5 Ways to Simplify Instagram Prep

Social media, while useful, is hard. There are so many things to keep up with, so many tips and tricks and must-do things, and it can get really overwhelming really fast. But one of the things I’ve been trying to get better at is managing my social media in a way that allows for consistency and growth, but without being too stressful.

And a big part of that has been actively planning content.

Usually, I start by planning my Instagram content, and branch out from there. I’ve found this is the easiest starting point for me, and it’s the one I have the most fun with. I’m definitely not an expert, but it’s fun to take pretty pictures and share them with the writing and bookish communities on Instagram!

But when it starts to feel like a chore...well, it’s not that fun. So, here are five things I’ve learned that simplify Instagram planning and posting, without being too stressful.
Plan the photos you want to post.
It can be really hard to come up with photo ideas, especially if you’re trying to post daily. Spend a few minutes planning how many times you want to post for the month and any ideas you have for those posts. Photo challenges are also a great way to find inspiration for what to post, and to interact with people who have similar interests and posts as you!

Decide on themes and props you’d like to use.
Instagram themes can be super elaborate and detailed, or they can be very minimal and simplistic—and both styles can look amazing! You can vary the style by photo, month, season, or whatever suits you. You can also create great themes using items you already have!

My October 2019 theme and February 2020 theme.

I tend to choose a theme or setup on a monthly basis. Though I have bought a few items specifically for photography purposes, most of the props I’ve used for my setups are items I already had and just thought would be cool to incorporate (like this photo for Talk Like a Pirate Day). 

Take photos in advance.
When possible, I try to take all my photos on one or two days a month. This is helpful for a few reasons: I can usually take all of a month’s photos over the course of 1-3 hours, keep more consistent lighting, and take extra photos that I might need, instead of having to recreate the lighting and setup later.

Edit in batches. 
This goes along with taking photos in advance. Generally, I choose a filter for the entire month’s batch of photos, and make adjustments to the filter intensity, photo brightness and contrast, and other elements to make the photos look more consistent.

Schedule all the things!
Even when I’ve made a list or calendar of social media posts, I often forget to actually post them. But once I found out it was possible to schedule posts, my social media tasks started getting easier to manage! I use the free version of Later to schedule Instagram photos, since I can upload photos and draft captions from my computer and have access to them on my phone as well. (I also list my Instagram posts in my social media journal for references when I’m away from my computer.)

What are your best tips for Instagram (or your favorite social media)? Who are your favorite Instagrammers?


  1. SUCH SOLID TIPS YESSSS. I used to be SO inconsistent with IG and never knew whaaat I was going to post from one day to the next. But once I started planning ahead and taking photos in batches, it's made doing IG 10000% easier.

    Absolutely loved this post!


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