on blog planning & pretty books
My mojo goes in fits & spurts. Sometimes I just can’t find a groove in anything, and I have nothing to share. Or I have been working on the same thing and if I’m sick of seeing my ripple blanket every day then I’m pretty sure no-one else wants to see it constantly either.
Then there’s times like now, where my ideas are like a paddock full of rabbits – running in every direction & breeding when my back is turned. If there is one thing my seven years of blogging on and off have taught me, it’s that I need to harness the rabbits as a backup for when the drought hits. Add in a couple of new content formats, and I knew I needed something more than just a simple editorial calendar. In my stash I had a mini book kit I had purchased from a bricks & mortar store on holidays many moons ago, just perfect for what I had in mind.
I am trying to be more intentional about using my stash, not holding onto it for the elusive “perfect project”, or stressing about “wasting it”, but getting it out of the cupboard and using it. The book itself was a bit like that, but then I had to pick some papers to decorate it. I took a deep breath, and gently broke the seal on my very last Lime Tart kit, that I have been hoarding for at least three years. My traditional scrapbooking output is exactly nil these days, so it was time to use it, and I can buy more pretty girly papers when I get back into it. One day.
I had everything laid out, and then discovered Polkadot Creative on Instagram (via, I believe, giveagirlablog). Soon after I followed her, Jodie reached out and tagged me in one of her script works, suggesting I might be interested in the free printable she was offering. I’m not going to lie, I totally gasped out loud. It was perfect, and soon joined my pile of prettiest or my book.
Aside from Jodie’s script, pretty much everything else was from the kit, with the finishing touches being a stamp I had in my stash (a birthday present from one of my besties), and a “begin” charm I made as part of a tutorial. The papers were glued to the bare chipboard with PVA glue then left to set for a couple of days under a couple of my biggest Bryce Courtenay books.
While I waited, I started sketching out my page designs. I work so much better with a pen in my hand (hence a whole mini book planner rather than relying on an app or plugin), then when I hit InDesign I have a firm place to jump off from, and it makes the process so much quicker. At first, I planned to letter the pages myself, but I was at the point of just wanting it done, and when I came across a font called Steelheart* from Creative Market* I couldn’t hit “buy” fast enough. Isn’t it pretty?
In the end, I went with 6 different sections:
Section one – monthly overview. And yeah, page one is turned down – I can’t go giving away all my secrets! Down the bottom I left a space for those months I have a theme running through the month – it doesn’t always happen, but I like having to option to focus my planning.
Section two – blog posts & project ideas. To try & fence in those pesky rabbits!
Section three – vlog/video planning. I am hoping to do some more regular vlogging this year, and they require a little bit more planning so this section will help me keep track of that.
Section four – pop up shop, to help me track ideas & progress & results for my Instagram pop up shop.
Section five – newsletter. What newsletter? Surprise! I’m hoping to get this launched in the next month or two, so this section will help me be organised in getting my content prepared.
Section six – plain dot grid paper for making notes and sketching
All the pages are primed on 120gsm paper, and then trimmed down @ punched with my cropadile before binding with three book rings. Hopefully it will be simple yet flexible enough to make my blogging life easier, rather than becoming one more thing I “have” to do.