Tag Archives: blogging

Writing Journal 62: Evernote Everywhere

Writing Journal 62: Evernote Everywhere

My writing journal for Monday, October 13, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

A busy day today; I need to find time to work on my own new blog. I started with fiction. The mystery novel’s still going well. Just 1200 words; I need to plot several scenes. Mysteries are always a bear, because there’s a lot happening. You’ve got the crime, the sleuth, red herrings, actual clues… I looked at the Murder Board Paper, and I’m tempted to buy it.

Then the two nonfiction books. Writing them in tandem isn’t working – I need to focus on one at a time. I’ll start with the ebook, and then on the print version. With that decided, I managed 1800 words, which is excellent.

Breakfasts; Honey and my own. Rather than getting stuck on email, I went for my walk. Apparently storms are on the way, so I need to get my exercise early.

Back; it’s time to read and write emails. There’s still a backlog, but I should be able to deal with the rest of it tonight.

Work on my new blog

(Sigh) I love creating blogs, but I’ve been procrastinating on this one for several weeks. There’s a lot to plan, and I’ve managed to get myself confused. I created a cluster on a whiteboard, so that I can get it out of the sandbox and published sometime this week. I hope.

A client needs a rush presentation, so that’s next. I’ve done several for him, so I have a template. I plan the headlines, and the text, and send it off to him for his review. If he can get it back to me today, I should be able to complete it by tonight.

Lunch at my computer, checking out social media. I haven’t had time to squeeze it in for days, and I’m way behind in my reading in Pocket.

Evernote resources: just get started — dump everything in

If I know I’ll be working with a company on a long project, I set up a shared notebook for them in Evernote. My contact’s asked me for some good Evernote resources, so I made a short list. It might be useful for you too.

Here’s the basic process I suggest for Evernote — dump everything it, sort it out at the end of the week. That process serves me well. I’m on a Mac, and run the Evernote Helper in my menu bar. I drag files (PDFs, images, work files) to the icon, and they’re sent to Evernote. If I want to remember something, I paste it into the Helper, or just type a note into the Helper. (I assume there’s a version of the Helper for Windows.)

Three great Evernote resources

Evernote Essentials – Brett Kelly’s excellent book. I’ve skimmed most of it; even if you’re an Evernote veteran, it’s useful to scan it occasionally to see what you’re missing. There’s so much in Evernote it can seem overwhelming at first — this is why I say, just dump everything in there. :-)

Evernote’s own Getting Started tutorials –  the basics.

“I’ve been using Evernote wrong” – a great Lifehacker article, which discusses the Web clipper (essential), saved searches and tags, and more. The article points out that the more you have in Evernote, the better it becomes. Very true. The Related Notes feature surfaces articles I’ve long forgotten, because I’ve been using Evernote since 2009.

Blogging: draft posts, and publishing

After lunch, I work on the presentation, then on a series of blog posts for my own and clients’ blogs. I need to sort out some images clients have sent in Photoshop.

Next, admin chores. Oh, the horror. I turn on Spotify and determinedly work my way forward. As a reward, I do some research for a client. Yes, I look on researching as a reward. Someone once asked me why I became a writer, I responded that I like to read. Reading is both a reward, and work.

Finally, it’s time for my daily review. I need to work on my schedules tonight, before they become more complicated.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 60: From Goals to Plans

Writing Journal 60: From Goals to Plans

My writing journal for Saturday, October 11, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

It’s Saturday, so it’s a short writing day for me. I have a couple of coaching calls this evening.

I start with the mystery novel, which is still flowing right along. Only 1,400 words today, because I plotted out a few more scenes, so that I could build the sleuth’s arc.

Next, work on the two nonfiction books, which went well, with another 1,300 words.

Then Honey’s breakfast. I need to hide her monthly worming tablet in her breakfast. She’s fussy, and won’t take tablets; I need to mix them in her food and hope they dissolve so she doesn’t see them.

Lots of email this morning; the backlog is building up. I’ll need to deal with some of it late this afternoon, if I get back in time.

An interesting message from a coaching client asked about goal-setting. I tend to have a “whatever works” attitude. If you’re achieving your goals, you’re doing it right, so don’t mess with a process that works.

If you’re not working happily towards your goals, here’s what works for me, and for my students.

From goals to plans

Here’s my basic method:

Intention => Goal => Plan

Your intention is vital — what do you WANT? Why do you want it? One of the many reasons I journal daily (obviously this journal is highly expurgated :-)) is that it helps me to set goals that I really want to achieve, and which have real meaning. For most of us, it’s a real challenge to cut through the noise in our heads, and discover meaning in our lives.

Your goals grow from your intentions, and your plans grow from your goals. As someone said, all plans are useless, but planning is essential. Without a plan, you just stand still. A plan gets you moving.

Initially, your plan is fuzzy. It will come into focus, as long as you take the first step. Sometimes, all you can see is the first step. Take it, with confidence, and the next step will become obvious. Take another step, and you’ll see another few steps to take. You’re moving, headed towards your goal, and that’s all that counts.

Your comfort zone

Try to take ONE small step outside your comfort zone every day. It doesn’t matter in what area you choose. My latest steps outside my comfort zone are into art. I love art. I watch artists’ videos on YouTube. I can get completely lost in images. But it’s my firm belief that I can’t make art. So, I’ve decided to step way outside my comfort zone, and do a small sketch each day for a week.

Ghostwriting the company history book

The client reviewed the first draft of the company history book. I also sent a scope of additional material I thought would be effective. We’ve reached an agreement for the additional material, so it’s full steam ahead on that.

I slotted it into my schedule; then it’s time to leave to run errands.

More blogging

I’m back. I catch up on some emails, and review my clients’ blogs.

Blogs are like rabbits. They multiply. I always seem to take on more than I should, because I get excited about a new project’s potential. A couple of my blogging commissions will end soon. If the clients want to commission me again, I’ll subcontract the work. I need to cut down, to focus more on coaching, my own fiction, and my own blogs and websites.

I’ll do more blogging tomorrow; Sunday is my big “blog planning” day.

With my daily review done, it’s time to prepare for my coaching calls.

After that, I’ll catch up on my reading.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 50: Blogging? Scroll!

Writing Journal 50: Blogging? Scroll!

My writing journal for Wednesday, October 1, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

A busy day ahead; a couple of meetings this morning, and I need to go to the library to do some research after that.

I started the day by developing the mystery novel. I STILL haven’t settled on the sleuth. I’m developing the mystery first, because when you write a mystery, you’re writing two stories — the story of the crime, and the sleuth’s story, as he solves the mystery.

Next, I started on the blurb and sales page for the two business books.

Then, time for Honey’s breakfast. I eat my toast while reading email. I’m a little behind again; I need to spend some time catching up tonight.

A reader asked me what’s on my desk. What desk? You’d be hard-pressed to find it. It’s always cluttered. Here’s an image of what’s in front of me at the moment…

What's on my desk?

My red zip-up compendium’s on the bottom; it goes with me everywhere. On top of that’s there’s a Rhodia pad with a cluster diagram — I’m working out what I want on a new website. Then there’s my Whitelines Leuchtturm bullet journal, and my pocket briefcase. For writing: my favorite Waterman, a pastel multi-color Bic, and a pencil.

It’s time to leave for my meetings. I’ll have lunch out, and then call in at the library to do some research for a couple of client projects.

It’s mid-afternoon, and I’m back again. Before I forget, I jot down a couple of clusters of the meetings. Clusters are useful, because I remember things more easily if they’re displayed visually. I also add reminders to my schedule.

I need to keep moving on the company history I’m ghostwriting for a client, otherwise I’ll start to slip on my deadlines. So that’s next.

A reader asked me about blogging, because I have many blogs, and of course I blog for clients too. She said: “Don’t you get tired of it?”

No, because it’s just blogging. Just like a book is just a book. You can’t get too invested in anything you write, because ultimately, you’re writing for readers, and they may, or may not, respond.

Blogging: “the scroll is your friend”

I found this wonderful insight from Anil Dash, one of the founders of Thinkup:

“The scroll is your friend. If you write a bad post or something you don’t like, just post again. If you write something great that you’re really proud of and nobody notices, just post again.”

That’s so true. You’re just reporting; just blogging. It can break your heart if you become too invested in one particular post. (That’s true of writing books, too.) You have no idea what people will respond to. Most posts are bread and butter. Occasionally, a post you wrote quickly and think highly forgettable, turns out to popular, and you have no real idea why.

Jeff Bullas wrote a great post on 10 content marketing lessons. Read it. Even on sites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed, which live by their clicks, not every post is a winner. You never know. All you can do is keep going.

I wrote about Medium, on the freelance writing blog today, and talked about Medium paying writers for clicks. Clicks are vital on all sites of course. Everyone wants clicks, and you hope that the clicks will meet your goal for that blog, and that post.

Keep your goals in mind when you’re blogging — and remember that the scroll is your friend.

That’s it for the day. Time for my daily review, and for my word count totals. Scroll on. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 47: Your Idea Factory

Writing Journal 47: Your Idea Factory

My writing journal for Sunday, September 28, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

I woke up early, and started the day by outlining some ideas and insights. I’m happy to report that my bullet journal is VERY useful for this, and for idea generation. It encourages you to jot down any bright or dim idea which flits through your brain. You can develop them, or not, but at least you’ve recorded them. And ideas tend to breed.

Luckily, the ideas in my bullet journal grew into a couple of solutions for the character arcs for the novella that I was worrying about yesterday. I decided that I’d focus on editing the novella this morning. If I do that, and work on it tonight, I can get it to the contract editor tomorrow.

Breakfast for Honey, and for me. Thankfully, there’s just a few student emails this morning. I zip through them, and get back to working on the novella.

Your Idea Factory

I’m getting lots of questions about the bullet journaling process, and why I love it, and adore it more each day.

By the way, many people love it. Ryder Carroll’s Kickstarter campaign is now at $45,000, from a goal of $10,000. There’s still 17 days to go. I thought it would get to $50,000, but obviously I predicted WAY too low. :-)

I love the bullet journal because it helps me to get insights, and develop ideas. I noticed that from the very first day. If ideas and writing are important to you — and I know that they are — consider using a bullet journal. Today, I need to write, and you need to write. EVERYONE needs to write, and you need to become an idea factory.

The world has changed. You can be in touch with almost anyone, anywhere on the globe, as soon as you hit the Tweet button, or the Share button on a social media website. You may feel as if no one’s paying attention. You’ll soon discover that they are, if you post something you regret later. Our always-on, never-sleeps, new world brings challenges too, of course. Yesterday, I mentioned surviving the content flood.

Way back in the early 1990s, I was doing presentations called “The Internet Age: the Age of Creativity.” This was before the Web. I got online in the late 1980s, thanks to a Melbourne academic. Except for computer geeks, academics, and CompuServe people, no one was online. No one even knew what the Internet was, as I soon discovered. My audience thought I was crazy. What was the Internet? Why would it change everything? Questions… Looking back, I was way ahead of the curve, but that’s OK. I love the Internet now as much as I did then.

A generation later, here we are. Whatever business you’re in, ideas and writing are vitally important to you. You need to be confident that you ARE an idea factory… you just need to pay attention and collect your ideas. Your bullet journal will help you to do that.

Tip: even if you think you’re not creative, you’ll soon discover that ideas are everywhere. Once you get an idea collection and generation mindset, you’ll have way more ideas than you could ever use. That’s OK too. Keep generating and collecting — it’s important. If you keep generating ideas, you’ll get better ideas. It’s as if there’s an idea fairy, somewhere in your head (mine looks like Tinker Bell).

Tinker Bell

If you keep writing down your ideas, and working with them, your Tinker Bell gets serious. She’ll gift you with insights you can use in your work, in your relationships, and to manage your health. Tinker Bell never sleeps, and she’s very reliable.

Your own personal Tinker Bell will turn you into an idea factory, with the help of your bullet journal and this is a VERY good thing. We’ll have more to say on ideas, your bullet journal and your personal Tinker Bell in the coming months, because your ideas are a treasure chest that’s uniquely yours. You just need to discover it.

It’s time for my walk, and then for my Sunday commitments.

When I get back, I’ll get all the editorial calendars on the various blogs up to date.

Sunday blogging: editorial calendars, blog post outlines and images

It’s mid-afternoon, so it’s time for my Sunday planning session for my blogs, and those of my clients.

The bullet journal’s proving invaluable with this too. Previously, I’d have ideas and notes in Evernote, on the blogs themselves in draft posts, in EagleFiler, and on my phone and my iPad, in various apps. There’d also be a blizzard of sticky notes on a couple of bulletin boards.

Now I have Collections in my bullet journal; I still jot down ideas in the same messy ways as before, but I corral them all in the bullet journal as soon as I can.

With blog planning out of the way, I get back to ghostwriting the company history for an hour.

Finally, the word counts are done, the daily and weekly reviews are done, and everything’s ready for another week.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 41: Fiction and Ghostwriting

Writing Journal 41: Fiction and Ghostwriting

My writing journal for Monday, September 22, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

The novella’s coming right along. Just two more major scenes to do, and I’m done with the first draft. I managed 2,300 words this morning but only because I skipped a scene I wasn’t ready to write. I inserted this scene in the outline a couple of days ago. It needs setting up in previous scenes, so I’ve decided to do the editing first.

After I’ve slotted in the foreshadowing elements, I can write the scene.

With that done, I started the nonfiction book proposal for a client’s memoir.

Email’s light this morning, which is excellent. I managed to get through some of the backlog last night. I’ll do the rest tonight, and then I should be all caught up.

Honey’s breakfast, and my own, while I continue with the company history I’m ghostwriting. I meant to get to it on the weekend, but didn’t. I manage another 1,800 words. I need to clarify some info, so I send the client an email message with the questions.

Next, it’s time for my walk. I’ve got a lingering headache this morning. No idea why. With any luck, the fresh air should get rid of it.

Lots of birds around this morning; lorikeets and the ever-present Indian mynahs. And crows, of course. Several crows have staked out a defined territory, and they protect it from other birds. Next to “crow territory” is magpie territory. The magpies are nesting, so I keep a wary eye out for them. They can be aggressive.

Next, copywriting the company history book

I’m a little behind with this, so I created some cluster diagrams to clarify my thinking. They’re very useful at all stages of the writing process.

I keep going past our normal lunch break. I’ve got a meeting this afternoon, so I’ll have lunch out, and then attend the meeting.

Rebranding, and launching a blog

It’s mid-afternoon. The meeting went well. The company’s rebranding itself, and wants to launch a blog to represent their brand. They’d like me to create a proposal and a scope. I need to do some research, first. I tentatively slot that project in for later this week; I might not get to it until next week, however.

I write myself a long note in Evernote, and reference it in the bullet journal.

I’ve got some phone calls to return; I need to get to that before everyone leaves work.

Although I’ve got five items left on my bullet journal task list, I decide to call it a day. Those tasks will need to wait until tomorrow, or later in the week. I’ve got a commitment tonight. So I do my daily review, and total my word counts — and that’s it for the day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 40: Use PLR For Fast Ebooks

Writing Journal 40: Use PLR For Fast  Ebooks

My writing journal for Sunday, September 21, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

It’s Sunday, which means that it will be another short writing day. As usual, I started the day off writing fiction, and managed 1,400 words. It’s going slowly this morning. Sometimes the writing flows as slowly as molasses in winter. It’s aggravating. I hate it, because I’m usually a fast writer; I can focus and get it done. Of course, annoyance just makes it harder to focus. :-)

Next, I do a little more on the client’s book proposal for a memoir. I need to be ready to start writing it tomorrow morning.

The time zooms past when you’ve got a lot to do. I make Honey’s breakfast, and eat my own while reading email. I’ve got to catch up with client emails, and student emails, tonight. No time today.

I posted an article to my freelance writing blog about a PLR offering. Several students have asked me whether I’d sell PLR to some of my programs which we’re withdrawing. The answer’s simple — sure, if you want it. I won’t be using the material myself, so I’m more than happy for others to get value from it.

PLR to two top-selling programs

I decided to go with Web writing programs for this first PLR offering. Everyone needs to write for the Web these days, so anyone who buys the PLR will be able to create their own ebooks and other materials from it.

If you’re not sure what “PLR” might be, basically you sell someone the rights to use the material as their own, and create their own materials from it. A buyer can create ebooks, books, courses, blog posts — pretty much anything they like, with some limitations.

Over the years, I’ve used PLR that I’ve bought to to use in my own programs. It cuts down on the time that program creation takes. Of course, buying QUALITY PLR is the key. A lot of the material which is sold as PLR just isn’t of high quality, and you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, to use the cliche.

The first PLR offering closes on September 26. I’m not promoting the offering at all, so I doubt that many will be sold. This is a good thing for the PLR buyers; it means that few others will have the material.

Next, I need to write the student memos for last night’s coaching calls. I upload the MP3 recordings too. Whenever I do a phone consultation, I offer to record the session for the client. Most clients want the recording, because it’s a challenge to take in and remember a lot of information in a call.

I’ll be out for lunch and most of the afternoon. When I get back, I’ll need to focus on blogging.

Back again to do the editorial calendars for clients’ blogs and my own

Sunday’s always my big planning day. I spend a couple of hours researching, and writing draft posts for blogs. Two clients have sent images, so I need to tidy them up in Photoshop, to get them ready to post.

I’m pleased that the same clients have decided to try Pinterest. I’m a huge Pinterest fan; it can drive as much traffic as Google, and more, on some sites. The big question of course, is conversions. Pinterest can’t be your entire promotional strategy, but if you sell products or services, it can be a useful part of your overall marketing strategy.

With that done, I review the week, to see what worked, and what didn’t. I write up a couple of memos for clients, review my word count, and I’m done for the day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.