5 things – tools for [writer] productivity

five things

 

Evernote for writing, plotting, notes, story details
I fell in love with Scrivener but hated the lack of cloud-ability (there was no app when I started using it and I’m still leery of the Dropbox option for reasons). Cue, Evernote.

I create a notebook for each project and add sub-folders for Characters, Settings, Details, Research, and Drafting. I then create individual notes per element (some, like minor characters, are part of a single “character bible”). I return to this method again and again because I can access it from anywhere and it gives me the all-in-one-file feel that Scrivener provides.

Google Calendar/Happy Plannerfor time-blocking (scheduling time to write)
I rely on Google Calendar for time blocking, which is essential for me. Combined with the Happy Planner (link to video/post) that I use for work, it keeps me on track and helps me plan for writing when life gets in the way.

Spreadsheet – for wordcounts
I keep a long-running spreadsheet in OneDrive, started when I first started drafting Crown of Ice, which helps me keep track of my words on a single manuscript over time. I have individual spreadsheets for each project, but I combine final word counts by project in a single, yearly spreadsheet that helps me track progress over time.

Trellofor planning and content creation
In an effort to create more content and maintain a steady post schedule, I decided to give Trello a try (I used it once for work,  but it didn’t catch on). It’s perfect. I use it as a content planner, and organize projects for the podcast, details for querying, and more. It’s an all-around win for me.

HB90 methodfor quarterly [writing] project planning
Whether it was serendipity or the magic of algorithms, I stumbled up author Sarra Cannon’s Heart Breathings channel and all the wonders therein. One of these wonders is Cannon’s dedicated planning method for writers (HB90), based on a 90-day quarterly system that encourages writers to think of their work in terms of goals, projects, and tasks. It’s brilliant and I’m using it to plan/track my current writing project, as well as the query process, and future plans for a story that needs editing.

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project use it up – Feb-Mar empties

project use it up-2

Another month, another batch of empties. The usual suspects (supplements), hair care, wooden toothbrushes, pens, and more.

loves & latest: April 8, 2019

monday musings

 

loves

reads

A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn

Veronica Speedwell is back! Deanna Raybourn is an instant read for me. The minute I learned A Dangerous Collaboration was being released, I placed it on hold at my local library. The only bad thing about loving this series is having to wait for the next book.

random

planner stickers

It was bound to happen. You can’t watch planning videos without being bitten by the sticker bug. However, I will exercise restraint, not matter how glittery the pack.

on the web

authortube

I’m a regular viewer of the #authortube community, but lately I’ve been making it part of my practice. So much to learn, so many writers to learn from. Lately, I’ve been deep-diving into Heart Breathings, iWriterly, and The Creative Penn.


Latest

podcast

bluestocking-circleListen to the latest episode of The Bluestocking Circle Podcast – Episode 20: Pacific Rim… our second, unanimous 4-sock rating 🙂 .

If you want to hear three lady nerds talk about their favorite books and movies, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify. Also available on YouTube.

Follow us @bluesoxcircle on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

video: the latest – a quarterly(ish) update

Querying! Rejections! New Writing Projects! Health drama! Just another life update.

Are you taking on a new project this quarter? Writing or otherwise?

Share in the comments 🙂  

life: Feb-Mar month in review

Month in review - Feb - Mar.png

 

I plotted my next writing project, and adopted a new method to take control of the middle before it becomes messy (one of my greatest issues as a writer).

Sent out my first batch of queries. And received my first batch of rejections. It’s a learning experience and I received valuable feedback. (ta!)

I’m still working the #ootd tag and maintained a steady stream of posts @lifeingminor despite less than ideal lighting conditions. Such is the curse of the early morning riser.

Received some disappointing news – I have a confirmed cyst (actually, I have more than one, but only one is concerning). Had an MRI and await results.

My #projectpan is going strong – I measured my Kosas and Besame lipsticks and have seen some real progress. Meanwhile, my eye shadows are starting to show a dip and I’ve been playing with various eye looks for daytime.

Went to Knoxville for a conference. The city was lovely and the food was great. Fun times (and too many impulse buys).

video: off the shelf reviews – battle of the budget books

I’ve been on a financial planning/budgeting kick for a few months. I want to make 2019 the year I up my investing game and the first place to start is research. Here are four of the best books I’ve read so far — these are practical, useful, and provide just enough insight to help you get started on a debt-free journey, and detailed enough to help a first time investor understand the finance lingo.

MENTIONED

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Women and Money by Suze Orman
Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry
The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage

What are your favorite budget/finance books? Comment below! I’m always looking for recommendations.

video: how I budget

In my Happy Planner review, I mentioned that I combine the Happy Planner budget tracker with a cash envelope and the EveryDollar app to take control of my spending. Today’s video is on the how and why of it – how I budget, why I do it, and what I want to get out of it.

Are you on a debt-free journey? How do you keep track of your spending?

MENTIONED

video: Querying, WIPS, and revisiting dropped projects

It’s time for a writing update! What I’m working on, current and future plans, and revisiting shelved novels. Today’s update is a long time coming, but I’m excited to start working on new projects.

Are you working on a writing project? How’s it going? Drop a comment down below! 🙂

loves & latest: March 11, 2019

monday musings

loves

reads

audiobooks in general

I used to hate the thought of someone reading to me (personal weirdness involving mouth sounds), then I discovered the magic of audiobooks and the talented people who narrate them. Audiobooks are making my commute 100% better, giving me 2 hours of “passive” reading a day, and allowing me to catch up on podcast assignments without worrying about adding another book to my reading list.

I download my audiobooks for free through my library’s Libby, Hoopla, and audiobook lending programs.

beauty

establishing a beauty budget

I recently come to terms with my beauty spending and realized that I am not an all-or-nothing person. I am project panning and looking to keep my spending to a minimum, but I don’t need to fall into total austerity. This is an area that revealed how far my Upholder tendency goes, as I found myself experiencing [unnecessarily] obsessive thoughts regarding my spending in this area. Setting a budget is the middle-ground for me.

general

writer youtube and blogs

As I prepare for a new writing project, I’ve been diving into the writer community, looking for inspiration, lessons, and new ways to approach my work. One of my recent favorites is Sarah Cannon’s Heart Breathings blog and channel – a great resource for anyone who wants to start work on a writing project.

I recently purchased her HB90 planner template (because she’s also a planner addict) and can’t wait to set it up for April (it’s a 3 month, 90 day planner).


latest

podcast

bluestocking-circleListen to the latest episode of The Bluestocking Circle Podcast – Episode 19: Star Trek & Galaxy Quest… we have so many thoughts.

If you want to hear three lady nerds talk about their favorite books and movies, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts,Google Play, or Spotify. Also available on YouTube.

Follow us @bluesoxcircle on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

video: Happy Planner & Budget Tracker – 2 month update

I’m finally getting the hang of the Happy Planner mini (particularly the vertical layout). An updated review of the Happy Planner mini, how I use it, and how I budget using the Budget Tracker insert.

Do you use a Happy Planner? How do you make it work for you? Comment below! 🙂

Want to learn more? Watch my original review.