How to use One Note to Create a Gorgeous Planner

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Planners are something I’ve struggled with in the past. I’m kind of a free spirited, make-it-up-as-you-go, spontaneous gal. But this year, after seeing all the lovely planners on Pinterest and seeing how others use them, I thought I’d give it another go. And for the first time ever, it’s working for me!

I’m using a pink leather one that you write in by hand, you know, the old fashioned way. And I bought a bunch of different colour pens that are erasable so I can colour code everything I write and all that stuff.

But I also wanted to come up with a way to have one on my computer.

I know there are different calendar type programmes you can use. And most email programmes have calendars. But I wanted this planner to look pretty.

So I turned to one of my favourite programmes of all time. Microsoft One Note. I absolutely L O V E this programme. I’ve used it in so many different ways.

I also knew that you could have as many tabs across the top as you want, and as many pages and subpages with tabs down the right hand side as you want. That sounds like a planner, right?

Unfortunately I could not find any Templates for calendars for One Note. So I had to make my own using it’s Table function. Which is fine, just more time consuming.

So here are some pictures of what I’ve come up with so far.

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In the different coloured tabs across the top I have a tab for each blog (I have 6 at the moment), and then some tabs for keeping track of things like post ideas, advertising, affiliates, finances and so on.

down the right hand side I have a page for each month, which has a calender for that month made with a table, and a few sub-pages for each month – Daily to do lists, Monthly Tasks, Income and Expenditure.

As you can see you can import pretty images and use lovely colours for colour-coding everything.

I have listed a few items that I might want to refer to just above the calender. A link to the blog, login and password for the blog, the name of the WordPress theme the blog is running. Things like that.

I’ve also added a pretty floral image in the centre, and an inspirational quote in the top corner.

Image of a daily to do page

My first sub-page is the Daily to do list. I have one daily list for each day all on the same page – 30/31, depending on the month, and you can add the date above each box and tick the little boxes as you complete each task each day.

One Note also allows you to add a soft colour background which makes it so pretty.

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One Note also allows you to add lines so that you get a notebook appearance, which I’ve done here, along with a soft blue background. This is the Monthly Tasks Sub-page.

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The third Sub-page I have for each month so far is the Income and Expenditure one. You can colour individual or blocks of cells in a table, which is useful for distinguishing different areas.

It takes a little time to make all the pages individually, but once you’ve done one month, you can copy and paste them for all the other months, then just change the dates on the Calendar to suit each month.

I’m sure I’ll come up with more ideas for different pages and tabs, but what do you think of it so far?

Do you think you could use something like this?

I’m also figuring out how to share these planners with other One Note users, so if you would like a copy, let me know and I will share with you if I can figure out how. If you know how – please let me know!

iPad Apps I Use to Stay Productive While Travelling

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If you’ve been flat out and simply have not been able to write and schedule posts to go out while away on a trip – here are the apps I find most useful for staying productive when travelling.

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Pages

This is great for taking notes on the run. Not least because if you click the little microphone icon on the keypad, you can just talk into it and it writes down what you say. Much quicker for recording those ideas that pop into your head in inappropriate places or when you’re being bumped around in a car.

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BlogPad Pro for WordPress

BlogPad Pro for WordPress is a great app for managing your websites, especially if you have a lot of them like I do! You can log in here for each site you have and check all kinds of things like stats, comments, tags, pages, media and more.

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WordPress

 

WordPress With this app you can write and edit blog posts on any of your sites, manage comments and read the WordPress Freshly Pressed blog. Of course you can access your dashboard on the Safari browser and write and edit your posts in the normal way too.

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Planner Plus

Planner Plus is a great planning calendar tool for managing your posts and other blogging tasks. As you’d expect for a planner, it’s mainly a multi-page calendar with an extra page for planning tasks, including adding due dates, projects, recurring, undated, completed and reminders.

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Etsy

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Sell on Etsy

 

 

 

 

 

These two Etsy apps allow me to keep track of my Etsy stores and in contact with customers. I may not be able to ship goods while I’m out of town, but I can thank my customers for shopping with me and let them know when there goods will be shipped. Good customer service is everything.

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Dropbox

Dropbox is a cloud storage and sharing programme. I use this to transfer files between my iPad and my desktop. If I have images on my desktop that I know I will need for my blog posts while I’m away, I’ll put them in my dropbox folder before I leave home. Then I can access them while away, save them to my Photos app and then insert them into posts when needed.

If you are blogging about the things you are seeing on your trip, you can take photos with your iPad and use them in your posts.

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Photo Toaster

I have lots of apps for adding special effects to photos and images, but I probably use Photo Toaster the most. It’s easy to use and has some great sfx built in. Picfx is another great one that also allows you to add text to your photo, which is great for pictures intended for social media like Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and more.

Then there are the ones that barely require mentioning they are so popular and commonly used, like Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, Facebook and of course, email.

So there you have it. My productivity must haves.

What are your fave apps for when you are away from home?

 

 

Two tips that could help beginners with blogging

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H1 blog post header two tips that could help beginners with their blogging

It seems to me that almost every kind of business has it’s own language. Especially when it comes to anything to do with computers or the internet. And in order to understand any of it, you have to learn the language first. This is so you can translate geek-speak into good old plain English.

I’m sure all the new words they make up for things is just so they can sound all clever and the rest of us, who have no idea what they are talking about, sound like the dumb ones! We’re on to you…you…

Anyway, when I first became interested in blogging I read everything I could find about it. But I still knew nothing. Because I had no idea what most of it meant.

It looked like English.

It sounded like English.

But it made no sense what-so-ever.

It took me weeks to ask hubby what SEO, (Search Engine Optimization), was. Because I didn’t want to sound dumb. Once he explained it, a lot of what I’d been reading suddenly made a bit more sense. But only partially.

There was also this thing called ‘Keywords’ I was supposed to know about. WTF are Keywords? Nothing I read explained it in a way I could understand, but lots of places offered to sell me some good ones. No thanks! I didn’t even know what they were – I sure as heck wasn’t going to pay good money for them.

It’s taken me around a year to finally work out what these mysterious ‘Keywords’ are. So here is my way of explaining them. And once you ‘get’ them, you’ll wonder why anyone would pay someone else for them, which is probably why they keep them a big fat secret!

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1. Keywords are just words and/or phrases that relate to what you have written, or to what your blog is about, that other people might use in a search engine like Google or Ask etc. Think of them as the terms people use to search for stuff online.

It’s like this – unless you spend a fortune on advertising, most people are going to find their way to your blog by accident. And by accident I mean that your site, along with others on similar subjects, will be the ones that come up when someone types a word or phrase into a search engine that relates to your blog, providing you have added the appropriate ‘keywords’ for the search engines to find.

For example – say you’ve just written a blog post about Apple Pie, and included a recipe for a great Apple Pie. Think about what a stranger might type into a search engine if they were looking for the kind of information you have just written about.

They might type in phrases such as; apple recipes, or apple pie recipes, or pie recipes, or fruit pie recipes or even something like – how do you make apple pie, or what should I do with left over apples. These then become the ‘keywords’ for this post on Apple Pies.

To optimize this post for the search engines you then need to make sure you use some of those phrases in your writing, (not too many times though, or it becomes ‘keyword stuffing’ and Google frowns on that and will penalize you), and also add them to your categories and tags.

Once you have done this, your blog should come up in the search results for anyone looking for anything to do with fruit and pies. Or at least, apple pies!

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2. The next thing to understand how to do, is something you probably already do in your daily life, but in a different way, and that’s Networking.

It’s done differently online, and I’ve never seen it called Networking here. But if all the articles I’ve read on it had called it that, which is what it is, I would have understood it and how important it is a long time ago.

So here’s how you do it online – First of all you need to figure out who your target audience is. Easier said than done, I know, but you do need to know this.

Knowing who your target audience is will help you know who to network with. For example – if your blog is about fishing, then your target audience is not going to be people interested in a blog about apple pies. But it just might be people interested in a blog on how to cook fish.

Once you have figured out who your target audience is, think about what kind of blogs those people would be interested in reading, besides yours, that is. Then look for blogs on those subjects that have fairly good subscriber numbers, and subscribe yourself. Follow them also on their Facebook page, Twitter, and anywhere else you can.

Read their blog posts and make intelligent and relevant replies in the comments section after each post. Try to add value to the conversation. Do it regularly and this will attract the attention of both the blog owner and the other subscribers, which in turn will get them interested enough to come over and check out your blog. This is one of the best ways to bring targeted traffic of interested people to your blog. It’s good old fashioned Networking.

By consistently adding value where you can, other bloggers may start to mention you, possibly even recommend you to their readers.

The other side of this is to remember that it’s not all about you. Do your bit to help promote other blogs in your niche too. Put the time in to answer or reply to any comments left on your blog posts. Don’t ever take your audience for granted, or they’ll take their attention elsewhere. Be honest, be helpful, be grateful and be involved.

Do any of you have anything to add to these two tips? What have you learned about these ideas by running your own blog?