Archive for the organized solopreneur

Have You Heard About Bullet Journaling?

Bullet Journaling has been a hot trend for a little while in the planner and getting organized communities, but it may not be something that you’ve heard of. If not, you’re in for a treat. If you love to-do lists and check-lists, this is something you don’t want to miss.

If you have too many things to remember and think about on a daily basis and you need a simple system to help you keep track, bullet journaling was made for you. We all have a lot of different daily tasks, appointments, and various things we need to remember. Trying to keep track of everything in your head becomes exhausting. And if you manage a team at work or a family at home, it becomes near impossible. Just think of how much more productive and less stressed you’ll be if you can stop trying to remember all this “stuff”. Read More →

Have You Been Putting Off Starting Your Journal?

Are you someone who has been wanting to start journaling, but for some reason still haven’t gotten started? I hope these ideas will help you to take the next step and actually start your own journal.  Journaling can be a great way to reduce stress and help you get focused.  These simple ideas will hopefully motivate you to start journaling and keep it up every day.

What is Your Reason for Journaling?

So, you know you want to journal, have bought all the supplies, but just can’t find the motivation. If this sounds like you, you may just need to find the right reason to do it. Just wanting to journal because of some vague benefits might not be enough. Really hone in on why YOU want to journal, and what you hope to get out of it. Don’t worry about the reasons other people choose to write in their journal. This is you and your experience, so it should really be unique to you. Read More →

Have you heard about Bullet Journaling for Business? 

Bullet journaling is a relatively new way to approach the idea of journaling and adding in all the elements of a planner and calendar system.  The bullet journal system was developed by Ryder Carroll is intended to be use offline on real paper, but it can also be adapted to a digital application.  One of the core concepts of bullet journaling is that it is completely customizable.

However, since bullet journaling can be customized, some people struggle to understand how to set it up and get the most out of it. In bullet journaling, you are essentially combining all of your thoughts, finances, schedules, to-do lists, and miscellaneous life notes into a single journal. It is a way to organize all of those different things you try to keep up with on a daily basis.

It is not only fun, but very helpful in reducing overall stress and anxiety.

Benefits of Bullet Journaling

First of all, you will benefit a lot by starting a bullet journal. Remember there is really no right or wrong way to do it. It is supposed to make life easier for you, not more difficult, so don’t be pressured to have it perfectly organized or look like others.

These are some of the fantastic benefits of bullet journaling:

  • Everything is in one place – First of all, all your different to-do lists, schedules, and notes are in a single journal. Many people do have journals or digital to-do lists with this type of information, but it is inconvenient having one for finances, one for household chores, and yet another for business to-do lists.The bullet journal system lets you have everything in one place, and with rapid logging and symbols, you can fit more information into one core journal. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what rapid logging is, we will talk about that in a minute.)
  • It is easy to do – A bullet journal is also very easy to put together. You can do this how you like, but typically you start by creating the index, which is usually located in the front. Then you want to number the pages if you don’t have a pre-numbered journal.  Most people start by adding calendars and to-do lists, but again, you can use a bullet journal for any purpose you like.
  • You can track your regular habits – Since you are writing in the bullet journal daily, you are able to track your habits and see what needs to change. It can help you see that you spend too much money on coffee and eating out, or that you aren’t exercising enough. But, I believe the real magic for a solopreneur is the ability to track stats and money, coming in and going out.

Choosing the Journal

To start your bullet journal, you first need a journal to use. This can be any type of journal, but choosing one that is thick enough for all your different pages and that has nice large pages is a good idea.Mindset for Organization

Look for one that can stay closed when needed, but when you open to individual pages, the spine isn’t so tight that it is hard to write in it. Also look for thick pages in case you decide to decorate some of the pages and don’t want anything bleeding through.

If this is your first bullet journal, you may want to just start with a spiral notebook.  This is how I got started, I had a spiral notebook already in my office and just created my index and took off from there.  In the future, I plan to get something with thicker pages so that I can use my gel pens, to add some color.

Components of a Bullet Journal

While you can create the bullet journal however you like, these are the key elements that make the system work.

  • Index – In my opinion this is what really makes the system work. The index is usually located at the front of the bullet journal. I think of it more of a table of contents, it helps you find different sections in the journal, such as blog post calendars and social media planning, or affiliate income trackers. Use short meaningful titles so that you can go right to that page.
  • Page numbers – Naturally, since you have an index, you also need to have page numbers. You can be as creative as you want, but make sure every page is numbered and it corresponds with what is in the index. For bullet journals, you will want to number the pages front and back to be able to use all the pages and not waste any space.
  • Rapid Logging – This is the name the creator of the bullet journal system, Ryder Carroll, gave to his short journal entries. Simple, crisp, facts are used to create short entries, to conserve space and to reduce the time you need to spend journaling each day. This can also include symbols or emojis to help express your thoughts and ideas.
  • Signifiers – Signifiers are symbols that you assign to different types of notes. It can be helpful when you want to use them in place of longer phrases. This can be a happy or sad smiley face for your moods, a heart for a date with your significant other, or a Christmas tree when scheduling holidays. They can also be used to add emphasis, such as an exclamation point for a task that requires immediate attention. I may have said this before, but you can customize it to make it work for you.

Now that you have some of the basics of the bullet journaling system, give it a try to get your business and life more organized. Start simple and build it up over time. To help you remember to use your new bullet journaling system, I would recommend setting a reminder for the first couple of weeks, then you can determine if you need to keep up with the reminders or let them go.

 

Organizing Your Mindset

My favorite definition of mindset is “the established set of attitudes held by someone.” Even though your mindset has already been established in the definition, it doesn’t say that your mindset can’t change.  That being said, it makes sense that clearing your mind of clutter goes a long way in helping you get more organized. Let’s face it – when you’re not clear-headed, it’s very difficult to practice organizational skills. There is no reason to put it off organizing your mindset for another day.

Write Down Your Feelings

Mindset for Organization

One of the best ways to clear your mind of clutter is to take the time to write down your feelings. You can either do this in a journal that you keep, or a piece of paper that you throw away once you’re finished. Recent studies indicate that jotting down negative thoughts really does help to clear your mind and make you feel better. If you need proof of this just take a look at the amount of journals for sale on Amazon these days. Read More →

Being Organized Saves You Time and Money

We all want to be able to organize our schedules and have the commitment to maintain them on a day-to-day basis, but how?

Organization is beneficial for everyone and can be easily adapted to suit individual needs. And believe it or not, being organized in your life and business actually saves you time and money.  Time is money. Piggy bank with watches

A Place For Everything

If you keep things organized, you don’t need to spend time looking for them when needed. This is especially handy when you need to locate important yet rarely used items, such as insurance policies or tax time information. And it also keeps you from looking unprepared in front of your clients and colleagues.

The key to keeping things organized is to come up with a place to keep something and stick to it. This really is the key – sticking with it. Read More →

Are You Letting Self Doubt Keep You From Reaching Your Goals?

What is Self Doubt?

Self-Doubt is your lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities. Self doubt can keep you from doing the things you want to do and it can keep you from reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself. In fact, it can be quite paralyzing, keeping you from moving forward towards the life and business you have been dreaming of.

Let’s face it – no one wants to be stuck in a life that is not fulfilling.

So how can you get past your self doubt?

The key to banishing those doubtful feelings and the little voice in your head that tells you that it can’t be done is confidence. And the best way to build up your confidence is to take action.  As long as you are taking actions that move your closer to your goal, you will be able to reach your goal.

I love to cross stitch, and I tend to pick out big projects that take a long time – I’m talking more than 1 year long projects.  Often times when I’m working on a large project, I feel like it will never be done – so I take a break.  I find a small project that can be finished quickly – a few hours up to about 1 week – and then I have a finished project.  It builds my belief that I will actually finish the bigger project.

What can you do to build your confidence and move you closer to your goal?

Another way to build confidence is to look at what you have already accomplished.  We often don’t give ourselves enough credit for all that we have done and just beat ourselves up for what remains to be accomplished.

This can help you overcome fear about taking the next step also.  Seeing everything you’ve already done may give you just the boost of self-confidence you need to keep your self doubt at bay.

Are you working with a coach or mentor?

Finding an advisor or mentor can also be amazingly helpful. I became a coach because I was so helped by my first coach Rachel – we are still friends.   Having someone there to hold your hand or just to cheer you on can help you make sure that you are moving towards your goals.  If I can be of any help to you please comment below, or reach out to me privately by using the contact form here.

Give yourself a break

Break down your big goal into smaller tasks. It doesn’t take nearly as much confidence to tackle a small task as it does to attack that big goal.  And each time you complete a small task you are building your confidence.  Little by little you’ll make progress and eventually reach your goal.

If overwhelm is an issue for you, this is a great strategy.

The main thing is to acknowledge the feelings of self-doubt, but don’t let them take control over your life. Yes, it’s normal to doubt yourself. It happens to all of us. Just do what it takes to get you moving and working towards your goals despite your self doubt.

You’re capable of so much more than you think you are. You just need to prove it to yourself.

 To help you get started on your goal planning download this free Goals Journal to help you figure out what you want and to develop a plan to reach those goals.  Get started today, click here to download.

How to Effectively Write Down Your Goals So That You Achieve Them

In our professional and personal lives, we are constantly working toward goals, trying to motivate ourselves and direct our behavior in a more positive direction. Perhaps your goal is to complete a certain amount of work in x-time, perhaps it is to increase profits by so much, or maybe it’s to get into great shape and lose fat.  But did you know that if you don’t write down your goals they are not as effective in spurring you into meaningful action.

Goals are a big part of our lives for most of us. Only problem is, a lot of us don’t know the best way to write these goals if we want to actually achieve them and this creates problems.  Writing down your goals in a meaningful way makes all the difference in your ability to achieve them.

The Problem With Most Goals

The goal of ‘losing weight’ or even ‘losing X pounds’ is one that you’ll see commonly and that is similar to the goal of ‘growing profits’ in business. Either way, this is an example of an abstract goal that has no structure and that has very little chance of coming to fruition.

The problem with goals like this is that they are a) vague and b) largely out of your control.

If your goal is to increase profits or get into shape by next year, what does this involve doing on a daily basis? It’s all too easy to not be productive towards that goal daily because you probably think you can worry about it later – or because you don’t even know how to go about achieving it.
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Goal Setting and Goal Achievement

Its that time of year when we start to talk about goal setting and goal achievement, which quite truthfully may be the most overdone topic in the world. I’m sure we have all done a goal setting exercise at some point, whether it was in high school or in college or university or even at your first job.

I realize that we’ve all done it, but the truth of the matter is very few people have goals written down.  Therin lies the problem

And this tells me that very few people actually know what they want.

Why do so few people know what they want?  I have a theory – it’s because we’ve been programmed from a pretty early age, to not think about what we want. Instead, we’re told what we should be doing and what we shouldn’t be doing and you should follow this path to be successful.  You should do this to make sure that you have enough money when you grow up to do whatever it is you need to do. Should, should, should.
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WordPress Keeps Your Blog or Website Organized

WordPress is a Content Management System, currently the most popular in the world.  It allows you to create completely custom sites with great functionality options.  This allows you to have an organized website or blog right from the start. 

Why WordPress?

WordPress was created by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2003, and is currently the largest self-hosted blogging platform in the world.  There are actually millions of sites using WordPress and tens of millions of visitors.  You are reading this blog post on…you guessed it…a WordPress site.   Read More →

Last Pass Will Get Your Passwords Organized

I have been using Last Pass for several years.  Last Pass is a password manager, that means you only have to remember 1 password instead of many.  It can also help by creating unique passwords for you.  You put your business at risk if you use the same password on all your logins, this system makes it easy to get unique passwords for all your logins and make sure you can remember all those passwords.

By only having to remember one password, your brain can be free to remember other more important things.  I’m going to date myself a bit here but bear with me.  Long ago, we all used to have to remember people phone numbers.  If we couldn’t remember we had phone books, large ones from the phone company, smaller ones next to our phone at home and even smaller still to carry around in our purses.  Then phones started getting smarter, you were now able to program up to 10 phone numbers in your phone, such convenience.  Of course, nowadays with real smart phones, we have our ‘phone books’ with us all the time.

The concept of Last Pass is the same, we have our passwords with us all the time.  I do still have my old password book – because every so often I will find that I have missed adding something to Last Pass, but it really is just a dust collector at this point.

A feature I haven’t really mentioned is the fact that you can add an extension to your browser on your laptop and I also have Last Pass installed on my phone and my tablet.  It goes without saying that once you change a password, it is saved to all your devices automatically.  And the best part of all is that it is free.  If you wish to upgrade to their premium service it is only $12/year, but the free version will be enough for most folks.

There are other password managers out there, but I have only ever used this one, and I have never had any reason to look elsewhere.  If you want to do more research just google, but make sure you use a system, as your business grows you will have more and more passwords to remember, you do not want to use the same password over and over.

Last Pass also has the option to allow you to seperate which logins are for business and which are for personal use, creating a more organized life yoru for you.

I’m Lori Winslow, the Organized Solopreneur.  I help solopreneurs get their business and their life organized.  To get started, pick up a copy of my Top 10 Ways to Get Your Solopreneur Business Organized.