Posts Tagged ‘Organization’




Passion Planner Mini Me

Filed under: Check-it-out, Critique, In the Wild, Pondering, Stuff I Love

Last year I bought a Passion Planner and optimistically blogged about it. You can read my 2015 Passion Planner post HERE. But now, it’s 2016 and I wanted to let you know how  my planner worked out for me.

First of all, I had every intention of purchasing another one. I really love it a lot! But I became very excited at the end of the year,  when I learned that there was going to be a mini passion planner on the scene in 2016.


The size of the planner was one of the main things I struggled with. I loved the space to write, but it took up way to much personal space on the counter near my computer. I tended to close it up and leave it behind my laptop, which kind of defeats the purpose of having the planner accessible.


Look at me now!

With the compact planner, it’s just the right size to keep next to me and accessible. I will admit that unfortunately, the writing space often feels a little squished. But there’s nothing I’d like to sacrifice on the page to get more space, so I think I’m going to pull out a pen with a finer point and see if that helps. In fact–one of these might do the trick…


And using these pens in my planner will make me happy because I had to STOP using these pens in my planner. I know, you’re confused, but I can explain. I LOVED sitting down and color coding all of my weekly events with my fabulous new pens! I really did, but it took up too much time. Time I didn’t have to fart around with–even when I was enjoying it. On a good day, it was time I didn’t need to waste.


So pretty! *pets page*

And on a bad day, when I didn’t have the time, my planner tended to look like this…

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I wasn’t really good at finding a middle ground. Not helpful anyway you flipped the pages.

Instead of setting myself up for failure, I’m using one pen at a time and one pen only. No excuses!

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But as I was writing this post I joyously realized that I could rotate through my gorgeous fine tipped pens and mix up my colors seasonally or as the mood strikes me. Best of both worlds. *high five please*

I’m also consolidating some of my other calendars. In the past, I have a tendency to place a printed monthly calendar on the cabinet in front of me to track my writing progress. That calendar is ALWAYS changing. Some days I need to tightly track my word count. Other days I need to acknowledge that I’m revising but not track word count details. Some days it’s a mix of several things I’m working on. My needs and my accountability is fluid with the calendar.


I also keep a white board calendar in a different location, reminding me of my blogging days and author related activities. This calendar used to be above my desk (where I did my writing.) But once I moved to my new house, it didn’t quite play out like that. So, in 2016 (since this mini version) is right next to me) I’m keeping track of all of this stuff on the monthly pages of the planner. It’s a work in progress–I’m just starting to dabble with it, but I think I’m going to like this even better than what I was doing before. And then I’ll have a place to keep that info without papers being lost–because if you know me–you know I stash them in the oddest of places. You know, to keep them safe.


Overall I’ve found that the more accessible I keep the planner and the simpler I make my process, the more I use it. And the more I use it, the more I get out of it. So, despite some design incompatibilities (for me) and a lot of operator head space on my part–I’m still a HUGE fan of my Passion Planner and I’m always finding new ways to alter it to best suit my needs. I anticipate a January 2017 update coming your way next year.

Anyone else using a Passion Planner? Do you have another planner that works or doesn’t work for you? What are some of your best planner organizational tips? Do you LOVE colored pens as much as I do??? Tell the truth.

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My Passion for Planners Leads Me to a Passion Planner

Filed under: Check-it-out, Stuff I Love

Hi, my name is Kim and I have a calendar/planner addiction problem.

Color Splash Image

Just in my kitchen alone I have FIVE different calendar/planners. *head thunk*

*On the cabinet on the left is the monthly calendars I post to keep track of my writing goals. They are at eye level, right in front of where I do a lot of my writing. They are a daily reminder to get my butt in the chair and hit my word count.

*In the middle of the room, on the fridge door, I’ve got an adhesive white board that tracks all the after school and school related activities of the boys. Each boy has a color and everyone can see who is staying after school, what they need to bring to school that day and what evening activities they have.

*On the far right I have a my 12 month calendar that has all the family events posted to include all birthdays and anniversaries. My husband makes no plans without checking this calendar. LOL!

*Back on the left side of the picture, is my computer/phone calendar which I can not live without because it has alarms!!! I need those pop up reminders on my computer and phone telling me where I’m supposed to be and what I should be doing. For example, I need an alarm to tell me that tomorrow I signed up to bring something to the bake sale, so now I need to go buy cookies and put them on a plate and make them look all Martha Stewarty.

*And right next to my computer, I have my newest planner, which is the main point of this post because I want to share it with you. It’s called my Passion Planner. I stumbled across it late in 2014 when a friend was ordering one. Here’s the skinny on the Passion Planner…

I am loving this planner because it’s a place where I’m sort of journaling and organizing together. I’m taking notes and making plans for the future, but also evaluating what I’ve just done. Really loving it and that’s why I wanted to share it with you.






The planner looks pretty basic on the outside, but inside it’s very unique…



It comes with directions and suggestions for use, but it feels so user friendly that I’m using what works for me and being really creative with it. IMG_0251It’s a work in progress, but what I really love about it is that I can see myself having one every year and over time these planners will function like a time capsule of my daily life and goals. Ya know, for the archives when I’m famous and stuff. *grin*

I’m also enjoying it because I don’t tend to journal on a regular basis. I use my blog to fulfill that aspect of my writing life, but this will fill in some of the gaps that aren’t possible on a blog. Things that I may not want to post publicly. Or things that aren’t so interesting to a blog readership. Yesterday, as I watched the live feed of the ALA Awards, I wrote down a list of all the new award winning books I wanted to read. Finally a list I won’t lose. *sigh*

Aren’t you loving this planner? If you’re interested in getting your own Passion Planner, you can find out more about it HERE.

Any of you calendar/planner addicts, too? What do you think is the appeal? Could it be the colored markers or the stickers? Or is it because so much of the rest of my life is completely unorganized? I have no clue, but if you know–please fill me in. Now I’m off to get some fabulous multicolored pens and highlighters. <3


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Good Things to Know Before the Dust Settles

Filed under: Pondering, Writing

As I mentioned earlier, my husband and I are redoing the office. I promise there will be pictures when everything is in place. But as I’ve been sneezing and sorting, I realized that there are a lot of positive changes I’d like to make about how I handle all things writing related. I figured the earlier you learn from my mistakes and experiences the better off you are. So here are some good things to know before the dust settles. *achoo*

*If you blog, you’ve heard me talk about the need to blog regularly. (preferably 2-3 times a week) I completely balked at this when my agent suggested it and yup, I was wrong and she was right. It is harder to have a party when no one knows when to show up. It’s also embarrassing if people stop by and you’re in your pajamas–the lumpy, cozy ones that make you look like a giant Build-a-Bear.

My organizational suggestion is to get a calendar and keep a running log of your blog posts. It’s a good habit to get into–maybe it’s not necessary when you’re only blogging M-W-F every week, but as things kick up in your career, it’s very helpful. I now have to keep track of my blog, guest posts for The Class of 2k12, my monthly blog for YAOTL, coordinating posts for teamTEENauthor and lots of guests posts request from bloggers. Every little bit of built in organization helps. Visual helps.

*I am now keeping a blank notebook at the side of my desk in order to jot down a tangible to-do-list that does not get moved around as I shuffle things on my computer screen. This doesn’t have to be pad and pen–it can be whatever works for you. Something on your phone perhaps, but I just miss pens and notebooks some times, so I’m going old school. The pad is also good for throwing down potential blog ideas. I know this works because I took the topic for this post, right off of that new list! Yup, I’m feeling good.

*Get yourself personalized notecards and use them.

They don’t have to be expensive, I get mine at Vistaprint, or it is easy to make your own. I’d love to do that, but I’m the girl who has a Pinterest page titled…Crafts I’ll Never Do Even Though I Want To. *makes note in new note book to add “making note cards” to list of crafts I’ll never do–even though I want to* Moving on. Back to the purpose of the notecards.  They are perfect for writing a thank you note to the editor who gave you a critique and they’re great for writing a quick note when you’re sending out a package of swag. Just let your imagination run wild.  And let’s face it–it feels good to get a little old fashioned mail that isn’t a catalogue. I LOVE when my editor and agent send me little love notes in the mail. Come on–where do you think I got the idea from?

*Surround yourself with things that inspire you. (Pictures coming soon.) I’ve always surrounded myself with things that inspire and motivate, but now I’m trying to make sure I can see them. I’m trying to cut back on the clutter. Ironically, several of my inspirational things are personalized notes from people. *grin*

*Organize your emails and files. *groan* I’ll be honest–I’m afraid to tackle this one. I wish that when I started out, I had a clear, concise system for organizing my cyber office. Instead I’m a mutant–just throwing together files and emails willy nilly as needed. This area of my work space needs more attention than I can give it right now, especially since I’m concentrating on the physical purging, but I highly suggest that you start off on the best foot you can. And be sure to think like an author and plan for those future needs. If anyone has any links to any great blog posts about this specific subject, send them my way in the comments. I’d love to know some tricks for this kind of organization for writers.

*Give yourself room to grow. I’m like a fungus. Show me an open area and I’ll crawl all over it and only a good scrubbing with bleach will get me to leave. I AM TRYING to leave room so that I can grow into my space. I’m trying to balance what I need and what I want. This is HARD because of that thing called intermittent reinforcement combined with Murphy’s Law–if I throw something away, that I haven’t used in ten years, I will need it tomorrow. *head thunk* It’s a true story–I swear it happens to me all the time. But, I’m going to do it any way. I think I can–I think I can.

*Keep a box of tissues nearby–cleaning makes you sneeze. A lot.

Okay…must go. *achoo* and do some more purging and organizing. *achoo* While I’m working, feel free to leave me some of your best office organizational tips and feel free to point out all your weaknesses so I don’t feel like I’m all alone with the dust bunnies.


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Lets Talk Sticky Notes and Office Space

Filed under: Writing

So, you’ve convinced me that the odds are small that I’ll turn into the Crazy Cat Lady (thank you–I needed that) but I can assure you that I am well on my way to being the Crazy Sticky Note Lady. The upside of this is that there are no sticky litter boxes to clean. See, I’m back to my optimistic ways again. *grin*

So, I’m not the most organized gal on the planet and sticky notes are my friends. I’ve even stuck them to myself–don’t ask. This method of mental place holding has traditionally worked pretty well for me unless the fan is on too high. But with the book launch getting closer, I may have a few more stickies than I can handle.  In fact, it might be getting a little bit out of control. Okay…maybe it’s not this bad…



…but it feels like this isn’t too far from the truth. Swag deliveries, blog posts, requested interviews and furniture orders are just some of my little yellow friends. And don’t forget about that really late anniversary card reminder for my sister-in-law. Yup, I’m at the point where I really feel like I should have better systems in place for organizing my stuff, but I also feel like I’m too far into the sticky note method.  With the launch so close, it would be just as much work to change directions now. Are you wondering why I’m telling you all this? LOL! It’s to let you know that if I owe you something–like swag or an interview–feel free to send me a status query because your sticky note may have been the one blown off by the fan. The good news is that I promise to learn from my debut experiences and be much better with my next book. You on the other hand should learn from me and get your act together long BEFORE your book comes out. I promise a more detailed blog post on this in the future.

But wait–there is hope. I am making some organizational progress and I think you’ll be proud of me. Seriously!  I’m getting a big girl desk!!!! It will have drawers. *sighs with pleasure* That has got to help me with my clutter issues, right? Let me show you how I’m doing…


This was the day I signed my book contract for TOUCHING THE SURFACE. *heart squish* I’ve been writing on a couple of folding tables and sitting in a chair from my mom and dad’s old kitchen table. I’ve got bins and piles EVERYWHERE!!!!

The office was extra loaded with junk from the other rooms we’ve been fixing up. So, not only did I have to empty out the regular clutter, but also the stuff I piled in from the other room too. *head thunk*

This is the middle son’s newly finished bedroom that is the temporary office. He can’t wait to kick us out and get in here.

Gahhh! Making progress but still so much stuff to move and throw out. Isn’t this making you feel better about your own office?


In case you were wondering about my crazy walls… The previous owner of the house wall papered with real New Yorker covers about 30 years ago. As cool as they once were–they were no longer holding up to the test of time. I took our favorite and framed it for the house. Then I pulled off as many as I could and gave them to a friend who knows the old owners.

Making progress. Lots of repairs to the plaster walls. And in case you’re wondering–no I’m not doing the work. I get stressed out enough preparing to have the work done LOL! You seriously don’t want to see my lose my mind.

Not done yet, but a sneak peak at the walls. I’m loving the Tuscan Terra Cotta color. Can’t wait for the crown molding to go in.

More to come when it’s all done. I’m so excited to have a new work space–with a nice big wall for all my sticky notes. Just kidding–sort of. Do you have an office? Where do you work or write? What would your dream office look like? What do you hate about your work space now? What color would you pick for your walls?  Are you a hoarder on the verge or did I blind you when you saw my mess? Inquiring minds want to know.

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