I did a post about my new 2018 planners earlier this year because yet again, I’m trying something new for them. The bookish planner from Little Inklings has already wormed its way into my heart and impacted my reading, blogging, and book-related organizing this year. It’s only been a month, but I can already see how it’s helping streamline my blogging and reading habits.
I’m going to write about each section in “chronological” order, which means in the order the section appears in the planner from front to back (or beginning of the monthly section to end). I took pictures of my January pages for this example because it was all I had so far, obviously.
Knowing what book to pick up next without having to find my blog post
The first section for each month is where you track your TBR plans. I have a blog post feature for this each month so you guys can see what I’m reading, but this is really beneficial to me. I usually have to check my blog whenever I ask myself “wait, what book did I want to read next?” and it’s a pain. I don’t use my computer after work hours usually, so it’s A LOT easier to reference my TBR page of my planner, as it just sits open on my desk. I just fill this page out each month after I write my blog post and can easily find what book I’m looking to read now, without having to track down the blog post.
New Release Calendar
Tracking most anticipated new releases and ARC release dates
I have a “TBR unreleased” shelf on Goodreads to track unpublished books I’m looking forward to. Each month, I have to move all of them to my “to read” shelf instead. I don’t always remember, but I get it done at some point. This new release calendar spread is EXTREMELY helpful to prioritize specific new releases for me. Aside from my main shelf for unreleased books, I have a “jazzed up for this” shelf. Combining the two of them show which unreleased books I’m super excited about reading – those end up on this page in my planner. It helps me remember each month which new releases I’m HYPED on (because yes, I forget). On top of that, I also include ARCs that I have that are publishing in that month, in order to remind myself to read them. Those are marked with the stars, as you can see above for a few books.
Monthly Calendar Spread
Bookstagram challenges and other events / challenges / etc.
I’ll be honest when I say this isn’t my MOST used section. For January, I included the Positivity Prompts on each day. In the future, I’ll probably use the month view to track bookish events and challenges. I should have put the dates for Bout of Books on here, for example. On the right side, you can record the bookstagram prompts and hashtag for the challenge you’re participating in. I love this feature! I didn’t fill in the goals on the bottom, but I think this will be the place for some of my Lauren Lately goals that I share on the blog – the first page will have the ones for the 1st through 14th and the second page will have the 15th through 30th/31st.
Daily Calendar / Planning
Recording daily events, posts, books started, and books finished
Left: black ink shows the books started/finished, purple ink shows the blog post
Right: black ink shows the books started/finished, blue ink shows Bout of Books daily prompt
The best thing about these daily spreads is that they can track really anything needed. You can see in the two examples above that I will always use them for book start and finish dates, that way I can easily reference it to see how long a book took me to finish. The spreadsheet I use just includes the finish date, so I don’t know that right away how long it took me to finish a book. I change my blog posts around too much to actually PLAN which posts are coming on which days, so I like to add the blog post for the day AFTER it was already published. It’ll be more for me to reference later if needed, rather than actual planning… if that makes sense. Then, I can also include different events that happen on those days. I included Bout of Books prompts above.
(ARC) Book Reviews
Mini reviews for my ARC/egalley reviews read each month
You may remember that I sort of complained about the fact that I read more books each month than the “book reviews” section allows. There are only 7 slots per month when I usually read 10+ books. Well, I figured out the perfect solution for this: I only write reviews of ARCs in this section. This is helpful because (a) I don’t have to feel weird about writing only some reviews each month and (b) it purposely limits the amount of review copies I read each month. I don’t have a big problem with reading review copies versus backlist books, but I do know it could get out of hand sometimes. If I limit myself to under 7 books from the publisher each month, I can fill this section without any issue.
Books Read & Purchased
Tracking the books read and bought/received each month
The monthly wrap-up section is probably more self-explanatory, but this is yet another way that I’m happy to have this planner. I like seeing everything all in one shot like this. Even though I use a book spreadsheet to keep track of this information digitally (and more specifics, like book costs), it’s nice to have it right here as well. I can use this when I write my monthly wrap-up posts because I don’t have to flip between my spreadsheet and my post.
Favorite Quotes & Notes
Favorite quote of the month and notes section for “continued” info from previous page
I don’t often write book quotes down that I love, and I regret that ALL the time. I want to take advantage of that little section by even just writing down ONE quote I enjoyed. I like when TTT features favorite quote posts and I’m always struggling with super old favorites. Then, the notes section: I plan to use this as an overflow section. As you can see from the “books read” and “purchased” spots in the previous category, both were almost full as of the 19th (when I started taking pics of the planner). There is BOUND to be some kind of overflow if I have a particularly good reading month and/or acquire a lot of books. Just a little bonus spot!
Impacts on Reading Habits
- Limiting my for-review reading to seven (or less) books a month to fill up (and not exceed) the “book reviews” section of the planner
- Easily able to refer to my monthly TBR instead of having to track down the monthly TBR blog post
- Monthly new release pages allow for better tracking of books I’m excited to read, as well as the ARCs I have “due” aka being published that month
Impacts on Blogging/Organizational Life
- Monthly wrap-up pages make it easier for my Bookmark Lit Bulletin, in conjunction with my spreadsheet (books read, books acquired/from where, blog posts from the month, etc.)
- Ability to track how long it takes me to read certain books
- Keeping track of my favorite quote(s) from the month to refer to later
- Bookstagram monthly prompts readily available instead of having to check my phone