Friday, March 11, 2016

5 Things You Can Do Today to Manage Time Better

Happy Friday Teacher Friends!
This week's Five for Friday theme is one I needed and thought I would share.

"5 Things You Can Do Today to Manage Your Time"

Sounds promising, right?
Keep in mind that all of this is a constant work in progress for me, but one or two or all of these tips might be just what you are looking for. I'm not an expert, but I do rely on so many bloggers and TpTers to lead me in the right direction.  So, if you are a teacher-blogger that also has a TpT store this might be a post just for you. Let's get started!

BUSY Teachers- Here are some tips just for you! If you are a TpTer trying to juggle your teaching job, TpT business, and social media, this post might help!

Let me repeat this: I am not an expert, but I can share some things with you that are working for me. When possible I will credit the source of this tip and link to that person or blog.

Tips for TpT Teachers: Tip#1 is use a scheduling service for Pinterest. Devote an hour to scheduling and then don't worry about it a while!

This is a tip I heard during last year's TpT conference. Since Pinterest is a main source for advertising TpT products I investigated this right away and started using Tailwind. You can use this for a trial period for free to see what you think. The service will use your pinning history and suggest times that are optimum for you and your business. You sync your Pinterest account to Tailwind and then you can click on any of your pins and schedule when you want them to appear. You can schedule the pins to several places all with one or two clicks. Pros for this program: you can schedule in advance and have an entire month taken care of it you like. You choose the time slots for pins to appear at your optimum times. You have tons of analytics you can use to make decisions about how Pinterest is performing for you.  Cons: It's not free to take advantage of the entire program and the free trial version limits how many pins you can schedule. Click {HERE} to read more about it.
If you are a TpTer and rely on Pinterest as a marketing tool, I would really suggest you try a pinning scheduler. 

Instagram - This fun little app can't be scheduled, but there is a way to  schedule posts in another phone app! Find out how!
Okay, well the easy answer is NO! Instagram doesn't have that feature. But, I heard about a really neat little app from Ashley Schroeder from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd!
It's called Latergram.
Grab this on your iPhone and try it. Here's what you do.
Open the app and add a photo you want to use on Instagram. You can even add the caption you want for the photo. You can add hashtags, but these are more easily added once you transfer this to Instagram because IG remembers them for you!
 Now, here's the scheduling part. Right there on the phone app you can pick a date and time you want to post this photo. Save the work. When it's time to post this, Latergram will send you a notification.
Open the app, choose the photo, and click to send it to IG. The photo will appear in your IG account. Paste your caption in (Latergram automatically copies it for you), add your hashtags, and post.
I will be honest and tell you that I was not sure I would like this, and then I discovered something.
I can access my account on my computer! So, I can edit my captions using a real keyboard instead of that tiny thing on my iPhone! You can even add photos from your computer and type your captions.
Here's another great feature on the computer version.
The top photo shows you my scheduled photos in a calendar format. If you want to move something you just click and drag and the date and time are updated.
Latergram.me is a fun app that lets you schedule Instagram posts, send you a reminder, and copies your info to IG so you post it!
The bottom photo is showing a scheduled post and the caption box that I can type in using a computer rather than the phone app.

Now, I know what you are thinking! Scheduling photos takes the fun out of Instagram! Here's a good reason I like the schedule- Sometimes I take a photo and plan to post it later and then forget to and about two weeks later I find the picture and then I'm mad. Now, I just add it to Latergram and schedule it. It's just a great reminder to get it done!
Can you still be spontaneous with your IG stuff? Post anything you want whenever you want, but having some things stored and ready is working well for me.

Blogger Tip 3: Use a calendar to track your blog titles and link posts so you can spread your posts over a whole month. This will let you see the gaps in posting so you can add something when you need to!
This seems like such a simple thing to do and you probably already do it! Here's the story. I was going back through some old blog posts and found that I sometimes repeat topics and I wished I had kept a better list of my ideas. That led me to creating some tracking forms that I fill out now, but it also led me to planning a whole month of blog posts at a time. I use a really inexpensive (like $3) Wal mart calendar planner for this- nothing fancy. Take a look:
Blogger Tip 3: Use a calendar to track your blog titles and link posts so you can spread your posts over a whole month. This will let you see the gaps in posting so you can add something when you need to!
I just jot the blog type and title and that helps me know what I have planned for the month.
This also helps me not add too many things too close together. I tend to always do a Wednesday post and a Friday, but I do throw in random things occasionally. So, get yourself a cheap calendar just for your blog! Add titles, linkies, check it off if it is written and scheduled, and use a Flair pen to make it cute.

Blogger tip: Schedule posts! Work on them when you have time, save those drafts, and then schedule them when all polished!

Are you a spontaneous blogger? I am not! I like to work on my posts in bits and pieces and I may even have several posts drafted and in progress at the same time. I use my posting calendar and plan the whole month and then start the posts. When these are written, linked, have photo captions, and have been proof read I schedule them. I usually have 3-4 scheduled posts just waiting for their date.
So, how does this save or manage my time? Easy-peasy I have one day a week that Blogging is on my to-do list. I spend one hour on posts and then stop. In that one hour I can finish and schedule a lot!
Why only one hour?
Keep reading!
TpTer and blogger tip: Set a timer to keep yourself focused. Work intently until the timer sounds and then you can scroll through your Instagram feed!
I promise, this is how I manage my time!
Everything has a time limit. (Well, not everything, but you get what I am saying!) I set a timer on my phone and do not take a break until that timer goes off. Then I move on to the next task. I generally spend only an hour on big tasks. So, blog posts, working on a new product, and any school work is a one hour task. Scheduling IG posts or Pinterest is a 30 minute block once each week. On the weekends I add house work to this! For me this makes me focus on the task at hand and not get caught up in checking my mail or flipping through endless pages of
Facebook or pins or IG or watching one YouTube video after another. When my timer sounds I get up, move a little, drink some water, and check all the social media things I can think of- but I time that, too!

I hope at least one of these tips is encouraging for you and something you will check into!
Also, click over to Doodlebugs to see the Five for Friday link up that is the reason for this post!


You can also find tons more tips for your TpT business on my Tips and Tricks board on Pinterest!
Have a great weekend!

3 comments :

  1. Timers are my best friends! I love timing my tasks! I feel so accomplished when I can meet my goals! Thanks for sharing these great time savers!

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    1. Thanks for visiting! Hope you can use some of the tips!

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  2. I keep saying I'm going to check out Tailwind. I was a little leary due to the cost if it would be worth it. Sounds like it is. I am going to have to get on board with that. I need you to tell me how to get a blog post(s) done in 1 hour. It just seems to take me forever. I have been saying I want to schedule out when I am going to blog ahead of time on the calendar and yet again, I need to get it together. You must have just written this post for me, lol. Thanks for the kick in the pants to get it together! XOXO

    ~Laura
    Luv My Kinders

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Hey Friends! I love to read comments and I do try, try, try to reply to everyone! I reply by email- unless you are a "No-Reply" blogger!