Confetti and Personal Kanban on a Snowy Day in Boulder

Well, I’m here in Boulder. Been here for two weeks to the day. After months of decluttering, selling, and donating various household items (and selling and closing on the home itself), we managed to pack up our remaining stuff and move back to Colorado, where my heart wants me to be.

I’d lived in Colorado for 35 years but took a “sabbatical” on the North Coast of California for two and a half years. During that time, I faced and fought my demons, slayed a few dragons, and published a book. Now I’m back in Colorado, in one piece. My feet are planted firmly in the Rocky Mountains for good, and I’m back to writing and posting.

We’re having a home built in Loveland and will stay in Boulder for seven or eight months…however long it takes for the new build to be done.

This morning, Mother Nature decided to throw a welcome home party and is dropping lots of white confetti from the sky, even now in the late afternoon. If the professional predictors are spot on, this celebration will continue through tomorrow afternoon.

IMG_4875

Today’s view through the screen from my temporary perch in Boulder, Colorado.

I’m parked and cozied up for the day, doing laundry (a girl has to get up from her seat at some point) and–yes–writing. I didn’t do much writing while all the decluttering and packing and trekking from the coast and temporary settling was going on (understandable, right?) but I missed it.

I was itching to write, so I planned in my head, jotted down what I’d like to write and who to submit to., dug up old notes and emails about my writing plans. The more projects I listed, the more I realized I needed an effective way to manage it all. So I went to Barnes and Noble. The closest B&N to the coastal rural community I lived in was three hours away, so admittedly, I was looking for an excuse to go. IMG_4878Anyway, I became a B&N member again. Gosh, that feels great! And I also found a pretty cool nifty monthly planner with lots of space for notes and a pocket inside the back cover to put whatever paper might come my way about my various projects. The first thing I did when I got home with my new cool nifty planner was put a piece of paper (writing guidelines for an anthology I’ll submit to) in the pocket! Why does that give me such joy? Dunno, but I’ll take it.

Problem was, though, I couldn’t figure out how to actually track my progress on all these projects and the steps I’d taken toward them. That planner, as beautiful and easy to use as it is, has limitations. And I estimated I might have 15-20 projects and their parts to corral. I needed something else. But what? Would I ever get around to using this planner? Did I just waste money?

I noodled it around and noodled it around, not being able to quite cut through the fog of the situation. I wanted something tangible, not an online tool. Then something popped up in my Medium feed a couple of days ago that made me go duh! Thank you, Thomas Oppong.

This Simple Kanban Approach Is the Simplest Way To Give Up Multitasking

Multitasking wasn’t my problem, but my inner guidance system urged me to read the article anyway. Thank you, IGS. Glad I listened to you, because that’s what solved my problem.

Then I went to Target (yes, there is a Target in my coastal rural California community–but hey, Target is cool) and purchased a small whiteboard and a set of six different colored sticky notes. Who doesn’t love sticky notes?

Then came the work of figuring out my main categories (one for my book in progress, one for revisions I want to make to the published one, another for Medium projects, one for this blog, one to handle pieces I want to submit to literary journals and anthologies and contests, and one to handle other stuff like book reviews. Bingo! On a roll!

Next came jotting down the individual projects related to the appropriate category. This is where the color coding does its magic. With a quick glance, I can see the writing assignments I’ve given myself, as well as the invitations to write I’ve accepted from others. Yes, it’s been known to happen.

Finally, I stuck each note on the whiteboard either under the heading TO DO or DOING. And this is what I got:

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Whoa. Awesome.

The only problem, though? There isn’t room for a DONE column. And I most definitely want a visual of what I’ve DONE. It’s part of the fun, it’s a sense of completion, accomplishment, closure.

What to do, what to do?

Buy a bigger white board? Don’t think so. There are quite enough projects here already.

Simply don’t do as many projects? Nope.

Hmmm.

Move the sticky of a completed project to my new, pretty cool nifty planner? On the date that I finish it? Of course!

I’m off to do just that, since this blog post is done!

…Now if I could only be as organized with the other parts of my life…

Organized

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