27 January 2018 · posted in behind the scenes
Spreadsheets are life
I know. I'm a nerd. But seriously, I can not live without spreadsheets. In my day job I use them every single day for literally everything, from yearly curriculum maps to weekly lessons plans, to attendance, observation records, assessments and all that good admin stuff (high five if you're a teacher and know what I'm talking about!) and all of my colleagues laughingly call me the template wizard. I seriously could make spreadsheet templates for a living (hi Google!). I also don't know why it has taken me so long to finally get serious about this blogging thing, but I've finally created myself an editorial calendar and a yearly accounting spreadsheet to keep track of what is going on with the blog and today I'm sharing those with you for free. Just because I'm nice, you know.
I prefer to use a spreadsheet over an actual calendar app because spreadsheets give me the freedom to plan everything visually without having to adjust dates, times and categories in a drop down menu. A lot of the planning spreadsheets I'm using in my day job I've created myself from scratch, but for this editorial calendar I started from a Google calendar template. This template already had all the dates and days loaded in and it works perfectly for an editorial calendar because I only need the option to schedule one post each day (which we all know is never gonna happen anyway). I also love that in spreadsheets I can add a comment into every cell without them crowding the actual calendar for any reminders or to do's about upcoming posts.
To get my entries automatically colour coded by category (because who can live without colour coding?), I added conditional formatting to the template of the calendar so that each cell starting with a certain word (my categories) turns a certain colour. When scheduling I then type my category first, followed by my blog post title and the cell's colour will automatically change according to the category the blog post is in. When you want to change or add categories to fit your blog, select all the cell in the calendar then go into Format > Conditional formatting and change the Text starts with "..." settings to your blog's categories. You can also change the colours to your liking there.
Blog budget and accounting
Blogging is not my job, so this accounting spreadsheet I've created is fairly simple as I don't need to keep track of every single month separately. If it was my job I'd obviously use something more elaborate to keep track of all pennies coming in and going out to know what I was earning every month but now, I just want to keep track of everything I invest into my blog and see if I can (hopefully) at least break even by the end of the year. I started from the Google monthly budget template but I've tweaked it quite a bit to show me the graphs I want to see. The spreadsheet has two tabs from which you mostly will be using the second one to fill in all your expenses and income details. The spreadsheet then automatically makes a summary of your finances in the first tab.
There are only two things you need to fill in in the summary tab (don't you mess with the rest!). First are the categories you want to use for expenses and income (the light blue cells at the bottom). Once you fill them in here they will transfer automatically to your drop down menus in the second tab so you can sort expenses and income. Optionally, you can also enter any planned expenses / income in this tab. For example, I already know I will need to pay my domain for 2018 so I've already added the amount in planned expenses because I know it is still coming up some time this year. You could also use these planned expenses cells to set your maximum budget so the spreadsheet can warn you when you're spending a little too much on a certain category. To add more categories, the rows underneath will automatically change to blue when you type something. To change the currency from euro to US dollars or pounds, select all cells with an amount of money (in both tabs) then go to Format > Number > More formats > More currencies and choose the currency you want to use.
You can find both spreadsheets in the A Hearty Home blogging resources Google drive folder where you can get yours for free! Please remember to make a copy of each template before transferring them to your own Google drive to use as these are the templates for everyone. If you like these spreadsheets and end up using them, give me a quick shoutout on Twitter and leave a comment below so I know you're happy! Also don't forget to spread the love by sharing this blog post with all of your blogger friends who are in need of some blog organizing on the admin front!