Hey – I just published this over at The Blog Studio, but I’m betting a few of you might find it interesting too.
I’m a pen and paper kind of guy. Especially when it comes to tracking time and keeping lists. There’s something inordinately satisfying about checking something off. Something I don’t get with a computer.
Paper also has the benefit of portability and visibility. I’ve become addicted to using index cards to jot down notes and ideas. They’re the perfect size to fit in a pocket, don’t take up much room on my desk, and are sturdy enough to survive daily abuse. A couple of days ago I stumbled on the idea of sticking an index card in behind the last row of keys on my apple keyboard. Instant motivation! Nothing like having a constant reminder of what you’re supposed to be working on in the bottom of your field of vision at all times!
I’ve also been toying the idea of creating a system to track my traffic building/site maintenance activities for my work site and a number of client sites. What I wanted was a checklist for both things to check (ie SE ranking) and things to do (write a post, leave a comment, tweak a feature, etc). Sure I could use a spreadsheet to do this. But I have to big resistance issues with this: the first is that I don’t want another memory hogging program open all day, the second is that for me, entering data into a spreadsheet is boring. I want a system where I can easily collect a bunch of data, then batch process a bunch of that data at later date.
To that end, I whipped up The Blogger’s Traffic Building Worksheet (v0.1). This 3″ by 5″ (index card sized) form is meant to be printed out (ideally on heavier stock), cut to size, and used and abused. I’ve included spaces to track the major metrics, as well as a place to record what you did to improve your site (and track the time you spent doing it). There’s room to mark off the number of posts your wrote, as well as the number of comments you left on other sites.
I’ve designed this thing to be motivating: the odds of me making a tweak or two to the site are higher when I have a reminder to do so under my nose. My brain really likes ticking things off (just ask my wife!). It’s not the prettiest thing I’ve ever designed, but this isn’t a beauty contest. So far, I’ve found using the worksheet to be extremely effective. I hope you do too!
Download the Traffic Building Worksheet as a 1-up pdf (1 card per page)
Download the Traffic Building Worksheet as a 4-up pdf (4 cards per page)
Download the Traffic Building Worksheet in it’s OmniGraffle format