How to organize your blogging process with Todoist

Blogging was pretty easy when I started in 2006. An idea would pop into my head, I’d log into my blog, type something, and maybe add a photo or some clipart. Yes, clipart! It seems crazy now, but that’s how it was.

From the Desk of Janet Barclay - original blog

Since then, blogging has become a serious marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes. Just posting random thoughts doesn’t cut it anymore!

The process of creating a blog post now consists of the five phases outlined in my post How to save time blogging, which may or may not be completed at the same time. That’s a lot to keep track of, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming as long as you have a system in place.

How to use Todoist for blogging

I discovered Todoist a couple of years ago, when I needed an app to replace Outlook Tasks. You can read more about that in my post Goodbye Outlook, Hello Gmail and Todoist!

One of the features I’ve discovered since then is Project Templates, which allows you to add the same tasks to multiple projects without having to recreate them. There are a couple of ways you can take advantage of this feature.

The first one is to create a Project for a new blog post. Add all of the tasks involved, then export the project as a template. You can then import that template every time you create a new blog post project.

The second way is even easier! Instead of creating your own template, use Todoist’s pre-made Blog Post Template! It consists of 23 tasks, broken down into five phases (similar but not identical to the ones I came up with).

Once you’ve imported Todoist’s template, you can delete any tasks that aren’t part of your routine (e.g. “Schedule a final review with editor”), add any that are missing (e.g. “Create a tweetable quote”), and export it as a new template to use going forward.

Please note that project templates are not included in the free version, but you can try Todoist Premium free for two months to see how you like it. There are 50 templates available, so chances are pretty good you’ll find a few that are useful to you.

I would definitely be using this feature had I known about it before developing my own system! I may even give it a try in the future.

How I use Todoist for blogging

If you’re planning to use Todoist to manage your blog, I recommend you start with their template, then tweak it as needed, but if you’re curious about my system, I’m happy to share it.

First, I created a Project for each of my blogs.

Next, I set up as many recurring tasks as possible. Here’s a peek at my task list for Your Organizing Business (YOB).

YOB Task List

To put my list in context, here’s a little background.

  • I typically publish a new post to this blog every Wednesday.
  • The third Wednesday of every month is the Professional Organizers Blog Carnival.
  • Two weeks later, I announce the next Blog Carnival topic.
  • The other posts are usually organizer interviews or guest posts. I schedule these in the order they are received (with some exceptions).
  • Posts are always prepared and scheduled in advance.

Based on this schedule, “Promote blog post” recurs every Wednesday. After my post goes live, I share it across all my social media channels. I’ve been doing this long enough that I don’t need to elaborate, but you could create separate tasks for each platform if that would be helpful for you.

Once the Professional Organizers Blog Carnival goes live, I need to update the “Coming Up” widget on my sidebar to show the topic for the following two months. This task is set to recur on the third Wednesday of every month, when the Carnival is published.

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“Prep POBC announcement” is not set as a recurring task, because it may be posted on either the first or last week of the month, depending on how the calendar falls. I therefore create the tasks for these and any other posts at the same time I add them to my marketing calendar. This task is scheduled for the week before the publication date to give me lots of wiggle room if I’ve busy with other projects.

I chose not to have “prepare blog post” as a recurring weekly task (even though it is one), because I can create a task from an email when I receive a guest post or interview, and then the email is attached to that task for ready reference when it’s time to work on it.

For me, “prepare blog post” includes sourcing and formatting images, but you might choose to have these listed as separate tasks.

In addition to working on individual blog posts, I set a recurring task to “work on the site” every four weeks. This is when I make plans, review my existing content, and deal with technical issues that have arisen. The small arrow beside that task indicates that there are subtasks listed below it. I add ideas to this list whenever they pop into my head, so I don’t get sidetracked from what I’m currently working on.

Please share your thoughts and comments!

What system do you use to keep track of your blogging tasks?

Comments

  1. I guess I would have to say that I don’t have a system to keep track of my blogging tasks. I have a routine in my head, and the tasks associated with blogging I put down in my existing planner system, which for me is my filofax. Seems like a great tool, and I can see that the more complicated your process (e.g. the more elements you need to track), the more helpful this would be!

  2. I love hearing about your process and how you use Todoist. And it’s no surprise that you’re Oh, So Organized! I use a combination of reoccurring tasks in my “2Do” app and a routine in my head (like Seana). Blogging has become a habit. So the steps are pretty fluid at this point and extremely enjoyable. Over time the parts of the process I’ve added has been to establish a blogging calendar (6 months in advance) and fine-tune the cues or reoccurring tasks that are on my 2Do list. The part of the process that isn’t written anywhere is collecting ideas or source material. That’s something I just do naturally in the form of photography, reading, clipping articles, listening and paying attention to what’s going on around me. Those seed ideas get funneled into my “collection” system, which is an old school 3-ring binder organized by topics. When I’m lacking for an idea on a particular week, I’ll use that collection to inspire a post.

  3. Thank you both for sharing your own processes! Once you’ve been doing it a while, you really don’t need to be reminded of every little task, but I think the step-by-step process would be great for someone who’s new to blogging – or if you want to delegate any part of the process.

  4. Thank you for sharing your process. I never used Todoist. I will be checking it out.

    I do find that the backend blog tasks get left in the dust sometimes, especially on those busy weeks so doing a recurring reminder on my digital calendar really helps me.

  5. Thanks for showing us your process with Todoist. It looks like it is very user friendly and helpful in many tasks. I personally use my electronic calendar to keep track of my blog writing, posting and sharing schedules but I can see how and app like Todoist is a great choice.

  6. I’ve gone through so many different systems for blogging. I started like you, blogging about whatever came to mind. Then I spent almost a whole year blogging everyday. A lot of content, but some posts were better than others. I then saw the value in gathering ideas on the fly, schedule blog work, and post less often. More quality – less quantity. Right now I let my admin do as much as possible for the blog. I need a little vacation.

    • Yes, blogging can easily be a full time job – well, I guess it is for a lot of people! So we do have to be careful that it doesn’t take over our time if we’re using it mainly for marketing.

  7. I haven’t used Todoist but I do love how you’ve set it up so that it helps you remember all the things you want/need to do for current and upcoming posts. Crazy how many steps there are to writing and promoting a blog post! Thanks to you (and Andi), I’ve just added “hide a Pinterest” image to my list of blogging tasks. =)

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