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In the past, I’ve written posts on Deadline dates and Finding Giveaways to give you some ideas of how to enter, how to find new giveaways not listed on this site, and information about deciphering ending dates.
Today I’d like to address another topic:
How to Manage your Giveaways
There are a lot of giveaways that end when the month does, and because people get into the holiday spirit, many sites and blogs host HUGE giveaways in the month of December. But how do you manage them all, especially when some allow you to enter daily or have daily prizes? I’m going to give you some examples of what you can do.
Personally this is my favorite tool for organizing sites, because it’s so easy. Evernote is an application that you can use online, on your computer or on your mobile device. I use the desktop version and have the Firefox web clipper installed. What I do is highlight some text on the screen, click the clipper button and it adds a “note” to Evernote. I change the title to start with the ending date (like 12/05) and file it into a notebook. I have two notebooks for giveaways – one that contains a list of giveaways I need to enter and another for those that I have entered. The date at the beginning helps keep them sorted so I don’t miss a deadline.
In addition to adding tags to identify daily or weekly entries, I can also add tags to show me when there is something I need to do for a giveaway. I created tags such as craft_contest and to-do_contest. Those are ones I should review so I make sure I get the task done well before the deadline.
The great part about this is that it keeps a reference for me. If I get notification that I’ve won a prize, I can go back and review what the prize is – and then I file in a more permanent folder.
Firefox / your favorite browser
In combination with Evernote, I also let my web browser work for me for repeating entries. I have a folder with daily entries so I can click on each one of the links. Again, adding the dates into the description when I add the bookmark helps me to make sure I keep the list clean.
Another great way of keeping track of repeating entries is to use a tool like Remember the Milk. This is an online tool you use as a To-do list. There are probably just as many ways to use this as the number of giveaways I’ve entered this month (LOL), but this is how I’ve used it. I only put weekly or monthly links here and I have them grouped by a tag “contest” and put into a folder I called “webchecks”. The “.weekly” tag is just to help show me visually how often it repeats. You can specify the dates they are due (e.g. 12/11) and include a URL to the contest site. The Monday-type descriptions you see below are to remind me that those giveaways MUST be entered on a Monday since they are one-day posts. I usually refer to this list once a day. If I have them set up as repeating, as soon as I complete one task, it creates a new one for the follow week/month.
There are some online sweepstakes sites that can also help you to track when to enter and which ones you have entered. One such site is Online-Sweepstakes.com (sadly, this website is no longer in existence; it’s too bad because it was a great tool!).
This site is great because it has tabs that automatically sort your giveaways into frequency categories and keep track of the ones you entered (the green checkmark). They have a long list of sweepstakes that you can search and add to your list – as easily as clicking a button. Oh, and another neat feature is Shazam! (available only in the Premium membership) which will open all the sweeps on a page at one time so you don’t have to click each link separately.
The biggest drawbacks I have to this method is
- if you want to see all the sweepstakes you need to sign up for a Premium membership (although it’s only $30 per year). and
- when I signed up years ago even the Premium membership didn’t have a lot of personal blog sweeps. They were all bigger names. This has changed but it still depends on whether or not someone has added them.
Note: you can always add giveaways to their lists, but that takes more time that I use to post links here.