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Friday, September 09, 2005

Using a Spreadsheet to Plan Your Blogs - Part II

I know I mentioned using spreadsheets to manage your blog(s) in a previous posting, but this is a supplement to that post.

Lately, with the number of blogs I write, I'm finding that if I don't buckle down and extend my planning beyond a list of topics, I end up not doing anything. Even then, it's not always easy, no matter how hard you try, to get your half-written entries finished and posted. Case in point, I have had several days worth of blogs planned and partially written, but today's just been one of those days... I work part-time on weekends and I'm allowed to blog at work if it's not busy. But it has been, until a few minutes ago. So I started to finish this and some other posts, only to find that Blogger.com's down for an hour for scheduled maintenance. Since all of my blogs are currently on Blogger.com, I'm out of luck for posting for twenty six and a half long minutes. Arggghh.

In the meantime, I've extended my idea of using a spreadsheet to manage my blogs. An example snapshot is below:

What I've done is put the dates in a row across the top of the spreadsheet. Down the left-hand side is the domain name of each blog. In each cell, I type in a brief, point-form explanation of the post that I'm planning. Once I've posted an entry, I edit the cell and keep only an approximate title, removing the explanation. It's cryptic, but I understand it. What's more, I color code the cells. Light blue means the post is half-written or at least I have notes for the entry. Salmon pink means the entry has already been posted. No color means the piece hasn't been written yet, beyond the points - if any - listed in the spreadsheet cell. If at the end of a day, there are some entries I didn't finish, I move it to another day, usually the next one.

I don't always stick exactly to my plan. Sometimes I move an idea to another day if something more timely comes up. But if I don't have some sort of grand overview, visually and organizationally, I find that I'll just muddle along in my blogs with some unplanned topic. Then I feel bad that I'm cheating you the reader, then end up not writing half my postings on time, perpetually moving an entry to the next day and the nexta. And not writing regularly usually spells the death of a blog, especially if you want to establish a readership.

(c) Copyright 2005-present, 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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(c) Copyright: 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash, http://blogspinner.countwordula.com/