Before I took the leap to work from home and take my little blog to full-time business, I knew that I needed a few things to keep me productive in my day-to-day. If I’m not organized and equipped with what I need, I usually fail to complete tasks (or at least complete them well). So, as I prepared to start 2019 with a new job title and boss (myself) I knew that I needed to get a few things in order.
Today, I’m sharing all of the office essentials I use to stay productive and organized while working from home. Even if you haven’t quite reached the point of full-time blogging, you can still apply all of these to your current schedule. Even those of us that are up late blogging while the rest of the family sleeps need a certain amount of organization.
I live in a small house, friend. As in, two bedrooms and one bath. We are in what you might call a starter home…because there would be no room for kiddos in this house that’s for sure. Even though our home is small, I could not see myself being productive from my dining room table. It didn’t work in high school, it didn’t work in my dorm, and I knew it wouldn’t work as I pursued full-time blogging.
So, I created a space that would be designated for my blog and nothing else. In our small spare room, which is basically just storage for all of the things we don’t have a place for, I cleared off one wall. This space is probably all of 6 feet wide, if that. But, I cleared it off and moved in a tiny desk facing the wall. I covered the wall in inspirational prints and photos. Even if I’m not looking out of a window or into a pretty room, I at least have something motivating in front of me while I’m working.
And this is my office. Six feet of wall and a tiny desk. But, it’s MY space to work and that is really all I needed. It isn’t where we eat dinner. Or fold laundry. Or sleep. It’s my place to be alone with my work and it helps me get into a business mind set as soon as I sit down.
So, I would suggest creating space where ever you can. Can you turn your vanity into a desk area? How about that dining room you only use on Thanksgiving? I even have a friend that turned her sun-room into her office because it was a space she never used otherwise. Where ever you can create space you can create a work space. Behind me still sits unpacked boxes, bags of seasonal clothing, and that pile of stuff for Goodwill that I still haven’t bothered to take. It’s not pretty except for the wall behind my desk. But, it WORKS.
2. A Planner for Actual Planning
I am totally the girl that just buys planners each year and lets them collect dust. Until I started blogging that is. If you think you can create good content and stay consistent without planning it all out then you are going to feel burnt out all the time, I promise.
So, before you even start writing your posts, I would suggest getting your hands on a good planner and start mapping out the first quarter of your posts for the year. This will help you stay consistent in your writing and help train your brain to live by a schedule so if you decide to blog full-time you will already have systems in place.
Your planner does not need to be expensive or overly complicated. You just need a planner that gives you monthly and weekly schedules with room to write in blog post ideas and social media post dates. I’ve listed some of the ones that I love below.
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3. Basic Office Tools
You might be surprised how often you might need a file folder or a stapler. When you get deep into blogging there is so much to keep track of: monthly agendas, marketing strategy worksheets, financial records, blog post ideas, contacts. And it can all get messy and unorganized really quickly. Plus, nothing is more frustrating than being in the middle of a great idea and getting side-tracked by searching for a paper clip or pen.
So, I recommend stocking up on a few essentials that will make your desk/office space much more functional.
Pretty File Folders
I know you can get basic file folders for pennies but I am a sucker for anything that makes my work-space more beautiful.
My desk would be a disaster without a simple tray to catch all of my roaming paper clips and hair ties.
Paper Clips & Binder Clips
You will need them at some point, I promise.
Pens & Mechanical Pencils
And they need to be of good quality. Nothing pushes my buttons more than a dried-up pen or a mechanical pencil that keeps breaking. Invest in good pens, keep them in one place, and I guarantee you’ll never buy them more than once a year.
You might also need:
- a pencil cup
- small filing cabinet
- Post-it notes
- Tape & dispenser
- Cork Board & Push Pins
- Small Notebooks & Notepads
Just getting your hands on these basic things will make all the difference in your blogging pursuit. With the small and simple things taken care of you can focus more of your energy on the bigger projects you’ll need to tackle as you journey through this process. It’s an exciting ride, friend. And I hope my tips here help you feel a little more prepared to take the leap.