Monday, August 23, 2010

My Online Time

Like most of the other blog hoppers I too probably spend way too much time online!

I do however enjoy blogging and at the moment it is really my only 'hobby' if you can call it that. And at the end of the day I justify my blogging time because I blog about the kids and their journey and through my blogging I have found so many wonderful things to do with the kids that I don't think I would have found otherwise.

The internet is my library and that is exactly how I use it. At times I just want to wander around browse at the information available. Some of it I learn from, some of it I find intriguing and some of it is just for fun.

Other times I have a plan, something in particular I am looking for and I just need to make sure I search through the correct 'shelves' in the library. At times this searching is tedious and long winded and sometimes it is as simple as a click of a button and I have found what I was after.

I'm not sure where how home school would be without the internet.

In terms of my blogging I always used to be a sporadoic blogger, at times posting daily and even twice daily and then breaking for weeks. Lately I have been trying to even my blogging time out somewhat. I now endeavour to schedule 3 posts per week 2 - 3 weeks in advance (well that's the plan anyway ;-) ).

I've always got scrap bits of paper lying around with post ideas scribbled down and many of them are in my head, whilst others stem from browsing my recent photographs. Very disorganised to say the least.

As recently as the past few weeks I had been keeping lists and thoughts for the blog jotted down all together in one little notebook, which is certainly a far cry from the scrap bits of paper all over the desk, but still the system I needed had eluded me. Considering that I have more than one blog, plus my other online presences, one little notebook just wasn't cutting it.

So I decided to put together a very simple printable planning and scheduling page for my blog/s. I include the Post Title (or if that is unknown just an idea) whether the post is in draft form or if it has been scheduled. You do all know about scheduling your posts don't you?  Ok I'll come back to that in a tick. Once the post has been schedule I add in the Scheduled Date to that column  and right at the end is a column for anything that I may still need for the post. Once the post is showing up and is done and dusted I simply draw a line through it.

Sometimes I upload lots of pics for various posts at once and need to come back and add in the copy so normally that last column will simply be a note to remind myself that I need to actually write the post.

 Please ignore my scribble

Whilst this would be so simple to put together yourself, I have uploaded a copy to my Scribd Documents, which you can download here if you wish.

Now, back to scheduling. Just in case there is someone out there that doesn't know about scheduling, this is a real life saver. It means that you can sit down and write posts whenever you feel like it and have them post (show up) on your blog at the time and date that you choose.

How To Schedule A Post? Write your post, add your labels etc, on the left hand side at the bottom of your post (this is for blogger users by the way) which is the other side of where you enter your posts labels, you will see Post Options, click it.  Here you can choose how your comments will appear and choose a date to schedule your posts. Simple!

Now let's get back to the topic at hand. I have explained how I handle my own blog. Or how at least I am trying to handle it. When it comes to reading other blogs that is an entirely different story.  I am terrible at following blogs, as in I follow way too many blogs, but seriously there are so many great ideas out there how can I not follow along.

I know that 'external readers' seem to be the big thing at the moment but I personally prefer to use my Reading List on my blogger dashboard. I simply scroll through and select the blogs to visit. For me it is as much about the experience of visiting the blog as it is to read the post.

Kind of like comparing going to a friends house for a cuppa and a chat or making a coffee and phoning them. The visiting part is always much more enjoyable!

Since my 'following' list is always growing I have become very selective in regards to the posts that I choose to read and even more so when it comes to commenting. I just simply don't have the time. I also find that for me it is easier to take 5 or 10 minutes where I can to check my Reading List for new posts and if something interests me I can quickly jump over and read it. When I leave my reading to do in one big chunk of time it takes way too long and those are the times I comment even less.

I always endeavour to rise before the children (not always possible when you co sleep) and that is my time. I do not do any housework of any description in the wee hours of the morning, no matter how badly it might need doing. I grab a cuppa and catch up on emails, forums/yahoo groups I visit, blogs I read. If after this the children are still asleep I will move on to more research for future units and creating or downloading the necessary printable materials I may need. This is the time that the majority of my online stuff is done.

I do though take smaller breaks throughout the day to check in when I can.

What about you? How do you spend your time online? You still have time to join in the blog hop.

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Ticia said...

It's always interesting to see how different people spend their time. How long are you keeping this open? It'll depend on if I can schedule a post that will fit this or not in the time this week.

Anonymous said...

I should definitely try to organize my online time more efficiently - I tend to wander through as many posts as I can find on a topic of interest, but it's too easy to get distracted and waste a lot of time!

Kez said...

Wow, now that is organised! I'm very adhoc and just do post when I get around to it (other than my weekly school ones that I usually do on Sunday nights). Occasionally I'll schedule a post if I get on a roll and write a few posts at once that aren't time critical.

Joyful Learner said...

I do it whenever I can and do several posts in one night. I read comments during mini breaks throughout the day but don't have a lot of time to comment.

Lynn said...

This is a fun idea. Thank you for sharing the printable. I don't have a consistent routine either, and I probably need one. The biggest thing I have trouble with is planning around the weekly memes. I gave up participating in all of them because it was kind of stressing me out! But I'd like to get back on track down that we are starting to get more serious with homeschooling activities. I have been making little (computer) yellow sticky notes with the various memes and trying to decide how I want to organize.

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