Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blog Planner REVIEW-

As a member of Mosaic Reviews, my first task was to get organized and plan my blog a bit more intentionally (still working on that part, in case you haven't noticed!).  We were all given a list of planners to choose from for our use and to review. 

Being a simple, practical, no fuss, no frills kind of gal, this was quite the challenge for me! I didn't need a planner, I was sure of it.  I would be wasting my time.  I don't need another planner.  Or do I?!?!

All of the options were beautiful, with so many great benefits.  I was, however, clearly able to decide on the one that fit me the best among the choices.  Erica over at Confessions of a Homeschooler "gets" me.   She doesn't know me, but she gets me, I know it!  (Yes, that is my attempt at humor, just go with it!)  She has 2 options to choose from, the lined version or the calendar version.   The 2013 Blog Planner FREE Printable is another of Erica's generous gifts to her readers.

 I am very visually oriented, so I opted for the calendar version.  Neat, simple, clean.  And those flowers and swirls on the cover?  WHIMSICAL!  It fit! I love having the simple, open up the planner and I can see my entire month in one quick visual "snapshot".  The simple style choices that were made in the design fit well to keep this planner on track.  I can't tell you how helpful it is to see the month on one side and the notes page on the other.

When I made mine, I had to go "official" and make it look nice as she suggested in her post. I am sure it is much more durable this way too, but I have been taking great care to protect mine.  It's pretty.  And it's mine!  I took it to an office place, had it printed there with card stock covers and the clear protective page and had it spiral bound...with those options, it made it "mine".  It made it more fun (work should always be as fun as you can make it, you know!).  I could have printed at home, but I will confess.  I tried.  I hated the print quality of my printer.  The graphics are too nice for a standard, plain, cheap ink jet printer to do them justice.  They would have been functional, but in this case, I wanted more than just function.  I wanted the appeal to go with it.

One of the features that I really appreciated is that each month has its own color.  As you can see, I haven't planned July just yet ;)  The month shows on the left, with boxes to check to indicate that you have posted/scheduled your blog post, to show that you have sent through your various social media outlets, and to have a bit of space to write anything pertinent for each date.  On the right, there are lines for reviews and giveaways, post ideas, and monthly statistics.
This one little part stuck out to me.  It *NEVER* occurred to me to start tracking my statistics.  Ok, I have been blogging for several years, but never intentionally to a general audience.  I've always had a captive audience and blogged for business purposes or for groups where I was acting as the news reporter.
The layout of this particular planner is neat, tidy, and to the point.  I pondered what I may use, and the reality is, I have had to train myself to just use the basics.  It isn't natural.  I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person more often than not, and it is hard work to plan.  I was wrong.  I DO need a planner.  Now I just need someone to remind me to use it and to actually plan more often until it becomes habit.

Did I happen to mention that she offers this planner for FREE?!?!  The only cost to you is the ink and the paper.  Unless you do as I did, and then you pay a bit more.  I upgraded the paper quality to be a bit more, and with double sided printing, binding, the extra plastic protectors, and covering the costs of some errors that the printing person made, it was still under $10.  To get your own planner, go to her page and download it.  You know you want to.  Find it right here. And while you are over there?  Take a look around, she has a TON of free printables that you could probably use and enjoy.  As well.  As I blog more, I may want more features in a planner, but I really do like this one just the way it is!















3 comments:

  1. Great Review! Your planner turned out so pretty!

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  2. I hadn't thought about tracking my stats either until I had to pick a planner to review. Great post!

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