July brings about a lot of things for me! Not only is it time for CampNanowrimo... Not only is it time for me to start the rough draft of the next novel in the Thistlewood series... But it is also time to reset my Kanban board!
We are currently 2 days into Camp Nanowrimo, with this blog post going live on day 3. I started off strong on day one, racking in over 2,000 words, which was well above my daily goal of 1,613. Day 2 saw some of the same successes, leaving me to start Day 3 off with a word count of 4,282 of 50,000.
As much as I would like to say that I am knee deep in the rough draft of Green Witch, these first few days have been dedicated to my old WIP, finishing up the last few chapters before moving on. The piece, which is tentatively titled Novella #5, is a quick read about a young witch in training who falls for a master wizard, and the only way that they can be together is if she finally passes her magical test in front of the Assembly. I've been working on it off and on for some time, and I really would like to get it finished and put to bed before starting in on Savannah. With the rate I am going, I should be done by the end of week one, which gives me the rest of the month to enjoy my time with Savannah Inola.
And let me tell you, I am dying to get into that story! I have pages and pages of notes about Savannah, her family, and the strange man that she finds injured at the edge of her cottage's clearing. While Sydney's story was spent learning about magical craft and overcoming outsiders, and Alexis's story was filled with a demon learning how to live life on earth, this one is going in a very different direction. It's going to be full of love, intrigue, a secret society, family mysteries unravelled, and an outside force who's threatening to strip the forest of its most precious resource: life.
See? It's going to be AMAZING.
But before I could do all of that, I spent two full days working on my Kanban board.
At the end of Q2, I was kind of shocked to see how much I had accomplished in just a little bit of time. It also showed me how much I needed the Kanban board. I was able to keep myself on track, releasing multiple Novellas and my first novel during Q2, and seeing all of the tasks move to the bottom box filled me with a lit of pride. Pulling down every sticky note at the end of June was cathartic, and holding those little papers in my hand and feeling their weight made me realize just how much I had accomplished.
And then, I got to spend the rest of my time putting up NEW tasks!
Look at all of that work!
I learned from my mistakes with my old set up, but I dont know if you can tell. I've started using small sticky notes exclusively, giving myself much more room to work with. And on top of that, each project is color coded, marked, and they are all set in rows going down. When I finished and stepped back to get a good look for the first time, the amount of work sent a little ripple of fear into me. But that was gone quick. I like work. I like seeing the progress I make and I enjoy the rewards from working hard and being determined.
Q3 is going to be a great one!
Well, I am off to get my words in! Happy Camp and happy writing!
I’ve got a lot going on in my little life. I’m juggling writing books, keeping publishing deadlines, writing both a blog and a newsletter, and juggling the schedule for a family that is larger than average. And though my husband calls me “super woman,” I wouldn’t be able to do it without a little help from my friends.
And my friends are my planner, my notebooks, and my kanban board!
Let’s start with my kanban board. It is nothing fancy, just a few boxes made of washi tape on the wall behind the door of my office. I use this to track my quarterly goals, breaking them down into manageable chunks. The top box is for things I need to do. The middle box is for what I am currently working on, and the bottom box is for everything that I have finished. We’re at the end of Q2 for 2021, and there’s still a few abandoned projects on the board, but I am pleased with my progress so far! The board will be “reset” on June 30th, and I’ll take down all the sticky notes, reassess my goals, and make some new ones!
So far, the kanban board has been wonderful for me. It’s very inspiring to look at and see the progress I am making, plus I can keep track of how multiple projects are shaping up throughout the quarter. The board helps me see the overall picture, while my planner and my notebook help me break down tasks in different ways.
I always keep a notebook at my side. Whether I am jotting down story ideas, character observations, little moments of inspiration, or taking notes on books about writing, it gets cracked at least 5 times a day.
And one of my favorite things to do each month is to make a monthly goal spread.
These goals are different from the items on my kanban board. While the kanban board breaks up tasks in bite-sized chunks, my monthly goals let me be more elaborate and dreamy. I aim high with these, and when I hit one, it is cause for celebration!
Plus, it is very inspiring to look back on past months and see my progress across time. The kanban board gets dumped every three months, but my notebook is here to stay.
And speaking of things to stay, I also have my daily planner. I’ve been treating it as a bullet journal, using the planner to document daily tasks, checking them off as I work. My daily planner also works as my family scheduler, keeping track of doctor appointments, events, birthdays, and days off from school.
My daily planner is absolutely my best friend. It lives right next to my writing laptop and I am constantly working out of it. While I may check off an item on my monthly goals every few days, and it may take me a bit to move a task on the kanban board, I am constantly checking off items in my daily planner. It keeps me on track with everything, from writing and posting blog posts, to when preorders are due to Amazon, to when to push my newsletter every two weeks! I also use my daily planner to keep track of my word counts every day, which I like to add up at the end of each month.
Next year, I will be transitioning away from a daily planner to a bullet journal, but that’s a post for another day.
Without these three modes of scheduling, I would be lost. It has taken a long time to perfect each method, but they work so well together that I couldn’t go without any of them!
What planning/scheduling methods have you tried?
Until next week, friends!
Just me, a paranormal romance author with big dreams and even bigger crushes!