Hello friends. It’s September! I can’t believe the summer is already over but it’s that time of year where many of you are headed back to school and I bet your schedules just got a whole lot busier. I know mine did.
In the spirit of the start of the new school year, I wanted to do a blog mini series on aspects of book blogging while being a student. I’ve run a book blog since high school and am now working on my Master’s degree so I’ve been where most of y’all either are or will be. Managing multiple schedules for your school life, personal activities, and blog can be tough so let’s kick off this mini series with a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years for keeping track of everything.
Find a scheduling system that works for you
This is a pretty broad statement but that’s because everyone is different. By scheduling system I mean a way to manage your respective schedules for different parts of your life. If you’re a paper person, I recommend investing in a good planner that works for you. More of an electronic person? Online calendars like Google Calendar work great for keeping track of your classes, assignments, and blog posts.
I didn’t start out as a “planner.” I relied heavily on my own memory and that just didn’t work once things picked up. I made myself get into the habit of scheduling and now I’m entirely grateful to it because it makes life a lot easier.
(Currently I’m using an Erin Condren Life Planner to see how that goes but I’ve also heard great things about the Happy Planner. You don’t need an expensive planner, it’s a matter of preference for what works best for you.)
Take advantage of free time whenever you can
Do you have to ride the bus to school/into campus? Perfect time to get a few pages read or brainstorm blog post ideas. Get a lunch break at work? Eat and either read or blog. There are pockets of free time all throughout our days and if you take advantage of those, it breaks things up a bit more.
I highly recommend keeping either a notebook or an app on your phone with you so you can record any ideas or thoughts you have throughout the day. Most blogging platforms also have mobile apps so you can draft post ideas right on your phone.
I’ve found the small composition books are perfect for this. They sell ones that are small enough to fit in your back pocket or purse if you don’t want to carry a larger one and dollar stores have them for a dollar or less.
Only request books IF you know you’ll have time
It’s so tempting to request every single book you’re excited about. Whether it’s on NetGalley/Edelweiss or emailing publishing houses, when you place that request you’re committing to that book if you’re approved. Don’t go overboard and request everything because if you are approved, you have a lot of books on your plate and your schedule might not allow for enough time to handle them all.
One thing I started doing (and still do) is I create a list of my top 20 books I’m excited about for the year. It may change but it’s limited to 20 books. I’m a fast reader and even with school I know I can easily get through that many books without getting overwhelmed. If the book isn’t on that list, I don’t request it.
The queue is your friend
I bet a lot of you have social media pages. Maintaining those can sometimes get crazy with everything else going on in your life so take advantage of queues.
On Tumblr, this is relatively easy because it’s already built into the platform. You can also use New XKit which is an extension for your browser. You can set it so your posts keep all the tags from the previous poster, or create tag bundles to make it easy. I like using the feature that adds a “QuickQueue” button that allows for one-click queueing.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can be a bit harder but there is a site called Buffer that allows you to queue up to 10 posts per media page and set your daily posting schedule which can spread them out as much or as little as you want.
*Instagram does not allow for automatic postings. These programs will send a push notification to your phone but you still have to post the content yourself. They copy your caption to your clipboard and load the photo so it’s relatively easy but don’t schedule posts when you’re in class and can’t post them.
Don’t let blogging take over your life
I’m guilty of this one and I doubt I’m the only one. Blogging is a lot of fun but can also be a lot of work and a source of stress depending on who you are. First and foremost, you are a student. Don’t let blogging take over. Your schoolwork should come first.
Those are my 5 main tips for success as a blogger and student! It’s very dependent on who you are and how you operate but I hope you found at least one of these tips helpful when you move forward with your education and hobbies!