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// Four Tips To Maximize Productivity + Creativity


I love being productive. Who doesn't, right? But with two kids, it can sometimes be hard. Nevermind trying to be creative. Half of the time I'm just too zonked to feel creative, and the other half of the time I'm just too busy to execute the ideas I come up with. Things have gotten a lot better since I started implementing a handful of these tactics, and I thought I'd share them with you today! This post is in partnership with HP's new x360 tablet and computer system, and their upcoming "That Bass" tour with Meghan Trainor (!!!). Peep the details below!

CREATE AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR

If you're a blogger or utilize social media for your business, an editorial calendar is key! I started using one in 2011 or 2012, and I spend a good portion of time carving out my blog's plan one month at a time. I blogged about my system once before, and it's relatively the same still, but I've found new ways to make it work for me. There's really no skill required. Just plan out your blog or social media posts in advance to ensure that you have quality coverage throughout the month. I really love my method because it allows me to move things around (even to another month!) and go with the flow. You can create an editorial calendar on your computer, Google Calendar, or in a planner like I have. I love being able to write things out and see them in a three dimensional form, so the planner really works for me. If you'd like to see more about how I plan my editorial calendar, let me know and I'll whip up a post!

READ, READ, and READ SOME MORE!

There are endless resources out there for maximizing productivity and creativity. From books to blogs to podcasts (Okay, I guess you listen to that one...), there are so many tips and tricks just waiting to be discovered. I am a huge fan of business books. I can devour half a dozen of them in a month because I get so pumped when I read them. Whether they talk about being a work at home mom, a creative, or just discuss ways to find likeminded people, I am all about it. I feel like we should never stop learning, and thankfully these books and blogs make that so easy. A few of my favorite business-minded books include: The Boss of You, Turning Pro, Craft Inc., Creative, Inc., Blog Inc., Mom Inc., Tribes, and ReWork.

CREATE A "LITTLE BOOK OF IDEAS"

I've written about my "Little Book of Ideas" hundreds of times on this blog. If you've read for any length of time, you've probably seen me reference it before. Just like my editorial calendar, it's nothing special. Just a notebook that I keep in my purse and use to jot down any ideas that I have. I doodle thumbnails for designs, hash out blog features, and keep a running list of topics I'd like to write about. If I'm feeling especially stuck and can't come up with something for the blog, I can pull out my book and see pull out a topic just like that! I also write a lot of lists! I love having an app for that (more on that next), but when it comes to a general "to do" list for the day, a handwritten list is the way to go for me. I love the act of marking them out once finished. There's something so gratifying about that. I usually keep my to do list on a little legal pad and then toss them into my book of ideas if they're on-going. 

Utilize Apps to help keep you on track

If you're more of a digital maven, maybe apps are more your speed. While I love me some handwritten lists, sometimes apps just can't be beat. Mike and I share several "list boards" on Wunderlist together and they make grocery shopping a breeze! Sure, grocery shopping may not be "creative" but it sure is productive. If either one of us notice that we're running low on something, we just pop it on the list and it updates across both of our phones and any other device Wunderlist is installed on. Same goes for Evernote. I love that I can "snip" pieces of webpages to save into Wunderlist, and then I can access them from any device.

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These four tips were inspired by the 4 modes of the new HP x360 tablet and their new #BendTheRules campaign. They include laptop, tablet, tent and stand modes (clockwise from top left)! Mike sort of took over the tablet as soon as it arrived and he (unofficially) made it his own. He's been glued to the Kindle and NPR apps, so stealing it away from him is easier said than done haha It's been super handy (when he's out of the house) though, because I've used it in tent mode to stream YouTube instructional videos on so many things lately! Namely how to set up my new serger that I got for Christmas haha! 

I'm also supposed to tell y'all about the new Meghan Trainor tour that's taking place right now (!!!) across the country. HP is sponsoring her "That Bass" tour and it's sure to be a fun time for all. Linden loves her song "Dear Future Husband" and it's our post-afternoon-nap tradition to dance around in the kitchen to that song and he just laughs and laughs and laughs. 


Do you have any tips you'd like to share on how to maximize productivity? I'm all ears! I need it now more than ever! haha Hopefully some of these tips will help you make the most of your time and talent! xoxo

// Things I Love Thursday v.218

this! ♥
this gorgeous view! ♥
this book is full of amazing animal architecture ♥
this rainbow jumping spider is so pretty ♥
this beautiful bouquet ♥
this hotel concept is NUTS! in the best way. ♥
this tea print is super cute ♥
this illo of cloud llamas (!!!) ♥


// This Ira Glass quote is everything:
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone had told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase; they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative, work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know that it’s normal and the important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you finish one piece. It’s only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take awhile. You just gotta fight your way through.

// Loved Danielle's post on having your own voice. 





// Are you following me on Pinterest? Leave your links so I can follow you!

// Goal: To be half as cute as Roxy.

// Any of you mamas heading out to MommyCon this year?! You can save $5 on your general admission ticket with the code CLUELESS15. I'm hoping to be at the Atlanta event on March 28th, if my schedule permits! Let me know if you'll be there so I can say hey!






// Poll: I need your thoughts... I'm working on changing my blog over like I had shared earlier, but I'm trying to decide what features to keep and what to toss/replace. I haven't done an Instagram Favorites in a couple of months, but should I bring it back/keep it? Or would you prefer a different type of "feature" post? (I have one or two in the works, so I think I'm already leaning toward scrapping it). Maybe this question was pointless haha!

What are you loving this week?

// Linden Atlas - Seven Months

Seven months... it just doesn't seem fair! My happy little guy is turning into a full fledged human. I mean, obviously he's always been human (ha!), but he has so many emotions and he's able to communicate in new ways. My heart just can't handle how much he's grown! I'll gladly say that six months is my favorite age so far! So many milestones and special moments. I just love him so much!

This month Linden:
+ learned to army crawl (and is probably only days away from real crawling! just. like. THAT!)
+ learned that the "alligator death roll" is super fun while mom changes his diaper
+ discovered a love for his strawberry popsicle teether
+ started feeding himself with his bottles
+ learned how to use a sippy cup and now loves it
+ transitioned from full-time cosleeping to sleeping in his own bed all night (!!!)
+ learned to give hugs and kisses (and I die every time!)
+ spent his first night away from mama/home (!!!) and did so well! (we both survived!)

Hopefully we'll start working on sleeping in his own room (!) this month, and getting better at baby led weaning. Still no teeth, but that just makes me think they'll all come at once. Heaven help us!

// GOTCHA!








HAPPY GOTCHA DAY, TOBY!

Today marks THREE YEARS (!!!) since Toby came to live with us. THREE! That tiny, frail and scared little three year old is now a rambunctious, overly energetic six year old. It's almost hard to believe! Just like in past years, we wanted to celebrate this day. We had cake and a few small gifts for Toby to enjoy on Sunday. Isn't that cake incredible?! He's been chowing down on it ever since haha! 

Toby has taught me so much in these past three years. How to be more patient, how to love unconditionally, and how to be a mom. He made us a family, and that alone is reason enough to celebrate.

Just as I had predicted last year, he's an amazing big brother. Linden is so incredibly lucky to have this kid to look up to. I can't wait to come back next year and celebrate four years! I'm hoping this year brings some big and exciting things to our family, so fingers crossed! xo

Past Gotcha Day posts: Bringing Toby Home // One Year // Two Years

// Rad Gal, Rad Gig + Baggage Submissions



Hey friends! Happy Friday! We've been snowed/iced into our house ALL week and I'm going a wee bit stir crazy! I guess it's not all bad though... I've been crazy productive on the work front since Mike has been home. He went back to school yesterday and I'm trying to keep the momentum going.

On my list of things to get done was creating a submission guideline page for both my Rad Gal, Rad Gig and Baggage features! I know I haven't shared any of those in a while... Sorry! It's been crazy over here haha It's my hope that by having all of the information readily available, I'll be able to get posts up quicker as I won't have to email back and forth dozens of times! Saves both of us loads of typing haha! Of course I'm more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the features, so don't hesitate to reach out if you need to!

I'd love to share your rad job/hobby/talent and what's in your bag, so feel free to submit your story if you'd like. :)

BAGGAGE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

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PS; Apparently I've missed a couple of submissions in my inbox over the past several months?! If you've submitted your post for consideration and never heard back, I apologize! Get back in touch with me because I likely cleared it out when I went on a crazy "Clear out the junk folder!" spree... without looking! Whoops!