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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Using a Spreadsheet to Plan Your Blogs

In a recent entry, I talked about using a Gantt Chart to produce a timeline for multiple blogs. If you do not have MS-Project or do not want to download and install GanttProject, you can also use a spreadsheet, say MS-Excel or Lotus 1-2-3. [Explanations here are given for MS-Excel. 1-2-3 methods are very similar.] If you do not have either, consider the free, OpenSource OpenOffice. This latter package has a spreadsheet, a word processor, and other modules, most of which resemble their commercial counterparts and thus are no more difficult to use.

If you have a small, fixed number of blogs to plan, place their names across a spreadsheet row, and dates downwards, like so:

On the other hand, if you have many blogs and are planning more, you may prefer to enter them down a spreadsheet column, like so:

The examples here will place blog names across a row, with dates increasing down the columns. Notice that I’ve used a numeric date format. You could use a format such as “01-Sep-05”, however, you will have to enter each date manually. With a numeric format acceptable by your spreadsheet software, you can enter a couple of consecutive dates then perform a “fill series” operation to increase each successive value by one day (or whatever ).

Now you can fill in the cells with activity/task information for each date/blog name cell, as necessary. For example, in a date range of 30 days, Blog A may only have 3 tasks per blog entry and thus not all 30 cells would be filled in, in the column "Blog A". Add tasks for each blog column. Example:

Note that the information in the example is pretty brief, in the interest of keeping this blog short(er). If you are an experienced blogger, brief notes may be all you need. For less experienced bloggers, you may want to enter other task details such as “check hyperlinks”, “check references”, and so on.

This is a fast and simple method for planning your blogs, giving you a means to manage the necessary tasks. As I've said in previous postings, I believe in planning projects, especially if they are long-term. I am an obsessive planner. That said, if you only have one blog and plan to stay that way, most of the techniques that I've been describing are not necessary, but they don't hurt. In fact, when you see how "easy" it is to manage one blog, you might decide it's not such a chore to manage more. Now if you could only come up with content for more blogs.

(c) 2005, Raj Kumar Dash, http://blogspinner.blogspot.com

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BlogSpinner-X serves two primary purposes. Firstly, it houses the original version of my Blogspinner blog, and contains the full-text of my older entries. Secondly, the more recent entries are excerpts of the full-text entries posted over on Blogspinner V2.0. In other words, the "X" stands for "eXcerpt".

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I'm a geek/ philosopher/ composer/ artist/ cook/ web programmer/ consultant/ photographer/ blah-blah-blah who is also a published writer and author. This is one of several blogs that I write.

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