A Flip-Through of My Writing Notebook

My Writer Binder. (Photo: Author.)

For whatever reason, I’m on a productivity kick so far in 2021. Not being more productive. Trust me when I tell you that I’m already very productive. If anything, I need to learn to let go a little and be okay with being a little bit less productive.

No. I’ve gotten it in my mind that I want to find productivity peace. I want to find systems that work for me. Systems that not only help me to be more efficient and productive, but that also bring me joy.

It’s an elusive thing, this productivity peace, but I’m confident that I’ll get there.

I’ve found myself going through the systems I already have in place and analyzing them. Do they really work? Are they really the best option for me? Is there something I could do that would be better?

This week, I took a really good look at my Writer Binder. I designed this system myself. It’s a paper planner that I use to organize my writing life. My career.

The Writer Binder is not a daily planner. It’s more like a project planner. I was happy to decide that this system still really works for me.

The Flip-Through

I was going to take a bunch of pictures and write about the binder, but in the end decided to just record a video. It’s too much to try to write out.

It’s only about 10 minutes long. The system itself is very simple. No real bells or whistles. It lets me manage my current work in progress, be accountable to myself for my work, and manage my ideas so that I always know what I’m going to write next.

Here’s one picture of the inside of my Writer Binder.

My Writer Binder. (Photo: Author)

In the front, I have a little printable thing with my motto written on it. (A Ray Bradbury quote: Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens.)

I also have some plastic sleeves with quotes that inspire me inside them. Some pretty things tucked into pockets, because I swear my inner child is five years old and sparkly, colorful, pretty things make her happy.

After that, I have a section for my writing plan. One for writing down possible characters, settings, and situations. One for my current work in progress. One for ideas (where I put those characters, settings, and situations together into stories.) And space for notes.

That’s it.

If you keep a writer’s notebook, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.



The Six Core Types of Income Streams

Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

I’ve always been excited by income streams.

It started with a lemonade stand I set up with my sister, Jill, on the bluff across the street from our house when we were eight and ten. We sold plastic cups of Kool-Aide to the multitudes of joggers and beach-goers who used that bluff every day.

And we made $100. In 1981.

We were rich!

Then our mother found out that our dad let us go to the bluff alone to sell lemonade to strangers and lost her mind. We weren’t allowed to do it again.

Later, Dad took us with him to conventions where he’d set up a booth to sell baseball cards. We’d bring a roll of paper towels and bottle of Windex — and make a killing cleaning glass cases for people and fetching lunch for venders who were alone in their booths and couldn’t leave their goods.

I think I was a born an entrepreneur.

But it wasn’t until I found myself a single mother with a little boy who couldn’t go to day care (he was finally diagnosed with autism at age 13) that I really found my stride as an income stream dowser.

What is an Income Stream, anyway?

It’s simple. An income stream is just what it sounds like — money (or, possibly, something you need that you’d otherwise pay money for) flowing toward you.

When I talk to people about this topic, I always start with asking them to really think about every single stream of income they have coming in right now. Every one.

Most people have more than one. Not everyone, of course, but in my experience, most do. And it changes over time.

When I was in my early-20s, my income streams looked like this:

  • Child support
  • Food stamps
  • Overnight babysitting for graveyard-shift workers
  • Selling vintage clothes on eBay
  • Freelance writing

Today, in my late-40s, my income streams are a lot different. They include things like:

  • Selling indie-published books
  • Ninja Writers membership programs
  • Writing and teaching courses
  • Blogging
  • Coaching
  • My Etsy shop (I mostly sell handmade notebooks)
  • Affiliate sales
  • My husband’s income
  • Room and board

Understanding how I got from one set of income streams to the other is a little bit like one of that word games where you have to get from ‘Start’ to ‘Finish’ by changing one letter at a time.

It took a lot of time. It took a whole lot of effort. But I’ve managed to shift the ways that I support my family away from things like babysitting and food stamps and toward exactly the kind of work I wanted to do.

Creative, interesting work that aligns with the things that matter to me.

Multiple Income Streams

I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer. And there have been times when writing provided the bulk of my income.

When I was a journalist.

When I sold a book and for a minute could stop all my other work and just be a writer.

When I was a copywriter.

But for the most part, the reason I’ve been able to be a writer and give so much time and effort to that pursuit, is because I’ve mastered the skill of managing multiple income streams.

There are six core types of income streams:

Gigs: This is work-when-you-want to. You usually work for or in conjunction with a company (Uber, Airbnb, etc.) and get paid when you choose to participate. Working as a substitute teacher falls into this category, if your district hires you and then lets you choose when to work. So do content mills that allow you to log in and choose a story to write, if you want to.

Creating: This is making things to sell, often in an online store like Etsy or eBay. You can also sell your creations in a brick-and-morter shop or at markets. Most writing falls into this category — including traditional publishing, self-publishing, and blogging.

Selling: Selling is buying manufactured things and re-selling them for a profit. This could mean anything from finding vintage items at a thrift store to buying a wholesale lot of something to resell. Picking — going to garage sales and thrift stores to pick the things that are worth fixing up for resale — falls into this category.

Teaching: Pretty self-explanitory. You have skills. We all do. And there are people out there who want to learn what you know. They’ll pay you to teach it to them. Teaching goes beyond being hired by a school district to teach in a classroom. Writing how-to books or blog posts, creating tutorial videos, online courses, teaching at your local community center, tutoring — all fall into this category.

Service: Service income streams involve doing something for someone else that either they don’t know how or don’t want to do. Things like shoveling snow, writing resumes, or offering in-home daycare. Freelance writing falls into this category.

Filling Needs: This can fit into pretty much any of the other five core types. Just look around your community (in person and online) and see where there’s a gap you can fill. For instance, my little town has no dog groomer willing to groom large dogs. That’s an income stream just waiting to happen for someone. Writing content for local businesses falls into this category.

Here’s a worksheet to help you figure out how these income stream types work for you. Once you understand the six core types of income streams, it’s easy to see how to fit together. And you start to see them — everywhere.

The Key is the Mindset

You’ll notice that I’m not talking here about income streams that are only about writing.

I get it. You want to be a writer. (Me, too.) You want to make money with your writing. But the truth is that there aren’t any income streams that I know of that are directly related to writing that are likely to produce much of an income super quickly.

And short of being an on-staff writer (say at a newspaper or creating content for a single company), it’s relatively rare for a writer to earn enough from one income stream with enough stability to not need others.

Freelancing or getting hired by a content mill are the fastest ways of creating direct income from writing that I know of. The work of blogging and self-publishing can happen quickly, but it takes time to build an audience and an income.

So — what if we change the way we think about it?

A long time ago, I adopted the idea that everything — everything — I did to earn money was part of my writing business.

I was sometimes a writer who contracted my time to a school district to provide teacher-aide service.

Or a writer who contracted my time to an addiction-treatment company to provide drug court treatment services.

Sometimes I was a writer who sold vintage clothes on Etsy or babysat for people who worked an over-night shift.

But I was always a writer first. Self-employed, even when I had a job where I was required to show up at a specific time if I wanted to keep that job. It was my choice to do that work and also my choice to work at creating an income stream to replace one that I didn’t want to continue.

Income streams are everywhere, once you know how to spot them.

I see them — everywhere. I don’t implement them all, of course. I’m already so busy, I barely have time to breath. But learning how to spot them has meant that I get to feel pretty confident that I’ll be financially okay, no matter what.

I have an underlying layer of stability, because my ability to support myself and my family doesn’t ever depend on just one source. I feel like I need to knock on wood right now. But still — I always know how to make a little extra money if I need to.

And? Over the last couple of decades, I’ve cultivated a life where all of my income streams are aligned to my purpose. Somehow, I’ve built a life for myself where all of my work involves writing or teaching or making things.

I don’t like the term side hustle very much.

I use it sometimes, because everyone knows what it means. But I think it implies a sort of sliminess that I wish it didn’t. Hustle doesn’t have to mean trying to get something for nothing or lying to people to get their money.

Hustle can also mean that you’ve got a work ethic that keeps you going, even when you’d rather stop. (Even when other people would have stopped.)

I see income streams everywhere, because I’ve trained myself to.

That happened when I was a single mom with a kid who couldn’t go to daycare. It happened because I’m an entrepreneur’s daughter and he handed me the start-up capital for a lemonade stand on the beach.

It’s almost a party trick. Give me a few minutes— talk to me about what you’re good at, what you know how to do, where you live, what’s happening in your life — and I’ll come up with an income stream or two for you.

There’s nothing wrong with a day job.

I think this is the thing that surprises people the most when I talk to them about income streams. I’m not anti-day-job. Not even a little bit.

Getting hired to work for someone else is just another income stream.

And it’s, by far, one of the most stable and reliable. If someone tells me that they need to increase their income right now, or the consequences will be dire — I know they want me to offer them some magic bean that will make their writing fill that gap.

But my advice is pretty much always the same: Go get a job.

If you’re in a place where things are unstable, what you need first is stability. So if you’re afraid you won’t make your rent, if you’re choosing between groceries and the power bill, whatever — start applying for jobs.

Just like a lawyer isn’t only a lawyer when they’re talking to a judge and a doctor isn’t only a doctor when they’re treating a patient, you’re not only a writer when you’re actively typing. You’re still a writer if you have a day job.

You’re just a writer with a relatively steady income stream.

You don’t have to work that day job forever, if you don’t want to. Just like the guy who traded a paper clip for a house — you can trade one income stream for another until you find yourself in a place you really want to be.



SEO for Writers: Why it Matters

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I’ve been preparing to host a webinar on Saturday with my friend Jackson. We’re going to present a 7-step plan to writing and publishing short nonfiction as a way to create an income stream.

As I was doing that work, I started thinking about the different parts of my indie publishing journey. If I could impart one piece of wisdom on you — on any writer who wants to earn a living — it’s this.

Writing is a service industry. Sure. It’s art. But it’s also a major form of communication and what readers turn to when they have questions. If we can figure out those questions and answer them? Readers are willing to pay for that.

That’s how we become working writers.

My Indie Experiment

I published my second short nonfiction book last Thursday. It’s all about creating income streams that will relieve the pressure off your writing, releasing it from the need to earn its keep while you’re learning.

This is all an experiment for me. I want to know if I can create a decent income stream by writing and publishing short nonfiction books on Amazon.

So far, the answer seems to be — yes.

There’s a learning curve. Some of it is steep. But so far, I’ve been able to create an income stream. My first book is earning about $500 a month, six months out. My second book is only a week old, but it’s on the same trajectory. It’s sold just about the same number of copies in its first week as my other book did.

Which means, if things continue that way, my indie publishing income will double.

There’s one thing that I think has helped me the most.

Titles matter — a lot.

One thing I’ve learned a lot about in the last six months is SEO, or search engine optimization.

Maybe you know what that is. In case you don’t: SEO involves using keywords that real people (AKA readers) are actually using to search Google and Amazon.

So, my new book? It has a little bit of a clunky title. The Ninja Writers Guide to How to be a Writer: Creating Income Streams.

That’s my new book’s title. I told you — clunky. A little awkward. But also? It has that little bestseller tag. So does my first book, with it’s equally awkward title.

My first book has been a bestseller for six months. My new book was a bestseller yesterday, when I took this screenshot.

Screenshot: Author

Let me show you why those awkward titles matter.

I wanted to call my second book Income Streams. When I went to www.ubersuggest.com--Neil Patel’s site that I use to research keywords — here’s what I found for ‘creative income streams.’

Screenshot: Author

Ten people search Google for that keyword every month. Ouch.

So, I shortened it and looked at just ‘income streams.’

Screenshot: Author

Better. Nearly three thousand people a month search — but the search difficulty is 66 — high. Maybe I’d rank, eventually. But it would take some time.

One more time.

Screenshot: Author

Okay. ‘Creating Income Streams’ — just a mild shift from my original ‘Creative Income Streams’ — has 110 searches and the difficulty score is 23. Patel rates that ‘easy’ as far as ranking on Google goes.

But, 110 searches? Better than 10, for sure. But not enough to drive significant traffic to my book. I’d still get the ‘Income Streams’ keyword, too.

I searched around, trying different keywords, until I landed on this:

Screenshot: Author

Oh. There we go. More than 12,000 searches. The difficulty is high — 63. But, when I went to Google to check out what exactly the competition was, I found that it wasn’t anything I didn’t think a book on Amazon couldn’t overcome.

And, I was also pleasantly surprised to find one of my own blog posts on the front page of the search results.

That’s the story of how I got to my awkward title. I wanted to use the keyword phrases ‘income streams’ and ‘how to be a writer.’

It’s interesting to note that ‘Ninja Writers’ has 140 searches a month. Not a ton, but enough to make a difference in my books sales.

I can hear you over there.

You’re thinking — sure, but what if I don’t already rank for any keywords? What if I don’t have anything existing to drive traffic to my books?

There’s no time like the present. The reason I rank for ‘how to be a writer’ is because when I wrote a blog post with 25 tips for writers, I researched keywords for the title.

I didn’t choose a clever title. Or something pretty. I chose something people were already searching for.

In other words, paying attention to SEO is actually paying attention to readers. They’re letting me (and you and everyone) know what they want to read.

They’re searching for it. Ubersuggest and sites like it exist to help us figure out what ‘it’ is. When we do that, we can write something that already has an eager audience.

Let that sink in for a minute. Especially if you’re used to writing things and realizing you’re entertaining the crickets.

That’s the real reason SEO matters for writers.

Especially when it comes to titles. But also? It matters for content. Because if you find something in your niche that a ton of people are searching for — then you’ve found something that a ton of people want.

The answer to a question, often.

And if you’ve got the ability to answer the question in the form of a short book? That’s the foundation of a nice writing-based income stream. Maybe it won’t be the book of your heart. Maybe it’s not exactly what you thought you wanted to write.

But it’s what your readers want/need. And that means they’ll actively search out and buy your book, if you give them the answer.



Ninja Writers Brag Board [April 2021]

Hey Ninjas!

We are so totally stoked to be pulling back the curtain and rolling out the red carpet for the Ninja Writers Brag Board!

Our Ninja Writers are doing such great things! We want to brag about their accomplishments, big and small. Responses are reviewed and chosen by the Ninja Writers team and posted on the website each month based on the previous month’s responses.

Without further ado, here’s what some of our Ninjas accomplished over the past month:

Finally getting traction on Medium... first time for curation, and three in a row!! One was published in Blue Insights (The Legend of El Escapo).



https://medium.com/making-it/a-special-rescue-dog-... --Kate Rader

I finished my third edit of my children's book and I have sent it to the illustrator. --Shelly A. Stewart

I just received my signed copy of a memoir where I was quoted, and am so excited. 💖 https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/autobiography... --Nicci

Registered into my first writing class starting in May and it’s fully paid.--Zully

Wrote my first article on Medium and published it in MuddyUm. https://medium.com/me/stats/post/8abf6763f498. Also had my first essay accepted in an online literary journal (Potato Soup Journal). It will not appear until May, so I will post the link in May (when I have one).--Alisa Childress

My quotes and affirmations book is up on Amazon. Jump Into Positivity: 35 Quotes & Affirmations That Empower Women To Love Themselves - https://www.amazon.com/Jump-into-Positivity-Affirm...--Patricia Bumpass

4k reads on Wattpad :D http://wattpad.com/story/218619889-book-of-you-i --Gaby Severino

Published as a contributor to Entrepreneur.com https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/368093--Wendy Coop

I signed the contract for Till Death Do We Wed. Book due out on February 22, 2022 (2/22/22) --Jason Wrench

I was asked to give a talk on researching and writing articles at an convention on April 23. Also, when I went to look up how many articles I've written over the past 7 years, I saw that I'd written 888 articles for the publication I normally write for, and that doesn't count the guest blogs and articles I've written for other sources. So the actual number is probably getting close to 1000. --Sarah Terzo

I completed my women's fiction novel first draft of 72140 words. The most I have every done for a single project.--Margaret Burnison

I was picked up by a publisher in England for a poetry Chapbook that'll be out this summer. --Bonnie L. Boucek

I advanced to the next round in the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge AND my first story came in first place in the group I was in. I'm dancing around my living room!--Julia Quay

Kudos to all of you from the Ninja Writers team! Keep up the great work.

Are you a Ninja Writer with something good to brag about in May 2021? Let us know by filling out this form.

If you’re not yet a Ninja Writer club member, you can join for a full month for $5

Ninja Writers Brag Board [March 2021]

Hey Ninjas!

We are so totally stoked to be pulling back the curtain and rolling out the red carpet for the Ninja Writers Brag Board!

Our Ninja Writers are doing such great things! We want to brag about their accomplishments, big and small. Responses are reviewed and chosen by the Ninja Writers team and posted on the website each month based on the previous month’s responses.

Without further ado, here’s what some of our Ninjas accomplished over the past month:

I got my first Freelance gig! --Adrienne Parkhurst

I finished a short story and submitted it to Clarkesworld Magazine. :) Still waiting for word on if it's accepted or not. --Samuel Kauffman

Noon in Florida, my collection of 12 pieces of flash fiction, is live on Amazon! I've been working on it in the awesome Self-Publishing Workshop. Thousands of thanks to Shaunta, Jackson, Meg, Juneta, and everybody else for the help and encouragement along the way. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08ZM94KJH/--Jim Latham

I was picked to be the Sparked Ink writer for March in Paper Poetry. https://medium.com/paper-poetry/in-her-own-place-k...--Katie Michaelson

Last month I made $1,000 on Medium. This month I slacked off and didn't write everyday and will only make $400. --Manny Oitko

My article about the origin of the phrase "balls to the wall" made Page 1 of the Google search for "where does the expression balls to the wall came from?" https://medium.com/exploring-history/balls-to-the-... --Jim Latham

I created a medium account https://wendyswriting22.medium.com/, posted blogs, and linked it to my new webpage www.wendyswriting.com. Join my newsletter and be the first non-relative! --Wendy Snyder

Kudos to all of you from the Ninja Writers team! Keep up the great work.

Are you a Ninja Writer with something good to brag about in April 2021? Let us know by filling out this form.

If you’re not yet a Ninja Writer club member, you can join for a full month for $5

Ninja Writers Brag Board [February 2021]

Hey Ninjas!

We are so totally stoked to once again be pulling back the curtain and rolling out the red carpet for the Ninja Writers Brag Board!

Our Ninja Writers are doing such great things! We want to brag about their accomplishments, big and small. Responses are reviewed and chosen by the Ninja Writers team and posted on the website each month based on the previous month’s responses.

Without further ado, here’s what some of our Ninjas accomplished over the past month:

Lindsay Redifer

My podcast episode aired this week! Please check out the podcast 20K Hertz. My episode is called Synesthesia and you can listen to it here: https://www.20k.org/episodes. You can also find it on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your audio.

Marilyn Flower

Pat Flynn mentioned our podcast, STOMP! STOMP stands for Stronger Together on Middle-Pause in his awesome webinar on Podcasting!!!

Anne Springer

I have a substack newsletter up and running for my writing, including announcing my current project. https://annespringer.substack.com/ I have 2 dozen subscribers. Next goal, 3 dozen.

Simon Henderson

I’ve been writing 750+ words per day for about three months, only missing my target on two days over Christmas (but still wrote). And approaching 100 followers on Medium after publishing for only a few months. Made my first 7 cents in December ;) https://homesickkiwi.medium.com/

Lisa McCombs

My latest YA novel won a Gold Medal Moms Favorite Award last week.https://store.momschoiceawards.com/index.php?entry_id=10466

Cynthia Early

I have developed my character's in my book called: The Lost Frontier

Shelly Stewart

I finished the first draft of my MG novel, The Gateway Chronicles which I've been working on for over 4 years. I also finished the first draft of my children's book, Angie, Bear and Charlie.

Debbie Walker

I googled Debbie Walker on Middle-Pause and Mrs. Google answered me back and read my info as the top featured snippet! Woo-Hoo!! For some reason, the link won't populate here. Thanks, ya'll!


$3.30 on Medium in January! I can get a medium black coffee at Dunkin!!

Vanessa L.

I received a LinkedIn text from Professor Emily Williams at the University of Pittsburgh, Bradford. She'd read my medium article "Just a Reminder: The Confederate Lost the War." As a result, she asked me to lead a lecture and discussion over Zoom for students and professors as part of their Black History Month program! I was so honored!

Kudos to all of you from the Ninja Writers team! Keep up the great work.

Are you a Ninja Writer with something good to brag about in March 2021? Let us know by filling out this form.

If you’re not yet a Ninja Writer club member, you can join for a full month for $5

Ninja Writers Brag Board [January 2021]

Hey Ninjas!

We are so totally stoked to be pulling back the curtain and rolling out the red carpet for the first Ninja Writers Brag Board!

Our Ninja Writers are doing such great things! We want to brag about their accomplishments, big and small. Responses are reviewed and chosen by the Ninja Writers team and posted on the website each month based on the previous month’s responses.

Without further ado, here’s what some of our Ninjas accomplished over the past month:

Manasi Kudtarkar

"My first article, How I Reset Myself to Mental Clarity and Cleaned Up My Habits, was published in Better Humans. Curated in Productivity, Mental Health, Mindfulness and Lifestyle. Totally stoked."

Sarah Terzo

"I finished the first draft of my nonfiction book! Now comes the editing, and then hopefully self-publishing. This is my very first book so it's a big milestone for me. I am hoping there will be more."

Ariel Barrios

"I finished my first chapbook! I will be submitting it to a contest soon :)"

Nicole Brown

"Hit publish for the first time on Medium! My poem, The Necklace Super stoked!!"

Debra McElroy

"Had my first viral article! 430K+ views and 34K+ reads! On Newsbreak, Never Say These 5 Things to a Woman in a Bar."

Debbie Walker

"Over the past year, I built a team of 4 committed women to the Middle-Pause Cause; we have over 70 writers & 500 followers & published more than 320 articles; we created the podcast, STOMP!, rebranded ourselves as MiddlePauseMedia, and changed the logo and colors."


"Finished my latest novel (83,087 words) in two weeks. It was my Christmas challenge."

Juneta Key

"Finished my short story collection, Magic Born or Magic Cursed? Available on Amazon on January 3rd, 2021."

Kudos to all of you from the Ninja Writers team! Keep up the great work.

Are you a Ninja Writer with something good to brag about in February 2021? Let us know by filling out this form.

If you’re not yet a Ninja Writer club member, you can join for a full month for $5

Ninja Writers January 2021 Book of the Month: Working Through 'Getting Things Done' by David Allen

In this video, Shaunta Grimes and Meg Stewart reflect on David Allen's 'Getting Things Done'.

Our word of the year and for January 2021 is 'Adapt'. David Allen's 'Getting Things Done' was our book of the month. We hope you enjoyed reading it with us!

Our February word of the month is 'Productivity' and our book of the month is 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear. Stay tuned for work through videos on 'Atomic Habits' coming soon and join our email list to stay up to date and get a free copy of our favorite tool for developing a writing habit!

What's one useful tip you learned from 'Getting Things Done'? Let us know in the comments!
✍️ Join our email list: https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pa...
✍️ Check out David Allen's 'Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity': https://amzn.to/2MpInfh
✍️ Don't forget the 'Getting Things Done Workbook: 10 Moves to Stress-Free Productivity': https://amzn.to/3ti8ANC
✍️ Check out our February book of the month: https://amzn.to/2NWzHxr
✍️ Find Shaunta Grimes on Medium: https://shauntagrimes.medium.com/
✍️ Find Meg Stewart on Medium: https://medium.com/@megmaven
✍️ Have you tried FRED? He's our favorite writing tool: https://medium.com/the-ascent/a-simpl...
✍️ Ninja Writers is on Etsy! https://www.etsy.com/shop/NinjaWriter...
✍️ Follow us! Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/15824...

Instagram: @ninjawriters https://www.instagram.com/ninjawriters/
Website: https://ninjawriters.org/
✍️ Disclaimer: Ninja Writers is in no way affiliated with the products in this video. We were not paid to create this video. All opinions are our own. Affiliate links may be present and we may be compensated from them. The buyer will not be charged extra. Thanks for watching!



Tiny Habits are the Key that Unlocks Real, Meaningful Productivity

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Photo by Anthony Young on Unsplash

February’s theme, for Ninja Writers, is productivity. Read down to the bottom for our monthly book, habit, and goal.

I have a love-hate relationship with the word ‘productivity.’

It means, of course, ‘the state or quality of producing something.’ Pretty straight forward. But it’s also a seriously loaded word.

Especially right now. Especially during the pandemic. The main excuse for not being productive — we’re too busy with a day job we hate or obligations that yank us away from what we want to produce — has been stripped away for many people.

We’re stuck at home. Maybe we have at least the illusion of more time than we can bear. The time we used to spend going to the movies, eating out, shopping, hanging out with friends and family.

Doing literally anything other than being at home.

I remember last spring hearing the idea that if anyone comes out of this ordeal without having written their book or started their business or learned a new language or whatever, then they were out of excuses.

It was all on them.

Click here to continue reading...

Productivity Frankenstein: Ivy Lee Method and a Personal Kanban Board

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I have a major goal in 2021 of refining my personal productivity methods.

I’m a pretty productive person, in general, but I want productivity peace, you know? I want (need) to find a way to get things done that meshes with my work style, personality, and needs.

I’ve finally come to realize that some other person’s exact method is unlikely to be a perfect fit for me. So, my plan for this year is to do a monthly review of what’s working, what’s not, and refine as needed.

The Ninja Writers word of the year is adapt after all.

My personal adaptation is going to include some mash-ups. Starting with the one I’m sharing with you today: The Ivy Lee Method + a Personal Kanban Board.

Click here to finish reading...