Content as a Multi-Platform Creator

I have to manage a lot of content. Between the plethora of social media accounts, images, ideas, and deadlines, I would lose my mind if I didn’t have a way to keep track of it all. Even just the act of consolidating my plans into one location can be a real trick. My system for keeping track of all this is a little out there, but it’s been working well and I wanted to show you all what I’ve figured out.

Breaking Things Down

Fair warning, if you like having all your tasks and documents in one place? This system is not going to be for you. This system is partially reliant on the fact that I am a firm believer in “atmosphere helps you focus on one thing.” I bounce between one app or another, paper or digital, based on what I am doing. By confining myself into a specific workspace, I get things done without getting sidetracked. Ergo, a large part of this system is the ability to bring all those components back together at the end for one uniform to-do list.

I work on content sets for multiple “clients,” myself included. However, that doesn’t work as well for creating content, for me. If I set aside a few hours to write blog posts, I need to write all the blog posts. As a result, I have mostly divided up my content into categories based off what sort of skill they require:

  • general administration/scheduling
  • writing/editing text
  • image/slideshow editing
  • video recording and editing
  • product/project development
  • back-end management

Blame it on the ADHD, but I get bored with doing the same thing over and over very easily. As such, I get “cravings” for specific types of tasks. If I’ve only been doing programming work for a while, I’ll want to sit down and write something like a blog post. If I’ve been writing and editing all day, I’ll want to work on something more visual like images or video. By leaning into these “cravings” I get things done in bulk, setting myself up for success even if I get tired of creating that type of thing for a while.

Of course, the crux of this succeeding is two-fold:

  • Always knowing what I need to work on when a craving arises.
  • Always knowing the absolute deadline for something so I can force myself to work on something if I need to.

Ergo, setting aside regular time for scheduling out things on my calendar is also key, as it sets up the to-do lists for when I need them.

Scheduling Things Regularly

I generally have three types of scheduling sessions for myself: monthly, weekly, and daily. Each one has its own techniques, apps, and stages I focus on to ensure everything gets done.

Monthly

Around mid-month, I sit down with my calendar and look at what is going on in the next calendar month. I start with the fixed events: holidays, appointments, etc. The things that cannot move need to be in place and accounted for before anything else. Once I have these things on the board, I can start to see patterns, such as if one week is particularly empty of events or if a specific calendar event will need extra planning around. Then comes the brainstorming, referencing the lists of ideas I jot down and periodically consolidate. I decide what I want to focus on for the month and put them on the schedule as “release days.”

The goal here is to walk away with a list of deadlines. From that, I make a list of tasks, made from all the stages that need to go into those tasks to make them happen. For example, a blog post takes drafting, editing, formatting, image creation, and social media plugging. Each of those steps has its own rough due date to get the post up on time. As I add each thing to my calendar, I’ll make these soft deadlines and put them in the requisite tasks aps.

Weekly

My weekly meetings usually happen on Saturday or Sunday, whichever day I can find time on. This weekly time slot is when I start time-blocking out my week. If I know I have a lot of free time on a specific day, I’ll block out a few hours for heavy focus work. If I know a day has several appointments, I’ll try to keep any work tasks limited to more spur of the moment things. I usually don’t pick specific tasks types for time slots. Instead, I rely on the soft deadlines to know when I need things done by and rely on daily planning.

Daily

When I sit down to start my day, I begin by opening my todo lists and looking at two things:

  • how is my time blocked out for the day,
  • and what deadlines are approaching.

For example, let’s say I have three blog posts due in the next two weeks, none of which are drafted yet. I check my calendar and see I have three hours scheduled for focused work. Rather than just doing one blog post and moving on, I’ll put all three posts on my plate for the day (assuming nothing else is more pressing). Once I get in the groove of draft writing, I can power through all of it in less time than it’d take to do one blog post from outline to scheduling.

Around these blocks of time, I pad in smaller tasks. These are usually different from the main tasks I am doing for the day and I use them to help me switch gears between types of activities.

Keeping Track

Knowing when things need to be done by, what sort of work they are, and how much is on my plate, I can then generally prioritize and organize my week in general. I do this with two tools: an app and a planner. Why both? Well… usually I only end up using one or the other throughout the week. Redundancy is the key to making sure I see things.

I use three apps for tracking tasks: Todoist, Notion, and Sunsama. Todoist works well for short tasks, or things that don’t have many stage changes. Notion works fantastically for items with multiple requirements, a lot of writing, or just generally need a lot of associated information. Suffice it to say, Todoist is where I jot down tasks, but Notion is where tasks often get done. Sunsama’s job is to take the other two, my calendar, and any general notes I’ve given it, and put it all in one place. As such, I usually use Sunsama as a dashboard for what needs to get done. Sunsama also works well for reviewing what I did in a day and time tracking, which is very handy.

My paper planner is a Hobonichi Cousin, giving me wonderful monthly, weekly, and daily pages. The weekly spreads show 24 hours of each day, which is perfect for a night owl like myself. It also has plenty of room to journal or make meeting notes right inside the daily pages, which works well for me. Usually this planner is where I do my time-blocking, using Frixion pens that are easy to erase if plans change.

Managing Output

As I tend to do tasks in bulk, it can create some odd situations. For example, completing a blog post, drafting tweets about it, and doing its images might all happen on different days. Making sure all the parts are there on time is very important. Ergo, part of my daily check-in is ensuring every part needed for the next day or two is complete and ready to go. Anywhere I can schedule content in advance, I do, just to ensure I don’t forget to do it otherwise. Marketing and content publication is a complicated thing; bulk creation and metered output just helps make that one step easier.

Once a piece of content is complete, I give it an extra look-over with a creative eye. If I wrote a blog post, would it be easy to turn into an infographic? Can I turn this video be easy to turn into a series of tweets? Can I post this same content on other platforms with a different format? Repurposing content is a skill I am still learning, but it helps ease the burden of creation. If I see an opportunity, I take note, and throw the idea back to the start of the creation cycle.


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