The Life-Saving Power of Making Lists
Organization? Never met him.
I go where the wind blows. I’m a drifter, a traveler. Off-the-grid, that’s where it’s at.
Organization is like the TV show LOST: you either love it or hate it. Or maybe you loved it in the beginning but lost interest once things got a little too messy.
When it comes to creating content for clients, staying organized is vital! Knowing how many times you need to post for which client on what platform is just the beginning. It’s important to keep track of special and upcoming events and post about them in due time. Here are some tricks I’ve learned for staying organized while content planning.
Making a Mess
My secret to staying organized is to first take the time to make a mess. Gather together all the material you need, so it is all in one place and be sure to have a scratch pad nearby to record random ideas as they pop into your brain. Having a notepad for these ideas keeps them close by and allows you to quickly jot them down without changing tabs or opening up a new Google Doc. Next, go over meeting notes and write down posts that need to go out ASAP, then write down other posts that should get done that week, but aren’t as time-sensitive.
Once you have the material all assembled, it not only makes it easy to quickly grab what you need but often reading notes will spark ideas that you can use for posts. I find that starting my week with this collecting and brainstorming gets my brain revved up for the rest of the week!
Now Straighten Up
All right, so you’ve made a mess. Your desk is covered in papers and you have 10 tabs open on your computer. What’s next? Now it’s time to get organized!
Take those ideas you’ve brainstormed and organized them into lists. For SWAY, I’ll usually have a separate list for each client.
Mine usually look something like this:
And so on. As the week goes by, I edit these lists based on posts that have come up to take their place or ideas that I feel are more interesting than what I had previously written. Boom! Done.
Having an organized list means you always have an idea of some sort to work with. Writer’s block does happen, but this way you won’t have to stare into the void for as long! It also makes it easier to work with so many clients on so many posts every week when everything you have to do is laid out clearly in front of you!
Of course, there will always be those great posts that pop into your mind when you are working on content for another client. Follow your instincts when that happens. Save your draft and shift over to the other client’s page.
The Big Picture
If a client has a long-running series, I’ll make up a monthly list in addition to a weekly one. For example, if a client was featuring a different builder or community each week, my list would look something like this:
Show Home A
Show Home B
It may seem like easy information to remember, but when every client has information like this, it’s better to write it all down so you can refer back to it whenever you need to.
Since starting at SWAY, I’ve tried several different ways to get organized. This current list-making strategy has been a lifesaver! That’s the thing about organization: you have to figure out what works best for you. You can’t wear someone else’s shoes and not expect to get blisters. Give yourself time to get organized and learn what works best for you and your projects. And give LOST a chance.