Question to Bloggers…

I was just having a conversation on Twitter about how we as bloggers keep track of our books as theyBook question come in, blog tours…. what we sign up for, etc…

As I have become more involved in blogging these past few months I have realized that I really need to keep track of the books and where they come from (they don’t always come with paper work!) as well as blog tours, giveaways, etc…

Currently I am using an agenda book where I record all book related things…. but chatting with Jamie, from Revenge of the Book Nerds on Twitter, she is using Google calendar and I bet that works pretty slick.

What do you use to keep track of your book happenings?

About Sheila (Book Journey)

Bookaholic * Audio Book Fan *Bike Rider *Rollerblader *Adventure Seeker *Want To Be Runner*Coffee lover *Fitness Fan * Movie junkie

Posted on September 1, 2009, in Book Stuff, Monday Mind Game and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 51 Comments.

  1. Thank you for posting this. I can’t wait to read everybody’s feedback and ideas.

  2. Erm…I don’t! That helps me feel like I’m still grabbing something off the TBR

    • Wow Amy! I am impressed. I would be a mess without it all written down somewhere. (Although sometimes I have to just forget the agenda and go for the book I am ready to read!) :)

  3. I have a book that I just started using to keep track of everything but then I have to remember to check the book. I’m just starting to really get books for review so we’ll see how this works. But I didn’t even know there was a Google calendar so maybe….

  4. I’ve been using my Microsoft Works Calendar to keep track of books. I set up reminders that pop up on when I turn on the computer the week before I need to review something. It’s been working so far!

    • Thanks Chris! I am going to have to think about this. I like the flexibility of a notebook or agenda but the computer calendars does offer some perks like the reminders!

  5. I have a little notebook where I have pasted a calender for each month of the year. On the opposite side, I have my to do list for that month. I take my notebook to book readings, etc. Use it write notes on anything blog related. I like having everything in one spot for easy reference.

    • I like that idea Natasha – I use a calendar but there is no room to put other info like communications with publishers, authors, etc. I too like it all in one place.

  6. I use an Excel spreadsheet. I have columns for date entered, contest end, title, source (website or contact name), dates rcvd, read, posted, and notified (date sent 1st em when bk rcvd & then a 2nd em w/a link for the review). If I don’t win a contest, I simply delete that line.

    I use it for contests I’ve entered, review copies offered, and publisher requests. Seems to work for me. I use different colors for books I haven’t rcvd yet, books rcvd but not read, and current contests. The colors help me find things with a single glance.

    Wow. I sound like such a geek….can’t seem to help it. I’m a fool for spreadsheets! *L*

  7. One reason I never do those memes like “what did you get in your mailbox this week” is because I never write anything down! For a while I was a wonderfully superior person and marked everything down in a notebook that I had divided into months and days. But soon my native laziness took over. I have heard, however, that some of the most organized bloggers use Excel spreadsheets.

    • I have a little 3 drawer stand that has deep cloth drawers. I picked it up at Wal-Mart. Books that come in during the week I put in the drawers until I have time to process them by posting on Sunday what came in. They go to the shelf then in no sort of order but I can use the “Whats in my Mailbox” posts to track what came in when. :) Whenever I can remember stuff by just posting about it I do…LOL

  8. You all sound so organized! Actually, the only books I get that others send me are the ones from Amazon Vine, and those I keep on a separate stack. I don’t just read straight through them, though; I have to select other books from my TBR stack, in between Vine books, to keep things interesting.

    My stacks, however, are so large—I probably have 100 books or more, and the stacks do not seem to be diminishing! Hmm…maybe because I keep buying more books???

    A good system sounds like a plan. I especially need a system for working through my TBR pile!!

    So I will be checking back for the comments here and hopefully will come up with something that works for my situation.

  9. Oh, I almost forgot…lately I have received books that I’ve won in contests, and then there are the books I exchange with other authors. I keep them on a separate stack, too!

  10. I no longer do book tours. For review books that come in, I keep as much data on my blog as possible. I do a arrival post for every review book and info is usually put on that post. I also have a software program that is well worth the money called All My Books: http://www.bolidesoft.com/allmybooks.html I love it!

    Also, I save the inquiry email. That gives me a record of who sent it and I email them when my review is posted. Unsolicited books always come with who sent it.

    • I do like that you post each book as it comes in. I have found putting data on the blog helps me too (that’s why my book wish list is on line and the giveaway page reminds me of giveaways I have entered as well as my own that I need to end). Thanks J Kaye!

  11. After much searching of my house and finally finding an ARC under my bed recently, I have dedicated a small shelf to books I’ve been sent to review. When a new one comes in, it goes to right end of the shelf. Because I have had a few of them for a while, I’m trying to read one review book for every other book I read off of my challenge tbr or regular tbr.

    Thanks for posing this question. I love reading everyone’s responses.

    • Thanks for commenting. I have a book shelf for the “incoming” books as well but I did not keep them in order and I wish I would have. This may be a project real soon. :)

  12. justicejenniferreads

    I don’t really have all that many books coming in (yet – I hope to be a part of this “controlled chaos” soon!). However, I love to stay organized. I’m all about writing things down, taking neat notes, and keeping everything in a “proper” place. I feel like with this, I would start with a notebook, or post its and then if that didn’t work, I would look for an electronic medium that worked better. I just got an iphone so I might try something that syncs up with my phone like ical so that I can carry it with me everywhere.

    • It will happen…. I remember my early few weeks when a book came here or there. I guess this would be a good post for you to see what some of the other bloggers use to give yourself some ideas then. :)

  13. Hello, Sheila! I’m a bit of an old school fellow regarding keeping track of books, reading, and blog ideas. I just keep a small notebook with me at all times. I tried using my PDA phone to somehow calendar events related to books and blogging, but I just can’t get the hang of it.

    • Hi Peter, I am pretty sure whatever i do it will probably always be paper oriented. I just like the convenience of paper and I like being organized, its just a matter of finding the right format for me. I need a company that will design a Review Log just for this purpose….LOL

  14. Shelia,
    I’m so glad you posted this. I’m anxious to see what everyone does as well.
    I have a notebook that I keep track of reviews I submit for my column in our local paper. I also have a list of contacts at different publishers and publicists that I have worked with. I have a section for book requests (that I need to update desperately) and then a section for the website I write for, and the other newspaper I write for. Then I have a print-out calendar that I use to keep track of when certain reviews are going to run, when I have special reviews coming up on my blog, and when advance reviews I have written need to be sent off for publication. Plus I’m going to be doing some blog tours later this fall, and have those on there as well.
    Whew!
    And I’ve started keeping a little notebook with the names of the books I’ve read this year, just out of curiousity to see how many I will have read at the end of the year. It is sectioned, and I put in one section books I’d like to find either at the Half-Price Books or other bookstores when I’m out and about.
    I like being organized. I’m curious about the Google Calendar system though.

    Don’t ya just love being a “bookie!”
    Sharon

    • I need to get more organized on the author/publisher part and that is where I run into “opportunities” with my agenda. I have no room to put that information in it and I have to have a separate file for that – but it may come to that. If I can just make it to the end of this year i can always start with a new system for 2010. :)

  15. I’m another “old schooler” with a small notebook – it works!

  16. Good question…I love reading how people track their books. I’m always open to improving my system from what others are doing. I track my TBR List in an Excel spreadsheet. Recently I created more columns for date purchased, date added to spreadsheet, where I saw it, comments about the book, etc. I like the date added as I can keep a book on my TBR List for years. This allows me to focus on those books that have been on the list for awhile.

    The books that I own I catalog in Bookpedia (Mac only). I just purchased the software about a month ago and I’m still learning. So far, I really like it as I can customize it and add my own columns. It has an iTunes feel to it so that makes it pretty easy to use. I can create Smart Folders, add books to my wishlist, etc. I track my ARCs, LT Early Reviewers, Amazon Vine and other review books here. In the notes sections I reference where the book is from.

    I also track my scheduled reviews (for ARCs only) in iCal. I try to post reviews on the book’s release date so I add the date to iCal. I create reminders for myself to pop up on my desktop a week and several days before the release date.

    Sounds like a lot, but it’s not really. I love tracking things and any way that I can stay organized is a big help!

    • This sounds interesting too. Stop back and let me know how that is working. I dont have Mac but maybe as they develop it they will offer it in other formats.

  17. I use a combination of iCal and a spreadsheet in Google Docs.

  18. I thought I would follow up w/ my comment. I don’t catalog nor record books as they come into my home. I simply put them on my review copy shelf and rely on my email to tell me who sent it. I only use my calender to help remind me of prescheduled dates for blog tours, author interviews, book club meetings, etc.

    • I am using the calendar part of the agenda book more and more. My email is a life saver when it comes to finding where a book came from, and links to authors websites, twitter accounts, etc.

      Thanks Natasha!

  19. Right now I am using an excel spreadsheet, that is in some need of updating. As I am getting more books in now I think I will also use some sort of to-do list/calendar function as well.
    But really, I have such a love of paper I think I will also use my blogging notebook too.

    • I like the thought of excel although I also like the convenience of the book I use that can go anywhere with me. I can picture excel as being a great organizational tool without having to flip back and forth through pages.

  20. I have just discovered Microsoft OneNote which I downloaded as a trial from Microsoft. It has the look and feel of school binder but you can do all sorts of different things with it. You can use it with Excel, Word, Outlook, so amalgamating all elements into one place. You can email your creations and it will change them to HTML if the receiver doesn’t have the program and you can covert stuff to PDF.

    You just point, click, and start typing. I have a “page” for each publishing company with contact info then a table within each showing date received, publication date, date read & reviewed, etc. It is very cool.

    (I apologize for all the technical terms – “things” and “stuff”, I’ve just started experimenting, lol) I may actually have to buy this program! Go check it out at microsoft.com…you get a 60 day trial.(And, I swear, I don’t get commission from this raving ad for it ;-))

  21. I’m really old fashioned. I have a diary that I use and I write in the guest blogs and what posts are going to be done. With 1 yr old twins I have to be organised, so I even write down notes about my regular posts.

    Its interesting to see what everyone does.

  22. Wow, so many good ideas. My answer is…not much! When I accept a review invitation via e-mail, I put the e-mail in a folder, so I can keep track of what I agreed to. Otherwise, I have towering stacks of to-be-read books all over my bookcase! After a busy summer with my boys home from school, those stacks are kind of out of control – I need to do some catching up. Thanks for asking the question – the answers posted here are really helpful!

    Sue

  23. This has been a GREAT discussion and poses tons of great ideas!

  24. I had the same problem! I wasn’t keeping track of which books I HAD to review versus which were giveaway wins, etc.

    Now I’ve got an Excel spreadsheet. On the sheet goes each book I’ve specially requested for review or have been notified I’ve won. I note whether or not I HAVE to review it (and the required review/tour date if there is one). I also put down the contact person or source, so I can follow up once I’ve received a book or reviewed it.

    After getting the mail each day, I put down the dates received on my sheet. If it’s a book I have to review, I’ll put down a review date, also. I try to follow up with the contacts to let them know I’ve received the books.

    Then I just sort the spreadsheet by review date so that I know which books to read/review next. Once it’s reviewed, I follow up with the contact and take the book off the sheet.

    I’ve got 170 books on my sheet right now, so you can imagine if I wasn’t somewhat organized, I’d be going crazy…

    Fortunately a lot of those 170 books are giveaway wins and don’t HAVE to be reviewed. So they are going to sit on my shelf for a while until I slow down this review cycle I’m on!

  25. I want you all to know how you’ve inspired me! Last night, I went through my assorted and sundry stacks of books, documented them by title and author in a notebook, and then today….I entered them all on a Microsoft Works document that allows me to sort them (alphabetically). So now I feel as though I have a handle on them!

    • That is great! Mine still need some love…. in fact as I look around me… my whole life seems to require some sort of organization! :)

      Much to do but think I am making some progress! :)

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