Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

Favorite Writing Tools

As you can see from the feature photo, I’m learning to be a much more organized person. It’s been a long road, for sure, but well worth the effort. I’m not completely there yet, but better than I was.

This is some of what’s happening this week:

  • Easy morning’s on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I love these mornings of waking up slowly, doing some reading, and getting my thoughts together for the day. I’ll also me doing simple yoga/stretching those mornings.
  • Brunch at Aroma Joe’s on Monday, while working on a writing project.
  • At least one photography session. I’ve been working on some projects, both personal and for the blogs, and need to create some graphics.
  • Two morning walks, now that it isn’t too hot outside. I’ll bring the camera to photograph pretty scenery.
  • I need to add some posts to one of the blogs.
  • I have some fun projects to work on!
  • Some mini workouts will be happening.
  • The chores will get done.
  • I need to create a few book covers.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright September, 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckPretty busy week ahead, to make up for the fact that I missed out on doing so much this week due to my day job. I love the number of blocks available for each day on this weekly planner, and that I can see at a glance what I have to (or get to!) do in the coming week. I love the style, and the crisp look.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright September, 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckAnd this to-do list pad is great. The pad is spiral-bound, so the sheets will stay securely on the pad until I’ve finished everything on a list. There is plenty of space to note the most important tasks for the day or week, on a neatly written list. And it looks nice. Can’t beat that! With this pad, I can go into a bit more detail than with the weekly planner.

I chose the inkwell botanical planner and to-do list pad because I liked the black and white look, but there are others to choose from. I also love the fact that these products can be personalized. They are both put out by Stuck on You, with more stationary items as well. The company was founded in 1995, by mom of three Carrie Felton. They make attractive products for people of all ages. I’ll bet you’ll find something to match your office.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright September, 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckThese big notebooks are great for many things. They are about 8″x10″, and are quite thick. This one is my financials notebook, and I’m using it to help me to get my financial life in order, and to plan for my future financially.

I’ve recently read The Art of Money: A Life-Changing Guide to Financial Happiness by Bari Tessler. You can read my review of her book here.

“Money… is about our relationship with ourselves.”~ Bari Tessler

Such a true statement.

I’m also reading Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach, and am filling out the workbook, and I follow Carrie Smith Nicholson on Careful Cents. I can use all the financial advice I can get!

I have two more of these large hard-cover notebooks, in different designs. One is for notes on things for the writing business.

The other is my planner notebook. This is my master planner of all I know I want to accomplish. From this planner, I split things by week using the weekly planner above. But this notebook serves another purpose as well. It helps me to decide, through a number of questions I ask myself at each ‘meeting’, what is working and what is not. What I should scrap, and what I should keep moving forward with.

Each of these notebooks has an attached ribbon to use as a bookmark. I look for deals, and have found two at Wal*Mart for $3.00 each.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright September, 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckI also love this journal. I found it and another of the same size at AC More (2 for $10.00). They are half the size of the ones mentioned above, but also thick. Not all journals have that going for them. These journals have soft covers, and an elastic to use as a bookmark or to keep the journal closed. A journal like this is great to use when you want to plan a large project.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright September, 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckThin journals are great for planning smaller projects. This one is the same size as the one above with fewer pages, with a nice cover design. It fits into my purse so I can easily bring it back and forth between my job at the inn and home; and wherever else I end up.

My writing document is done in Google Docs, and my notes, outlines, and other information are in the journal. I can easily work on this project anywhere, because I always have the information I need with me.

My laptop is another important tool. It holds copies of all my manuscripts, plans, outlines, and so much more, as well as gives me access to all my backed-up information and whatnot. Right now I have a Dell, but I used to use Hewlett-Packard. Both have work well for my purposes thus far.

As for backups, I use a few different things depending on the nature of each project. I don’t have the funds necessary to spend on backing everything up in the cloud, so I improvise.

  • A few of my blogs have backup that came with the hosting, though it is limited. This is helpful.
  • I have all my documents in my OpenOffice program, as well as in Google Docs unless they are backed up via blog.
  • Pictures are mostly in Dropbox, except for the older ones still in Google.
  • I have hard copies of most of my manuscripts.
  • I use email for a few things, mainly information I want to keep for a while. I’ve set up folders for specific things, and I just delete things when I’m done with them.
  • I have some things on flash drive.

The hard copies I keep are placed in folders and a file box. I found these on Amazon, and liked the design. I’m trying to do things a little more colorfully in my office space, and knew these would work. They are Carolina Pad Hot Chocolate file folders.

They give my files a more attractive look than the hanging file folders I was using, and I like that. Who doesn’t want a nice looking office space?

By the way, I use plants as a sort of tool as well. Not only do they make a space look better, they also provide a source of calm when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I look at the plants, take a few slow, deep breaths, and feel a lot better about whatever is going on.

We all need a calming force in our lives sometimes, and that’s what plants do for me.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright September, 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuckI also have favorite pens, and I use highlighters for various things. I love fine-point pens, and usually use black or purple ink. However, I do use red ink when editing.

Highlighter’s of various colors are used when working on projects. I usually choose a color for each part of the project, like color-coding. It helps to keep each mess of notes a little more organized.

Post-its are another thing I use, but not near as often as I used to. I’m making a conscious effort not to be as wasteful these days, but the post-its still come in handy for certain things.

 

And my cell phone and tablet are great tools. I take pictures with my phone. It’s a Straighttalk phone that takes as good a picture as my digital camera. It’s easy to upload from the phone to my blogs.

The tablet fits in my purse, so is easily taken with me when a laptop is not desired but I know I’ll be needing to look things up for projects.

What are your favorite tools?

Shannon

P.S. Thank you to the Stuck on You team for providing me with the weekly planner and the To-Do List Pad to try. Love the products and I’ll be recommending them to others.

 

 

 




Organize Your Space and Stuff by Shannon L. Buck Organize Your Space and Stuff provides take-aways such as ideas for organizing projects and record keeping, as well as keeping track of successes. https://www.amazon.com/Organize-Your-Space-Stuff-Freelance-ebook/dp/B01BIEZYHK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Organize Your Space and Stuff (eBook)

Organize Your Space and Stuff is a compilation of many articles from How to Live the Freelance Life. Each article has been expanded on for this book, with updates on how things have changed, and action steps to guide you in setting up and keeping up with your office or office space.

A bonus section at the back of this eBook gives the reader creative projects that will aid in furthering their career and brightening their day. These projects are not to be missed. They are fun!

Organize Your Space and Stuff provides take-aways such as ideas for organizing projects and record keeping, as well as keeping track of successes. Organizing the way you do business does not have to be difficult. The eBook offers advice from someone who has tried many things, before beginning to get it right. It also offers recommendations for having a ‘greener’ office environment, and advice for keeping what you need on-hand, so it is available when needed.

103 pages (eBook)

Only $9.99 on Amazon

You may also enjoy

Kindle Cover Green Your Freelance Business




Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2016. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

How to Write a Blog Post in an Hour or Less

It used to take me about 15 minutes to write a blog posts, but they were shorter than they are now. I’ve decided to write longer articles from here on out, for the most part. There will still be a few short ones here-and-there, but I want to add as much as I can to help everyone out more.

I still generally only spend 20 to 30 minutes on the actual writing part, but that is because I do some things to prepare.

Today I’d like to share my process with you.

I have an idea notebook

It’s just a journal where I write my ideas and notes for each site I own. I separate it out in sections with sticky tabs, and write the name of each site on a tab. Every time I get an idea for an article, or any other type of idea for the site or blog, I write it down in the corresponding section in this journal.

This keeps all my ideas in one place, meaning I’m not wasting time searching for notes I’ve misplaced.

Photographs need to be ready

I make sure to take any photographs before I plan to write the articles. This way I can upload them to WordPress, slap on a title, and add the copyright information and a link to one of my online stores.

By doing this, I don’t have to worry about photographs while I’m writing.

Getting ready to write

When I know I’m going to spend some time writing articles, I take the idea notebook and look at the topics I’ve written down for the site(s) or Blog(s) I’ll be writing for that day or, as is usually the case, that weekend. (I usually do this on Thursday because I’m looking for writing ideas to use during my weekend hours at work. I work at the front desk at an inn, and often have downtime. I work 32 hours in a three-day stretch, so I need to be sure I have plenty to do when I’m not busy checking people in and out and taking phone calls.)

I take out a piece of paper and pen, and write down the topics I want to write about from the sections in the notebook. At this time, I spend a moment taking quick notes of anything significant I can think of. This way, I’m not wasting time when it comes to writing.

I put this paper, along with my calendars, in my backpack with anything else I’ll be bringing with me, so I’ll have it on hand when I’m ready to write.

I have a one-sheet yearly calendar for each site. These calendars help me to keep track, at a glance, of how many articles I’ve completed and scheduled for each place. I simply circle the date when each article will go live, on the corresponding calendar.

When I’m ready to write

Because I usually do my article writing at work, I do so during down time. Things must be able to proceed quickly. My list of ideas and notes is kept at my desk, as are my calendars and a pen, to make it easy to start typing when I have a few moments.

I open up the site administration area, and start a new blog post. The first thing I do when I get in there is set the feature image, then I write the article using my list and notes. I don’t worry too much about spelling and whatnot at this point, I simply need to get the words typed. When that is done, I add categories and tags, and then an excerpt.

This process takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the length of the article.

Finishing up the article

When I’m ready to edit, the first thing I do is click on the spell check icon. Then I read. Spell check programs aren’t always 100% correct, after all. Whether this check brings up mistakes or not, I read every sentence, sometimes changing up sentence or paragraph structure to make things sound better. I might delete something, or even add a sentence here and there. Whatever I determine is needed. But I read the whole thing.

Once the editing process is done, which takes under 10 minutes, I schedule the article to post on a specific date, circle that date on the corresponding calendar, and cross the article off my list.

And I’m done. In less than 40 minutes my article is schedule to post. It takes longer if I don’t go through the prep stages in advance.

This organization really helps with time management.

What process works best for you? How long does it take?

Shannon L. Buck




Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, Copyright 2016. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

5 Minutes to a Better Morning: Planning & Setting Up the Night Before

Do you know you’re going to be rushed in the morning? Are you not good at getting started in the morning because when have to plan your day first? Or, do you need to feel like you’re ahead the game before you even start?

There are a number of reasons you may choose to plan and set up for your work day the night before.

Pros and Cons of Planning & Setting Up the Night Before

There are many pros to this practice, including:

  • Being more organized.
  • Being able to start your day more quickly, without feeling bogged down by the smaller things.
  • Idea generation in the evening, once you know what your plans are.
  • More ideas in the morning before you even get started.
  • You know whether or not you have everything necessary to start your day; and you can run out and get supplies the evening before if necessary.
  • Feeling less stressed in the morning.
  • Feeling less rushed in the morning.

As with any situation, there are also cons. These include:

  • Loss of spontaneity during the beginning of your day, and maybe throughout, depending on how much you planned and set up for.
  • May not be at your most creative in the morning, because everything has been planned out.

Planning for the Next Day

Planning the night before will be different for each person, and you should certainly do so in a way that works best for you. Some will use Post-Its, others index cards. Many of will have a planner to write tasks into, and others might have a simple to-do list either in paper form or by using todoist.com. Still others might list out the tasks on a dry-erase board, to be easily wiped off when each task is complete.

Whatever your style, spend a few minutes at the end of your writing/work day listing the three most important things you need to accomplish the next day. Then decide in what order it is most important to complete each task, numbering them accordingly.

Setting Up for the Next Day

The first step in setting up for the next day is to pick up from the current day. Take a moment to clear unnecessary items from your work space. Not a major cleaning or anything, but just file the few papers you have out, and clear off the desk.

Then take out your to-do list (the short three item list) and decide what tools and materials you’ll need to have on your desk to complete them the next day. Setting these items up now should take no longer than a minute.

You’re all set for tomorrow. You know what you need to get done, and in what order.

Bonus Tip #1: Keeping an Extra Task List

Once the items on your list are complete, if there is time, you can consider plucking away at your list of things you’d like to do. I keep an ongoing list of small tasks that take less than half-an-hour, with many that will only take about five minutes. This list is kept on my desk and, when I have a day that I finish the important things early, I do some of the things on this other list.

Be sure to cross items off as you complete them.

Bonus Tip #2: An Idea Notebook

This is one of my favorite things. I keep it nearby so I can make notes whenever an idea pops into my head, which often happens after I’ve planned for the next day, or after waking the next day.

My notebook is divided into sections, with a tab for each blog. This way, I can put each idea where it rightfully belongs. I get my new blog post and ebook ideas this way.

Organize Your Space and Stuff by Shannon L. Buck Organize Your Space and Stuff provides take-aways such as ideas for organizing projects and record keeping, as well as keeping track of successes. https://www.amazon.com/Organize-Your-Space-Stuff-Freelance-ebook/dp/B01BIEZYHK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8Did you enjoy today’s post? Check out my ebook Organize Your Space and Stuff for even more ideas on how to get things done.

Organize Your Space and Stuff is a compilation of many articles from How to Live the Freelance Life. Each article has been expanded on for this book, with updates on how things have changed, and action steps to guide you in setting up and keeping up with your office or office space.

A bonus section at the back of this eBook gives the reader creative projects that will aid in furthering their career and brightening their day. These projects are not to be missed. They are fun!

Organize Your Space and Stuff provides take-aways such as ideas for organizing projects and record keeping, as well as keeping track of successes. Organizing the way you do business does not have to be difficult. The eBook offers advice from someone who has tried many things, before beginning to get it right. It also offers recommendations for having a ‘greener’ office environment, and advice for keeping what you need on-hand, so it is available when needed.

Shannon L. Buck




Screenshot by Shannon L. Buck, https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Shannon+L.+Buck&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Shannon+L.+Buck&sort=relevancerank

Organize: Create Processes

I’m still at it. Organizing my time and my surroundings, not to mention my processes. I’m doing all this to meet my goals for my theme of the year: Organize.

There are processes we use in building our careers. They may be different depending on the exact nature of what we are doing, but there are always processes.

I started thinking about the processes I use after reading something by Leonie Dawson. She had written about how having processes all typed out and ready for those working with you to look at can help speed up work. Each person wont have to figure out what to do in a situation if the instructions are right there, saving time.

The saved time might be used for other important tasks or, when added up over the year, allow for a day off to make time for yourself, family, or friends.

Having the processes typed and handy means that you’ll be able to quickly find directions for doing things that don’t come up often. If something doesn’t come up often, you might not remember how to do it the next time around.

Screenshot by Shannon L. Buck, https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Shannon+L.+Buck&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Shannon+L.+Buck&sort=relevancerank

The above is a simple process for linking a picture to an outside location. This is something I do often, but someone who is helping me out when I’m unable to do the work might not know how to do this.

If that is the case, the person helping me out will be able to quickly access the directions and finish the job.

Screenshot by Shannon L. Buck, copyright February 1, 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

This is a screenshot of my document on how to Upload and Link a File to a Page/Post. This is not something I do all the time, and I always have to do a Google search to find out how to do it when I need the information. Now, I’ll just check this file real quick and be able to finish up my post.

I’ve set up a folder in the documents on my laptop for these processes, and I’ll be printing each off and putting them in a binder. They can easily be changed if I notice something isn’t working, or a program changes a process and I need to update my files.

Have you begun setting up processes? While we may have differing goals, it would help us each out greatly if we documented our processes. I’ll be adding to the folder and binder over time.

*****

Organize Your Space and Stuff by Shannon L. Buck Organize Your Space and Stuff provides take-aways such as ideas for organizing projects and record keeping, as well as keeping track of successes. https://www.amazon.com/Organize-Your-Space-Stuff-Freelance-ebook/dp/B01BIEZYHK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8Want to learn more ways to organize your business life?

Organize Your Space and Stuff is a compilation of many articles from How to Live the Freelance Life. Each article has been expanded on for this book, with updates on how things have changed, and action steps to guide you in setting up and keeping up with your office or office space.

A bonus section at the back of this eBook gives the reader creative projects that will aid in furthering their career and brightening their day. These projects are not to be missed. They are fun!

Organize Your Space and Stuff provides take-aways such as ideas for organizing projects and record keeping, as well as keeping track of successes. Organizing the way you do business does not have to be difficult. The eBook offers advice from someone who has tried many things, before beginning to get it right. It also offers recommendations for having a ‘greener’ office environment, and advice for keeping what you need on-hand, so it is available when needed.

*****

Warmest Wishes,

Shannon L. Buck




Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright January 30, 2017. https://www.amazon.com/Shannon-Buck/e/B01AIXHW0Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Organize: Use a Calendar to Keep Track of Scheduled Posts

As per my theme word for 2017, I’ve been doing little things here and there to better organize my space and time. I recently shared how I organized my desk drawer, and today I want to show how I’m organizing my scheduled blog posts for the year.

This is the calendar for my blog Frugal Recipes: Spending Less to Eat Healthy. I chose to show you the calendar for this blog because it’s the one that has the most posts scheduled so far this year. I’m doing an audit of the blog: Changing things, adding and deleting things, updating photographs. It’s the blog I’m concentrating the most on at this time, and all the circles you see within many of the months indicate blog posts that are ready and scheduled to post.

I believe in working ahead when there is time to do so. I work at the front desk at an inn, and winter is a slow season for us. Our boss lets us bring our own stuff to do, as long as it does not interfere with our job. I do a lot of editing and writing during these months, so I am able to get ahead.

This year I decided I would print off a generic calendar for each blog and site, and circle days when I have a blog post or article scheduled to post. A ost or article hits scheduled status when I’m sure I’m done writing and editing. I no longer have to worry about them, as they post automatically once scheduled.

As you can see, I’ve already put in a lot of work on posts for the blog. There’s still more to do, but now I can see at a glance when I need a blog to post. I’ll keep this calendar and the ones for the other blogs and sites in my planner, so they’re easily accessible.

This method will not only help me to stay organized, it will also save me time. I wont have to keep opening blogs to see when I have posts scheduled. The time saved can go toward doing things with family and friends, or taking care of me.

How do you keep track of scheduled posts? Not every method works for each person, so it helps to have multiple ones to choose from when setting up a system.

*****

Organize Your Space and Stuff by Shannon L. Buck Organize Your Space and Stuff provides take-aways such as ideas for organizing projects and record keeping, as well as keeping track of successes. https://www.amazon.com/Organize-Your-Space-Stuff-Freelance-ebook/dp/B01BIEZYHK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8Want to learn more ways to organize your business life?

Organize Your Space and Stuff is a compilation of many articles from How to Live the Freelance Life. Each article has been expanded on for this book, with updates on how things have changed, and action steps to guide you in setting up and keeping up with your office or office space.

A bonus section at the back of this eBook gives the reader creative projects that will aid in furthering their career and brightening their day. These projects are not to be missed. They are fun!

Organize Your Space and Stuff provides take-aways such as ideas for organizing projects and record keeping, as well as keeping track of successes. Organizing the way you do business does not have to be difficult. The eBook offers advice from someone who has tried many things, before beginning to get it right. It also offers recommendations for having a ‘greener’ office environment, and advice for keeping what you need on-hand, so it is available when needed.

*****

Warmest Wishes,

Shannon L. Buck




Photogrpah by Shannon L. Buck, copyright January 21, 2017. https://www.amazon.com/Shannon-Buck/e/B01AIXHW0Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Starting to Organize

As per my theme word for 2017, I’ve begun to organize things. I wanted to get the drawers done first because there were things I needed and couldn’t find, and other things I didn’t need to keep.

I cleared everything out and wiped the drawers down with a disinfectant wipe, then began putting everything I wanted to keep back, in a more organized way.

The picture above is the front of the drawer. It’s very neat and tidy now. Yes, I still color. There are boxes of crayons and colored pencils under that box of markers. You might be able to make out the ruler next to the pink 3-hole punch. I need that when I do the drawings for some of my stories. I like to have a visual sometimes when I’m creating place settings. The calculator in its little black case isn’t used often, but I keep it on hand just in case.

Photogrpah by Shannon L. Buck, copyright January 21, 2017. https://www.amazon.com/Shannon-Buck/e/B01AIXHW0Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

The drawer cannot be pulled out all the way, but there is more space back there. Labels, clips, staples, and glue go back there. The two paper cups have been cut down to fit inside the drawer. One holds rubber bands, and the other holds regular paperclips.

Photogrpah by Shannon L. Buck, copyright January 21, 2017. https://www.amazon.com/Shannon-Buck/e/B01AIXHW0Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

The drawer has two sections. This one holds pens and highlighters. I know this looks like a lot, but I let go of half my pens. I didn’t like the way they wrote, or how they felt to hold. If there was something I didn’t like about a type of pen, I let it go. I also gave up all the pencils because the erasers weren’t ones that worked well, and two erasers that didn’t work well either.

I’m going to buy the good number two pencils; the ones with the erasers that do what they are supposed to do.

Okay, not a bad start on the organizing.

What am I going to do with the things I wont be keeping? Well, the first thing I always do when I’m done with something is put it in the common area with a note telling the other renters in the house they can have it if they want. Usually the item has been picked up by someone within a few days. If no one takes it, I donate it.

I had hoped to have more done by now, but I’ve been so sick the last couple of months. I’ll get on the ball now that I’m feeling better.

Want more ideas for organizing your office space? Get out my eBook Organize Your Space and Stuff. It has many, many ideas for organizing that you will find helpful.

Happy writing!

Shannon




Want to Meet Your Goals This Year?

Keep a constant reminder where it can be seen. There are a number of ways to do this:

  1. Print out a 5×7 copy of your goals lists. Frame it, and place on your desk.
  2. Attach poster board to the office door. Write out your goals list, providing a box or line for check marks. As you meet each goal, check it off!
  3. Tape the list to the wall above your desk.
  4. Keep the list taped to the top of your desk, right next to the laptop.
  5. Use your goals as the wallpaper or screensaver on the computer.

Can you think of any more? If so, please mention them in the comments or email me at shannonlbuck@livethefreelancelife.com.

Happy New Year!

Shannon

 




Photograph copyright Shannon L. Buck, December 31, 2016.

My 2017 Theme Word: Organize

I’ve done theme words or phrases the past four years: Prepare, Be Creative, Simplify, and Courage. I was pretty darn successful at each of these, and have decided I like theme words and goals better than resolutions. They work for me.

My 2017 theme word is:

Organize

And boy do I need it! I’m not just talking about my writing life, either. I need to find ways to organize the room I rent to make it feel more cozy and tidy; more homey. I’m planning on a year of organizing everything I possibly can, from home to personal stuff to business.

It should all keep me pretty busy.

As for organizing my writing life, I want to:

  • Set up a system for tracking stats.
  • Post about my checklist for manuscript to-do’s, after updating the existing one.
  • Order more folders for filing.
  • Revamp physical file system.
  • Go through all manuscript folder checklists to be sure I have done everything I wanted to do for each published manuscript. If not, do it!
  • Set up the file folders.
  • Attack my email in-box and rethink folders.
  • Get everything in the cloud, as well as on flash drives. Let’s just say I want multiple ways to save things. Just in case. Excessive? Maybe. But I’m okay with that.
  • Keep track of all the places each manuscript is published.
  • Create my own to-do list for necessary things to do monthly and yearly.
  • Posted about how I use todoist?
  • I need an administrative day each week.
  • Does my subscription tracker on the site need updating?
  • Posted about Evernote yet? Story outlining, note-taking, character development, research.
  • Set up a simple record-keeping system, to go along with my yearly tax file.
  • Take pictures and unnecessary stuff that will go elsewhere off Google Drive & Dropbox. Make sure each items gets to the right place, or is deleted if no longer needed. Make a list of what type of information I put where.
  • Create a physical folder for each site: List all articles, date published/republished, etc.
  • Tweak my marketing plan.
  • Edit manuscript.
  • First eGuide for the site. (Started this last year, but didn’t get as far as I wanted.)
  • 1 card just for freelance income and expenses. (New Year Goal: Separating Expenses)
  • Make plans for a couple of columns I’d like to write. Organize my ideas in a cohesive manner.)
  • Plan future projects in an organized way.
  • Practice using voice recognition software.
  • Learn how to make good use of Buffer.
  • Type up processes for easy access when I need to remember how to do things.

As you can see, I have a fair amount I want to accomplish this year that will make my space and processes more efficient. Will I get to everything? Not sure, but I know I can put a good dent in things. That is what’s important. Anything left over can be done next year, but I intend to get most done before then.

There is much I want to do for all of you, and getting myself organized will help me to do it all.

What is your theme word for 2017?

If organization is in the works for you, then read my Organize Your Space and Stuff by Shannon L. Buck Organize Your Space and Stuff provides take-aways such as ideas for organizing projects and record keeping, as well as keeping track of successes. https://www.amazon.com/Organize-Your-Space-Stuff-Freelance-ebook/dp/B01BIEZYHK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8book Organize Your Space and Stuff.

Organize Your Space and Stuff is a compilation of many articles from How to Live the Freelance Life. Each article has been expanded on for this book, with updates on how things have changed, and action steps to guide you in setting up and keeping up with your office or office space.

A bonus section at the back of this eBook gives the reader creative projects that will aid in furthering their career and brightening their day. These projects are not to be missed. They are fun!

Organize Your Space and Stuff provides take-aways such as ideas for organizing projects and record keeping, as well as keeping track of successes. Organizing the way you do business does not have to be difficult. The eBook offers advice from someone who has tried many things, before beginning to get it right. It also offers recommendations for having a ‘greener’ office environment, and advice for keeping what you need on-hand, so it is available when needed.

I’d love to hear about your theme word, goals, and/or resolutions, as well as your plans to make this a successful year. Comment below, or email me at shannonlbuck@livethefreelancelife.com.

Happy New Year!

Shannon L. Buck




Photograph copyright 2016 by Shannon L. Buck.

New Year Goal: Stop Multitasking

Sadly, I’ve done this far too much. Been in the middle of so many things that I’ve lost track of where I was, or completely forgotten some of the things I was supposed to be doing. Only to look at my multiple lists later on and realize I hadn’t accomplished some of the things I was supposed to do that day.

Not fun, especially when you have to then turn around and finish those things, even though you thought you were done.

Often times I’d start a project, then get off track because another idea would pop into my head that sounds so good I’d have to work on that for a bit. This might happen multiple times a day.

When I multitask, I don’t accomplish much. This craziness is why I’m trying to stop multitasking.

What I’m training myself to do is keep a notebook next to me while I work. When an idea pops into my head – and this will happen multiple times throughout the day – I’m just going to write it on the notepad with a quick note explaining what I want to do, then get back to work.

This way, I’ll be staying on track without losing the ideas. I’ll do the new tasks at another time, and I wont be moving back and forth between projects.

Not multitasking will go hand-in-hand with my theme word for the new year: Organize. (More on this theme word in a later post.) How? I’ll be organizing my time better to make sure I’m working on important projects throughout the year.

What are your goals for the coming year?

Happy New Year!

Shannon