Blog Brainstorming with Erin Condren

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I began feeling really overwhelmed and disorganized a couple months back. There were so many things running through my head that I couldn’t keep everything straight. I became a little paralyzed creatively. Despite knowing that I wanted to craft, to add new items to the Etsy shop, to improve the blog, etc, I was struggling to take action. Not to mention the fact that I was losing work that I had done or my to-do list for the day because everything was on loose paper. I needed a solution.

Many of my immediate problems for organizing my life was met with my Erin Condren Life Planner. I have posted about it a couple times on the blog already, so please go over and check them out if you are looking for an all-in-one planner solution.  I have spots for the blog and editorial calendar as well as other projects and personal items. Plus, note pages for keeping track of important info, like the details of the giveaway I am planning and even the color codes for my blog. But that’s now what I am here to talk about today.

Blog Brainstorming with an Erin Condren Notebook - A great system for bloggers that can easily be applied to Etsy stores and other small businesses! {The Love Nerds} #ErinCondren #lifeplanner #organization #blogtips

I want to talk about brainstorming. This might seem silly, but, as I was working through a couple blogging books (you can see them in the side bar) and a blog course I’m taking, the comments made about brainstorming and working more efficiently stayed with me. While I consistently had content for the blog, I was a sporadic blogger. I would finish a project the night before I wanted to post about it because I had forgotten or was busy with other things. There had to be a better way, and Erin Condren came to the rescue again!

First things first: why is this important?

SHORT ANSWER: Consistent Blog Brainstorming Will Make Your Blog Better

LONG ANSWER: Without brainstorming, we run the risk of our creativity and voice becoming stale or rushed. Therefore, consistent brainstorming within system that works for you will make your blog better.

  • Brainstorming ensures that you are always thinking of how to make your blog better and how to give your readers the best possible content.
  • Having the time to be proactive about content will make it stronger.
  • If you are thinking ahead, you will more likely work ahead. Having a cushion in your editorial calendar is so helpful in emergencies, like when my husband had his appendix out.
  • Don’t waste good ideas! How many of you have had a good idea and then forgotten it a little later? Having a brainstorming system will ensure you have a logical place to write that idea down when you have it!

I will he completely honest with you – like everything else, my brainstorming was disorganized. Remember that paralysis I spoke of up above. I had so many ideas and no where to go with them except in a “Note” where they were all piled together in my random typing or on paper that magically disappeared the moment I needed it. The system wasn’t working.

When Erin Condren came out with notebooks, I realized it could meet my needs for organization while also being stylish and personalized. I know I talked a LOT at you up above, but this is what I want to share with all of you. I am so excited with how it turned out and how it is improving the way I think about content creation.

Blog Brainstorming with an Erin Condren Notebook - A great system for bloggers that can easily be applied to Etsy stores and other small businesses! {The Love Nerds} #ErinCondren #lifeplanner #organization #blogtips

The Erin Condren Notebook

THE DETAILS: These notebooks are their newest edition and are sized at 8.5×11. Mine is called Go Confidently with a quote from Henry David Thoreau. I like surrounding myself with inspiration work items. It is so dorky, but they do motivate me when I’m hitting my afternoon lull. It has over 150 pages. They also have interchangeable covers but I only bought this one and customized it with The Love Nerds and my main categories

DIVIDERS: You can order moveable dividers for the notebook. For students, this could obviously be used for sectioning the notebook off for different classes. For me, I ordered a divider for my main categories: Recipes, DIY Home, Holidays and Celebrations (I combined these 2 for the notebook), A Love Nerd Life, and Other.

Here’s how I organized mine:

After sectioning off the notebook fairly equally with the dividers, I got to work organizing each section.

I left 5 pages loose at the front to add a few things I thought would be helpful.

  1. A Yearly Overview: The left side has the 4 seasons divided off with reminders for what is popular at that time, such as pumpkin in fall or lemon in spring. The right hand side is divided into months with main holidays or events listed, like graduation in May. I like having this Yearly Overview because it focuses some of my brainstorming and reminds me when certain content will be most wanted.
  2. Random Ideas: Sometimes ideas don’t fit into certain categories at first or sometimes there are broader things you want to brainstorm for. For example, I have a spot on this page right now for Series I want to develop for the blog (like themed date nights) or E-Book topics I might want to write.
  3. Next is my Newsletter brainstorming: I have started a monthly themed newsletter for exclusive content, so this is where I am writing down ideas. For example, should I do a whole newsletter on Apples for November with exclusive apple recipes or do a more generic holiday food theme?
  4. Favorite Quotes and Inspiration: Because I want to, and they could come in handy. 🙂
  5. A blank page: Because I like room to grow.

Blog Brainstorming with an Erin Condren Notebook - A great system for bloggers that can easily be applied to Etsy stores and other small businesses! {The Love Nerds} #ErinCondren #lifeplanner #organization #blogtips

In the category section, I went through and made room for each sub-topic under that category. So under Recipe, I have space for breakfast, main course, dessert, etc.  I left about 2 pages for each sub-topic, which is plenty of space with these pages. You will see that I added a column on most pages. Most of my ideas don’t need the whole width of the paper, so I did this to make more room and create space for any special topics. For example, under fall, I sectioned off the right column for pumpkin and apple as those are two biggest flavors for fall recipes.

Blog Brainstorming with an Erin Condren Notebook - A great system for bloggers that can easily be applied to Etsy stores and other small businesses! {The Love Nerds} #ErinCondren #lifeplanner #organization #blogtips

What is probably my favorite part of this whole thing is that the notebook dividers also have DRY ERASE BOARDS! Isn’t that awesome?! When I go to make decisions about my editorial calendar, I have the ability to do my first stages of planning right there in the notebook. I said I wanted less paper flying around, and I meant it. This is seriously my favorite feature.

TIP TIME: In Erin Condren’s video about the notebook {yes, I watch those}, she said that she liked to use a Sharpie on the dry erase part and then use a wet wipe to clean it. I was super nervous to even try it, but it worked for me! So yay! Regular dry erase markers would most likely smear on the paper.

Blog Brainstorming with an Erin Condren Notebook - A great system for bloggers that can easily be applied to Etsy stores and other small businesses! {The Love Nerds} #ErinCondren #lifeplanner #organization #blogtipsPlus, like other Erin Condren products, you will have a folder in the back. I use this for things that might inspire me like a home decor idea or a newspaper recipe. I also use this for any loose paper I might still use because old habits are hard to break. For example, I often use paper when I am creating recipes. Now, I throw it right into this notebook so I know exactly where it is when I go to write it up. Organization – it takes a bit of trial and error, but it is worth it when it happens!

This was a super long post, so I am going to wrap it up. If I didn’t answer any questions that you might have about how I am using the notebook, let me know. If you are interested in the life planner, make sure to check out that post as well!  (IMPORTANT NOTE – You will get $10 just for signing up on their email list with my referral link!}

You Might Also Enjoy:

Why I chose an Erin Condren Life Planner for work and life! Trust me, I haven't looked back! {The Love Nerds} #organized #planners #calendars      How I Use my Erin Condren Life Planner to Organize my Personal Life and my Business! {The Love Nerds} #gettingorganized #familyplanner #businesstips

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  1. Sheryl says

    Great post! I just started using an Erin Condren Life Planner for my blog planning, actually. It’s so pretty and functional! I am also trying to be more organized about blogging, and I was wondering what the blogging books and blogging course were that you mentioned?

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