NOTE: This article has been updated. See the updated version here.
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!
also been toying the idea of creating a system to track my traffic
building/site maintenance activities for this 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
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!