Writing Journal 38: More On Bullet Journal

Writing Journal 38: More On Bullet Journal

My writing journal for Friday, September 19, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

A complicated morning. I managed to complete the nonfiction book edits; that’s now ready to go off to the client. I need to complete the rush copywriting job; that will take a while. I make a good start on it.

Time for Honey’s breakfast, and my own. I read email while I eat my toast, and have a couple of extra-strong coffees. All the student feedback will need to wait until tomorrow. I have a meeting late this afternoon. It will take several hours, so I won’t be able to write tonight. Julia can handle the general email enquiries.

A quick walk, and then it’s back to copywriting. I’ve promised the client that he’ll get it today, and he will. :-)

iOS 8 seems to have downloaded itself to my devices, so there’s short diversion while I get them updated. I’ve been so busy the past week that I haven’t had a chance to check what’s new in this iOS. I’ve heard that you can now copy straight into Evernote, which is good.

Love the bullet journal system

As you may know, I procrastinate, if I allow it. After just a day of using the bullet journal system, I’ve managed to complete two tasks which have been hanging fire for a couple of weeks. There’s something about seeing something written on paper which inspires a “must do this NOW” feeling. No idea why that is, but it’s working for me.

Ryder Carroll, the creator of bullet journal, is currently running a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign was fully funded within eight hours. And yes, I’m a backer. Not only do I like the bullet journal, I’m also a big fan of Leuchtturm1917. So Ryan’s new “unlimited” funding tier appealed to me.

More writing on the copywriting project. It’s moving right along, so I’ll get it done after lunch.

Ghostwriting: the company history

I manage 2,200 words on that; I’ll need to do more over the weekend. Julia’s scheduled more chats with the client for next week. Let’s hope we can keep up the momentum. That’s always a challenge when you’re ghostwriting — you need the information to keep flowing, so you can keep writing.

And it’s time for lunch. Today, we’re having our usual Friday lunch out. Hummingbird cake, here I come. :-)

Back again, and on with the client’s copywriting project. Finally, it’s done. Julia will proof it, and send it off to the client.

Back to the novella

I feel odd writing fiction in the afternoon. To me, it’s an early-morning activity. I get into it, and a manage 1,800 words, which is good. I need to outline the next couple of scenes, so that I can start work on them tomorrow morning.

That’s it for today. I’ve done my daily review, and totted up my word counts. A meeting tonight, and the week is done too.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Writing Journal 37: Bullet Journaling

Writing Journal 37: Bullet Journaling

My writing journal for Thursday, September 18, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

No fiction this morning, because I need to get the client’s rush copywriting job done by tomorrow. (The one to promote the inventory of new products.) I worked on the nonfiction book edits late last night , because I need to get those done by tomorrow too. Therefore, I spent the first three hours of my day focusing on those two projects. This week has zoomed by so quickly.

Oooh… the embarrassment…

Last night, while rearranging my schedule for the next couple of weeks, I discovered that I’d allowed a small copywriting project to slip through the cracks. Highly embarrassing, and guilt-inducing, because this client has been with me for years.

How could this happen? I use OmniFocus, Things, Evernote, and my handwritten journals. After I stopped slapping myself upside the head, I decided to implement a bullet journaling process. Not only because of the missed project, but also because I forget to add ideas, insights and inspirations from my daily handwritten journal to OmniFocus et al — I tell myself I’ll do it “later”, and later never arrives.

More on bullet journaling later today.

Breakfast for Honey, and breakfast for me, while I scan the day’s email. I deal with the responses which will take just a few minutes. (The two minute rule makes sense.) I leave the rest for Julia to schedule.

Then I deal with the missed copywriting project; I make a good start on it, and will have it done by close of business today. Before I start, I call the client and leave a sincere apology on his machine. I feel horrible over this. It should never have happened.

Next, a super-quick walk.

Copywriting marketing materials, and blogging

I need to get this rush job with the product inventory done tomorrow, so I spend the rest of the morning on that.

Phone calls, and lunch at my computer, while scanning social media, and checking over my draft blog posts.

Next, blogging for clients

I love blogging, but it’s relentless. No matter what else is happening, you need to keep up with your blog posts. I complete four posts, and create drafts for several more. I also add content for other posts which will be published this week. I schedule three posts.

Then it’s back to the copywriting project I missed. I leave it for Julia to proof and send to the client. I draft a quick note from me, apologizing again. Thank heavens that’s done.

Bullet journaling: write, see, remember

As I said yesterday, I keep several handwritten journals, because they help my productivity, by keeping me focused on the tasks at hand.

Journaling averts inertia. Inertia is always a big danger for writers. You’re battling inertia every time you begin a project. You battle it during projects too… You daydream and muse, instead of writing. Yes, thinking is important. However, general “thinking” tends to drift off into floating clouds of fantasy, and before you know it, you’re mulling over your next vacation, or wondering what happened to your red-headed best friend from second grade.

It’s no wonder that writers procrastinate. I used to be the queen of procrastination, and it’s an on-going battle to keep it under control. Journaling helps.

I investigated bullet journaling a few months back. A couple of writers I trust are keen on it. However, I didn’t see the need at the time. Now I do, because there’s a big problem with digital scheduling. Yes, it’s effective. However, it’s also possible to back-burner tasks endlessly, and there’s no real day by day archive of what you’ve done, and why you did it.

I’m not calling out any product, but have you seen the archive in OmniFocus, for example? Totally useless. Everything’s jumbled in together. I should say that I’ve used OmniFocus for years — even before it was OmniFocus, and will continue to use it. OmnifFocus started out as Ethan Schoonover’s Kinkless GTD — which was amazing for its time.

So, I decided to implement my own bullet journal. It’s easy to set up in just a few minutes — watch the video here, and you’ve got the gist. Once I’d set it up — in the Leuchtturm1917/ Whitelines medium hardcover notebook I received the other day — I immediately entered the starred items from my handwritten journal. I star items I want to transfer elsewhere, but I rarely get around to doing it.

Of course, it’s MUCH too early to judge how my new system will turn out. I do feel more in control, however. And in the course of setting up the Leuchtturm1917, I remembered several tasks I’d forgotten to enter anywhere else. Yes, writing by hand is slower, but it helps your memory. I’ve created a couple of Collections too, and have added them to the index so that I can find them again.

Fiction, at the wrong time of the day

I returned some phone calls, then opened Scrivener to get back to the novella. I thought that I’d just write a few hundred words, so I wouldn’t lose the thread of the project, but I managed just over 1,000 words, which is excellent, considering how distracted I’ve been.

Finally, my daily review — of my bullet journal and others :-) — and the day’s done. I’ll spend some time on the company history tonight, and the ebook I’m writing for a client. You end up having to scramble to catch up when things slip through the cracks. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

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

Book Marketing: Get Results in 30 Minutes a Week

Book Marketing: Get Results in 30 Minutes a Week

Book marketing can be amazingly simple, but nevertheless effective. Even if you hate marketing, you can get great results in just 30 minutes a week. Schedule it once a week, or split it up, into three ten-minute sessions. Even if you hate the idea of promotions, you can do it.

My students ask questions like:

* “HOW do I market?”

* “Is this enough?”

* “What should I do now?”

You’ll find some easy marketing ideas below. Essentially it doesn’t matter WHAT you do, as long as you do some promotion.

A digression: hate marketing? Many hardcore writers do. (Me included, oddly enough, I’d rather write… :-)) If you hate, hate, hate the idea of promotion, forget about it. Write another book. End of digression.

1. Set Up Your Social Media Profiles – Choose One or Two Social Media Websites.

We’re not counting this activity in your 30 minutes a week. Setting up your social media profiles may take you 45 minutes or so, but you only need to do it once. Review your profile every couple of months, as you book marketing activities change, and tweak as necessary.

Before you start, develop some creative material – images. Your creatives can be book covers in various sizes, some CTAs (Calls to Action: advertising images), images of yourself, image quotes from your book, or anything else you choose. Your creatives grab people’s attention. Use canva.com to create FAST images, completely for free.

Now set up profiles on two social media websites. You can choose any two you like. Book marketers get results on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, however your mileage may vary. Choose the two with which you’re most comfortable, and set up your profile pages on these sites.

Here’s my Twitter profile page.

Angela Booth on Twitter

Essential: use your book’s cover as a profile background image: people need to associate you with your book. If you’re promoting several books, create a collage of your book covers, and add the link to your Amazon Author Page on your profile.

2. Create Types of Social Media Shares.

Your types can include:

Shares of Others’ Material.

Let’s say you’ve written a nonfiction ebook about online dating. You an reshare the content of influencers in that niche, or of anyone in the niche, as long as you feel it’s useful and important to your followers. If you’re writing suspense fiction, your can reshare other suspense writers tweets and posts – readers are always looking for great new books.

Thoughts and Questions.

What are you reading? You can post your current reading using the hashtag #amreading. Alternatively, what are you writing? Post using the hashtag #amwriting.

I’m currently on a Georgette Heyer kick, so I’m posting #amreading, as you can see in the Google+ post below.



You can also ask questions of your audience. What are they reading? Who’s their favorite character?

Book Announcements, and Promotional Material.

You were wondering when we were going to get around to promotions, weren’t you – here we go. :-) Promote away. Use your ebook’s covers, quote images, and anything else you’d like. Tweet and post snippets from your book.

VITAL… include your Amazon link, please, so people can buy your book.

It’s easy to forget to do this. I often read something about a book in which I’m interested, and when I search for the retailer link, there isn’t one. I need to copy and paste the book’s title into Amazon… and sometimes I think – “later.” Make it as easy as possible for people to click through to your ebook on Amazon or wherever you’re selling.

Reshares of Your Own Blog Posts.

If you’re running a blog, don’t be shy – reshare your blog posts. Over time, you’ll develop a lot of content. I have around 4,000 posts on one blog, and 2,000 on another. You’ll develop masses of content too: use that content to promote your books.

3. Create Draft Content for Social Media Posts.

I create a week or two’s worth of draft content in a spreadsheet on Sunday evenings. It’s become automatic now, and takes me around 15 minutes. It may take you a little longer when you start out.

4. Schedule Your Content: Use Buffer.

Buffer makes it simple to line up your content for sharing. You can schedule for specific times, or use the Settings scheduler, and so that your posts go out at regular times. Buffer is free for a basic account, and it’s all you need for book marketing.

So, there you go. Once you’re set up with the types of material you’re sharing, you can create and schedule your book marketing in just 30 minutes a week. See? Marketing can be easy. Dip into your social media accounts for a couple of minutes occasionally during the week, to respond to people.

Enjoy Writing? Imagine Starting and Running Your Own Highly Successful Copywriting Business.

Copywriting Business: Master Class

You can earn while you learn to write copy in ten weeks. Join us in the Copywriting Master Class.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Stream Your Life in Fetchnotes, Free

Stream Your Life in Fetchnotes, Free
Fetchnotes

What do you do with life’s constant stream of snippets of information: all that stuff you need to remember, or pass on to someone, throughout each day?

Snippets like someone’s name, or a phone number, or a reminder to replace the batteries in your keyboard… Those items of information which aren’t tasks, or appointments, and which are hard to categorize.

They’re not important enough to add to an information store like Evernote, or to your To Do list. They’re ephemeral, like Twitter. And as you might expect, there’s a Twitter-like app to deal with them: Fetchnotes.

I downloaded Fetchnotes because it sounded as if it might be the perfect way to take a quick note on my phone without making a production of it.

Fetchnotes: find and collaborate, with hashtags and mentions

Once I started using it, I was amazed at how perfect it is.

At its simplest, it’s a note-taking app. However, it’s also a way of sending someone a quick message. I find myself referring to Fetchnotes’ tab in the Chrome browser often through the day.

Your snippets are easy to find, either with the search function, or via the tags list. Just as with Twitter, adding a hashtag to a note makes it easy to find.

If you want to send someone a quick message: “pick up some milk on the way home”, or “project completed”, just type “@” plus an address book name, a phone number, or an email address. Your recipient doesn’t even need to be a Fetchnotes user.

Want to attach something to a note? You can attach files, images, anything you like, no matter where the file is stored.

Once you’re done with a note, archive or delete it.

I use Fetchnotes for snippets of information, but you can enter longer notes if you wish. If the muse grabs you, and you want to write a scene from your novel, go ahead. Fetchnotes can handle it.

Fetchnotes is free

Since Fetchnotes is free on popular devices; check it out. You may find it as useful as I do.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee