Snoskred Is Getting Organised – Are You?

I am all for making positive changes in all areas of my life, but sometimes you have to put the blinkers on and focus your sights on one specific area. Right now for me, that area is organisation – or organiZation if you’re from the US – and time management.

I have good reasons for wanting to get organised. I want to start a business over the next two months. I realise that if I started a business now without having the right skills in place it just would not work. So it is time to take a deep breath, suck it up, and get to it. At the start of this week I made a personal commitment to myself – I am getting organised.

Now some of the stuff I am going to say here is going to seem.. lame.. silly.. possibly even stupid. In order for you to understand where I’m going you need to know where I am at now. I’m not going to lie to ya’all. ;) here’s my major issues.

I am easily distracted.

I have trains running just fine on the tracks but then suddenly they crash. IE – I can be in the middle of doing something and then my mind throws out something else I need to do, and I will stop and change direction.

I’ll be in the middle of writing something and remember I wanted to check a website. I will be in the middle of one task, and remember one that needs doing RIGHT NOW. Yes, this is happening as I type. I haven’t updated the Aussie Blogs List yet, cos I took a day off today.

It happened again just then, as I was typing this. I noticed my glasses were dirty. This brings us to another issue I have –

I don’t put things back where they belong.

I was watching a West Wing in the lounge room yesterday. Part way through, guess what happened? I noticed my glasses were dirty. So I came in here to my desk and took my lens cleaning cloth out to the lounge room. I had to stop typing this post to go and get it.

My computer is a mess.

On the inside, that is. Information goes in, but I have no easy system, no good way of finding things, my desktop has always been a nightmare of files just dumped there. In fact here is how it looked at the start of this week.


I need to take charge NOW.

When I am running my own business, working to deadlines? All those little distractions and things not being where they should be and not having a system of where things get put and how to find them again on the computer – these things are going to add up and drown me. Especially because the business I want to run is computer orientated.

So how to fix it?

Step One – Done!

Get my computer organised and start a system of where things go that will work for me.

Thanks to this wonderful article – How to Keep your Desktop Organized (without getting insane) my desktop now looks like this.


Step Two – In Progress

I am a digital packrat. There are folders full of files. Take for example our photographs. We have a lot of them. We never had a system for organising them other than to put dates on the folders. Consequently, we now have a lot of this –


Yes, that right there is the date we began putting some kind of name on the folders. But the no name folders go back to *cringe* 2 years before that date.

There is no magic wand I can wave here, but thanks to another article I read – A 3-Step Cure for Digital Packrats, and How to Know If You’re One of Them – I now know how to cure it.

I’m looking through two folders a day, naming them, putting aside good photos I want to use for the thought of the day photos. I am also looking through two bookmarks folders a day, sorting, deleting, moving. This will take time – If I tried devoting one day to it, I’d still have a lot of folders not labeled. Better to do little chunks daily than overwhelm myself right now.

Step Three – Time Management – Done Daily

1. Create a daily list of tasks.
2. Give each task a priority A, B, C,
3. Ensure that you work on the “A” tasks first.
4. Handle each piece of paper on your desk only once.
5. Ensure that you make the best use of your time.
6. Don’t postpone anything – Do it now!

Step Four – Day Planner


I have done this for the last three days and spent a day preparing for it before that. It’s rocking my socks, ya’all. You have no idea how focused I feel right now. It’s a happy feeling. :)

Step Five – Checklists


Yes, this is possibly the most lame of all the things I am doing, but it is helping me remember the things I do daily. I plan to update it in a week or so when I have identified more things I do daily. This is laminated so I can tick the boxes each day with a whiteboard marker and then rub that off ready for the next day. Yes, in the past I would forget my head if it were not screwed on, apparently. Now I have the checklists, sitting right in front of me, there’s not much chance of that.

Step Six – Email Check

One of the ways I get distracted is by the little envelope that pops up when I have new mail. Solution – open the mail in the morning, check emails, reply emails, close emails. Open again at lunchtime, dinner time, before bed. So if I don’t reply urgently, now you know why – and you can know when to expect that reply.. approximately.. ;)

Step Seven – Time Off For Good Behaviour.

This new stuff I’m doing is pretty intense right now, because I have a lot of organising I am doing. The major two things I need to finish are sorting my google reader and going through my archives here. These are both time consuming. So at lunchtimes, I step away from the computer for an hour. At dinner time, I step away for two hours.

I plan on having at least one light schedule day each week until I have a good handle on things, but I still want to make sure I get two of photos and bookmarks done each day. I took today off, got a haircut, went to see a house, put in an application so we might be moving, got my glasses fixed, did a little shopping. Whoa, what was that? Yes, we might be moving to my dream location. More on that tomorrow.

Step Eight – Buy In Bulk

The inexpensive things I find myself looking for, I need to purchase them so I can have one in each location I may need them. The lens cleaning cloth is a good example. They’re not expensive and it will cost me less to buy 2 more of them (I have 2 now, one in the car – one on my desk) than my time is worth to keep chasing them from room to room.

Step 9 – Put Things Back

The things that I can’t buy extra of, I need to put them back when I’m done. Simple, hey? It’s not as easy as it sounds, but I am committed to doing it.

What happens next..

I’m taking it one day at a time right now. I am hopeful that in three to four weeks I will become unconscious competent in being organised. However I think it may be a habit I need to keep working on and these skills of time management are going to be so useful to me in my business, I’m going to keep using them.

All I know is, I’m feeling motivated. I’m sleeping a bit less because when I wake up, I want to get onto the daily tasks I have set. I’ll update you urgently on developments. ;) so stick around!

get organised, how to guides, life lessons, mistakes I made, moving forward, work

10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Blog Writing.

I hate it when I see good bloggers say “I’m not a good writer”. If you’re not a good writer, I wouldn’t be reading your blog. If I’m not reading your blog, do I know about your blog? Drop by and leave me a link to it in the comments.

Having said that, there are some things I do now that I never did previous to blogging, and here’s 10 of them all neatly typed up for ya’all.

Write a summary –

Tell your reader why they want to read this post you have written in the first few sentences. Since getting on the Bumpzee Community RSS feeds, I have found that the first 250 characters of your post have to grab the reader in order for them to click through and read the rest. Basically this applies to anything you write – people need to be almost *teased* into reading the rest of your article.

Use the Thesaurus –

Tired of using all the same old words? Put the word you’d usually (commonly, consistently, customarily, frequently, generally, habitually, mainly, most often, mostly, normally, occasionally, ordinarily, regularly, routinely, sometimes) use in at the online thesaurus.

You can then take your pick of new, exciting (animating, appealing, arousing, arresting, astonishing, bracing, breathtaking, dangerous, dramatic, electrifying, exhilarant, eye-popping, far out, fine, flashy, groovy, hair-raising, heady, hectic, impressive, interesting, intoxicating, intriguing, lively, mind-blowing, moving, neat, overpowering, overwhelming, provocative, racy, rip-roaring, rousing, sensational, spine-tingling, stimulating, stirring, thrilling, titillating, wild, zestful), unusual words you don’t normally use that mean virtually the same thing!

Write ideas down –

I go nowhere these days without paper and a pen. NOWHERE. I have paper and a pen next to my bed, next to my recliner in the lounge, in the kitchen, in the car, in my handbag. Yes, even in the bathroom!! A lot of my best blogging ideas come to me as a surprise in the shower. I turn off the shower, even mid shampoo, step out, dry my hands, write it down. I find that if you do not seize the moment, that thought will vanish.

Record it –

Want to blog hands free? Do you have one of those little tape recorders students use for recording lectures? I have a Sony recording Walkman which uses cassette tapes but you can get digital voice recorders quite cheaply these days. So you can verbally blog while doing your chores around the house and when you get a chance to sit at the computer and type it up, you know where you’re going.

Edit it –

Cugat helped me learn how to simplify my writing when we were working on a website together a few months ago. I use a lot of extra words. Really and Actually are two such examples. Just doing a quick word search of the blog front page before posting this, the word really appears 6 times and once in the sidebar. Actually appears 3 times. This is a major improvement for me. I’m still working on it.

Don’t edit it too much –

Editing can be a temporal vortex. Like when I go to the hardware store and two hours go by without me even noticing it. I have sometimes spent up to three hours doing it on some posts. It’s better to limit yourself to a certain amount of time. For a longer article it may be appropriate to spend an hour tweaking words and cutting words out. My advice is use a timer with an alarm, set the time you’re happy to spend editing (that could be anywhere from 2 minutes to an hour) and when the bell rings hit publish.

Use Headlines –

If you think readers of your blog read everything you’ve written in a post, I am sorry to tell you that you may be wrong – some readers skim, some readers scroll before deciding to read something in depth. So you’ll see some of my blog posts these days use headlines, in particular the ones which are intended to be helpful to fellow bloggers or the general public. The one you’re reading now is a good example. Doing this makes it easier for readers to focus on the parts of your post that are relevant to them.

Use Paragraphs –

The larger the chunk of text, the less chance some readers will delve into it. Breaking things down into smaller more palatable chunks increases the chance of those things being read.

Size Matters –

There is nothing wrong with a short post. Don’t be afraid to post something brief. Embrace the pithy. On the other hand, long posts can be scary to post because you think people will not read them. If your content is good, people will. Have faith in your readers. But for longer posts try to use small paragraphs and headlines if you can, to make it more accessible to all readers.

Invite Comments –

Your blog is where you can express your views. Ideally you will want your readers to express their views in return. Unless you think your bowel movements don’t stink and your opinions are right, perfect, and not to be discussed, in which case you will turn comments off. This will offend people. If you don’t have comments on your blog, chances are I’m going to unsubscribe from your RSS feed. Just so you know.

A final thought –

Don’t ever say you’re a bad writer. I don’t believe there is any such thing. You may not be writing novels that stun the public but blogging isn’t about that.

Writing is about communicating ideas and connecting with people through words. If you’re on my blog roll, I think you’re a good writer. Take the compliment with grace – say thank you, don’t try to tell me my opinion is incorrect.

If you’re not on my blog roll yet, chances are I just haven’t found your blog. Comment on this post with a link to it, I’ll drop by and check you out.

blogging tips, how to guides, writing tips

Thoughts On Making Positive Changes – Can You Do It?

Over the last month I have made one big positive change in my life, and I have a few thoughts on the process of making change which might be useful to you. Have you ever heard of the conscious competence learning matrix? Basically it is 4 stages which you have to go through in order to learn a new skill. The four stages are –

Unconscious Incompetence

You don’t know anything about this new skill – You may know others have this skill but you may think it won’t work for you, you may think you don’t you need it, you may think you’re not capable of learning it it – you need someone to point out how this skill can benefit you before you are willing to consider learning the new skill

Conscious Incompetence

You are now aware of this skill – You are aware that you do not yet posess this skill – You realise that this skill can be useful to you – you make a commitment to learn how to perform this new skill.

Conscious Competence

You are now able to perform this skill without assistance from others but it requires concentration and thought – You are able to demonstrate this skill to others – You now have to commit to practising this skill over and over in order to become unconsciously competent in this skill.

Unconscious Competence.

You have practised this skill so often it enters the unconscious – This skill is now second nature to you – You can now perform this skill while thinking about something else and without concentration – You can now teach this skill to others – Over time you may become less able to teach this skill because you will find it difficult to explain how to do it.

The Four Stages –

Think it’s a load of psychobabble?

Think again. Can you drive a car? Sew? Knit? Type? Paint? Draw? Play a musical instrument? Ride a bike? You have been performing the four stages of learning all your life. You may not have known the name of it until reading this post, but if you take a moment to consider you’ll agree the four stages is exactly how you have been learning to do things.

The exact same process happens when you want to make a positive change in your life. You decide that you want to – lose weight, drink more water, be more positive, get organised, exercise more, play the piano, change a habit, learn any new skill, it could be anything. You think making this change will benefit you. So you make a commitment to change.

The most difficult part is the “practice” – the actual making the change. Unless you *make* yourself practice you will never make the change. Here’s some tips to make it a little easier for you.

This Is Also Known As –

Setting a goal. Sort of. Sometimes a goal requires a lot more work across a lot of different areas, so for the purpose of this post I’m talking more about forming good habits, routines and making *one* positive change at a time.

Pick One Change And Go With It –

Choose the most urgent thing you want to change and focus on changing that. Do not sabotage yourself by trying to change several things at once. You’ll do a lot better if you focus on one at a time. (I made this mistake – on top of the water change I wanted to get more organised. One had to give way – so now I will focus on the organise change I need to make)

Embrace The Need For Change –

You’ve got to want it bad! You have to be passionate about it, long for it, LUST after it! If you don’t want this change, you will find ways to undermine your own efforts. It is sometimes a good idea to write the benefits of making the change down and putting it somewhere you’ll see it often, to remind yourself why you want to make this effort.

Make Success Simple –

If the change is drinking water, carry a bottle with you. If the change is get organised, take time to put systems in place that you can follow. If it’s exercise more, hire a treadmill or exercise bike, whatever floats your boat. Identify how you can make this change easy and simple and then do that first, before you try to begin making the change.

Watch Out For Thwarters –

Friends, family, loved ones can be your worst enemy when it comes to making a change. They like you the way you are. They may not want you to change. They may fear you will leave them behind, not need them anymore. If they can’t get on board, they need to get out of your way – and you may need to push them out of your path.

If you explain to them you want to make this change, you need to make it, and you’re going to make it so you would appreciate their support, and they do not wish to give you the support you’re asking for? That’s a bad sign right there.

I’m not saying cut them out of your life completely, but perhaps it is a good idea to take some time out for yourself to focus on the change you’re making. Do not let anyone hold you back. Don’t let anyone argue with you about it either. You may find it best to – close your ears – smile – nod – ignore – when they try to talk you out of it – and some people will regardless of how much they claim to care for you and want the best for you. Be prepared. Don’t be surprised when it happens.

Look For Supporters –

If you can find people who want to make the same change or even a different positive change from the one you want to make you can support each other. There is nothing like surrounding yourself with people in the progress of positive change. There may be a support group for what you’re looking to do – if not in real life, on the internet. Be wary though, sometimes support can = thwart!

When You Want To Quit –

Keep going. Usually during the first or second week, you’ll have some second thoughts. You’ll think about giving up. You want to quit. Push through it. Don’t allow yourself to give up on your change. You decided to make the change for good reasons and whatever inconveniences you may be experiencing will seem like nothing in a couple of weeks once you get to the unconscious competent stage.

Chart Your Progress –

If the change is something like drink more water, make a simple chart where you can tick off each cup you drink. If it is exercise more, make a chart where you can tick off every half hour of exercise. Whatever your change, try to find a way you can tick boxes for yourself – and always use a tick (positive), never a cross (negative)!

Remind Yourself –

I once had to change my name. I was working in a call centre, and when you answer the phone if you have a longer name there is a better chance the person listening will catch your name if it has more syllables. EG – “This is Ben” will tend to get people saying “Who is it?” whereas”This is Benjamin” you get a lot less “Sorry, I didn’t catch that” which cuts down on your call time. So I wrote my full 3 syllable name on post it notes and stuck it all over my desk. Anywhere I would be looking when I answered a call merited a post it note.

A skill you quickly pick up in a call centre is the ability to listen to what is going on around you as well as on the phone. I heard people discuss my “lack of memory” “That poor girl can’t even remember her own name!” “Doesn’t she know who she is?” – it got so annoying to me that I sent out an email explaining why I had my name all over my desk. Guess what happened next? All kinds of post it notes began to appear all over the office.. I started a trend!

So, write yourself little notes about the change you’re making. Put them in every room you spend time in, where you’re going to see them. On the fridge, on the TV, on the back of the toilet door, on your bathroom mirror, on your bedside cabinet, on your computer monitor.

Reward Yourself.

If you practice, there will come a day when you do this thing without even thinking about it. That day came for me a few days ago, when I noticed I had gone through a 1.5 litre bottle of water during my day without once *thinking* about it. It will happen if you have practiced, so make a plan of how you are going to reward yourself for the hard work you’ve put in.

When The Day Comes –

Celebrate it, you did it! :) Then pick the next thing you want to work on and get started. You’re on a roll, so keep it going. ;)

Don’t Stop Now –

If your choice was to lose weight – most people who made the choice to lose weight put it back on eventually – that is because they get *out* of the good habits they made in their life. When you make a decision to lose weight that is a *lifestyle* change and you have to be committed to it for LIFE. As soon as you stop practicing the good habits you will find the weight creeping back on.

If You Do Stop –

Just as you can get back on the bike and remember how to ride it without having to learn from scratch, you can do the same with any of these changes you committed to making. So simply get back on the bike and start pedaling towards your original goal again.

What Change Did I Make?

In case you didn’t know, I challenged myself after reading this article 9 Great Reasons to Drink Water, and How to Form the Water Habit to begin drinking more water. I used to drink Coca Cola – one can a day – and fruit juice or coffee. I wasn’t getting enough liquids and water retention was a huge issue for me.

Week One –

Visits to the bathroom were more frequent than usual in this week. I was expecting this – the article had mentioned it. It wasn’t too bad but there was one day I felt like quitting the whole thing because I was back and forth too often. Push through that urge to quit. Just keep going!

Two Weeks Into Making This Change –

I noticed a big difference with respect to water retention. The backs of my hands went all wrinkly. The puffiness went away. My body could now rely on me to get enough water during the day and it wasn’t holding to any nugget of water it could get just in case it didn’t get more. Visits to the bathroom were now less frequent than *originally* – I was so glad I didn’t quit!

Sometime In The Third Week –

The unconscious competence kicked in. I was keeping a bottle of water on my desk and suddenly I did not have to remind myself to pour a glass and drink it – and I’d filled in a whole day’s worth of ticks to my chart without once noticing I was doing it. I got some scales at the start of the third week because I thought I’d been losing weight and found I was 10kg lighter than the last time I weighed myself, but that had been over a year ago so I couldn’t be sure it was due to the water. Clothes that fit well three weeks before were suddenly a bit roomy, so I think at least some of the loss was due to it.

I have been so busy drinking water that some mornings I found I wasn’t having my coffee until lunch time – which gave me headaches. This week I focused on making sure I have that morning coffee in the morning. Yes, I am a caffeine addict but during this challenge I’ve cut back to 2 cups a day rather than my usual 4 cups. Wow, what a difference!

Four Weeks Into Making This Change –

I’ve lost 3kg (6.6 pounds) over the course of one week, without making any changes to eating or exercise – in fact I’ve been eating 2 pieces of Lindt chocolate each day, something I normally do not do! Now I’m reasonably confident a large part of the weight loss was due to the water drinking. I can see a noticeable change in the mirror. I’ve been working on getting the hands less wrinkly but it will take time for the skin to shrink back after losing the puffiness.

Was It Worth It?

Absolutely. I am feeling a lot better for it. Now I’m all about the next change, which is getting more organised. Over the next week I’ll be putting systems in place to help me do that. I wanted to do it at the same time as the water change but I found two changes at once was too much for me.

Did you find this article helpful?

Let me know in the comments section. :) Let me know if it inspires you to make your own change, too! ;)

how to guides, life lessons, moving forward, power of positive thought

Handy Blog Tips #1

If you have never heard of Google Alerts and how they can help you as a blogger, or you have seen bloggers leaving a URL after their name when they comment and wonder why, this is a post you’ll want to read.

As I travel around the blogosphere it often surprises me how people don’t seem to put thought into doing the little things that mean a lot – but then I stop and remember we’re not all reading the same blogs, and so it is unlikely you have picked up all the tips I have. So from time to time I’m going to post some of the good stuff I have found out.

How does Snoskred magically turn up when someone writes her name?

Snoskred uses Google Alerts. Basically this is like a google search that comes to you as a surprise in your email. They are incredibly simple to set up. Simply –

1) put the search term in
2) choose if you want all (comprehensive), or one of search, groups, news, blogs
3) how often – daily, as it happens, weekly
4) put your email in


See how simple this is? One more reason to love Google.

For number 2, I went with all. For number 3, choosing as it happens will keep you very up to date but if you’re a busy blogger it might annoy you, too. Mine come to me daily. Of course it is a little easier for me, because my name is fairly unique. I also have alerts set up for Life in the Country, and 419 Scam which helps me stay on top of the latest news in scamming.

You can always use the Alert Management page where you can change all the options and delete any alerts you may be subscribed to. You can also change the formats of the emails you receive – either HTML or plain text.

Why does Snoskred always sign her name and put her blog URL under it?

Snoskred knows that not everyone in the world knows you can click on the name of a commenter to get back to their blog. I may know it, you may know it, but the person who read your comment and thought “wow, that was a great comment, I’d like to read their blog” may not know it.

Rule #1 – Never assume others know what you know!

Those of us with blogger profiles need to pay special attention to this when commenting on blogger blogs because the link blogger puts to your name is to your profile on blogger, not to your blog. If you have more than one blog in your profile people will be confused as to where to find you.

Cybercelt left me a great comment about that a while back, letting me know that you can go into your blogger profile (on your profile page when you are signed in, click edit my profile, then Show my blogs, then Select blogs to display) and choose which blogs are displayed in your profile. If you have more than one, I suggest you choose one to be the main blog, and link to your other blogs from that blog page rather than have them all listed in your profile to make it easier for people to find you, but it’s your profile. ;)

On the other hand, when commenting on WordPress blogs, putting a link may mean your comment gets put into the spam bin. I don’t worry too much about that but it is something to be aware of especially with the busier bloggers who do not always have time to read all their comments. Perhaps you might choose to only leave a link under your name on a WordPress blog in certain circumstances.

I hope these tips are useful! :) Let me know if they are, I’ll consider doing some more posts like this.

blogging tips, commenting on blogs, how to guides

Blog Wrap Ups Made Simple And Easy..

For a while, every Sunday on the blog I did a “weekly wrap up” post. It became a firm favorite with my readers and people often emailed or left comments letting me know how much they enjoyed it. So, would you like to make a regular wrap up a part of your blog too? Here’s how to go about it. Note, this may get a little basic at times in order to help out the less technical of us. ;)

1. Decide what categories you want.

It’s a good idea to have a weekly wrap up follow a kind of “set format” or order. It makes it easier for the readers – they know what to expect each week. You can choose any kinds of categories you want – be creative. You could choose to wrap up what has been going on in your life, perhaps little things which didn’t rate a blog post of their own. You can break down some of the categories into smaller chunks, for example my Must Reads section has extra categories within it. My weekly wrap up includes –

Funny Search Terms This Week –
Must Reads – Post of the week – Funnies –
Great Stumbles this week –
Here On The Blog –
Blogs Added To The Sidebar –
Coming Up –

2. Never be afraid to add to your categories –

This week I am going to be adding a new section where I highlight an old blog post of mine each week. I’ve written some great blog posts in the past and newer readers to the blog may never have read those. If you think of something new don’t be afraid to try it out – and if it doesn’t work out that’s ok too. Some categories you might want to only use from time to time when something fits in them instead of weekly.

3. Create a weekly wrap up text file – with formatting included.

This is the key secret to writing the weekly wrap ups – the formatting part is a secret I only recently discovered. How do you do it? I do mine in blogger but what I’m about to say can be done with almost any blogging platform.

– create a new post
– put in your category titles
– format each category title as you want them to appear (larger text, bold, color etc) note you have to do each title separately because you’re going to add text in between the titles later.
– copy the HTML (in blogger just click edit html and copy that – wordpress users, how do you do this in wordpress?)
– paste the HTML into a text file

So now, you’ll have a text file which will look very strange to you because it has odd code in it, eg – (span style=”color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-weight: bold;”)

Save this text file as the BASE file. Then save it a second time as blogwrap(date) and use blogwrap(date) as the file you put your links in as the week goes by – this way once you’ve done a wrap up you can open the base file and then save it as blogwrap(next week’s date) and start putting links etc aside again without having to delete last week’s work. This saves you time and effort!

If you looked at the file, you’ll note I have html in there for the links to posts etc. That’s important when you get to number 4.

4. Have your weekly wrap up text file open when you’re online.

I’ve mentioned Editpad Lite here on the blog before as one of the best free things available on the net – a great little program that allows you to have text files in tabs so you can flick between them.

I always have Editpad running on my computer and I now always have blogwrap(date) open so when I find a great blog post or an article or anything I want to mention in the wrap up, I can add it – this is where the HTML comes in – (a href=”link”)text(/a)

– copy the link and paste that where it says link
– copy the title of the post as written by the author to where it says text.

Once you’ve done that, you have a link ready for posting in a weekly wrap up. Don’t forget to click save whenever you add in a new link – I lost a bunch of links one time when the power went out.

5. Write your thoughts as you go.

When you copy a link, make sure to put a little bit of text next to it on the spot, so you don’t have to spend time re-visiting the links when you’re writing the blogwrap post. An example from tomorrow’s upcoming blogwrap – with the html brackets changed to ( ) so you can see how it looks in the file –

(a href=””)Hubble Heritage Gallery Of Images(/a) Sites like this are why I love Stumbleupon.

6. Comment before you leave the link.

I usually like to let bloggers know I’m going to be linking to their post in my next weekly wrap up, sort of as a heads up. This is a polite, considerate and friendly thing to do and a very good habit to get into. Sometimes I forget due to lack of talent, organization or skill. Apologies in advance, I never claimed to be a perfect blogger! ;)

7. Communicate updates to your blog.

The weekly wrap up is a great time to mention new widgets and gadgets you’ve added to the sidebar, as well as any changes you’ve made to the “face” of your blog and any new blogs you’ve added to your sidebar links. When you make a change, note it in your wrap up text file on the spot, so you don’t forget about it.

8. What’s on the horizon?

The weekly wrap up is a good time to let your readers know what may come their way over the next week – however be careful. Blogging happens all on its own sometimes, and sometimes I’ve said things were coming up but those things still have not arrived. I’d generally advise not to say too much, just a brief overview of potential possibilities and topics. However do make sure to let them know if you’re going to be participating in things like the Hump Day Hmmm or various other weekly type things.

Blog wrap ups are good for many reasons but the most important could be helping you to build relationships with other bloggers by showing them you like their work enough to link to it – and generally you will find the link love comes back to you over time.

We all find ourselves amazed, happy, excited, possibly a little scared when we start blogging and get our first comment, and we begin to connect with people. It’s a great feeling. It is a great way of showing your blog readers blogs that you enjoy – and a great way of showing bloggers you love their work which is something bloggers enjoy and like.

10. Click on the links.

Once you have published your weekly update, my advice is to click on all the links in your post. This gets the words out to bloggers that they have been linked to because all bloggers tend to check where incoming links are coming from, and generally they will drop over to your blog and check it out, sometimes leaving a comment, sometimes adding *your* blog to their list of blogs to read.

Pick a day! Let people know.

You should choose a day of the week that you’re comfortable with. I chose Sunday because it was a slow day here at the blog – it’s not anymore. ;) People drop by just to read the wrap up. It’s also made Mondays busier, too.

So there you have it –

How to create the blog wrap up and make it easy. Are you inspired? If you’re going to add one to your blog, make sure to comment and let me know, and send me a link when you write your first one, I’ll drop over to check it out.

Work Smarter –

Until recently my weekly blog wrap up was taking up a fair bit of time at the end of the week to put it together. While I was putting links and search terms aside during the week, it was more of a mish mash of stuff I’d put aside rather than anything organised. I would leave it till Sunday to format the post and lay out the links in some kind of order and in general it would take over an hour to finish writing it.

Now that I’ve decided to work smarter instead of harder, the blog wrap post comes together over the course of a week, and is ready to post on Sunday with only five minutes of checking and editing.

In Conclusion –

How many of us take the time to encourage other bloggers on a regular basis, and let people know we enjoy their blogs and enjoy their work? A weekly wrap up gives you the chance to do that – if you don’t want to do it weekly, you might consider once every two weeks, or even once a month.

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