Blog planning is crucial if you want to stay consistent with your content creation and really see results from your blogging efforts. I’ve already talked about the basic rules of blog planning. I showed you how I use my bullet journal to quickly come up with 3 months’ worth of content and I presented in a video tutorial how to set up Asana as an editorial calendar.
In this post we are sailing to less glamorous but equally valuable waters. I’m going to show you how to set up your Google Drive folders for your blog related resources and easy collaboration.
I’m going to show you:
Why do you need a system when it comes to storing your blogging related resources
How to make a filing system intuitive
Why did I choose Google Drive instead of other cloud based storage options
How did I set up my Google Drive folders, Google Docs and Google Sheets files for blogging
How do I collaborate with my VA during our blogging workflow
Also, this post comes with handy swipe files, that you can copy into your Google Drive to use the same setup as me.
WHY YOU NEED A SYSTEM?
Simple question, ey? We all know that systems are great because they help us become more organized. But then, why don’t we follow through?
From my experience, you can have a somewhat productive workflow without a good filing system. You can have tons of folders named “Unknown” and photos called 1265-IMG.jpg and still magically get by.
BUT (and this is a huge But) you throw out valuable time and you are constantly straining your memory to remember where you put useful resources, like that cool dancing unicorn GIF that would be awesome for your next newsletter.
Suddenly, a 30 minutes long tasks becomes a burden...
I faced the same chaos before. As a designer, my work requires enormous amount of graphic files: fonts, textures, photos, Photoshop and Illustrator presets. The only way to know where to find something is if I create an intuitive (= easy to learn and understand) filing system.
HOW TO MAKE A SYSTEM INTUITIVE
In my former job in package design I had a specific experience that taught me about the importance of correct naming and file structure.
We used a Mac Server to store all our graphic assets and packaging design files. However, after an update on the server the search function stopped working. We needed a specific design file, we typed in the product SKU number but nothing happened. We had to dig in and spend hours to find one little file.
Then my colleague - the most organized guy I’ve ever met in my life - came up with a new filing system. It was built up like a tree:
- You start with the “tree trunk” which is your company / division.
- Then, you split up the tree to major branches = break up to the most obvious file categories. For my ex company, this meant the main brands they manufactured
- Then you repeat this categorization on new and new levels, until you get to the smallest files. But make sure that the categories easily remind you to what you are looking for.
For example, at my ex company, categorizing by years couldn’t work because no one would know when exactly that old packaging was first manufactured. But categorizing by product type worked for us. We knew that certain products needed cardboard box packaging, while others plastic wrapping and that reminded us to the design file itself.
- When you get through all the branches, to the smallest “leaves” (the files you work with), it’s important to put all related assets next to this file. So you won’t have to go elsewhere looking for an image or font or research document, they are all there, ready for work.
WHY GOOGLE DRIVE?
I have several Dropbox accounts, iCloud, Adobe Cloud and even a 1TB OneDrive account. I still decided to use Google Drive for my blog related files.
The main reasons for this are the built-in Google Docs files and ease of collaboration.
Dropbox doesn’t let you edit documents or spreadsheets online. iCloud can be problematic for team members with Windows. OneDrive lets you make Word or Excel documents online but multiple team members can’t work in one document at the same time.
On the other hand, Google Drive lets you create Google Docs and Google Sheets. When you open these documents in your browser, you can see if another team member is editing it. In fact, you can make changes on the same file simultaneously.
And last but not least, you don’t have to store any of these files on your computer. I blog on my Macbook, that has a quite small storage but with Google Drive I can have my files without wasting space.
It’s also really easy to open a Google Drive if you already have a Gmail account. But if you blog for your business, I’d recommend to create a Gmail address with your business name and keep it separate from your personal emails and files.
HOW I USE GOOGLE DRIVE IN MY BLOGGING WORKFLOW
In this video, I’m going to walk you through my Google Drive structure: how it’s set up, how we collaborate with my VA.
You don’t have to take notes, the free, printable cheat sheet (Google Drive Setup for Effective Blogging) has these information.
GET THE SWIPE FILES & BUILD YOUR OWN SYSTEM
I hope this post helps you better organize your blog related resources.If you need some additional help, don’t forget to grab the handy swipe files I made for you. I included the whole file structure setup, and all the Google Docs and Google Sheets files I showed you in the video. You can simply copy them to your own Google Drive and start using them.