The Bullet Journal: An analog system for a digital age

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You can count me in as one of the people that succeeds from an analog to-do list. I’ve tried countless to-do apps, and none of them push me to get stuff done like the written word.

Keep yourself honest by adopting the bullet journal system, if only to remind yourself what actually deserves your attention.

How a Bullet Journal Works

Here is how it works: you take a blank notebook, any blank notebook. You can, if you wish, buy a special one, but the notebook isn’t the point – the Bullet Journal is a method, not an object. You number the pages as you go along, having set aside a few pages at the front that over time become your contents list. Then each month you handwrite a calendar called the “monthly log” followed by a “daily log” of tasks, events and notes, marked respectively by bullet points, circles and dashes. Each day you manually cross out tasks you have completed and then rewrite the undone ones for the next day.

Read How the Bullet Journal stopped me lying to myself

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Why you should be using Grammarly to proofread your writing

Grammarly is the number one writing app
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Whether you’re on your computer or tweeting from your mobile device, Grammarly ensures that your writing looks polished before you hit publish

Grammarly is a free plugin for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari that proofreads your writing wherever you write on the web: in Gmail, Microsoft Office, Google Docs, WordPress, Facebook updates, Tweets, LinkedIn, etc.

Say you’re posting your latest status update on Facebook. With Grammarly installed, you’ll see instant grammar and spelling corrections in your sentences right after you type them. 

I always run my blog posts, novels, work emails, tweets, cover letters and resumes (Grammarly offers a resume setting for premium users) to ensure the most effective and mistake-free writing. 

My favorite Grammarly features

My favorite part of the app is the quick grammar check. Just when I think a piece is perfect, I run it through Grammarly only to find missed commas, slight misspellings and repeat words. Below is an example of how your piece of writing might look before and after scanning it through Grammarly. 

Not only does Grammarly pinpoint errors my eyes overlook, it also explains why it is suggesting the edit by providing brief explanations for any errors in punctuation, subject-verb agreement, verb tenses, run-on sentences, and other mistakes to improve your prose.

The auto-suggest word replacement feature is also extremely helpful. As someone who tends to repeat the same words, Grammarly recommends using stronger, alternative but similar words to help me strengthen a sentence. 

If you upgrade to the premium version you get the full power of Grammarly. This includes advanced checks for punctuation, grammar, context, and sentence structure plus genre-specific writing style checks. It also comes with a plagiarism detector that checks more than 16 billion web pages to ensure your work is original!

Premium customers report better results

Whether you’re a worker, student, or blogger, Grammarly meets all types of writing requirements. You can install the Grammarly app for free as an extension in Chrome, Safari, or Firefox, or on your iPhone or Android, for instant proofreading or wait to check your writing aftward with a click of a button.

There’s also a standalone native browser on Grammarly.com and a native Mac app for more focused writing.

Want to level up your writing? Download Grammarly for free today!

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE THE DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

This post was proofread by Grammarly

Instant Grammar Checker - Correct all grammar errors and enhance your writing.


Listening is the new reading

Listening is the new reading

If you’re behind on some of your reading goals for the year and want to catch up, I’d recommend checking out Amazon’s Audible program.

You get two free audiobooks as part of signing up.

I listen to audiobooks on the road, at home, and at the gym. It’s also a pleasure to take a respite from the lite bright of my phone or Kindle.

According to recent studies, people comprehend books listening just as much as they do reading them. The brain doesn’t have to do any additional decoding.

Says University of Virginia psychologist Daniel Willingham:

“If you take the question from the perspective of cognitive psychology — that is, the mental processes involved — there is no real difference between listening to a book and reading it. So, according to that understanding of the question: No, audiobooks are not cheating.”

Of course, there’s no beating the tangible reading experience of a paperback with the sound and smell of turning fresh pages.

But listening is a viable alternative for tired eyes or anyone on the move. Here’s the list of benefits:

Audible Free Trial benefits

  • Get two free audiobooks to start — after 30 days, get 1 book each month for $14.95/month
  • Get 30% off the price of additional audiobook purchases
  • Cancel anytime. Your books are yours to keep, even if you cancel.

Remember: You’re getting 2 FREE Audible books. Click to try Audible free!

About: Audible, an Amazon company, offers the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks and spoken word content. With Audible, customers can listen anytime and anywhere to professionally-narrated audiobooks across a wide range of genres.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE THE DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Firing Table: Grow your Instagram account organically

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$29.95 per month gets you your own Instagram account management

Instagram users spend as much time on the app as they do on Facebook. Some even predict that Instagram will be as big as Facebook in the next five years with over 2 billion users.

If you’re a business, an influencer, or just want to get your work seen, you need to be actively publishing and engaging on Instagram. But if you’re like me, you either don’t have the time nor want to waste all your energy poking at the mobile screen while your primary focus should be scheduling awesome content. That’s why I recommend outsourcing that labor, not to bots, but to real people.

Firing Table is a service that grows Instagram accounts quickly and organically. They interact within designated parameters 24 hours a day on behalf of their clients. This constant interaction leads to more exposure and in turn more followers and interaction for businesses. And they do all of this based on information given to us at signup so the users that are seeing your account are relevant.

Customers can grow accounts by up to 100 followers per day. These are all real people who choose to follow and interact.

The service is $29.95 per month and customers can cancel anytime you want. Don’t buy Instagram followers. Grow your account organically instead.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE THE DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Prompt cards

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Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies has been helping people defeat their creative block since the mid-1970s.

But Alain de Botton’s The School of Life is taking the concept a bit further and applying the deadlock to other life’s philosophies such as a career crisis, kindness, self-knowledge, calm and confidence.

Writer’s Work ✍️

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This is an opportunity for my writer friends to produce powerful words in their underwear.

Get jobs to come to you. Skip the hunting.

Writers Work is an all-in-one platform for launching a writing career. You can find writing jobs (the gigs come to you!), get career training, and build your own online portfolio website.

Signing up also gets you an advanced document editor (like Grammarly), that contains built-in grammar/style checking for over 2,000 grammar rules to streamline your writing.

And no matter how crazy life gets, you can listen to the scientifically optimized music built into the app to get you into a flow.

Write your way to the life you want.

Hire a writer. Post a job free.

If you’d like to hire a writer, you can also post as an employer. You’ll hear back from talented freelancers in no less than 24 hours.

Sign up for a Writers Work Account Today!

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE THE DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

5 Mother’s Day gifts for the productive lady in your life

Gifts for mom

‘All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother,’ said Abraham Lincoln. All those life lessons and bundles of love deserve to be shown some appreciation.

With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, here are some last minute gift ideas for the busy lady in your life.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure for more info. 

mother's day gift, Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug

1. Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug ($79.95): Ember is a self-warming coffee cup controlled via an app that maintains set temperature for your tea or coffee. It’ll keep your loved one’s cup warm if they happen to get distracted or have to run off to a meeting.

2. Kindle Paperwhite E-reader – Black, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers ($99.99): This is a Mother’s Day gift staple. I bought my mom one of these last year and she uses it all the time at home and on travels. You can save 17% on this Kindle for Mother’s Day. The Kindle E-reader – Black, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi, Built-In Audible – Includes Special Offers is also on sale for $59.99.

3. Daydreams Coloring Book ($12.51): The true artist never forgets their crayons. This hardbound adult coloring book also makes an excellent coffee table item. Just wait until she buys her friends a copy. 

4. Anker PowerWave Wireless Charger ($49.99): Make it easier for mom to recharge her phone fast and without the hassle of chords.

image of mom blogging

5. Get her a WordPress blog at Bluehost ($3.95/month): There’s a lot of moms out there who want to blog but don’t know where to start. Bluehost offers a free domain and one-click WordPress installation at an affordable price.

PS. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with giving the productive mom a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers, or even better, something more personalized.

And if you’re looking for further inspiration, there are more gift recommendations on my Amazon influencer list.