Late last year, I hosted a challenge to help people get out of a creative rut. It seemed to go okay.
Late December, I asked which kind of challenge you would prefer: one to increase your creativity or one to have a better planner. The results were evenly split.
So we’ll do both.
First up is “5 Days to More Creativity.” It starts on January 10, so this is pretty short notice. It will run through the 14th. I will post an image with prompts soon.
Second, “5 Days to a Better Planner” will run from January 21-25. It will be the kick-off event for the launch of a new JEN Enterprises Presents title on how to develop a hybrid planner tailored to your needs.
It’s a busy month. Are you ready to get to work?
I get this question quite a bit when people find out that I write.
“What do you write about?”
The short answer: A little bit of everything.
Or: Whatever needs to be written.
The long answer is more involved. The topic areas I cover (for nonfiction) are creativity, social media, and disability/diabetes. Writing about planning falls under creativity because it can help make room for more creativity in our lives.
When it comes to fiction, I write romance, fantasy, and young adult. Topics vary from project to project.
I also write articles, short stories, and poems. One of my personal projects this year is a daily haiku. You can follow that on my Instagram.
That’s not exactly the full answer, but it’s a good start when it comes to what I write.
My question for you is: What do you prefer to write? If you’re not a writer, what do you prefer to read?
I see so many people talk about what apps they use for productivity. So much so that I almost dismissed this idea as a post. But… Here we are.
These are the three apps I use to help keep me on track and productive. Of course, the disclaimer is “when I use them.”
Trello Trello has apps for your desktop and smart phone. You can create lists and have cards for tasks under each list. You can add notes and deadlines to each card. I’ve tried to use Trello before, but now that I’ve figured out how to make it work for me, I love it.
Pomodoro Timer I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique or not. The idea is you work in 25-minute increments with a 5-minute break. After four of these increments, you can take a longer break. I use this to get started on tasks I really don’t want to do. Once I get in the flow of the work, I ignore the timer and just keep going.
Canva I wish Canva had a desktop option, but it is either web-based or an app for your smart phone. If you need to create infographics, flyers, or social media images (just to name a few) and can’t afford a pricey software, Canva can help you. There are some premium options that you have to pay to use, but it’s very functional even for free
There are several more apps I use for productivity purposes, but these are the three I use most often.
What are your favorite productivity apps?
I know you can set goals and meet them at any time of the year, but there’s something about the beginning of the year that just seems appropriate. Maybe because it’s an external frame of measurement. Regardless, I do goals instead of resolutions and it works for me.
To provide a frame of reference for my goals, I choose a word for the year. Last year, my word was “Prosperity.” This year, I have two words. The main word is “Intentional” and a supplemental word of “Consistent.”
That said, my goals for the year are:
- Launch courses: 40 Days to Creativity and Journal Your Way to Creativity.
- Release 12 JEN Enterprises Presents titles (one per month).
- Publish RealmWalker: New Beginnings with The Wild Rose Press.
- Podcast every other week.
- 1 YouTube video a week.
- 2 public speaking gigs.
- 4 coaching clients.
Every year, I hesitate to make my goals public because “what if I don’t do them?” But the fact that they are public provides some external motivation to get them done.
That’s where I am for goals this year. They are listed in my planner with steps and plans to achieve them.
What about you? Do you make goals or resolutions?
Are you ready for 2019? I am! I have my plans in place (though flexible) and ready to go. This blog is part of that.
I took a break for the last weekend of the year, but now I’m back in business.
In the last few posts, I talked about various challenges. This blog is no different. I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’ve been pretty good at posting daily, but this challenge will help me up my game with that.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about my goals for the year.
Before I go, answer this for me: What are you looking forward to the most in 2019?
A few days ago, I shared a video from Sarra Cannon of HeartBreathings where she talked about different ways to fill a notebook. At the end of that video, she mentioned a challenge she is doing for herself and anyone who wants to participate.
What’s the challenge? To fill one notebook a month in 2019.
Why am I doing this?
I have a lot of little, pretty notebooks. I start them and don’t finish them. Or I don’t write in them at all because I don’t want to mess them up.
And then I bought more. The picture is a few of them. The first one says, “living my best life.” The second says, “Anything is possible with confidence and cute shoes.” The last one pictured says, “Just put on your favorite lipstick & deal with it.”
I think I’m going to start with the best life one. As for what I’m going to put in it, I need to get back into daily writing practice, so that’s what I’m going to do.
What about you?
After Christmas, the temptation is strong to just coast to the New Year. It’s still the holiday season and there’s no need to do any real work (as a creative) between now and then. Is there?
Yes and no.
What’s that supposed to mean?
The hard push is done. Holiday orders and commissions have been sent and received. There is still work to be done, but the stressful part is done. It won’t hurt anything to let a few things slide.
Do you really want to be playing catch-up when January gets here? Or do you want to have as much of 2018s work done as possible so you can start on 2019s goals?
(Notice I didn’t say resolutions. We’ll talk about that difference later on.)
If you watch Evan Carmichael on YouTube or follow him on Instagram any at all, you know he’s a major advocate for starting today. Start now. Start where you’re at.
Once upon a time ago, I would have been in the “let it slide” camp. Not anymore. Let’s all promise ourselves to start NOW.
Question of the day: What are YOU starting?