Blogrolls, Facebook, Pages and the Cottage Crush Collection

As my blog has grown, and I continue to find more bloggers to stalk and copy follow, I find myself with these unwieldy lists of links and pictures and buttons that need filed so I can find 'em in the future.  Part of my blog revamp has been to find a systematic way to organize all this info.  I mean, I'm pretty amazing and all, but keeping 100's of inspirational pictures and links in my wee brain isn't one of my strengths.

Yeah. Who else gets lost flitting thru other's blogrolls whilst the hubby or kids ransack the kitchen for dinner or the dryer for clean underwear?  I see those hands. Yep.  Me too. 

So, after a year at this, I've come up with some ways that are working for me, and hopefully help you navigate my blog when you're visiting.  If you read me in a reader, you'll obviously need to click over to see what the heck I'm talking about....if you don't want to know what I'm talking about and you're just here for some pretty pictures, then you can move on to the next blog.  :)

I have this love/hate relationship with blogrolls on my sidebar.  I LOVE them on others...it's how I find new bloggers and inspiration!  Nothing like spending a glorious evening following rabbit trails, hopping from nest to nest, discovering new inspiration.  But my blogroll always seems messy and cluttery over there.  I've tried doing away with it, tried using different rolls for different categories, just lumped it all together, etc.  So here's what I've done:

When I stumble upon a blog I like, I click *follow* if it's a Blogger blog, or Subscribe for the others.  I really don't care for using a reader or doing email subscriptions because I'm visual...I like to see everyone's places and enjoy the furnishings and food decor.  Plus it's easier to quickly leave a comment without that extra click, which unfortunately seems like too much effort when I have lots of posts sitting in my reader.  Anyway, once I've got the link captured, I decide one of three places they will eventually land:

Place #1: As a link in a blogroll I keep on a private blog.  This blog is also where I store my buttons, ideas for future posts, quotes, and until recently links to DIY or inspiration posts I want to be able to find later (more on that in a second).  Generally, all new blogs land here first til I can get a feel for where they'll fit best. 

Place #2: As a button in one of my Pages....the cottage categories up top there.  I created those pages mainly to help me define my personal 'cottage' style, and I love so many 'styles'....simple farmhouse cottage with red ticking/washed blue denim/shots of green.....vintage victorian cottage with happy colors and heirloom roses......romantic cottage with pinks/hydrangeas/lace.... laid-back beach cottage in watered down blues/greens/corals with lots of shells......retro bungalow cottage with reds and aquas and fiestaware......and then there's all the airy white/neutral/pastel dwellings, or the frenchy/rustic/chippy/flea market havens....oh my!.....on and on and on.  The only style I don't like is 30 year old suburban ranch.  Which happens to be what I live in.  Goody for me.  I guess I don't like urban contemporary either, but I just pretend no one actually likes or lives with that style.  (don't correct me...I like my blissful ignorance)

Anyway, categorizing them in that way seemed the best way to do so.  Plus it gives me a place to showcase other blogger's coolio buttons, if they have 'em.  I hope it's a fun resource for my readers too....

Place #3:  As a link on the cottage instincts sidebar blogroll.  The blogs I list are those I either have a regular relationship with via comments and email or those that closely match my decorating style and will help other readers connect with kindred decorating souls.  I've also started to rotate in and out a few new bloggers I've found in my cyber sojourns.  I cull them from that private blogroll.  It's my way of giving them a bit of exposure for awhile.  If a relationship blossoms, they end up there permanantly :)

Now, for the plethora of DIY or inspiration links I come across, I've created an entirely separate inspiration blog called

I tried to do a tumblr thing like The Nester, but I's just too dumb to figger it out.  Since Blogger is familiar to me (warts and all), it was the easiest way for me. You can find the link under 'Cottage Clicks' anytime your little heart desires.  You can *follow* too, so you're the first to know when I've posted some new fabulous find. There won't be any text; just a link and a picture. I'm still moving stuff over there from it's previous holding pen, but I should have that done by the weekend. Feel free to pop over and see what's inspiring me, motivating me, and making me crazy envious.
Lastly, in my effort to better connect with readers, I created a facebook page for cottage instincts.  You can 'like' me by clicking below or using the widget on my sidebar.  I'm still not sure what I'll be doing with it other than posting quick questions or passing along tidbits I come across about decorating.  I think it's a better 'conversation' platform. Sorta instant communication...at least more instant-er than the blog.
I have a twitter account too, but honestly, I just don't want to spend that much time around technology.  Do you all want to know that I just blew my nose?  Yeah, I didn't think so.  Plus, it just seems kinda redundant.  That's what a blog is for.  If I happen to blow my nose, I'll share it here, k?  Maybe it'd be different if I had an iPhone that kept me connected 24/7 to the internet....then I'd definitely want everyone to know I just blew my nose because it'd be so easy to just text that bit of fascinating info to y'all.

So, there ya go.  How I stay organized on the computer.  Now if I could just apply this to my cra(p)ft room, I'd be one happy nester.


Blessed Serendipity said...

You are so much more organized than me. I could spend hours "hopping" all over blogland too and never seem to remember where I saw something before. Anyway I found you and enjoy your posts and pictures. Happy weekend!


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Wow, I so need to do something. My blogroll is way too long and then I can never find something when I want it. Great ideas. You are so organized. Thanks for the suggestions. Hugs, Marty

deb said...

You are so oranized!! I save links/posts/ideas somewhere that I usually spend too much time searching for and end up just looking it up on the web!! Lol
Off to check out your crushes!
Have a great weekend
*hugs* deb

InMyOwnStyle said...

Hi Cindy-

I love to see how other bloggers organize their content. I love how you added the links in your sidebar, especially the cottage clicks section. So smart and easy to do. Everything is so easy to read and navigate. Thanks for sharing your ideas.
My best- Diane

Tiffany said...

Great post & ideas!
and ...

Tiffany said...

Great post & ideas!
and ...

whimages said...

First of all let me tell you that my heart was pitterpatting in my chest over those blue and clear bottles! OH MY! LOVE THEM!!! I too struggle with my blogs I love which are SO MANY! I just recently decided to start a blog roll but it's still in it's DRAFT. Thanks for sharing your method!

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Cindy,
thanks for the tips. I need to clean up my sidebar and you just gave me the inspiration I need to get started.


hilary@oldhousetruelove said...

what awesome ideas... now to find the time to implement!!!!

Jenni said...

Hi Cindy~

These are good ideas! I definitely need to do something to store my blog and inspiration info! I especially dislike the feeling of not knowing where I saw a certain thing!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! :)


Marianne said...

I refer to my Tumblr as my external memory drive. After I figured it out it actually is very easy, especially as I can Tumblr something right here from my desktop. Other than that I am a hopeless mess myself trying to organize my blogs. I have categorized them in categories and geografy and it doesn't really work (except that last part helps me to remember in which language to comment :-) ).
Ok, I am going to check out your organisation helpers and see if I can find myself somewhere (hope so).
Have a wonderful weekend!!

Rust: Vintage Inspired Design said...

Love your great blog organization ideas....I have to get busy and get more organized as well!
Happy day!

Anonymous said...

Just stumbled on your blog. I use a reader also, but when I click on "all items" then, "expand" they all show up in their entirety-except on blogger who doesn't because she wants you to click on her title to have you read it on her actual blog. Most bloggers set theirs up so they can be expanded in a reader. ANYWAY, I am psyched to check out those on your blog roll, but was surprised The Lettered cottage wasn't there. Layla is a hoot.

Barbara said...

Hi Cindy

I'm a world away - literally - in New Zealand and I love getting your blog updates. I too struggle with the whole 'skipping distractdly' through blogland and remembering the good blogs etc.
I keep a file on my laptop of pictures I like - filed according to which heart string they pull - like craft to make, room ideas, gardens to grow....get the idea!

I love your new blog. Its a visual treat! We have very similar tastes and loves.

I live in a little beach community just out of NZ's largest city. My house is an 80year old cottage (which is really old for our country). It's been renovated a lot, extended and is pretty gorgeous. I'm slowly working on getting the style right....it's a slow process as a single girl....but a joyous one creating my own nest.

Keep up the amazing work - I'll be stopping by often.

Thanks Barbara

Brenda Pruitt said...

I love how you work it, girl. You know your way around chickens, home schooling, blogging, and all brands of sistas.

Jayme Goffin, The Coop Keeper said...

Ya wear me out girl, ya wear me out. I rarely blog hop, I never even get to all the blogs on my roll, and usually, I do good to blog meself. Oh well - perhaps one day. I sure am needing some decor inspiration about this place. Come back? Bring Maddie.

Sue said...

I am enamored with your bottle collection at the beginning of this post! Love the blue...
You are one organized little chickie, let me tell ya. Great ideas. I'm on the lazy side, so all my bloggy friends are just on the sidebar. I must confess to being more of a stalker here... But at least you now know I am a "faithful" follower/stalker! LOL
~ Sue


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