How I Run My Blog (+ Scrivener Template!)

I’ve been running a blog far longer than the 8 months represented in my archives. But the blogging community has evolved alongside trends, priorities, and social media. I certainly don’t blog the same way I did in 2009, when I still talked about high school crushes and my blog changed its appearance at least every other month. My content has changed, and so has my method for organising and producing that different content.

The Editorial Calendar

I don’t remember where I read about this, but I remember it was definitely on another blog… about blogging and lifestyle. I wouldn’t consider myself a “Lifestyle” blog, but I suppose that’s the niche I fit into because I blog about my life. (And creative writing and writing craft and mental health and gender and sexuality.)

Basically, an editorial calendar is a way to plan out what content you’ll post and when you’ll post it. Some blogs, particularly DIY blogs, tailor their content to trends based on certain months: school crafts in the fall, Christmas crafts in December, summer crafts through June and August. If they have an idea for an Easter craft, but it’s the middle of July, an editorial calendar for their blog ensures that they can get that idea out the next time Easter comes, and gives them a place to plan, expand, and brainstorm.

Some editorial calendars are simple calendars, with sticky notes or pencilled-in blog post titles. They might include social media presence reminders (posting a picture on Instagram, sharing a recent blog post 3x on Twitter the day it goes live, etc.) Some small information about meta-data, like the blog post category, can be included too.

My editorial calendar serves mostly as a place to brainstorm, plan, draft, and back up my blog posts.

My Software & Process

I use Scrivener for the majority of my writing, whether it’s for the blog, my fiction, my works-in-progress, or my poetry. I love the folder system, as well as the ability to store meta-data, on top of the writing experience. I can quickly draft a post in Scrivener, decide on a category, and stick it into a folder for later use—whether it’s in a future month or in my “Stock” folder.

Currently, I plan out a month’s worth of posts near the beginning of the month. As I’m writing this, it’s August 2—but I have this post planned for today, August 19. I wrote a few other posts the day I wrote this one.

I write in advance because I burn out easily. That happened in July, when I didn’t have enough content pre-written and I was back-and-forth between two cities (five hours away from each other…)

I prefer Scrivener because it puts me in that writing mindset. When I’m in Scrivener, I have very minimal distraction. I also have everything I need right where it’s easy to get to.

Meta-Data

Categories

I write on certain topics. As much as I’d love to post recipes and food adventures, CorylDork is not the space for that. I reserve this website for blog posts on my personal life (to my own discretion), gender and sexuality, writing, and student life—which includes organisation and lifestyle stuff.

I pay attention to how often I’m posting in these categories. I want a variety of content for all the things I write about, so I use the “Outliner” view in Scriv to see which categories are dominating, and which I need to shine some light on again.

Post Schedule

I post three times a week: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. One of these days is a themed day: Writing Wednesday, so the other two days are free game for anything in my other categories.

Word Count

I like to vary the length of my content. By default, my Writing Wednesday posts are generally short. Most of my blog posts range between 500 and 800 words, and I’m okay with that.

WordPress

I blog using WordPress on a self-hosted server (so, I have the files from WordPress.org, rather than a domain purchased through WordPress.com), so my dashboard might be different to any WP.com users.

I use the following tools for my blog posts:

  • excerpt
  • featured image
  • category
  • tags
  • scheduling

The scheduling tool is by far the most handy. I can write up the post, include all the data I need, and then change the “Post immediately” section to a specific day and time.

I also use a few plugins, but they aren’t particularly integral to a simple blogging system.

Hootsuite

I use Hootsuite to schedule a few (maximum 3) tweets to promote my blog, and occasionally on Instagram. When it comes to social media, I’m not hardcore into promoting. It’s something I think I should do a bit more, especially since I get loads of hits from Facebook when I post over there, but hits and pageviews are not my current concern. I like to blog consistently about a selection of topics.


My biggest tip for bloggers is this: focus on what you want to say.

If you want to talk about something, make sure you have enough to say about it. Make sure you can be consistent in saying what you want to say. Others would tell you to “think about why you started” but that’s literally the shittiest motivation I can think of (I started blogging because I wanted to bitch about people. Not a good reason to continue blogging).

You also don’t have to blog often. I blog 3 times a week, but that might be too much for you to maintain for a longer period of time.


Anyway, as promised, below is the Scrivener template for a Blog Editorial Calendar! This was created with the Windows version of Scrivener, but hopefully it also works for Apple users.

Blog Editorial Calendar.scriv

Happy blogging! Remember: it’s okay to stop blogging for a bit and take a break when, and however long, you need it.

How I Run My Blog

Bullet Journal 101: Modules, Logs, and Migration

Happy Canada Day, and welcome back to Bullet Journal 101!

Last week, we looked at the basics of a bullet journal. This week, we’re looking at how you can expand out from your to-do lists to create a larger, more complex, and more specialised system for your BuJo.

The official website talks about Modules, Logs, and Migration, but only briefly, so I’ll cover them again here for clarity’s sake.

Modules

Modules include everything in your BuJo. A log is a module. The index is a module. Your habit tracker is a module. All of your collections are modules. Modules are to clothes as logs and collections are to shirts and pants. Logs and collections are modules. Shirts and pants are clothes. It’s a category for all the crap you’re putting in your notebook.

Logs

Logs deal with time-sensitive items. You can create a “Future Log” like the one on the website, where you write down events, tasks, and reminders in a calendar spread for the future, but with less detail than the “Monthly Log.” The monthly log is a list of all the days in the month, and then relevant information is stored there. The BuJo website classifies daily to-do lists as “Daily Logs,” so any tasks, events, and reminders that are linked to a specific day are considered to be part of a log.

Another way to look at logs is to see them as calendars. A four-month semester-long calendar is a semester log. A three-month calendar is a quarter log for your blog or business. A calendar for one month is a monthly log. A series of rows and columns that have a space for each day of each month for an entire year can be used for tracking your habits or quality of life—and this is also a log. A yearly habit log, perhaps.

A large chunk of the BuJo community finds most of their inspiration and creativity inside their logs and collections. You can mix and match, create your own, and cater all of your logs and collections to your specific needs.

Migration

All the information in your BuJo, whether it’s a task that needs to be done or an inspiring quote you noted on a day, needs to be migrated to a more permanent space, like a collection. Migration deals with the list items from your daily logs that don’t have a “done” or “in progress” status. Tasks not done on one day can be migrated to the next day, or they can be scheduled for another day. Signifiers and bullets can tell you whether the task is moved to tomorrow or scheduled farther in the future. Notes and reminders, or quotes you jot down, can be done in the daily log and then migrated to the appropriate collection or calendar.

So let’s say I have a daily log. In it, I write, “Even behind clouds, the sun will rise”—a motivational and inspiring quote. I also write, “Brother visits July 3rd to July 12th.”

At a designated time, maybe at the end of the day or the end of the week, I would flip through my daily logs and find pertinent information to transfer to a collection or a different log. I’d move my quote to a Quotes collection, and write down in a monthly log the days my brother is in town.

Personally, migration doesn’t work for me. It’s an additional step that takes away from my organisation; I’d rather go straight to the collection or log and write down the information.

However, if I have a task or an event written in one daily log that I don’t do that day, or that gets post-poned, I can migrate it to the next day, or I can add it to a monthly or weekly log, or even add it to a collection like “Housekeeping and Home Improvement.” I have yet to find a rational way to cross-reference a monthly log with my daily logs to try implementing migration. Just goes to show that I’m still learning with you!


If you can believe it, we’ve covered the basics already. You now have all the information necessary to go full-force into a bullet journal. You know about bullets, collections, modules, logs, and migration. If you’re confident enough, you can stray from the purist path. If not, I suggest you use the method on the website to see what doesn’t work. Start with the process of elimination.

This week’s challenge

Create a monthly log for July. You can use the design on the BuJo website, or do a look on Pinterest and Instagram for ideas. I have a Pinterest board for the bullet journal in case you need inspiration. Think about how much information you need to include in your log. You can also write out the things you want to display in your monthly log. Maybe a list like the original system will work for you. Maybe you need a column-and-row box calendar instead.

Here is what I’ve designed for my July Log!

Monthly Log July

Next week will feature all the goodies you can have fun with in the core of the bullet journal—Daily Logs. I’ll share some of my own daily log spreads so you can see what I started with and how my layouts changed.

Bullet Journal 101 Modules Logs Migration Expanding Bullet Journal For Beginners