17 July 2017

4 Crucial Planning Resources Every Blogger Needs // advice

Hey everyone! Welcome back if you've been here before , and if not, welcome to my blog!  Today I am one of those returning to my writing as I realised yesterday that I have not posted since March due to my extensive revision schedule I set myself over the months that came after, in preparation for my GCSEs. After a month of taking my exams, prior to a month travelling the world, I am finally back in a position where I can begin writing again.

Blowholes in Savai'i, Samoa

During my time away, I found myself with a lot of spare thinking time that I hadn't had for a long time, which led to lots of planning for my return to this blog. If you do happen to be a frequent visitor, you may have noticed that Jeani Thoughts has had a makeover (featuring many aesthetic photos from my holiday - you gotta utilise your resources!), which is my way of symbolising my fresh start now that high school is over.  This extra time for mind-mapping, thinking, writing, noting, listing, designing and planning showed me how important it is to plan and how, if at home, I may have jumped straight into blogging this summer as I would have the resources, like wifi and a laptop, to do so.

So, now we get to the point at hand: what are the best resources for planning? Often we find ourselves with so many thoughts whizzing around our brain that we just want to get them out, but struggle to choose the best way to do so; you don't want to risk misplacing your ideas, you want to quickly access the resource before you forget your ideas and you want them to be permanent. So, here is my list of resources (for dummies):

1) A3 paper and coloured pens - for creating visual plans
Blog plan mindmap

Above is a photo of a mind-map I put together in a maximum of ten minutes for my blog plan. Paper is definitely the best resource when trying to quickly jot down ideas as they easily flow from your brain and you have something you can see and visualise afterwards. I keep a stack of A3 paper by my desk and I used this a lot when revising. The use of colours means a) it looks pretty and b) it looks pretty, which tricks my brain into enjoying the process of planning and jotting down those ideas, or revising. The pro of paper is you can stick or pin your plan up where you can see it

2) Notes (on apple products) - for ideas

Blog plan mindmap draft
This app as upped its game recently; I love the fact that you can now draw on it (I don't actually know how new that feature is as I'm always five updates behind as my storage is always full, but it's new to me!). Anyway, this appears to be the only useful app that apple forces you to have on your phone, as you constantly have a notepad with you, presuming you always have your phone on you, which is good for sudden ideas, for writing casual lists of things to do and now jotting down images!

3) Pages/Word - for planning blog design

On a tablet, or even a laptop, despite being word processing equipment, I've found these very useful for designing, including my plan for a future home when I was seven - in hindsight, it probably wouldn't qualify for planning permission.
During my holiday, I discovered that pages was particularly useful for plan of a blog as it is equipped with shapes, ability to insert photos, and obviously text. I ended up creating a simple, yet effective, plan of what I wanted my blog to look like. Compare the image above with my blog now ( if you're not reading this in five years of course) and see for yourself.

4) Pinterest - for collecting ideas

When I first downloaded pinterest, I struggled to understand the buzz over this app which was seemingly pointless to a thirteen year old girl who used pinboards for displaying photos of her family - you can understand the confusion. But three years later, I am addicted and have pinned over twenty five thousand photos to over 65 different pinboards. Woah, I didn't even realise!

This clever app helps you to formulate an image or aesthetic by collecting images together in one place, allowing you to then click on the board and see a summary of your idea. For example:

A book I was gonna write

Future wedding plans (don't run from me boyfriend, I'm not crazy)

Style plans

Or collecting images around a specific theme so you can come back to it later either to read or pick from the ideas, for example:

Selection of tumblr posts surrounding feminism
Compilation of motivational quotes

So, there you go, my top four resources! Make sure you come back and read some more posts; as you can see on my mind-maps, I've got lots of good stuff coming up!

// Jeani

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