Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Group and Capture

Blogging Tips and Tricks at Ordinary Lives

Something that I've found that helps increase my productivity is grouping my work. I do my best to not write just one post. Instead, I write at least two, preferably three, while my mind is in that gear. For more about grouping, check out Time Managemet Ala Patty.

The next natural step in that equation for me is to capture my post ideas when they spring up--that means while I'm working on the first post, often another idea comes to mind. Rather than trust my memory (which never works any more!!) and rather than reach for a note card or post-it, now I immediately open a new post window and capture that idea before it flies the coop. Then, as I work, I can seamlessly flow between the posts, adding things as I think about them. Rather than go to CBD or Amazon three separate times, I'll go once and get the info I need for all three posts in one stop. Rather than look for pictures for one post, I'm looking for two or three.

It may take a few minutes longer to get one post done, but when it's done, I usually have another post well on the way, if not two additional posts under way. The extra 10 or 15 minutes I spend capturing ideas and jotting things in the post text box and pasting things in, save me an hour.

I like those margins!

The side benefit of capturing the idea on my dashboard is that I have fewer abandoned ideas floating around in my files. How many times have I started posts, worked on them but then when I had to restart my computer, neglected to bring them back up? Many, many times. And if they're out of sight, they're out of mind. On my dashboard, they're easy to spot and with the 'clippings' I drop in the post, as I think of them, it makes it that much easier to pick it up and finish the article so I can use it. It makes for much less wasted time and effort!

Tip: When I do this, one of the very first things I do is change the posting date! If I know when I want the article to post, I'll plug in that date, otherwise I set the date a month away or whatever the date is where I have other posts in a holding pattern.

I think of my dashboard as a staging area. It's not uncommon to have several projects in the works at any given time, and that gives me room to work on each, without crowding my desk or my brain. It frees me to forget things once they're captured.

Don't tell my friends--but some posts I'm writing directly in the post text box. Something I'm known for warning people away from because Blogger... burps ...every now and then and eats posts. But, if I "write in the box", I have a document open that I can paste my post copy into, for filing and safe keeping.

BUT, not all my post get written directly in the post text box. *shiver* The thought gives me the heebie-jeebies!! Blogger is a wonderful tool, but you need to keep your posts on file as Word documents. Too many things can go wrong online and things can be vaporized instantly. Keep your posts in your own files and keep them indexed.

So tell me, does working on a post spark ideas for other posts for you?

5 comments:

  1. You're SO smart! Never thought of using my dashboard as a staging area. Great one, sweetie!

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  2. I'm with, Jo on this one. I never thought of using my dashboard as staging area. Fantastic idea!
    I also like the idea of grouping posts. Hugs!

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  3. Great idea! I am pretty new to blogging so have not explored the site much. I did a whole blog article today and "saved" it but didn't so had to do it all over again. I'm sure it will get better with time and use.

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  4. I have been blogging for less than a year, and yes I do find that when I am working on one, another idea comes to mind. I also work on several posts at a time, and save them as drafts, or finish them off to publish at a later date. It works super well! Glad to hear someone else is doing that too!

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  5. Cheryl emailed and asked for clarification about saving my posts and indexing them--I'll post about my writing index another time, but when I save my blog posts on my computer, I don't add the pictures to the document. To be honest, I never thought about it. Sometimes I'll have the picture code in the document, but not usually.

    Great question, Cheryl. =]

    This group and capture method has been a HUGE help to me. HUGE. =]

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