Category Archives: productivity

What Am I Working On?

In short: not my blog LOL!

Nah, just kidding. I did put aside weekly blog posts some months back, but that was a strategic decision. Sometimes I need to shake-up how I work to keep myself productive, and reducing my blog post frequency was part of that most recent shake-up. But that doesn’t mean I’m abandoning the blog entirely–not at all!  In fact, you’ll probably start seeing regular “What Am I Working On?” posts quarterly. See, I’ve started this new work management system I learned at the RWA National writer’s conference in July and it’s fantastic! Part of it involves focusing on 2-3 goals one quarter at a time, then reviewing my progress at the end of the quarter. So I’m going to post here each quarter with a quick rundown of what I’m focusing on.

Okay, where to start.

I completed a major revision in May of the first book in my latest project (it’s a 3.5-book series I’m currently calling The Cloaked Series.) The revision was requested by an agent I submitted to and really admire, so it was very exciting. I’ve sent that off and am now awaiting responses from that agent and one other.

Meanwhile, I attended the RWA National conference in July, as I mentioned above, and it was AMAZING! I met so many awesome writers, learned a TON, and brought back more free romance novels than I’ll likely be able to read this year (but I’m sure as heck gonna try!)

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Me and writer-friend Lin being silly in the photo booth at the RITA Awards after party during the RWA National conference. It was a good night 😀

This quarter (well, August and September–I’m doing a short quarter so I can get on track with Q4) I’m focusing on sending out all of the material that agents and editors requested from me at the conference, reinvigorating my social media mojo so I can continue to meaningfully connect with more readers, and getting SHIFT and RECAST ready for re-release.

WHAAA?

Yep, that’s right. I will be re-releasing new editions of all 4 books in the Shift Series (SHIFT, RECAST, DRIFT, and STAND) at the end of this year! Newly edited, with new covers, links to new exclusive content, and more. I’ll definitely be posting more about it, so stay tuned in the coming months.

So those are my focuses for Q3. In the spirit of reinvigorating my social media presence,  here are links to find me across the interwebs (including my new Facebook Group, Elle’s Belles!)

Facebook

Elle’s Belles (a safe place to geek out about our favorite paranormal/fantasy beings–from my books or ANYWHERE! It’s brand new and just getting off the ground, but we’re already having a ton of fun. Join us!)

Twitter

Pinterest

Elle's Belles

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Kick-Ass People Doing Kick Ass Things | Sam Raddatz

Every once in a while, I get the chance to digital-interview a fellow professional who is turning their passion into something more than a hobby. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re making a living pursuing their passion–but in this case, it does!

Sam is my cousin (how did I get so lucky as to have so many kick-ass chicks in my life?!) She’s also the founder and CEO of Logic Department. Read on to learn more about Sam, her company, and (perhaps most importantly) how she turned her ah-ha moment into a thriving business. Maybe your own ah-ha moment is within Sam’s answers, below 🙂

Tell us a little about yourself and your business!

I’m the founder and CEO of Logic Department – a consultancy that improves the findability of content on websites, intranets, databases, content management systems, etc. We help companies improve efficiency and reduce frustrations for their employees and customers/visitors. If you’ve ever used a website and thought “I know this site should have this information, but I just can’t find what I need!”, we help with that.

How did you get into this area of work?

I worked for a few years as a ‘whatever you need’ freelancer, mostly picking up administrative and transcription work, piecing it all together for my first couple years in New York City. In the midst of that work, I decided to go back to school for an information and library science degree, thinking I would get into the world of business librarianship – it felt like the “adult” extension of the work I did as a page in my college library. When I got into school, I took a course early on where we read Don Norman’s book The Design of Everyday Things. The key takeaway of that book is that things that are hard or frustrating to use are the fault of the design of that thing, not your fault as the person interacting with it. My mind was blown. It reversed years of me thinking that I was dumb, and put that blame where it belonged: on the door/website/whatever I was using. I wanted to reduce the amount of people that are feeling dumb when it’s not at all their fault. I wanted to reduce frustrations where they could easily be reduced.

What made you decide to take your passion to the next level (i.e. become a professional)? Has it been easy? Hard? Different than you expected?

I was homeschooled through elementary school, so freelancing and being independent wasn’t a huge jump for me, emotionally. That part came naturally (to the detriment of my income for some years), but I know it can be a big jump for others. The leap I took into the one full-time job I’ve had felt much more extreme to me than the leap back into independence, and I think I’m fortunate to have that confidence in the unknown. That being said, it was a ton of work and actually has gotten harder the longer I’ve done it and as I’ve moved into growing a business. I somehow thought that if I worked really hard at the beginning it would start to get easier, but the learning and different hurdles continue all the time. As soon as I feel I’ve figured one thing out another pops up!

How do you gauge your success?

Continue reading

Cool Tools: Goalscape

Last week, I shared my 2017 wrap-up and goals for 2018.  My list of goals for this year is pretty hefty. I felt good after writing them, but then found that I was having a hard time focusing and determining how to start as the days passed.

What should I start with first? How do these goals cascade and serve one another?

So, as I often do when I need to wrap my mind around something, I wrote it all down by hand, separating the different goals by quarter.

That helped. But I needed something more. I wanted to see this plan in a more visual way.

There must be a tool for that, right? To the Googles!

Enter this Cool Tools post focus: Goalscape

Goalscape is a tool that allows you to create a visual web of your goals around a central project.

It’s free for one project with up to 30 goals.

It’s available on the web, and as a desktop application (if that’s more your thing.)  The desktop app is $60 (one time.)  The unlimited online version is $6/month.

I used the free version and was able to create this AWESOME visualization of my 2018 Author Goals in no time at all.

Goalscape_trialrun

I loved this visual so much that I made it the lock screen on my phone. So now, every time I go to unlock my phone I’m faced with my 2018 goals, asking me “what should you be working on right now?” (Not accusatorily. It’s like a helpful productivity buddy 🙂 )

What project/goals could you use Goalscape to visualize? Give it a try and share your web in the comments!