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.

 

 

 

About Shannon L. Buck

Hello. My name is Shannon, and I'm a single mother of two young adult daughters, and Memay to one precious Little Man. I work as a writer from my home in Orono, Maine, and as a Front Desk Agent at an inn. Writing is my life, second only to my daughters. I enjoy writing nonfiction, as well as fiction in a number of genres. At some point, I would like to travel. It would be a true writing adventure.