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Organization and Productivity

Platform Planner – A Post-It Note Landing Page of Your Post Titles [Printable Worksheet]

This is part of the Platform Planner series.  Check out the other posts!

Platform Planner Post Titles

 
When an idea comes to you, you need to record it right away.  If you don’t, the idea might be lost forever.  So you jot it down on a random piece of paper or sticky note.  After doing this for awhile, quite a list has built up and now you have to try to make sense of it all.

What if there was a way to capture your ideas in an organized manner right from the start?  Make a Post-It note landing page of your ideas!

This step of the Platform Planner series will help you capture your post titles in a organized way.

  1. Print this worksheet: Post Titles
  2. Cut out the blank margins and glue to page 30 of your comp book.
  3. Fill in the blank with one of your platform categories.
  4. Place a Post-It note in each of the 12 squares, making sure to use the same color you decided upon in your Platform Categories worksheet.
  5. Using the page you just filled in with sticky notes as a guide, fill in the next page (page 31) with the same 12 colored sticky notes and handwrite the title and category at the top of the page.  Alternatively, you could print another worksheet for this page, but you’ll save your printer paper this way.  Now you have two facing pages filled with the same colored Post-It notes for one platform category.
  6. Repeat the steps above for each of your remaining platform categories.
  7. Use these sticky-note-filled pages as landing spots for post titles.  As you think of them, write your post ideas on the corresponding color of sticky note.  If a post title relates to a Platform Series, consider writing a small “S” in a corner of the note.

Platform Planner Post Titles Page

There!  If you have 7 platform categories, you now have 14 pages full of Post-It notes.  That’s 168 spots for you to write down your post ideas.  No more random notes lying around – your ideas now live in a purposeful place!  When you’re ready to schedule a post for publishing, you’ll move the sticky note to your Weekly Editorial Calendar, coming up next in this series.

This is part of the Platform Planner series.  Check out the other posts!

 

Categories
Organization and Productivity

Platform Planner – An Annual Editorial Calendar [Printable Worksheet]

This is part of the Platform Planner series.  Check out the other posts!

Platform Planner Annual Editorial Calendar

 
Having an annual editorial calendar is a great way to lessen the stress that creating content may bring.  The time you spend at the beginning of the year to make an editorial calendar is well-worth it; you can spend the rest of the year creating content, rather than stressing out trying to figure out what that content will be.

Also, having a snapshot of your content plan helps keep you accountable and productive.  Giving yourself a deadline pushes you to deliver.

It’s like keeping track of your family’s special events.  In January if you write down all the year’s birthdays, anniversaries, and reunions on your calendar, you don’t have to stress about missing any of these special days throughout the year since you wrote them all down already.  And since you prepared ahead of time, you can afford to spend some time to recognize those days in a special way as they occur.  Much better than worrying about missing that special day in the first place.

But making an annual editorial calendar for your platform can seem like a difficult process.  What should you focus on each month?

This step of the Platform Planner series will help you prepare your own Annual Editorial Calendar.

  1. Print this worksheet: Annual Editorial Calendar
  2. Cut out the blank margins and glue to pages 28 and 29 of your comp book.
  3. Fill in the blank with the current year, at the top of page 29.
  4. Write in your ideas holidays/events/themes, category, and post ideas for each month.  Consider holidays/events/themes that relate to your 140-Character Mission Statement, your Value Proposition in your One-Page Visual Business Plan, your Platform Categories, or even your Core Values from your Simple Strategic Plan & Roadmap.

As you finalize your Annual Editorial Calendar, consider making it publicly available on your platform.  It could lead to partnerships such as sponsors, advertisers, guest blogging opportunities, and more.

This is part of the Platform Planner series.  Check out the other posts!

 

Categories
Organization and Productivity

Platform Planner – Feature Your Best Themed Posts in a Series [Printable Worksheet]

This is part of the Platform Planner series.  Check out the other posts!

Platform Planner Series

Do you have a collection of posts that you consider your “Greatest Hits”?  Do some posts revolve around the same theme, like a kit or a guide?

Put these themed posts in a platform series!  Whether it’s in the form of a video playlist or a blog post that lists out your related posts, arranging your ideas into a series is a great way to tie your content together.

It provides a valuable resource to your readers and creates somewhat of an event that they actually look forward to.  If you have a lengthy post, consider breaking it up into a series, making it easier for your audience to consume.

This step of the Platform Planner series will help you track ideas for a platform series.

  1. Print this worksheet: Platform Series
  2. Cut out the blank margins and glue to page 27 of your comp book.
  3. Write in your ideas for Series Names, URL structure, Media, and Category.

Now you have a tool to capture your “Greatest Hits”!  As you think of post ideas for your series, you’ll be writing those onto sticky notes, later on in this series.

This is part of the Platform Planner series.  Check out the other posts!

 

Categories
Organization and Productivity

Platform Planner – A Post-It Note Legend of Your Categories [Printable Worksheet]

This is part of the Platform Planner series.  Check out the other posts!

Platform Planner Categories

We commonly use categories in our platforms.  Whether in blogs, vlogs, podcasts, or conferences, keeping our content organized by topic helps us maintain focus while helping readers consume the content they’re interested in.

But having too many categories can be a bad thing.  Our natural channel capacity limit is 7, per Malcolm Gladwell in his book The Tipping PointWe can handle only so much information at once, and once we pass a certain threshold, we become overwhelmed and tune out.

To prevent your audience from tuning you out, you need to have simple category structure.  No more than 7, yo!

This step of the Platform Planner series will help you simplify your platform categories in the form of a Post-It note legend.

  1. Print this worksheet: Platform Categories
  2. Cut out the blank margins and glue to page 26 of your comp book.  Yes, page 26.  We skipped some pages that will be filled in later on.  Don’t worry, it’ll make sense later.
  3. Gather some Post-It notes (the 2-inch size) and decide on a color for each category.
  4. Place one of each color on your worksheet and write in the category names.

There!  You now have a simple and focused category structure.  Be sure you have quite a bit of sticky notes in each color – you’ll be using them in your content planning later on in this series.

This is part of the Platform Planner series.  Check out the other posts!

 

Categories
Organization and Productivity

Platform Planner – A Simple Strategic Plan and Roadmap [Printable Worksheet]

This is part of the Platform Planner series.  Check out the other posts!

Platform Planner Simple Strategic Plan Roadmap

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

We all set goals so that we can improve our lives, both at home and at work.  And we can all agree that it can be challenging to meet those goals.  Also, how do we know if we’ve set the right goals for ourselves?

Knowing your mission statement and your core values is key – it helps you set goals that are true to your purpose and things you stand for.  And to help ensure you’re meeting your goals, you need a roadmap to keep on course.  Right after you write down your goals, immediately plotting out your tactics on a timeline would help keep you accountable, don’t you think?

What if there was a worksheet that you could use to easily capture all these things?  There is!  It’s the Simple Strategic Plan & Roadmap.

This step of the Platform Planner series will help you prepare a Simple Strategic Plan & Roadmap, making it easier to meet your goals.

  1. Print this worksheet: Simple Strategic Plan & Roadmap
  2. Cut out the blank margins and glue to page 18 and 19 of your comp book.
  3. Write in your mission statement you identified in the 140-Character Mission Statement post.
  4. Write down your core values.  You know, all the things you stand for.  Try doing a web search for “core values”.  Write the words that ring true to you.
  5. Write down your goals.  It may help to categorize your goals into sections that make sense to you.  It’s no coincidence that there are 8 lines on this worksheet – one for each of the building blocks of your One-Page Visual Business Plan (if you merge two of the sections into one).  Setting goals for each of these sections will help you set a well-rounded set of objectives.  But keep in mind that you can use this however it rings most true to you!
  6. Write in your tactics that outline the steps you need to take to complete your goals, and when you’ll do them.

If you want to leave your Platform Planner open to any page for guidance or inspiration, make it this page.  If you have been asked to participate in something or find yourself wanting to commit to a new project, see if it can serve as a tactic for one of your goals.  If so, great!  Jot it down!  If not, it will be easy for you to say “No”.

This Simple Strategic Plan & Roadmap worksheet is completely flexible and can be helpful in SO many ways.  Use it in both your personal and business life!

This is part of the Platform Planner series.  Check out the other posts!

 

Categories
Organization and Productivity

Platform Planner – A One-Page Visual Business Plan

This is part of the Platform Planner series.  Check out the other posts!

Platform Planner One Page Visual Business Plan

 
A business plan is known to be a helpful tool for starting your own business.  It can outline your operations, fuel your ambitions, and help secure financing.  But who wants to write a 30-page business plan?  The work involved in writing a lengthy business plan can be overwhelming to most.  So in many cases, it just doesn’t get written.

This is a problem.  And it doesn’t just apply to entrepreneurs who want to write business plans.  It can be teachers who need to write course curriculum, project managers writing project plans, or non-profit execs composing annual reports.  A blogger wanting to prepare a platform plan!

What if there was a simple one-page drawing that describes your idea, rather than a lengthy report?

Enter: the Business Model Canvas – a visual approach to understanding complex processes.  It’s a powerful design tool that describes an entire business model in a one-page drawing.  The canvas has 9 building blocks:

  • Customer Segments – who you serve
  • Value Propositions – the value you provide
  • Channels – how the value is delivered to your customers
  • Customer Relationships – the communication environment with your customers
  • Revenue Streams – your revenue sources
  • Key Resources – the items you need to create your value proposition
  • Key Activities – the things you do with those resources
  • Key Partnerships – third parties who also perform key activities in order to provide the value proposition
  • Cost Structure – your costs

The canvas was designed by Alex Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur, appearing in their book Business Model Generation (my favorite business book EVAR).

This step of the Platform Planner series will help you draw your own one-page visual business plan in the form of the Business Model Canvas.

Business Model Generation Platform Planner
Business Model Generation Platform Planner
Business Model Generation Platform Planner Closeup
Business Model Generation Platform Planner Closeup

 

  1. Review my example canvas above, and watch this short video by the Business Model Generation folks themselves:
  2. Using a pencil, draw the nine canvas sections on pages 16 and 17 of your comp book.  When you’re satisfied with the line placement, draw over it with a pen or thin black marker.
  3. Label each of the 9 canvas sections and write “businessmodelgeneration.com” at the bottom.  The canvas is licensed as Creative Commons so you get to enjoy it for free!  Just be sure to reference to businessmodelgeneration.com after each use.  Thanks, Alex and Yves 🙂
  4. Gather some post-it notes (the 2-inch size) and cut them in half twice, producing 4 smaller squares.  Discard the 2 squares that don’t have a sticky back.  Use the other 2 to jot down the elements of each of parts of your business model.  You might find it helpful to use different colors of sticky notes.
  5. Attach your little handwritten sticky note squares in place on the canvas, reflecting your business model.  A good starting point is the Value Proposition.  If you have completed the How Can I Help People? and 140-Character Mission Statement worksheets, you should have a good idea of the value you offer.
  6. If you’d like to learn more about how to use the Business Model Canvas, read the book Business Model Generation.  It really is my favorite biz book.  For more info, read my Review of Business Model Generation.

As you make your canvas and start arranging sticky notes in place, remember to have fun with it.  Don’t worry about it being perfect.  The sticky notes keep  your ideas movable.  You can continuously add and update it as you wish.  You may even find yourself wanting to make a new canvas periodically, to watch your ideas evolve.

This is part of the Platform Planner series.  Check out the other posts!