How I -barely- manage to not drown under blogging and reading

Keeping track of reading and blogging

Hello friends !

A while back (a very long while back, yes… i’m very on top of things shhhh) I had asked on Twitter if people would be interested in seeing how I organise my reading and blogging because I have a few tips and tricks, but mostly a ridiculous amount of spreadsheets, and quite a few people said yes so here I am, an eternity later finally getting around to talking about it all.

I’ve been a blogger for over two years now so along the way I tried things, some that failed, some that succeeded, to try and stay on top of reading and blogging organisation wise. So by now, I’ve stuck with the things that work and encompass every aspect of said organisation and I think I’ve been using the same system for a little over a year and it’s working really well so I thought sharing it would give some tips and hacks to make things a little easier for some of you. I am in no way an expert, this is just a result of a bunch of winging it and make it til you fake it until I found what works for me.

Without further ado, here’s how these parts of my life are organised:

Tracking 1

The way my reading is organised is pretty simple to be honest. I have one spreadsheet for my yearly reading progress and one page for each month in my bullet journal. Let me explain with pictures, it’s way easier and will save your eyes from reading my excessive ramblings.

2018-04-04

This is my 2018 reading spreadsheet. It has three main windows I use. The first, and the one I use then most, is for ALL the books I read, they all go on there once I finish them with all the necessary book information, my rating, the date I read it and whether or not I’ve reviewed it (which helps with the blogging aspect as well because I know which reviews I wrote and which still need to be done). The ones highlighted in yellow are the ARCs.

2018-04-04 (1)

Then there’s one to track all the series I’m reading and…y’all can see, I’m not kidding when I say it’s bad. I think that goal of getting my series reading under control is going to flop miserably. ANYWAY. Not the point. I use this because otherwise there’s no way in hell I can remember all the series I start and then forget about for MONTHS, as well as how far into them I am, the series status and the next book I need to read. Because let’s be real, a lot of us forget the name of the next book we need to read in a series.

2018-04-04 (2)

Last but not least is a sheet to keep track of all the ARCs I have separately. Read and unread alike. I’ve been a really good girl with requesting arcs so far this year (mainly because of restricted access on Netgalley, not gonna lie) but yeah the colors have a purpose here as well. I highlight the ones I’ve read. Green for Netgalley, orange for Edelweiss and blue for physical ARCs.

The monthly spreads on my journal are for the books I read month to month, general stats and new releases. I suck at keeping track of the latter so I figured this would be a nice way to do it… if only I remember to fill it and not be a lazy butt about it.

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Oh I also have a new addition I started this year. It’s a spread to keep track for the backlist books I want to read and the ones I’ve read (by coloring them).

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The actual reading part (as in, you know, picking up books) is me prioritizing ARCS and putting them on a *mandatory* monthly TBR, because those are the ones I ABSOLUTELY need to get to (I never read ARCs late, it’s not that I’m a snob, it’s that I get physically stressed and I can’t handle it) and then the rest of the books I pick up depend on my mood. I used to be a strict TBR kind of reader but that hasn’t been working for me lately so I dropped it and I’m happier for it.

Tracking 2

My blogging organisation basically follows the same layout, with a few variations. First, we have the reknown spreadsheet. I live by it. Swear by. Would be lost without it. It’s my precious blogging schedule. I know a lot of people can manage without it and honestly GOOD FOR YOU, but I wouldn’t be able to function if I didn’t have it.

2018-04-04 (3)

You can see it’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s yearly (you can see down there that I have one for 2016 and 2017), divided by months and has dates, post category, post *temporary* name and then the status. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this before in a post, but it’s color coded and I highlight posts once they’re up. I also have one dedicated to the #DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss posts which I won’t share because it’s not definite and has people’s info on it but it follows the same general pattern, with date, post topic, status, plus who’s writing it and their info.

I also have a monthly page on my bullet journal with stats, trackers for scheduling posts and blog-hopping as well as a monthly to-do list (which I then transfer to my general weekly when I want to do the thing) AND the highlights of that month, you know… to celebrate the small AND big things.

20180404_221506

You know how we get post ideas in the most random situations , promise ourselves to write them down and then forget about them forever, as they get lost in the pit of forgotten thoughts and never remembered ideas? Well, to prevent that, I have a note on my Google Keep phone app where I write the ideas AS SOON as I get them and then whenever I need to write a post I look at that list and see whichenever one speaks to me the most is the one I pick.
I do all the writing on weekends, I generally write a post on Friday, one on saturday and one (or two if I don’t have anything planned) on Sunday. And I’m two ahead of posting schedule (thanks to my January hiatus), depending on whether I’m on top of things or slacking, so I don’t actually get stressed about sitting down and typing anymore.

So that’s it folks, as you can see, I’m an organisation freak AND I just handed over all my well kept secrets. I hope they’re helpful!


That’s it until next time.

Do you have any tips and tricks to make reading and blogging tracking easier?

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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50 thoughts on “How I -barely- manage to not drown under blogging and reading

  1. Oh my god Fadwa, you are WAY better at this spreadsheet thing than I am. 😂😂 I don’t even know how to make certain columns/rows “stick” (is that what it’s called) hahhaa. But I’m pretty much in love with your spreadsheets, because it’s exactly something that I would do as well!! Teach me your ways. ❤ (And your spreads are gorgeous.)

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  2. Hello Fadwa!
    Wow! I am impressed by how organized you are! Right now I admit that my blog isn’t as organized as it could be: Other than jotting down a few post ideas here and there, my ideas and schedules are mostly in my head. I am also terrible at keeping track of ARCs and (oh gosh) tags. However now I think I can at the very least make spreadsheets for ARCs and tags so I don’t forget about them haha :’)
    A few things that are major timesavers for me are pre-writing my blog posts and scheduling set days of the week for blog-hopping.
    Great post!! Have a wonderful April!

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  3. God, I need to be doing this too! I’m amazed by your reading and blogging spreadsheets! I have zero discipline when it comes to updating my sched so I just do everything randomly! Haha!

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  4. holy crap Fadwa this is amazing. I wish I was this organised I swear I just make it up as I go along and try to keep everything straight in my head. I tried the spreadsheet thing and I never actually updated them whoops. THIS IS AMAZING THOUGH and I especially love your backlist bullet journal page, I have something similar for owned TBR books and it’s so satisfying colouring them in

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  5. You are so organized, I love it ahah 🙂 I do keep track of my blogging with a spreadsheet as well, it looks a bit like yours, with the dates and blog posts – types of blog posts and current status. I don’t keep track of my reading as much as you do though – I do love this amazing spreadsheet you made, wow that must have taken a lot of work, but it has to make your life so much easier hahaha 🙂 Love your bullet journal spreads as well, they’re so pretty 🙂

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  6. danggg you’re so organized i’m so impressed!! i’ve tried to use spreadsheets and everything just ends up crumbling and left forgotten… this was a such a good post!!

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  7. I’m always amazed when I see how organized other bloggers are! I really need to get my shit together at some point lol I’ve been blogging for 2 years now and am STILL unorganized lol I’ve always used a paper planner to keep track of all my blogging stuff, but I feel like spreadsheets are really the way to go…. Thank you for all the intel

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  8. Wow, you are WAY more organized at blogging and reading than I am in really any part of my life haha I am not sure I could stick to any plans, even if I did have such cool tables and journals, but I think it’s awesome that this works for you!! I especially love those book shelves you drew in your bullet journal ❤

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  9. I’m impressed by your tracking for series! I’ve been known to forget and read a series out of order, or just skip a few books in the middle, or buy the wrong book and then not want to read it out of order but not be able to get the correct one, and I really prefer to read in series order whenever possible so it bothers me (but clearly not enough to set up a spreadsheet lol).

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  10. Amazing Post Fadwa. I am blown away by your organization, I think I am going to try make an Excel sheet to keep track of posts or reading. I have got a notebook in which I wrote down all the books I currently own and need to read but keeping an electronic list would probably be much easier and faster x

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  16. OMG wow I am so shook at how organized you are GO YOU!

    I am literally the worst. I keep track of my ARCs by making a long list of them and their pub dates (I’m the same about reading them ahead of time because I feel like that’s the publisher’s expectations) and I color them differently for status (unread, read, reviewed) and bold/italic/regular them for format (ARC, Netgalley, Edelweiss).

    For reading I have pages for each month (because I read 20+ books a month) and I have a teensy column for marking debut and backlist so it’s easier to track. I also bold/italic/regular for whether I’ve reviewed them.

    I’m the worst for blogging though. Whenever inspiration strikes, I type a note, and when I have time, I make a post on WordPress, schedule it for my next open day and then forget about it until 8 pm the night before. I basically write every single post ever less than 12 hrs before it airs, but I have it scheduled months in advance. SO MANY IDEAS. SO LITTLE POSTING SPACE AVAILABLE.

    It’s so cool this system works for you! I definitely do not have the dedication to do something as organized at that. YOU’RE DOING GREAT HONEY

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