Make pins for Pinterest
- Schedule Tailwind
- Plan IG feed and IG Stories
- Write content
- Comment on blog posts
- Draft newsletters
- Pitch to brands
- Beautycounter maintenance
- The Blog Societies
The above are all things I need to be doing daily or weekly to maintain my blog. These are tasks I was failing to remember to do and stay consistent with. There are obviously other things like scheduling photoshoots, and responding to comments that I do all the time, but those things I do without needing a to-do list to tell me. But overall, these were things that I needed to get more consistent with. And by being more consistent with these things, I’d likely increase my revenue too.
After creating this list, I went into Asana and chose the board option to create a schedule. Then, I created “columns” and named them for each day of the week. Under each column, I then added “cards” for the tasks. I went this route to help keep me organized. Basically, I created a weekly calendar with each task getting its own card. Below is what my week looks like. Some things I want to do twice a week, some things I just need to check in on once.
You can get super detailed here if you want too. Each card opens up to have a section for text, and also subtasks. Most of mine are blank, and it’s really just the task itself as the card title that I need to see to know what needs to be done. But you can also utilize them as having lists within them. For example, my newsletter card has some information inside which you can see below. It’s really a dumping ground for ideas. Which is a great way to keep all those millions of ideas more organized.
Project Management Tasks
The second thing I created was a way to track my projects and pitching. I created this very similarly to my weekly batch work by using the “cards” and “columns” technique. Instead of each column having a day of the week, I gave it a topic. So one is specifically for paid projects, the second is for my own personal ones, and the third is for finished projects.
For my paid project cards, each project has their own. I’ll include all the details I need for the project right in the card so I can easily access it. From the hashtags I need to use, any specific content details and so on. It’s also great for putting a ton of ideas down for larger projects like the holiday spreads I do.
You can also create subtasks and include deadlines to remember to get things done. I always include things like the submission deadline for review, posting deadline, and of course, when payment is due. It’s also a good idea to set a 3-month follow-up to just touch base with the brand. This is a great way to stay connected with the brand and hopefully continue the relationship.
Same goes for personal projects. I’m currently working on some big changes on the blog and made a giant list of things to do. I broke it all down into easy to tackle subtasks making the work feel less overwhelming and keeping me more organized. It feels so great to mark them as complete and slowly chip away at it.
Create A Pitching CRM
The last way I use Asana for my blog business is for a pitching CRM. This helps me stay organized on who I’m pitching, who I’m chatting with and which brands are turning into a possible project. I made the following columns to keep me organized, Want To Pitch, Pitched, In Progress, Completed. This way I can chip away at who I want to pitch and stay on top of those I have. Each brand or project gets its own card and they move along through the columns as they get updated.
To Do Lists
You can also create just simple to-do lists in Asana as well. I have one anytime I have a photoshoot so I can make sure I don’t forget anything. It’s easy to access on my phone through the Asana app. It makes staying organized such a breeze!
PS If you want more blogging tips and to be a part of an incredible blog community, join The Blog Socieites today to access great resources, downloads and more! Join today!
Photos by Hannah Lozano