Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Time Management for Bloggers pt. 2: Favorite Time Management Tools

With everything going on in life lately, I totally spaced on posting my favorite time management tools for bloggers last week. Whoops, looks like I haven't been following my own advice :) I've tried my fair share of apps and services to try and cut down on the time sucking activities that go along with maintaining a money making blog. The following are my tried and true, go-to apps and services that I use on a daily basis. They keep me sane (for the most part) and I love them for that.

Time Management for Bloggers: Favorite Time Management Tools

Buffer

Buffer is a lifesaver. When you've got sponsored posts, regularly scheduled blog post tweets, and social media mentions to keep track of, this baby has your back. You can link up your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn account. My blog is attached to an email address that I don't use for Google+, so I don't use it for that (if someone could help me get that fixed, that would be awesome) but I do use it for Facebook and Twitter posts.

Brainstorm Notebook

I could lie and say that I use a fancy app to record the ideas I come up with for blog posts on my phone. The truth is, I keep all of my ideas in a notebook. If I'm not near the notebook when I come up with the idea, I write it on a scrap of paper until I can enter it into the notebook. There's just something about physically writing down the thought that I like. Sometimes I find that by writing it down, I come up with other ideas to also jot down.

Outright

If you make money off of your blog, you need Outright. It's a bookkeeping program of sorts. You can link up your Paypal and any other accounts that you use to pay for blogging expenses so that any transactions are automatically entered. I created my own separate blog checking account so that I could keep all of my blog expenses away from my personal expenses. I have that one connected to my Outright bookkeeping account. Each month I go in and make sure all of my transactions are categorized appropriately, enter mileage, and manually enter any other transactions blog related. I signed up for it prior to the last tax year and I am SO GLAD that I did. Getting my paperwork in order for our tax appointment this year was a breeze.

Bloglovin' 

If you haven't heard of Bloglovin', you may be living under a rock. Kidding ;) But seriously. Not only is Bloglovin' a great way to follow other blogs, it's a great way to get your blog read. I have my account linked to my Twitter and Facebook so that whenever I publish a post it automatically syndicates it to those social media platforms.

Passionfruit

I've gone back and forth with Passionfruit. The truth of the matter is, it's the best that's out there currently for managing ad space. Plus, I'm digging the "Marketplace" that they've been building up lately where anyone looking to purchase an ad space can conveniently find a blog that fits what they're looking for.

Radlab

Since I have started using Radlab to edit my photos, I'm pretty sure I've cut my time spent in half. I could bore you with my endless raving about how awesome it is, but you should just go check it out yourself. 

Time Management for bloggers is a 2 part series, if you missed Part 1: Time Management Tips read it here. Check back on Friday to not only link up for The Intentional Life Project but to hear about my ALL TIME FAVORITE tip for blogging time management EVAR! (had to throw that teaser in there)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Amnesia and anxiety.

Have you ever heard of "baby amnesia"? To put it simply, the more time that passes after having a baby the less you remember just how incredibly hard having a baby can be and the more you want another. Well, I suffer from "competition season amnesia". I forget how insane April and May are for us dance teachers until I'm deep in the thick of it. I just keep chugging along, staying my busy bee self, taking on project after project, and then WHAM. Anxiety hits me like a ton of bricks.

April and May are the busiest time of year for me for many reasons (because most of my weekends are booked with competitions and recitals) but this year has been especially busy. I've been pouring the majority of my free time into installing and setting up brand new software for our dance studio. Massive time saver in the end, massive life consumer in the meantime. Especially since I have never worked with studio software and have no idea how the business actually runs. Nothing like learning the ins and outs of billing and accounting all the while figuring out how to use a new system. Good thing I'm pretty tech savvy.

Anyways, I'm just giving you a little background as to why I have been absent a little more than usual. Trying to clear some obligations off my plate so I can get a bit of my sanity back. In the meantime, enjoy some photos from our Easter with family...


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Minnesota was just kidding.

Remember when I posted about finally getting out to enjoy the weather? Ok, well this is what I woke up to today...

Spring Snow Storm in Minnesota

Our area got upwards of 12" of snow last night. A mere 40 miles away, and all they got was rain. Lucky us.

Spring Snow Storm in Minnesota

I shouldn't be surprised. Minnesota has at least one curveball snowstorm per spring. I think we might have had one as late as May last year. Good thing I'm working on my own #100happydays project, otherwise this snow might have really got me down :)

My 100 Happy Days project

Are you taking part in 100 happy days? I'm really enjoying the daily reminder to find something to be happy about, no matter how the day is going.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The weather outside wasn't frightful, for once. [+video]

"You don't write many personal posts anymore." When you hear it from family, you know it must be true.

I strive to keep the business and the fun side of blogging in balance. It's incredibly tempting to accept as many opportunities as you can when you know the money will be good. All of you out there who are well aware of how much work that blogging is can attest. I also struggle with the whole "niche" idea. Do I need to fit a well-defined niche? Are my posts too random? I never know.

So when I heard those words from not only the mouth of my brother but also my husband, it was high time I readjust. Without further ado, a personal post.


Last week was the first week that it was pretty nice here in Minnesota. With the terribly gruesome winter that we had, I never thought I would see solid ground again. I was sure that I would forever be backing out of our driveway with my fingers and toes crossed because it was impossible to see over the 8 foot snow banks lining either side (no, I'm not being dramatic, and they got even bigger as the winter went on).


You would think that my poor kid had never seen sunlight and partially dead grass with the way she was ooh-ing and aah-ing over "nature". After being able to get out and play, and mix up the daily routine, it sends chills down my spine remembering being stuck indoors for practically the last 4 months.


Bean decided that "Puppy" needed to go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather with us.


He was also the first one to test out going down the slide head-first on his back. Bean followed suit.


And because I love making videos, a short little clip of Bean enjoying the weather.