Whether you are Type A or Type B personality, a business owner or entrepreneur, you likely have millions of ideas swimming through your head. Like most entrepreneurs though, your best ideas may come to you in the shower or in the car or another time during your day when you can’t easily write down the idea. These content organization systems will keep you from flushing your ideas down the drain with your shampoo.
It has happened to the best of us, but developing a system to capture your ideas digitally or in pen and paper can significantly benefit your business. Sticky notes everywhere are not an effective method for keeping your ideas organized and your business on track. Let’s make this year the year in which you finally ditch your sticky notes for good!
THE KEYS TO CONTENT ORGANIZATION
It is necessary to have a system in place to get started in your writing process. The key to content organization is immediately writing down your idea and including as many details as you can at that time.
Writing down your working title and headlines while you are in the brainstorming space is crucial when going back to the content ideas a couple hours or days later. Stay in that brainstorming space as long as possible. Your lost ideas could have been something brilliant to take your business to the next level.
What is your purpose? Write down what is your “why”. Why was it such a great idea? Like scribble notes in college, you must write down enough details so that when you come back to your notes you know what you were thinking about at that time.
Outline as much as possible so that you are as efficient as possible with your time. Your creative juices are flowing and have spurred up a content idea. Your outline will provide a catalyst to elaborate on your blog at a later time. For example, does this content idea connect to or is interlinked with previous material?
You will want a call to action or some type of monetization piece when writing down your content idea. Will this piece require the audience to join your subscriber list, Facebook list, or both? Do you need a product to sell or monetize your content with a promotion, a course, a freebie, or affiliate link?
Know that there is a 90% guarantee that if you do not write your ideas down, you WILL forget them.
REASONS TO GET ORGANIZED
- Content organization is helpful for collaboration or in team management. Easily communicate ideas, assign tasks, and have meetings in a shared software system or app to make your business resourceful and productive.
- Documentation helps with content calendar management. How many times have you written your idea somewhere, and not been able to find it or it took forever to do so? Don’t waste any more of your valuable time searching different platforms (or your car) to find where you left your notes.
- Stop forgetting those awesome ideas! Be intentional. It takes some training to stop yourself in the midst of a crazy day to write your ideas down as they flurry your mind. You will NOT organically remember later, trust me.
Your business and your stress level will thank you!
CONTENT ORGANIZATION SYSTEMS
Before choosing a content organization system, there are a few things to consider. Reflect on how many people need access to the system, how many ideas are in the queue, the level of detail that is needed; a simple spreadsheet for simple structure or a high-level detailed and structured system, and the systems you are already using. After taking these into account, you will be able to choose the system that works best for your business. Here are a few to try:
Whiteboard / bulletin board
On a whiteboard, the ideas are clearly visible and lists are easy to reference. They are best for solo teams due to the limited space. It is a minimal level detail system because whiteboards/ bulletin boards are not a good strategy for brain dumping multiple ideas.
Spreadsheet / Word Doc / Evernote
These are simple systems to brain dump easily and group ideas into columns. These systems are cloud-based so that you can save and access your content ideas across your devices or computers.
Trello / Basecamp
These online systems are higher level and more detailed, making them great for teams. In Trello, users are able to create different boards (customizing them to fit your business), add deadlines, assign tasks, take notes, organize contracts, and more. When I am looking at systems, I want as many details as possible to keep my options open.
Content Management Systems
I utilize Word Press Calendar, an editorial WP plug-in that is lightweight and easy to install to manage client’s content. The WP Calendar plug-in and other systems help to create drafts in WP to divide and organize content. Remember that WP doesn’t require you to make a DRAFT in blog form only. You can brain dump in a WP draft, create a title, and schedule a publish date for a reminder.
Unlike WP Calendar, Coschedule, Hubspot, and Marketo are higher level systems with additional features for content management like images and loop. These advanced calendars are great for bigger teams to work from one name applications, to organize and publish content.
Trying not to get distracted while organizing content can be difficult; I homeschool 6 children and completely understand. Let me shed some light on just how important it is to wait on responding to emails or migrating to other tasks (however small) while trying to organize your content.
It takes us 15 FULL minutes to get back into that same level of concentration and focus we had before we let ourselves get distracted. Now think of how many times a day you get sidetracked. That is a ton of time wasted. Whatever system you choose to use, stay focused in that system when you are in the brainstorming space.
We will stop forgetting ideas when we have systems in place to organize our content.
Stay consistent and streamline your systems. Ditch those sticky notes and be a little more systematized for a more sufficient use of your time. By working smarter, not harder, you can enjoy the life that working from home affords you. Here’s to a better quality of life in 2019!