Friday, March 29, 2024

Another Reason Why I Love Plottr

 It's been a while since I blogged about how awesome Plottr is.  I mentioned it way back when I first got my Surface Go as a travel computer, and again when I did a review of the Surface Go.  But somehow I've never blogged about their awesomeness as a standalone post, even though I meant to.

TL;DR: Plottr is increasing their prices in early April, which is what instigated the purchase that made me decide to write this post.  If you have been considering trying it out, click here to get Plottr now!

Also, their customer service is awesome.

Note: This post includes affiliate links, but only because I genuinely believe in this software, and wouldn't mind getting a few bucks back for recommending it.

I initially bought Plottr when they offered a discount as part of the prize package for "winning" NaNoWriMo.  I decided that I had enough going on in my novel series that I needed a series bible in a way that Scrivener couldn't do for me.  I liked the visual interface of Plottr, so I decided to try it.

And wowwww was I blown away.  Plottr has so many features and they're ever expanding.  I can plot individual books, upload covers, set up character sheets and other notes and indicate which installments they appear in, and then export everything into Scrivener so that all the pertinent information is automagically loaded into Scrivener project for each novel in the series that I write.  

Fast forward to last spring.  My dad was planning a trip and asked me to go with him, so I bought the Surface Go with the intention of putting Scrivener and Plottr on it so that I could work on the trip.  Of course I'd only gotten a license for one computer for a year with Plottr, so I had to upgrade my license in order to make it work.

I reached out to customer service to see if I could get the upgraded license prorated, and they upgraded me with my original NaNoWriMo discount, plus restarted my year.  I set it all up so that I could save my files to Dropbox and have them accessible from either computer.

Fast forward to now.  Plottr sent out emails recently warning us that the prices would be going up soon, so if we wanted to upgrade to Lifetime (no more annual fees!) we should do so before early April.  My license period hasn't expired yet, so I reached out to see how to streamline the upgrade... and they sent me a link with another prorated amount.

Honestly, between the Facebook group, the regular updates, the tutorial videos, and Plottr customer service, the support for this product is beyond phenomenal.  I'm not sorry at all that I bought the lifetime license.

If you're interested in a powerful series management tool, I highly recommend getting Plottr before prices go up next month!

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Weekly Goals, Week 13: Aftermath

The doll show was on Sunday.  Last week was of course very productive, as I had an immovable deadline that I had to be ready for.  I didn't get everything done that I wanted to do, but I still showed up and made great sales, even better than last year's.

Next year will be even better!  I'm learning and improving as I go.  And I have big plans to expand next year as well!

This week will likely not be as productive.  I'm feeling very fried still, even two days after the show.  I was SO busy all day on Sunday, and didn't even get to quit until about 9:30 or 10pm that night, between packing down, unloading at home, rushing out to put blankets on the horses in the snow, and picking up the dog I'm watching this week.  And that's after being up at 6:30am and being on my feet pretty solidly until I finally had a chance to sit down around 1pm!  It was a madcap day.

So this week I'm trying to balance my goals with the time I know I need to recover.  I often find that I'm sluggish and slow to get moving after a lot of over stimulation or intense activity.  I call it a productivity hangover.  The difficult part is not to let it go beyond a reasonable recovery time, as the inertia tends to spawn more inertia.

And unfortunately, I really can't spare a lot of time spent on recovery right now.  I'm giving myself the rest of today and making myself get back to work tomorrow.  I have a lot I still need to do, which speaks to my goals for the week:

  1. Get the show stuff organized and put away
  2. Start working on taxes (eek!)
  3. Get back to work on dolls
  4. Start working on future selling plans
  5. Set up off-season write-in

I'm trying to juggle all of this, plus recover, while not losing sight of the things I wanted to do once the doll show was over.  I have a lot going on, big picture:

  • I want to keep working on dolls.  I do, after all, have a rehab and reselling business I want to keep up on!  So rather than storing the show stuff until next year, I want to get it all organized to facilitate working on and selling dolls on an ongoing basis.
  • I want to be more prepared for the doll show next spring - and an even BIGGER show in the summer.  There's another show I'm thinking of selling at next summer.  It's a big weekend show, so I'll need to have a lot more dolls ready, much more in advance than what I did this year.  This means working all year to be ready to sell at the shows.
  • I want to keep selling in the meantime.  I don't want to neglect selling entirely until next spring, though, so I'll need to get into a habit of picking up TLC dolls, working on them, and stashing some while selling others.  I'm thinking of ways to reach my full audience (not just Facebook, but also Instagram and blog followers) with items I have for sale, instead of only running sales in my favorite Facebook doll group.
  • I want to get back to work on my novel. I still would like to finish and publish!  I had talked to some people after NaNoWriMo last November about setting up a regular off-season write-in, and I need to follow through with that.  It'll be especially helpful right now, with Camp NaNoWriMo starting next week.
  • I need to start working on taxes.  I've been neglecting this and have a lot to catch up on, so I desperately need to start working on it!  It's bad enough that I think it may crowd out some of my other goals for the moment, but it needs to be done, as that deadline is fast approaching now too.
So much to do!  It's hard to prevent being overwhelmed, especially with multiple projects going at once.  I'm going to give myself the rest of today to recover from the show, and just focus on some minor tasks for now.  The rest of the week will be for the goals I listed above.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Weekly Goals, Week 12: One Week Left

It feels like most of last week got away from me.  I did accomplish some things, but looking back I'm not sure what.

To be fair, I was also participating in a medical study, so I was at the clinic all day two days last week (and too exhausted afterward to get anything done in the evenings).

I did, however, get some things done and I can't forget that.  I started making branded tags for the dolls I sell or repair at the show, picked up some more things I needed, and got a few posts up on social media.

I just need to accomplish a lot more this week.

So without further ado, my goals for the week are as follows:

  1. Organize doll show stuff
  2. Work on dolls for the show
  3. Post on social media

This week will just totally be focused on prepping for the show.  I do have other things I want to do, but at this point they can mostly wait until next week.

Once this show is over, I want to start working on the rest of the house again, getting shelves up and doll areas organized.  Another goal is to start working on my novel daily again.  Camp NaNoWriMo starts April 1st, though, so I'm hoping to start back up on that the first week of April.  I'll take the last week of March to get settled after the doll show: to recover from the insanity, to get stuff organized and put away for next year's show and so I can access it to sell throughout the year, and to finish (hopefully) getting my doll spaces more or less organized.

Once the doll show is over, I'll also be working on taxes, which I anticipate will take up a lot of my time over the three weeks between the doll show and tax day.  I hope to still be able to work on my novel every day starting April 1st, though.

But first: Get through this week and the doll show!

Monday, March 11, 2024

Weekly Goal, Week 11: Of Frying Pans and Fires

I was so glad when my mom went home and my care duties were over.  I thought I'd have so much time to get things done.

Unfortunately, I was less productive than I'd anticipated in the first half of last week, and then of course I lost all of Thursday to taking my mom to an appointment.  She ended up spending the weekend with us, too, so I didn't get as much done over the weekend as I had wanted, either.

I did meet a major organization goal, but it was more for the sake of my mental state than preparation for the upcoming doll show.  I also spent some time designing professional tags for the dolls, and planning some other things I would need to buy for the show.

This week things are going to ramp up even more.  In addition to all the doll show prep I still need to do, I'm starting a medical study this week that will take up some time over the next two weeks.  I have an initial appointment tomorrow morning, and all-day in-clinic days Thursday, Sunday, and next Friday.  That's three days where I won't be able to work on doll show stuff, although hopefully I'll be able to get some amount of other work done on my computer while I'm there (awkward while I have an IV in my arm and a heating pad wrapped around it to keep it flowing, but still possibly doable).

Most likely I'll be too exhausted when I get home on in-clinic days to accomplish much of anything in the evening.

So with the looming time constraints in mind, my goals for the week are as follows:

  1. Prep for doll show
  2. Work on organization
  3. Post to social media

It's still important to post regularly to social media and keep up with promotion and networking, especially with the doll show coming up, so I can't neglect that.  And some organization will need to be done as I go along, for the sake of getting organized for the show as well.  But on the whole, I'll be 90 percent focused on getting ready for the doll show this week, aside from the days I spend in the clinic of course!

Monday, March 04, 2024

Weekly Goals, Week 10: Ramping Up

My mom went home yesterday, which means today I need to start ramping up my efforts to get ready for the doll show.  I also have a lot of admin-y type things to do today, though, since a lot of things were neglected during the month of February while my mom was here.

As of right now, I have three weeks to get ready for the doll show.  I'm behind where I wanted to be at this point, so I'll have to hustle to get ready for the show.  I've started going through dolls already to pull off the ones I want to bring to the show.  I think I'll be working on more of the same for most of the week, after which I'll start cleaning, repairing, rehabbing, and pricing.  I'm also working reorganizing my show crates to simplify setup and teardown, as well as storage between shows.

I have some other things that need attention too, but for the most part my weekly goals are going to look like this every week this month:

  1. Work on doll show prep
  2. Work on organization

Those two goals are fairly intertwined, so I'll still be working on organization, even while I'm prepping for the doll show.

And then there's this one too.

  1. Post to social media

That's an important one too because I'll be promoting my presence at the doll show.

With all that said, I'd better get to work!  There's no time to lose when I've only got three weeks to do what I'd originally planned to spread out over three months.


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