Sunday, June 21, 2015

Organization - Can't Live (Blog) Without It
I was thinking today about organization and how it helps me be a better book blogger. Now, I am a generally organized person. My closet is usually color coordinated; my books are in alphabetical order by author; my pantry has like items together. But I think I might carry my love of organization to the extremes when it comes to blogging.

First of all, I maintain two blogs. On Ms Martin Teaches Media, I primarily blog about the middle grade and young adult books I'm reading. I get a large number of those books from publishers, Edelweiss or NetGalley for review. On this blog, I blog about books that aren't YA or middle grade. I tend to say it is my adult blog and I will occasionally read something spicy enough that I really don't want to share with any of my students who might find my other blog. Mostly, though, these are just books that are published for adults. I also often have review books from authors, publishers, Edelweiss, and NetGalley. Otherwise I'm reading from my own extensive TBR mountain (2148 books today).

I try to post a minimum of two book reviews each week on each of my blogs. I also routinely take part in these memes on each blog - It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Teaser Tuesday, and I combine Book Beginnings and the Friday 56 into one post on Fridays.

So how do I keep things organized.

First, every book that I get is added to my LibraryThing account. I make extensive use of tags and collections to help me organize. For example, I have a collection of review books with their publication dates in the Comments section. I also have a collection called Currently Reading where I show what books are coming up next on my stack.

Second, I love Google. I have a Google Spreadsheet where I enter information about each review book. I also have a Google Spreadsheet that I call my reading log where I list everything I read each year.

I also use Google Calendar extensively when planning my reading. Each new review book is slotted into a space on the calendar when it arrives. Here's what July's calendar looks like.
Click to Enlarge
Pink is for Ms. Martin Teaches Media and blue is for Inside of a Dog. Asterisks mean that the book is still to be read and the posts written and scheduled. As you can see, I try to stay ahead. Summer vacation is a great time to read more books and schedule things for my blog.

I use GoodReads for the book I am currently reading. All books on my GoodReads account are books I have actually read. Wishlists, TBR piles, etc. are all kept track of on LibraryThing. When it comes time to decide what to read next, the first thing I check is my Google Calendar.

Amazon also helps me to keep organized. I have created a wishlist for Review books because I link to Amazon and seem to need to link those review books frequently for a variety of posts that I do.

Here's what happens when I get a new review book like I did today from NetGalley.

  1. I send it to my Kindle and move it to my Reading List
  2. I find it on Amazon and add it to my Review Wishlist
  3. I add it to my LibraryThing in the New This Week collection and other relevant collections
  4. I add it to my State of the Stack post on Ms. Martin Teaches Media and link to Amazon
  5. I add it to my Google Calendar
  6. I add it to my Google Spreadsheet for Review books
Here's what happens when I buy or get a book that isn't for review. I add it to my LibraryThing in the New This Week, 2015, and other relevant collections. I have a goal this year to read in 2015 what I get in 2015 so that I can keep my TBR mountain from growing.

Thus far, my system has kept me from letting anything slip through the cracks. But, what do you think? Am I too organized?


  1. its always great to be organized, especially with book blogs. I feel like its necessary. I use mostly goodreads and librarything for sorting all me reads and tbr piles. I use excel spreadsheets for my arc reading lists and have a tbr list for what I plan on reading next, as well as a purchasing spreadsheet as well. I haven't tried google's spreadsheets, although I have been thinking about it. Love this post.

  2. It isn't surprising that you are so organized! It shows in your good posts and having posts ready ahead of time.
    I did use an excel sheet for a few years. The past two I have used a Word document, updating the list of review titles and TBRs. I also begin my review post when adding the title to my Monday Reading list. This gives me a place to add notes along the way.
    Thanks for sharing your process. It has me thinking. :-)


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