One thing I have come to realize about myself is that I need to keep score if I want to get things done. Not keep score against others, but rather just keep score with myself. I need to add a layer of gamification to many of the goals I want to achieve, otherwise I can mindlessly drift into activities that do not move the ball forward on the things that I really want to pursue and areas I want to grow in. Blogging is one of those activities that can sometimes be easy for me to push aside if I get lazy. At the same time, blogging, building a robust content library, and developing online products are crucial to some of my long-term goals, so I have to keep moving even when things get busy (or I get lazy).
One solution I developed to keep me motivated is a blogging scorecard. This tool gives me quantified results and a visual representation of my blogging progress every week. I built it in Google Sheets (I also have a Microsoft Excel version, but more on that later in the post) and it uses simple formatting, simple formulas, and conditional formatting to keep me accountable and motivated to achieve a high score for the week. Below is an image showing what the scorecard looks like.
Here are some notes about the spreadsheet:
- I have my blogging activities split into two categories, one for content development and maintenance, and one for analytics and web development. I can add or remove lines (or even sections, for that matter) as needed, depending on the different activities I may be focused on at any point in time.
- The gray boxes are days that I am not expecting to complete those tactics, so they are not calculated in the completion percentages.
- Each line is tallied by COUNTA() and SUM() formulas, as well as the section percentages, and the overall completion percentage.
- I mark the cells with “X” tallies, but you could put anything in the boxes because the COUNTA() function only cares that the cell is not null.
- I am using conditional formatting on the end column that shades from red to green depending on the percentage. When the week starts, they are all red, so it is motivating to see the boxes change colors and get closer to green as I mark cells off.
- The total completion box is also using condition formatting, but in this case, displays a green check mark if I get over a 75% completion rate, a yellow exclamation mark for 33%-74% completion, or a red stop sign for anything below 33%.
- I have played around with weighting different processes, offering me a greater score for completion over others, but in general I usually just have every row be equal to each other.
By the end of the week, I have a great understanding of the progress I made through the week, and then strive to beat that completion percentage the next week, or see how many 100%’s I can string together. I have gamified my blogging.
I have these scorecards for various things, including certain systems I manage at work and for working out, just to name a couple. But my blogging one gets the most attention by far.
As I mentioned above, I built this in Google Sheets, but I have found that it converts into Microsoft Excel pretty easily. If you would like a copy of this scorecard, just drop me a note using the form in my About page and I will send you an email with the link to download the template. (Note: This also opts you in on my email list, but trust me, its all good stuff that will come your way and will be worth your time… promise. Also, I send out free templates and exclusive content to my email list regularly).
Hopefully some of you might find this to be a useful tool if you are looking to build and manage your blog better.