10 Minute Blog Tips: The Blogging Benefit of Making Lists

Filed as Features, Guides on August 24, 2007 3:38 am

People ask me how I can write so many articles over multiple blogs. What do I do to maintain the posting frequency and the many varied topics?

The answer can be summed up in one word: Lists.

My favourite list making tool is the online service from 37signals, Tadalist.

Anyone who follows my writing on other blogs will have been aware of my fondness of the Tadalists service. I write about the many uses I have for found for Tadalists here. Specifically for blogging I make lists for:

  • Post ideas
  • Articles to read
  • Top 10 List Articles
  • Keeping track of promotional projects
  • Blog Setup Checklists
  • Brainstorming
  • Comparing notes in collaborations

One use you might seem strange is I use a list to keep track of my most popular posts. Why do I not use a plugin?

The thing about automatic plugins is they are dumb, they just track page views and show the top N items. I don’t always want to display those posts in my most popular list, partly because what is most popular can be skewed by being present in the list, and also because a post might get a lot of social media attention but not be a perfect fit for a new visitor to the blog. By controlling my own list manually I can make best use of my limited sidebar space.

Do you make lists to help you stay creative and organised? Let me know in the comments …

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  1. By guillermo posted on August 24, 2007 at 6:20 am
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    I use a folder in my FFx bookmarks to store the pages I’m interested on taking a good look at and not a quick overview. I use my blackberry memopad which syncs to my OLook one to write lists on what I will write in the next few days and some ideas and subjects I want to draft about.

    But I will try your tool.

    Reply

  2. By Steve Roesler posted on August 24, 2007 at 10:53 pm
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    Well, Chris, I do use lists.

    However, I must confess: sometimes I end up creating lists in different places using different tools or even (blush) pencil and paper. Then I have to remember the list of lists.

    So here’s what I’m doing: I’m going to commit to using Ta-Da exclusively for the next week. My hunch is that I simply need to create the habit of using one tool.

    I’ll keep a list of things that happened along they way and check in next week :-)

    Thanks for the concrete solution and the reminder about the importance of lists.

    Reply

  3. By Chris Garrett posted on August 25, 2007 at 3:34 am
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    The tool isn’t as important as getting your thoughts or steps down and recorded. If you are anything like me, some of the best ideas or tasks will disappear if left to our grey cells :)

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  4. By The Internet Cash Flow Guy posted on August 26, 2007 at 10:27 pm
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    Thanks for the link to Tadalist. I like to use Google News to identify recent events to write about and Reader to see what other bloggers are posting about. Then I use my HTC S730 Smartphone to write articles while I am away from the computer and use the task pad to quickly jot down ideas for posts. Works well for me.

    Reply

  5. By BlogOnDude posted on August 27, 2007 at 12:33 am
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    Thanks for enlightening me about Tadalist. I’ve been looking for something like this and so far I love it! You have a great blog…so much cool stuff to read. Take care!

    Reply

  6. By Chris Garrett posted on August 27, 2007 at 6:26 am
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    I used to use my PDA to write posts on the train, I think it is also a HTC (o2 XDA).

    Reply

  7. By Angela Booth posted on August 29, 2007 at 1:32 am
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    I’ve just started to use Ta Da List – it’s great.

    I felt a little silly signing up for it because I’ve used the developer’s Backpack product for a few years, AND I have more “getting things done” information managers than a sane person should have.

    But Ta Da List is amazing. I’ve got a Mac widget in my Dashboard, and it’s so handy – no program to open. It’s so useful too – just the bare essentials: my Today list just covers today.

    I’ve never thought of using it for a blogging lists, that’s an excellent idea. Thanks for the tip. I’ve been using index cards, which are great, and I’ll keep using them with Ta Da List.

    Reply

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