The Recovering Pessimist

Helping pessimists see the bright side of life without losing their "half empty" roots.

Mind Mapping with MindMeister

Dec
15

I’ve started planning for 2015 in theory, but I’ve struggled with execution. Usually, I  wrote my goals, wants, and wishes down in a Word document. I forget about it as soon as I close the document. Hard to stay focused when your goals are hidden in a file.

The other day, I read a blog post by Britni Danielle about mapping out your goals. Talk about being right on time…whew! So I grabbed an erasable pen and some printer paper and got to work.

My original mind map. Pardon my handwriting.

My original mind map. Pardon my handwriting.

There’s something freeing about putting everything on paper. Not keyboard to screen, pen to paper. As much as I love being “connected”, I enjoyed actually having to write something out. I don’t do that often.

Excited about my idea map, I texted Amber to share my glee. She sends me the link to MindMeister. It’s the online version of your DIY mind maps. Just when I thought the internet couldn’t get any better, once again, Amber proves me wrong.

Some Highlights About MindMeister:

  • There’s a demo version. Many of the options are unavailable in the demo version unless you sign up for free.
  •  You can create up to 3 minds maps. There are also 3 paid account options (personal, pro, and business).
  • Mind maps can be exported into formats such as Word docs and  PDFs.
  • Not only is it available on web, you there’s also an app, which is available for iOS and Android!!

I created an account and after spending about an hour playing around with the app, I created this:

My mind map courtesy of MindMeister.

My mind map courtesy of MindMeister.

 

It’s definitely worth looking into if you want to make your mind maps look nice. If you check out MindMeister, let me know what you think!

I Brought A Day Designer!!

Dec
08

Before I begin this post, I would like to thank my awesome friend Amber over at Climb Out of The Cubicle. Not only is she awesome, but she inspired this post. 

This isn’t exactly news breaking information for most, but it is for me. With 2015 just over the horizon, I realized that in order for me to carry out my goals, organization is imperative. Here’s how the purchase of my Day Designer happened.

Back Story

Currently, I use an academic planner to organize my blog. It’s so ineffective. In September, I started checking brick and mortar stores for 2015 planners. Many of the planners I saw were hideous (e.g., too many colors, poorly designed, etc).

After buying and returning several 2015 planners, I realized that what I needed wasn’t sold in stores. Here’s where Amber comes into play.

I remember explaining my frustration to her and she suggested that I consider getting a Day Designer. I went to the website and impressed by how beautiful and functional the planner was. I was ready to purchase, but I couldn’t get past…

…The Price 

I’m a frugal girl. I had to come to terms with paying $59 for the planner (via the Etsy store). Then I realized shipping was going to cost me $13 (I’m in Richmond, VA) and I refusedto proceed with purchasing. After spending a few hours researching online retailers, I finally found the planner for $60 and free shipping at The Grommet. The planner arrived within 3 business days from PA.

Behold the Awesomeness!

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A few observations about the Day Designer:

  • The planners are sophisticated cute. The cover (regardless of the design), provides just enough color. The pink ribbon doubles as a bookmark.
  • Worksheets are included in the front of the planner to help organize your core, which assists with focusing on your purpose and vision.
  • Each tabbed month is attached to a notes page, which provides plenty of writing space on both sides.
  • Monthly calendars are dated, however, holidays are not noted. A monthly to-do list is on the left and a space at the top of the calendar is available for you to list your goals for the month.
  • Each day has its own page, with the exception of weekends, which share one page. Daily and weekend schedules are listed from 5-9. The schedules don’t indicate if this is a.m. or p.m., so this omission works perfectly for those who work from night to day.
  • I love that at the end of the day, I can list what I’m grateful for. Perfect way to end each day.

Conclusion

This is an investment. If you’re looking for something that allows you to organize your life AND keep you focused on your ultimate goals, the Day Designer is worth considering. You can test it out by downloading a free daily planner page.

Now, back to planning 2015 while I chat with Amber:)

MsWalton

Keeping My To-Do List Organized

Aug
01

Image via Flickr.

Between my full-time job and this blog, time management is crucial. Having to-do lists help me to organize my tasks not only by importance, but also the amount of time it takes to complete each task.  Even on my lazy days, there’s always something I can check off that damn list.

I wanted to share a few tools that I use to keep me organized.

1. Evernote

I discovered the awesomeness that is Evernote last year. Why it took me so long is beyond me. I love that Evernote works not only on the web, my also on my cell, laptop, and tablet. I manage my to-do lists, and keep blogging/writing tips, blog post/short story/essay ideas. Oh, and Evernote Web Clipper is a blessing! I have it installed as a Google Chrome extension and use it to clip webpages for future use. Saves me a lot of money on printer ink.

2. Google Calendar

Life happens. I wouldn’t be able to keep up with appointments, social events, birthdays, etc if it wasn’t for Google Calendar. Like Evernote, Google Calendar works across multiple platforms. You can also create different calendars within (e.g. blogging, social, etc).

3. Physical Planner (For Writing Only)

I have a physical planner that I use for writing only. When participating in writing challenges, I like to plan posts at least a week ahead of time. I also use it to notate deadlines for writing contests and blog maintenance tasks. There’s something about using pen and paper that’s soothing in a world where a keyboard has slowly become the norm.

What tools do you use to keep yourself organized? Are you totally technology-based, pen & paper only, or both?

No More Tomorrows!

Dec
02

There are 29 days left in this year.

TWENTY-NINE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To make matters worse, I know I didn’t take advantage of every day. I was a firm believer in “I’ll do it tomorrow”. Well, tomorrow came and tomorrow left just as fast.

Success doesn’t come by sitting on my assets giggles. What I can do is make the most of each day that I’m fortunate to see. There are a lot of goals that I want to accomplish and I have to put in the work get them accomplished.

So, I got proactive during my Thanksgiving break. In order for me to get serious about being successful, I need to get organized. Take it back to my college days.

I brought a book-sized daily/weekly planner. One central location for me to keep track of blog posts, writing contest ideas, etc. Since the planner starts in January, I printed off a blank December calendar so I can get things started.

There are already four posts planned and tentatively scheduled for December. Yay me! I’m determined to make the best of the 29 days left in the year. No more tomorrows for me!

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