Kanban For Writers (an introduction)

Kanban For Writers (an introduction)



or here to talk about Kanban boards it's a system that I have accidentally become very passionate about because it has revolutionized our lives in the Ann house it it's one of those magical systems that works really well with an ADHD brain and a super organized brain and somehow creates a language that we can all speak and so it's infiltrated every single aspect of our lives from chores to laundry to how the kitchens working iced to my office how I plot well I actually was plotting books this way before I technically understood that Kanban was what I was already doing but now I use it for my to-do lists my marketing book launch strategies and even though my husband was already using Kanban at work because he's an engineer and Kanban was invented by engineers it he started he read my book and realized he could do a variation of it on his desk and so now it has infiltrated his offices as well and there's a reason for it it's because out of all the systems out there it is it's just simple and I have found in my life that simplicity is the key to everything because Kanban is this three empty boxes whether you go left or right like is traditional Kanban or you go top to bottom which is what a lot of writers like to do especially if you're using it as task management I think top to bottom is a much better orientation than left to right you can make them small like the one I just had you can make them big these are foam boards I get at Walmart I have them in every color because I like to break my Kanban up I tasks so this will be a book so I'll use this one for plotting a book whereas this one right here is a book launch Kanban board and this one right here is a brand marketing board they have different goals and for me that is one of the primary beauties of Kanban is it helps you identify a goal and then break down the steps that you need to achieve that goal as opposed to just having a lot of things to do all the time all over the place sticky notes everywhere feeling overwhelmed it takes that feeling of overwhelm of not being sure exactly what you're gonna do next and it creates order from the chaos by using something as simple as three empty boxes so what is the three empty boxes I make my middle box tiny because this is the place where you want to be very focused but the idea of three empty boxes is that psychologically we like to fill empty things if you've ever moved into a new house and thought oh look at all this space it's so wonderful and then a year later you're going to I have no more space I need to get rid of some stuff I need no more bookshelves it's always a problem with me any more bookshelves all the time then you're familiar with the idea that we like to fill things and so having empty things psychologically automatically gives us a place to put the things that we need to do it also gives you that feeling of satisfaction because you do something and then you are done with something and so you're taking physically tangibly things that you need to do you're doing them and then you're putting them in they're done pile and you get to see that box fill up with all the things you done so the three boxes are things that you need to do a tiny box in the middle is what you were working on right now and then what you've completed and by taking just instead of like ordering things and and knowing from the get-go I have to do this first or this is more important it's not about assigning value to what you need to do to complete a task it's about just getting it out there and so a lot of people use sticky notes you can use note cards anything visual and tangible you put every little thing on it that you need to do you know in the case of my book launch board it's things like cover pre-order pre-order links I always create a Google document that is my master document for each book and it has you know the ASI in numbers the book ID numbers all the clean links any short links I make book descriptions and then eventually any reviews that I want to keep copies of for the future that's all in that document I have to know to populate that document I need to know when to update my website contact bloggers contact retailers about maybe getting a feature book ads all of those things go up here in the to do column and anything that comes up I'm like oh this would also be a great idea or this one person said it would be really interested in reading this book you can create a temporary task to add to it as well generally these are permanent tasks for me so when I complete a book launch these all reset to the top of the board and the next book that I launch I will do all the same things all over again the great thing is look you have all these things to do so now you know what you have to do you haven't given it priority you haven't given it value you just know these are the things I need to do you can arrange your board and clusters if you want to in order if you want to you if you your specific tasks need to be done in a certain time or certain order you can then reorder those things so that they make sense to you but you don't have to so what I do come into my office in the morning it's morning right now beautiful morning light I'm not using a light kit today because I'm lazy and there was morning light and I thought it's good enough but then I wore black and that was weird because it offsets the the color balance but you guys are okay with it cuz this is a free video and you're fine with that um so you sit down and you look at all the things that you have to do and you go oh I really need I need to do that today and so you grab it and you put it in your doing called you don't look at this column anymore this column is dead to you because now you're just focusing on what you need to do today and only those things right here in the to do column are your world and you can work on them you cannot work on them and when they're done you get to move them down here to the done column and if you don't complete the things in the down column this is my favorite part is how flexible Kanban is you can leave them there in the done column or you can move them back up to the to do column because you're just not gonna get to it right now and that's my big hang-up with planners and other things is they're kind of permanent and you have to like cross it out if you didn't do it and move it to another day or it just it gives me lots of feelings of overwhelming guilt and and then I stop using them and if you stop using a system it's not a system because you're no longer using it and Kanban is great for me because I can keep using it if I don't do something goes right back up into the do to do column and if I want to I can sit down tomorrow morning look at all the things I have to do and go really I do I need to do that one I want to do that one first my husband uses colored pushpins red ones are hot items he has to do right away yellow ones are things he needs to get to and then blue ones are they need to be done at some point and so he uses a small color coding system to let him know what his order of priority is with my brand board over here I have these broken down by the sequence that things happen in my three to four month brand cycle and so certain things over here in this to do column can happen in different columns depending on the book launch but depending on how I've assigned them they have to happen on certain dates product launch has to be launched by a certain date freebie that goes along with my cycle for that marketing cycle has to be launched by a certain date and so I've broken down my done column by date so that I can see what I have done and what I might be in trouble if I don't get to right away so that was a really quick basic rundown on con bonds and why I use them and how to use them we'll be back with another presentation to break things down a little bit more thanks for joining me

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