How Bloggers Organize Their Blogging Life

After completely rebranding my blog and getting the inspiration to start blogging again, I was reminded of just how much work it takes to be a blogger. I'm known to be a type-A gal, so notebooks and to-do lists can be seen all over my desk. I thought it would be super fun to share how I organize my blogging life and ask other bloggers how they organize as well!

Personally, I organize my blog three different ways. I use Google calendar to mark the general post title each day. This is great for when I'm on-the-go and can quickly add or change blog posts for certain days. I have a large planner that I also use to write blog posts for each day along with a couple of notes to include in each post. This guarantees that I don't forget to include certain things in each post. Lastly, I have a notebook that I use to write down everything I need to know for blogging: in-depth blog post ideas, notes for blogger collaborations, blog to-do list, etc. This makes sure I never forget anything having to do with blogging! I also have an email specifically for blogging (see how to make your own here!). This helps me to keep track of emails from companies and other bloggers so they don't get mixed up with junk emails on my personal email.

If you're looking for some tips, feel free to use my idea above or check out what these fabulous bloggers have to give for advice!

Each quarter, I print out a free printable calendar template for the upcoming three months.  I use a bright colored pen and mark up holidays, major sales, and things going on in my personal life.  From there, I start to plot out what posts will happen on each day.  I write all of it out in erasable pen, and when I've completely finished writing a post and scheduled all of the social media to go with it, I highlight it off on the calendar.  I keep my calendars folded up in a tiny gold and white striped notebook that I keep with me at all times.  I keep a running list of post ideas in the notebook, so when I'm lacking inspiration, I have a list of ideas ready to go!” -Dana, Seersucker Sass

“I organize my blogging life by pre-planning all of my future blog posts on Google calendar and having different colors for published, draft, and idea posts. I also keep a running list of post ideas on Google doc. I always try to keep my email up to date and reply to emails ASAP!” -Katie, Chic in Carolina

“I try to write down blog ideas in the notes app on my phone whenever they come to me during the day. If I decide to schedule a post in advance or I am working with a company, I keep track of post dates in my Erin Condren Life Planner (along with every other detail of my life!).” -Sammy, Preptista

"I don’t organize my blogging life. Despite the fact that it can be conducive to some very hectic nights and frantic last minute posts, I  just cannot find it in me to make an editorial calendar. I’ve learned that inspirations strikes when it does and that I need to capitalize on it when it does. I try to plan each week out to the best of my ability, but typically only do so in my head. If I do anything, it is make a giant to-do list and give myself a set time frame to complete it within. Self-discipline can go along way!" -Jamie, The Fashion Newcomer

"It all starts with my planner! I find it extremely helpful to map out what day I want to write/edit the post, what day I want to take pictures for it, and what day I actually want to post! Seeing as I'm really busy (especially during the summer), setting these deadlines for myself helps keep everything on track! In regards to managing social media for my blog, I make it a point to write down weekly goals in my planner, too (i.e. post once a day, gain xx many followers, etc.). This motivates me to ensure I'm growing my social media presence in addition to my blog! Finally, when writing about all of things related to my blog in my planner, I use a specific colored pen  so as not to get confused with other things I need to accomplish. Being able to visualize how much time I need to spend on my blog by just looking at the one color is super helpful!" -Ciara, The Clumsy Clover

"To organize your blogging life, I think what's initially most important is just to understand what that means to you. I consider my "blogging life" to be a lot more than simply my blog and writing posts for a little spot on the corner of the internet. In fact, my blogging life is everything that isn't attached to my personal brand, or personal life. My blogging life includes Instagram posts, tweets, Pinterest, Snapchat, emails, working on design and HTML codes, creating graphics, researching, scheduling posts, shopping and budgeting, shooting photos, and so so much more. There's a lot of work that goes into my blog, and a lot of behind the scenes activity that I know all bloggers can relate to that isn't 100% visible to a reader but makes such a difference in the outcome of one's blog. When it comes to organizing everything I have to do to make my blog most successful, I would say creating to-do lists and managing calendars are the most important tools I use. I create and categorize lists of tasks that I aim to cross off each day to maintain my blog and the various platforms it stands by, and I find that managing and organizing calendars helps so much to make sure everything is done/scheduled/posted by the date it should be. Organizing my blog and my blogging life is complex and sometimes challenging, but I love doing it because I love to blog, which makes everything so worth it." -Frannie, The Blonde Prep

"Unlike a lot of bloggers I know, I'm not very good at keeping up with calendars and planners. What I do instead is stick to the "Notes" app on my iPhone. Whenever I have an idea for a post, I put it in my Notes. I have different notes for different categories - for example, I have one "note" labeled Fashion Posts, and another labeled Travel Tips. I also keep track of my posts in a separate note where I type in which posts I'll be writing for the week." -Caitlin, Your Typical Prep

"I'm the kind of person who loves the idea of living an organized life, but really has to stress and work to get myself together and check things off my to-do lists. Without planners, calendars, notebooks and bunches of lists my life would be absolute chaos. Not to mention my blog.. Oh goodness, what would my life be like without sticky notes, pens, colorful sharpies, and washi tape in it? My blog would be more all over the place than it already is, for sure! When I organize, I color code and underline the most important things I have to get done, and I cross out things as I finish them so as not to confuse myself when I'm looking back through the to-do's. Another way I make sure things get done for the blog is by listing them EVERYWHERE. I'll write to-do's on sticky notes so that everything I need to get done is BAM right there in my face!" -Cathleen, Classy Cathleen

“I’m a super organized person so when I started blogging I kept my blogging and personal life separated in two different planners. I found that this wasn’t the best way for me to balance the two because of all the other stuff I have to get done on any given day so I decided to have EVERYTHING in one planner! This might drive some people nuts, but it allows me to effectively plan out what I have to do each day. I also keep a smaller planner in my purse at all times since it’s annoying to have to lug around my regular planner, and I just keep the important stuff in it. Appointments, post deadlines, etc. I will use Google Calendars every once in a while when it comes to sharing my schedule with others, but I found that a physical planner works best for me!” -Rachel, Seashells & Sparkles

"I absolutely loving using a notebook to keep my ideas in and Google Calendar. I recently just tried Google Calendar and it has changed my life. I especially love the app you can get on your phone. It makes it so much easier to keep track of your posts. As for my notebook, I bring it everywhere with me. If I don't have my notebook, then I have a section in my notes app on my iPhone specifically for post ideas." -Sophia, California Belle Blog

How do you organize your blogging life?

Why You Should Rebrand Your Blog

What a lot of people don't realize is I actually debated on rebranding my blog for about six months before I finally made the decision to go from Private School Prepster to Lilly & Lemons. I wanted to make sure that I really enjoyed my new name, that it wasn't already taken, and that I could be able to make the whole change possible.

The day that I finally made my blog Lilly & Lemons was definitely a huge step in my blogging career, but it was also one of my happiest blogging moments. I feel as if Lilly & Lemons truly fits me, and I don't regret rebranding at all. If you are thinking of rebranding your own blog, I definitely suggest that you take the plunge and do it for these reasons!

one || it fits you better
People usually think about rebranding when they think their current blog name doesn't fit them anymore. Private School Prepster still fits me; I went to a private high school, and I will be attending a private college. But I see my blog as something that will be continued even after college, and I won't be in private school forever. I have a huge obsession with Lilly Pulitzer and lemons that I know will fit me for life after college, so that's how I knew my new name would be perfect for me! If you decide on a new name for your blog, chances are it will fit you better than your current blog name does.

two || it motivates you
When I was still Private School Prepster, I was so unmotivated to blog. I had no desire simply because I wasn't thrilled with being Private School Prepster anymore, which was actually a bummer because blogging is one of my favorite things to do. When I made the switch to Lilly & Lemons, I felt a huge burst of motivation and inspiration because I loved my new name so much that I couldn't wait to get fresh and exciting content out!

three || it opens up brand opportunities
Rebranding opens up many more brand opportunities. Honestly, I am way happier with my blog now than I was before. My blog has a preppy and cute design, a domain name, and a professional email (which you can find out how to get for yourself here!). I feel as though a rebranding looks a lot better to companies when your design is professional and clean, your blog has its own domain name instead of a or attached to it, and your email includes your domain name. It shows that you are legit and take blogging seriously; no company would want to pass that up!

four || it looks professional
I'll admit that my last blog design for Private School Prepster wasn't very professional. I loved the design at first, but then it got real old real fast for me. I didn't want to get a new design and waste money because I knew I wanted to rebrand soon, so I just stuck it out. I'm still so obsessed with how professional yet chic Maru made my little corner of the Internet look! I also think it's professional that I purchased a domain name and have a custom email.

If you are seriously considering rebranding, GO FOR IT! It's a decision you won't regret, and it will totally change your blogging game. Please don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions about rebranding!

Have you rebranded before or thought of rebranding?

J. Crew Sale Picks

It's always impossible for me to turn down a sale, and after the Nordstrom anniversary sale and the J. Crew sale, my bank account isn't going to be too happy with me! J. Crew rarely has good sales though, so it's going to be extremely hard to try to pass this one up. Use the code GOSHOPPING to get 30% off your purchase until tomorrow, 7/20!
What are you planning on getting from the sale?

Productive Things To Do On Rainy Summer Days

I love that summertime is all about having fun and having the freedom to do whatever. However, rainy days can really put a damper on most summer plans. Although I definitely enjoy lounging around and watching Netflix on these rainy days, I also like to make these days productive so I don't have to waste beautiful days trying to get sh*t done!

I don't necessarily do long and extreme tasks, but I like to do little tasks that still make a dent in my productive side.

one || work on the blog
I always get the desire to blog whenever it is raining outside! To be productive in blogging, I come up with post ideas, check my email, write posts, post on social media, and plan out exciting ideas. It's the best time to get a chunk of blogging tasks done!

two || plan ahead
Being the type-A person I am, I love to make lists and plan ahead. I usually make a to-do list for each week during the summer and a to-do list for each day during the school year. Making to-do lists allows me to get an idea of what I need to get done within a certain time frame. Besides writing lists, I also like to utilize my agenda. I use it to write down the days and times I have work, any plans I may have with friends, and blogging due dates.

three || read
Reading may be seen as more relaxation than productivity, but I have always thought that reading is super important. Summer is when I have the most time to read whatever I'd like, so I always stock up on a few good books to read!

four || work out
The gym is perfect for when the weather isn't so great for a run outside. I love using the treadmill, elliptical, stairmaster, and more to stay in shape. However, my gym always tends to be more packed when the weather is bad, so make sure to go at a good time!

How do you like to be productive on a rainy day?

How To Create A Free Email Address For Your Domain

The most exciting thing to me about buying a domain name for my blog is being able to have an email address that uses my domain name. The email address just looks so much more professional than a Gmail email address.

I wanted to use an email host server that is simple, has an app, and is free. Google Apps for Work was one of my options, but honestly, I didn't really feel like paying for it. It's only $5 per month per user, and it was hard saying no to Google since it's seriously the best thing ever, but I really wanted to find something that was free.

After doing some research, I found Zoho Mail. Zoho is an email hosting website that allows you to have up to 25 free email addresses for your domain name! I took a look through Zoho before signing up and decided that it definitely looked simple, efficient, and easy to use. It took me about half an hour to figure out how to create an email address for my domain name, but I was thrilled when it finally worked.

I love using Zoho so much that I want to share it with other bloggers to use! If you have your own domain name but no email hosting for it, I highly suggest using Zoho. Check out the step-by-step guide below for help!

step one || add the domain
The first step requires adding your domain name to Zoho. All you need to do is access the control panel, click "add domain," and type in your domain name.

step two || verify the domain
The second step involves verifying your domain. This can be done in two different methods: the CNAME method or TXT method. I personally prefer the CNAME method. To verify your domain, you first have to go to the domains section in the control panel of your Zoho account and select the CNAME tab.

Make a note of the specific zb code you see under the CNAME and the destination it points to. Head over to your domain DNS manager. Your DNS manager will look different depending on where you bought your domain name (I bought mine from Google), but they will all have the same general idea. Under the resource section, type in your specific zb code, CNAME for the type of file it is, 5m for the time, and for the IPv4 address. It should look like the second line in the picture below.

three || modify the records
Access your domain's DNS manager again. Add another record to allow you to enable email hosting once the domain has been verified. Leave the name blank, choose the type as "MX", use 1m for the time, and put for the IPv4 address. It should look like the first line in the picture below.

four || enable email hosting
Email hosting now needs to be enabled in the control panel. Head to where your domain is registered on Zoho and click on the envelope icon under "mail hosting" in the last column. The envelope should now turn a dark color.

five || create email accounts
It is now time to create email accounts! You can do so by accessing "user details" in the control panel. Click "add user" and fill in the details that you choose. If you have more than one domain name registered on Zoho, make sure you choose the correct domain that you want to use.

You can add up to 25 email addresses for free. I only have one email address for my account for now, but it's nice to know that I can add more in the future if needed.

six || start emailing!
Your email hosting setup should now be complete! I sent a couple different emails to different email addresses just to test it out and see if it worked. It should, but if it doesn't, Zoho has great support pages to answer any questions you may have.

I love using Zoho for my blog and would definitely recommend it to anyone else looking for email hosting. It even has an app for iPhone, which is so helpful to me since I always have my phone with me! Let me know if you end up using it for your own blog!

Brand Partnership Thank You Note Etiquette

One perk of being a blogger is brand partnerships. You'll find that the longer you have your blog and the more effort you put into it, the more opportunities to work with companies will pop up. It's always fun to receive items to feature, but a simple thank you note for receiving these items is vital.

There are five key factors to include in a thank you note to a brand. The example above highlights those five factors by color!

dark pink || the greeting
When you receive the item in the mail, the company will most likely send a card thanking you for featuring their item. A single person may sign the card, or it may be signed by the company team. The greeting always depends on this signature; if it is one person, say something like, "Dear (insert name),". If it is signed by the whole company, say something such as, "To the team at (insert company name),". If a card is not included with your item, it is always safer to assume the whole team sent it to you.

yellow || the thank you
This one is obvious, but say thank you for sending the item! Always be specific to what the item is. It also helps to use a subtle adjective for the item, such as how I called the dress "lovely."

green || the plan for the item
Say why you specifically love the item. Companies love to hear feedback from customers, especially when it's good feedback! It's really nice to say what you are going to use the item for. If it's a hat: "I can't wait to wear this for my multiple beach trips this summer!" If it's a notebook: "This notebook will be perfect for writing down my numerous to-do lists and blog post ideas!" If it's a dress: "I'm already excited to wear it during one of my trips to the Cape this summer!" Whatever it may be, show how you plan on using the item so the company knows you're not featuring their item just to get something for free.

navy || the closing remark
Always end the note with something nice that shows you want more with the company. Here are some options: "I can't wait for the post to go live!" or "I hope to work with you again!" or "Stay tuned for the post!" or "I had a blast working with you!". Just make sure that the company knows you appreciate and value the partnership you had with them!

light pink || the signature
Always sign the note professionally. Since this is a professional relationship, it would not be appropriate to use the closing remark "love." You could use "best," "sincerely," or anything else that fits. This depends on the company as well. If it is a fun and cheery company, such as Lilly, it would be appropriate to sign the note using "xx" since they are known for signing things that way. Whatever you think feels right!

Writing a thank you note is a simple step that can go a long way. It'll leave a great last impression on you with the company, and it can definitely be another way to make the company want to work with you again in the future.

What do you include in your thank you notes to brands?

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has officially started for anyone who is a cardmember! Although I'm not a cardmember, my sister is, so I'm fortunately able to shop this early bird sale. The prices are amazing and I have to admit that it might be hard to not buy all of my favorite picks!

Which items are you hoping to get from the sale?

Flamingo Frenzy

Photo credits to Tyler, the ultimate #BloggerBoyfriend.

These fabulous flamingo shorts have been #OnRepeat lately and I'm loving the flamingo trend! Lilly's Callahan shorts always kill it, and when I was looking for a graduation present for myself last month, I knew that these babies would be the perfect pair for me!

I'm always loving the whole pink & green combo too, so I love that these shorts are full of those fun colors. 

Which trend are you loving lately?

Welcome to Lilly & Lemons

Welcome to my rebranded little corner of the Internet, gals! I'm beyond thrilled with the changes that Maru has brought to my blog. The design totally fits me, and my new name of Lilly & Lemons fits me even more.

Stay tuned for some fresh and fabulous content to come! XO

Blog Changes

A couple of weeks ago I had mentioned that I wanted to change my blog name, but I was conflicted on whether or not I should do so. I'm so happy that I have finally decided on a fabulous blog name that not only reflects me now but will always continue to reflect me -- Lilly & Lemons! Lilly Pulitzer is obviously my favorite brand, and I have a huge obsession with lemons whether it be lemon print items or lemon water. I even purchased a domain name and will be updating my social media handles -- on Monday, July 6th, you can access my blog through! And if you need to reach me, please contact me at

I also decided to get my new blog designed by Maru from Fashiony Fab, and I am so thrilled with the outcome! She literally had my whole blog design completed within 24 hours, and I was beyond impressed. I can't wait for you all to see the complete design! Thank you for being so patient. XO

Fourth of July Sales

The Fourth of July is definitely my favorite holiday to pick a cute outfit for because it is so easy to pair things together that are red, white, and blue. So many stores are having sales these next couple of days, so if you still haven't gotten your outfit for the Fourth of July, you're in luck now!

Vineyard Vines is having 40% off sale items with code WHALE2015.

J. Crew Factory is having 50% off clearance items with code THEBIG50.

Old Navy/Gap/Banana Republic is having 35% off everything with code FUN.

Kate Spade is having 25% off sale items with code SETSALE.

What sales are you planning on shopping?