Lately I’ve been on an organisational kick, and that’s moved from real life to online. I have a ton of things to sort and go through, like my Flickr account, but I’ve noticed a common theme in both online and offline organisation: having a system that works is crucial. Anything that’s too much effort to do just won’t be done, which means you’ll end up back at square one within weeks.
Offline, this means having a specific place for things. Not cramming cupboards full of so much stuff you can’t remember what’s where. Grouping stuff together with logical associations so subconsciously you make a beeline for them when you need to find them. There’s an online equivalent to this, so today I’m going to share five of my top tips for organising your WordPress dashboard. If you’re anything like me, by the end of this post you’ll be blogging more efficiently and happily.
01. Streamline your image management
When I’m not writing a blog post based around photos I’ve taken, often it’s a mad scramble to find decent header and body images. If I’ve just written a long post and want to get it live fast, the last thing I want to do is to spend a lot of time searching for and editing images.
I realised this was a sticking point for me in terms of getting more posts written and published, so I decided to see if there was a plugin to help me out. Happily, I came across WP MCM, which allows you to categorise the images in your WordPress Media library.
It’s really easy to use. You can create whatever categories you like, but I’ve created two main categories (‘Body Images’ and ‘Featured Images’) because they demand different image dimensions, and then a lot of child categories for each based on topics like ‘Technology’ and ‘Food’. Next, upload images from your favourite stock photo website or from your own image collection, tick the boxes to add them to the relevant image categories, and you’re ready to go.
It’ll take a few hours to populate your image store, but it’ll save you plenty of time every time you write a blog post. You can always add more images every few months to keep it fresh.
Apparently I really like taking photos of flowers…
02. Leave yourself notes
I recently installed WP Dashboard Notes, which is an awesome little plugin that lets you create lists and notes for yourself (and others, if you run a multi-author blog) right on the WordPress dashboard.
It’s available through the WordPress plugin directory, and once installed, all you need to do is click ‘Add note’ (top bar, right hand side, as per my screenshot above). As you can see, I have two notes: ‘Reminders’ and ‘Blog post ideas’. You can choose whether you want to create a list or a straight note, and you can change the background colour too.
Word of warning: be very careful when editing notes; I’ve deleted them accidentally before because there’s no confirmation of deletion. This is one of the reasons why I double up with #3 on this list…
03. Create a draft post of ideas
I’ve tried creating lists of blog post ideas on paper, online, in documents…all sorts. But my favourite thing to do is keep them in WordPress itself. This is particularly useful if you blog on the go, from your phone or tablet, or you have multiple WordPress websites. You still don’t need anything except your WordPress dashboard.
I have a post in my drafts which is simply labelled ‘Ideas’, and that’s where I list potential titles, notes, lists and general thoughts to include in future blog posts. While dashboard notes are great, they can sometimes take up way too much space if you want to add notes alongside your titles, so a draft post is perfect for this.
04. Develop a style guide/brand board
I’ve chosen Pinterest (follow me here) for my brand elements simply because it’s easy to use and I remember where it is, but you could create a PDF, have a folder on your computer or in your FTP manager, or use Dropbox or similar. It’s really figuring out what works best for you. My brand board could be better organised and labelled, which I’ll probably do when I roll out the next theme.
It comes in useful for lots of things: secondary websites you don’t work on as much, if you don’t update your theme too much or have a bad memory, if you need to share details with someone else, if you want a quick reference guide when you’re working on CSS or image design, etc.
05. Schedule (and backup schedule) all the things
This ticks both time-saving and organisation boxes. I schedule blog posts in advance quite often, but my hosting can sometimes be a bit flaky so there would be times they missed the scheduling slot and didn’t get published. The perfect workaround for this is WP Missed Schedule, which monitors scheduled posts for failures and keeps trying to publish them until it’s successful.
If you have a lot of old but still good posts (i.e. evergreen content), re-share them automatically with Revive Old Post. I’m hoping to build up enough decent content to start doing this; I don’t particularly want to share old personal posts because they’re of limited value, so I’ll exclude those categories when I get this set up.
And that’s the full list! I hope you found something you want to try out
Pin for later:
Do you do any of these tricks? How do you keep your WordPress blog organised?