Over the past three years the ways I schedule my blog posts and reviews has changed a lot. Today I’m reflecting on what my current process is to keep track of ARCs and my content calendar.
I get my ARCs from a variety of sources: Netgalley, Edelweiss, Bookish, and publishers (and also conferences sometimes if I can go). The process for my physical ARCs is pretty straightfoward. I have a special section on my bookshelf which I organize according to release month. That way I can see how many I have left as I read and how many for the next month, etc.
For e-arcs it’s been a different story and my process has changed a lot. I just want to say I am a huge believer in writing things down physically. For me that just works better and I find it easier for me to keep track then many Google docs or documents in general. Did you know I used to just write down physically in notebooks what e-arcs I had?
Trello Organization for e-arcs
But now I want to track the source, representation, and more. A few months ago I developed a Trello board. This is a teamwork website and you can join for free. You can basically create a ‘card’ for each e-arc with different information and labels. I format it, “01/20 The Birthday of Lili” so that I can sort the dates if I want. Then I color code different labels that tell me the source of the e-arc, if I requested it, or if it’s diverse. I’ve gotten pretty good at the colors so I can just tell the source from the color without having to expand the label.
In Trello you can create different lists and for these I have a different list for each month. That way I can see quickly how many e-arcs I have for that given month. I always sort mine by date and this helps me figure out if one day is especially heavy for releases.
When I have finished reviewing the book, I move the card to a list I have called, “Reviewed”. That way I have a record of which books I have reviewed and where I got them from if I need to look back. I also have a list called, “Overdue” which were e-arcs I didn’t manage to review by release day. For these, I change the date format to: 2019/01/20 for example. This is only a problem if you have multiple years of overdue arcs…like I do. I used to also make my TBR for the current month, but I haven’t used that list since January…
I also have a special two lists for blog tours. One for the dates I am scheduled and I move them to a new list, “Scheduled” for when I am finished. That way I can see the ones I’ve done that are upcoming and the blog tour stops I still need to take care of.
But this just is how I keep track of what e-arcs and arcs I have. Each month I make a list in my bullet journal of the books that will release for the next month with the release date. I have special notes for this list like if I have a blog tour for that book, if I requested it, or if it’s special or highly anticipated. I put both e-arcs and physical arcs on this list. This helps me because I ca physically cross off a book when I finish it. I need that satisfaction personally.
And then I just try to read by prioritizing the ones I have for tours and that were sent to me, and then which ones I am highly anticipating. I didn’t used to do a physical TBR, I used to use Trello, but this list has a higher success rate especially since it’s in my bullet journal and part of my routine each month.
And the last part of how I keep track is by having a separate date calendar just for blog posts. This is where I can see a week glance at how many posts I have for the week and so I can balance the types of posts. I also include the blog tour stops here as soon as I’m assigned a date. Otherwise I don’t write a post into the calendar unless I’ve actually scheduled it.
Last month I started writing symbols that reminded me if I needed to link the review to Netgalley or send it to a publicist or Bookish First. I don’t always check this everyday, so I also include a weekly list of what links I need to send to publishers in my bullet journal.
As you can tell, I have a few different systems and I rely a lot on writing things down in my bullet journal, but this is just the method that has been working for me this past year. It’s been such a lifesaver to see these different types of systems. I love each part for a different reason. I need the constant lists and physical writing down process for my monthly TBRs and link reminders. While I also enjoy the Trello for ease of use and a quick way to assess my work load.
Social Media Scheduling
I did want to mention that I schedule all my Tweets and Facebook posts ahead of time. I use Hootsuite to see an overview of these social media platforms. This way I can make sure that each post gets about three tweets and one Facebook post. I make sure to post during the morning, afternoon, and evening for each post. I can also schedule posts on Twitter for interviews or longer posts which I post about for a whole month after publication on my blog.
You can only schedule so many messages at a time so I have to go in every so often and schedule the posts I have saved as drafts. This means I don’t need to remember the caption or link, just go in to each draft and schedule it. I also like the mobile app for on the go scheduling!
For Instagram I use an app called Preview which Novelknight recommended to me to preview what my feed will look like because I need to balance outdoor and indoor posts. I also have a Google Keep with the hashtags I like so I can just copy and paste into Instagram which I have a few different sets I like to alternate between. This way, I can see what posts have been published and see what any future posts would look like to the overall layout. I am in love with this app so much.