31 Days Categories


To categorize or not to categorize, that is the question.

Last year over 1200 of us wrote for 31 days. It was so fun and I loved reading the unique and specific topics you came up with. One of the suggestions many of you had was for categories. Instead of scrolling through one long long long linky wouldn’t it be easier if they were organized with categories? I agree with that in theory. My problem  is what are the categories? There will always be someone who feels like their topic doesn’t fit snugly into a niche.

I don’t want to create 100 specific categories, then it gets impossibly overwhelming. But 2 categories don’t seem like enough. And I like being able to keep a count of how many people joined in, so I don’t want everyone to link up under 4 different categories just because they aren’t sure what fits them. If I have categories I want it to be helpful not annoying.

Here’s what I’m thinking for categories for 31 Days based on last year’s topics:


House & Home decorating, holiday, thrifting and such–this gets its own category because historically–and since this is a home blog, we’ve had lots of these types of themes.

Simplicity & Organizing yes, this usually has to do with House & Home as well, but this topic is popular too, so if you are talking about decluttering your house or mind, this might be the best topic for you to link up under.

Family Life parenting, marriage, baby, financial stuff and more

Faith-ish anything faith related

Personal Endeavors could be your personal story, how to do a 31 day cleanse, becoming intentional…

Too Awesome to be Categorized there are so many fantastic topics that simply don’t have a category, put yours here–I have a feeling this will be my favorite category!

I’m open to suggestions and these topics might change a little but I’ll announce them for sure a few days before October 1st. I’d like to keep it to less than six and I only want you to link up with ONE category. There’s no linky police that will get you in trouble if you are writing about organizing closets and you choose the Home category instead of Simplicity. But there will be a linky police for people linking up in more than one category. Pick the one you think fits your topic best.

It’s not too late to join in the #31Days of writing. All you have to do is pick your topic, create a little button (I’ll do a post on that in a few days) and link up here on October 1 — then write a post every day about your topic. Still don’t understand? Click here to see last year’s 31 Dayers and click around on their topics to see how they did it. 

Next post…Writing tips for #31 Days.


Update: Remember when I told you about meeting up At The Barn with my sister and our family? Here’s what happened with that.



  1. I love the idea of categorizing. I hate to be like this but house/home and parenthood, etc aren’t super relevant to me, and I found a few blogs last year that really resonated with me in other ways but it took a while to sort through. Can’t wait to 31-day with you this year!

    • great, that means that you wouldn’t even look at the House & Home or Family Life then, see, categories are helping then, right? Is that what you are saying?

  2. Having categories is a great idea! I was so overwhelmed when clicking through trying to find posts that were relevant to what I found interesting. I will be able to visit more blogs because I won’t have to click through so many to find what I want. Thanks!

    I always say I’m going to do this, but then never come up with something that will take me through 31 days.

    • I too, never believe my dumb topics can go for 31 days–that’s the whole point of the challenge, you have to make it happen and then something magical happens. I hope you try it this year Southern Gal!!!!

  3. I was actually thinking the same thing. Not everyone lists their series or even their topic when they link up and I don’t have the time to visit each one just to see what they are about. Every time I go back to the list from last year, I find a series I didn’t see before and wish I had been able to follow.

  4. Quick question: Are the 31 Days for October? When you said link up October 31st I got confused. Thanks!

  5. LOVE.

    ‘Cause sometimes you want to read about organizing, other times you’ve gotta get hold of some faith stuff, holiday inspiration, or the whole family thing.

    Was writing in my sleep last night …

  6. I can’t wait! I’m really looking forward to October and all the 31 Day series. I’m even looking forward to writing my own (although I fully intended to have stuff written already).

    I’ll admit, I just panicked a little looking at the categories. I’ve always had trouble knowing exactly where I fit in, but I will categorize myself. I promise!

    I actually think the categories are a good idea. I hope it works out well.

  7. Themes make any party easier, even linky ones. Especially for those of us who like to limit their internet playtime. Love the option of the misc bin…perhaps “Too Legit To Fit {in a category}” ?

  8. Hooray for categories!!!
    My series (which is nearly 1/3 written so far! Woot!) is about real food…will you have a food category, or do I get to be in the “Too Awesome To Be Categorized” section, hmm?

  9. Do I get some sort of prize for just finishing DAY 17 already???!!!! I’ve never been so organized in my whole entire life. And categories? It’s so fancy. Love it. And LOVE YOU, but you know that already.
    Can’t wait.

  10. So excited for this! It will be my first one and is most certainly forcing me to organize my home and life! Can’t wait to participate and get some new and fresh ideas from others!

  11. Oh, this is fabulous! I think categories will really help. Last year I wrote about Social Media, and this year I’m writing about WordPress tips. What about a Writing/Blogging/Tech sort of category? I know there were some great series last year on Writing, as well!
    Thanks so much for hosting this amazing link-up.

    • I’m in that boat too and was wondering how to categorize my as well. Mine will be on on simple blogging tips or how to start a blog.

      Looking forward to this adventure! In fact, I have another topic I want to write about so I might continue the idea for Nov. :)

    • I’ll second (third) this too! I’m writing about affiliate programs… or is that Too Awesome To Categorize? :) I think we need a tech/social/something geeky category.

    • I need to make it a point to follow along for your wordpress tips! I’m still trying to figure it all out!

  12. I would love to write about “31 Days to Courageous Christ-Living.” I blog about Christ, Conservatism, Culture and Country over at my blog Courageous, so this would be a great chance to unpack all of these topics. YAY!! See you on October 1st!!

  13. I am so excited! I’l be in the “Too awesome” category unless you add a writing category :).

  14. Looks wonderful! Makes my organizing-ness side very happy that you’ll have them this way! Yay!

    Becky B.

  15. LOVE reading all these every year! Could you consider having a fashion/beauty category? Just a thought!

  16. Some light categorization would be a really helpful idea, and I think those categories you listed fit the bill nicely. They might also help you get a better idea of who your audience is, and what they’re interested in? I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone does this year!


    Would you rather have
    31 days of Art – with a different painting by me every day with a color palette derived from it.
    – or –
    31 days of decorating your home with art — DIY ideas for making your own art, how to pick out fine art paintings for your colors, how to get mural art for your home, and how to avoid being boring with your wall art?

    • or 31 days of what its like to be an artist?

    • I was thinking about doing 31 days of Art too! But I’m thinking about using it as a kick-start for my creativity, like a drawing a day type thing. We made a big move this last year and with all the upheaval that entailed it’s been about a year since I’ve just sat down to create art for fun. I’m finding it hard, for some reason, to get back into flow. I think committing to the 31 days thing will be a fun way to get my creative juices going again.

  18. So excited! Have my graphic done and my topic…it is not the topic I WANTED, but one that I think will challenge me and just maybe change my life. :) I’ll be a first time linker-upper.

  19. I am so excited about participating this year. Last year it was so fun to watch and learn. This year I am ready!

  20. I like the idea of writing every day for 31 days. I did that maybe two years ago. I did not write every day but I went back and caught up when I missed a day. My problem is we always go to a Bible lectureship for 5 days every October. It’s kind of difficult to write when you are learning all day every day some Bible book. Then too, my son lives in UK and comes home every other October. This year he will be home. He and his wife will be with us at the lectureship. Sooo I want to do this. I thought it was fun the year I did it. I may not write on the same topic every day. I may just fit in what I can. Is this okay. I look forward to doing this again.

  21. Thanks so much Myquillyn, my new blog is almost ready to launch and I can’t think of a better way to kick it off by being part of your amazing 31 days series.

  22. Wow! I read your sisters post!? Did you guys grow up in Colimbus IN??? I went to Smith Elementary too! For 7 years…K thru 6th. Lived in Sandy Hook…

    • Chris, YES!!!!!! I lived there until 7th grade, I went to Smith, then Central. I’m a 1992 grad (different state though) what about you? also SANDY HOOK (cue Memories song)

  23. Hi! I’m still pondering about what topic to write about for 31 days. But just in case I do get around to finally jumping in, I have a question. Is it possible to have 2 different entries, say one for faith and one for personal endeavor? And I’ll be writing in 2 distinct blogs (I actually have 3 active blogs). Is that allowed?

  24. I love the ideas of categories! With your great idea growing so much, it took me almost half the month to visit everyone’s blog at least once before choosing which series I would follow regularly. Of course, I wish I could read them all, but there are only so many hours in the day! I’m with the other ladies and doing 31 Days of Freezer Cooking. Home or Too Awesome…I’ll pick one of those, I guess, once I see where others fall! And yay for linky police, too!

  25. My 31 Days of Frugal Meal did so well last year, I’m going the food route again. What category would that fall under?

  26. I am writing about “31 Days of Art & Inspiration” showing some of my art pieces with scripture. Where would that fit? Will you have an art category?

  27. Def think you need a Food-related category. There were lots of meal planning and recipe ones last year. And maybe Health/Wellness and Beauty (one category).

  28. I don’t have a blog but have stalked many blogs from your 31 days…ha, ha…..I will say that categories would be so helpful…..it was a full time job to try to sort through all of them to find the ones that interested me……I kept reading a wide variety of them…so can’t say I was ONLY interested in one category….but some of the blogs were food related, healthy cooking, vegan, etc……as I look at your categories, I’m not sure where I should go to for food…or healthy food…..?????…would those post under two different categories??……but definitely think categories will be so helpful…..just wanted to throw my two cents in as someone who wasted so much time going through so many of the links last year trying to find ones that grabbed me…..ha, ha…..my husband will thank you!!!!

  29. I have wanted to do it every.single.year.
    but, I’ve never done it!

    I get stumped every year and overwhelmed by the whole thing.

    Wondering if I can do it this year???

  30. So excited for 31 Days! And I think categorizing is a great idea. Even if a post series doesn’t perfectly fit in a category, grouping them still gives readers some direction.

  31. categories are a great idea! i keep going back and forth on writing “my story” of {controlling church & marriage/divorce}. i would love to read someone else’s stories like mine. i always find new blogs that resonate with me. so glad you’re doing this even tho your life is topsy turvy right now with the farm!

  32. I can’t wait!! I’ve been wanting to take my blog in a more spiritual/personal growth direction because that is really what is speaking to me right now (not parenting/home topics like the title of my blog suggests.. haha) and I think this will be an awesome way to do that! Already have my topic in mind!

  33. I loved the 31 days series last year,, althought i didnt write, I just read what blogs i found that appealed to me. I found one in particular on building 2×4 projects.. I still have it bookmarked for future use. Cant wait to see this years ,, sure hope the categories helps to sipher throught the lists.

  34. I’ve only read and picked up new things for my reader the past years and I wish there had been categories! This year I’m actually going to try to write stuff.

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  36. I love the idea of categories! I am new this year to 31 Days but I think it’s a great idea! People will not want to scroll a whole list – so this way they can pick and choose and hopefully all the lists will be long because so many people will join in this year! Thanks or hosting this – such an inspiring idea and incredible God timing for us too…..we just HAD to join in!

  37. I think categories are great! Even breaking them down a bit further would be awesome! Maybe 13 categories, the reverse of the 31.

  38. I think this is a great idea of 31 days. I tried to comment on it last year as I dont have a blog. Perhaps I will hurry up and look into how to do one since I have been thinking about it for a while.
    Especially since October will be the beginning of an adventure for me. I might be moving across the US from one coast to the other. So 31 days of that adventure might actually prove interesting!

    Thanks for challenging us.

  39. I love the idea of categories! I was wondering if you would make a fashion category (for 31 days of jewelry or t shirts or whatever) or where something like that would fit in you mind?

  40. Hi, Nester –

    Any idea what the categories will be? I would love to participate and could go a couple of ways because my blog is a mish-mash of topics.

    Thanks so much!

  41. I’m so so so happy you’re doing this again. I found it last year and although I only participated for a little bit, I’m so ready for this year! I will do something food related…and think a food/health category would be great…but could totally throw it in under Family Life or Personal Endeavors. I was totally overwhelmed looking through the entries last year so I think the categories will really help people find what interests them. (P.S. I found one of my other fave blogs through this series last year! I love Pancakes and French Fries William Morris Project!)

  42. Heather Moorhead says

    How do I sign-up to do this? Do I need to create a website first?
    I am looking forward to your post on how to create a button.
    Thanks, Heather

  43. September 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    How do I sign-up to do this? Do I need to create a website first?
    I am looking forward to your post on how to create a button.
    Thanks, Heather

    • Yes, it’s an online challenge so if you want to link up, you’ll need an online presence, but you can totally do it in a journal just on your own if you want to join along privately, just no need to link up then! xo

  44. I’ve got my topic planned and all my posts planned. Now I just have to write them. I like the idea of the categories, hopefully that will encourage people (and make it easier) to follow different topics than they may have otherwise done. I’m doing Learn ASL in 31 days! I’m super super excited about it! Lots of videos to shoot! Would that be under personal endeavors or too awesome? It’s probably a person endeavor, but too awesome just sounds like fun! Ya know?

  45. How about an “Education” category. It could include homeschooling as well as subject based stuff. (I’m math.)

    Just an idea…


  46. Do all the posts have to be within one particular category or if I choose the too awesome to be categorized, can I write about a combination of anything I want?

    • The idea of writing for 31 days for this challenge is to pick a topic and write about it for 31 days, not simply to have a post on your blog everyday. But feel free to choose a broad category, look at last years, someone choose Jokes, Fall decorating ideas–it doesn’t have to be deep writing at all!

  47. If I put my permalink as a bitly link will it be deleted? Or does it need to be my straight up link?

    • hmm, I’m setting it up to only accept permalinks so I’m not sure if the computer will recognize it, feel free to try it and see, I won’t delete it on my end if it actually goes to a permailnk on your site, not just your homepage. That’s what I’m trying to avoid is homepage links because it’s not helpful for future clickers after october is over. I don’t see a benefit to using a bit.ly but I’m not opposed to it.

  48. I just discovered you thanks to a chat I had with Annie Downs tonight (BTW, we’re doing a great webinar together on her new book tomorrow night!), but was going to suggest a Travel category…watcha think?

  49. This is exciting. I can’t wait to see the creative content that gets posted. Thanks for inviting us to participate. Hospitality is a rare art form:)
    I didn’t see anywhere to select my chosen category?
    I’ll re-search your blog for the “directions”.

  50. My sister, StoneLeaf&Co, inspired me to join the 31 days of fun this year. I set up a new WordPress blog for this purpose, and have been strangely challenged by the nuts and bolts of WP. Hmmm.

    Tonight, I’ve been trying to browse the other 31 day blogs and see that there are “categories” this year. When we posted our button, were we supposed to choose a category? If I didn’t, is my blog in limbo, waiting to fall off the network?

    My theme for the 31 days: metaphors in my daily and professional (teacher) life. Is there a category you would suggest? (Inspiration? Writing/Blogging?)

    Finally, if I am supposed to have a category, how do I make that happen? Cheers!

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