If you are aspiring to become a professional reviewer, you will need some sort of system to keep it all organized. I used to use my email inbox to keep track of things, but that soon became untenable for me.
There is no right or wrong way to do it of course, but for me a spreadsheet was the best option, although because I keep all my data from past contacts and reviews – it is a rather long spreadsheet. I have toyed with the idea of a database, but I am not at that point yet.
I have a tab for pending items, a tab for reviewed items, and a tab that I labeled “flaky vendors”. Anyone who reviews a lot knows that you run into many instances where a company contacts you for a review, says they are sending an item…. and it never arrives. I don’t concern myself with this too much, but I do keep those items in my spreadsheet because occasionally months later it may arrive, or the company contacts me again… It’s just good to have a record of it in my opinion. It has come in handy for me a few times.
What information do I save?
- Item description
- Item web link
- Email of the contacting company
- Date of first contact
- Date product was sent
- Tracking number (if applicable)
- Order number (if applicable)
- Whether it is a coupon code or being sent direct
- Any special instructions (for instance, the seller requests at least 2 pictures)
- The dollar amount paid for item
- The dollar amount of the item
After the review I also save the following information
- Date item was reviewed
- Permalink(s) to the review
- List of where item was reviewed
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