How much ‘busy work’ is too much? When do you stop and look for a more automated solution? Where do you start to look for an automated solution? What Tech do you need?
In this episode I take you through some ideas and options for removing the ‘busy work’ from you workflow.
Learning which Tech to use and how can be very confusing, but my main message is always “If you want to learn – you will!”
Listen to a Snippet
Share this Post
Listen to the Full Episode
Watch the Full Episode
Hey there, and welcome to the first podcast for Tech Savvy Creatives.
This podcast is to teach creatives, like you, to become more tech savvy. So if you’re a writer, an author or a blogger for example, then you’re in the right place.
It’s also especially not a podcast for millennial’s. If you’ve grown up with tech then you’ll know what the cloud is, you’ll know how to use dropbox, you’ll know how to teach yourself a new app or create a podcast for example. But if you’re a little bit older than that and you didn’t grow up with computers in your job or in your family, than trying to understand them to start your own business as a creative is really hard.
If you’re wanting to be a professional writer and publish that book inside of you, you will need to understand what app to write in is best for you, how are you going to format it how you are going to upload to all the various online ebook retailers (if you choose to self publish), and then especially important is how are you going to monetise that book. How do you market it, how do you set up your social media and send out social posts on autopilot. Knowing how to schedule them rather than manually go in every single post at the best time to post will get exhausting.
Being more Tech Savvy can help remove the busywork that you will end up doing.
I can help you remove the frustration of not knowing what the hell to do. I mean when I started this journey I thought a be a writer all I needed was I can be based anywhere in the world with a laptop, and off I went. I took off overseas working as a contract accountant while writing my novel on my brand new Mac laptop. It was a Blueberry.
Does anyone listening remember those clam shell type coloured macs? Well I was told that to be a writer you needed a mac and at the time they were really cheap compared to a Dell or HP laptop.
What I didn’t allow for was the time it would take to learn a new operating system and new apps. The macs have their main controls on the opposite side to windows based laptops. In the end I’ve come to love Mac and only use Apple products for my business. They have come a long way and there is nothing I can’t do on them that I need to do.
So major learning curve and that is something you need to realise is that when you are told you must get this laptop or that app, there will always be a learning curve. Which is fair enough. You had to learn to walk, to talk and to read and write, so why should you beat yourself up for not knowing a new app immediately? You shouldn’t.
I’m going to chat about this every episode with a focus on different parts of the writing and blogging journey that creatives go through and help de-mystify it fo you. There are no stupid or wrong questions, if you don’t know it, ask me. We all have to learn somewhere and no one is born knowing everything. So let’s work together on his and get ourselves more and more Tech Savvy so you can focus on the being a Creative!
Now back to my writing journey with a new Mac.
What I also didn’t realise is that there are a lot of different apps you can use to write with. For example I had been in the corporate world and Microsoft Word was our go to for all documents. Then I started following some posts, or some blogs, I can’t remember exactly where I ended up hearing about Scrivener.
All the best writers are using scrivener I was told, so you instantly think that if I want to be one of the best writers I must use Scrivener, so I went bought it. Now if any of you have done that and opened it up and then freaked out at all the options you know what where I’m coming from. So I paid to do an online course to learn all about it. This began my journey of learning and trying to follow the pack and do what everybody else was doing.
What actually happened was that I went down a rabbit hole of learning all the tips and tricks and all the complexities of Scrivener and I didn’t really end up getting in and writing as soon as I would’ve liked to. But once I did start my actual writing I found that I didn’t use all the bells and whistles anyway. Starting with the basic stuff is all you need to get yourself going.
Once you are then well through your novel and want to start compiling, which means exporting into a format you can then upload for self publishing began another journey of how complicated you can make that for yourself. But in fairness it’s not simple until you know the steps to follow.
Once I navigated my way through this journey I realised I needed to create a timeline my novel as I was planning a 3 book series. If any of you have tried to achieve this with Excel or Project software you will know it’s great when your first plot out your timeline but is an absolute nightmare when you want to change the order of events, or a characters name. If you really know Excel you can work around this, and I was expert at excel after many years as an accountant and systems accountant. But I looked at this and found it to be so much “busy-work” that I went looking for an alternative.
That’s when I came across Aeon Timeline during 2013. This is timeline software built by a writer for writers especially for fiction. You can also use it for basic project management and there is even some legal templates in there if you want to have witness statements, but essentially it is brilliant for plotting and brainstorming your story, adding characters, locations, story Arcs, break it into Parts, or even for a book series. The drag and drop options for re-ordering and the simplicity to setup had me hooked.
I still use it today for my novel timelines and also for project managing and I have also created an online course to teach it, but that is not what I want to talk to you about today. What I found was that I could brainstorm into timeline and then I could sync it into Scrivener and then I would instantly have all my chapters and scenes, so all the busywork essentially, already setup. No excuses for not getting into the writing then!
So working through all this and hearing about the hassles, issues and questions fellow would-be writers are also having on their journeys prompted me to work on how I could help make a writers workflow quick and simple. In the writers groups that I chat in on a regular basis the main issues writers and bloggers were asking is what tech and how to use it, or when do they need it, or when do they pay for it versus will the free version give them what they need for now? And more importantly what was never discussed anywhere, that I have found, is how do all these apps all work together? After all if it doesn’t fit in with your workflow and the way that you logically think to work, then it’s just a waste of your time and money.
So what Tech Savvy Creatives is about is your workflow is teaching you to be Tech Savvy to understand what the tech is about in relation to particular apps and drawing on my years of experience teaching software in the corporate world to show you what works and what doesn’t.
I’m also all about teaching you how to figure out for yourself what works for you and which app you should choose. Learning how to create a workflow that is streamlined and works for you will save you so much time and frustration, especially if you find out you can easily use something that you already have on your computer and didn’t know was there.
Every month I’ll be releasing 2 podcasts to be published on a Monday 2 weeks apart.
Now, if you are also a Patreon member you will receive 2 further bonus episodes and loads of other benefits too.
You can find out more if you go to patreon.com/techsavvycreatives. For the price of a coffee you allow me to keep creating great content for you plus you’ll get bonus episodes each month, a shout-out on my website and here on the podcast, the complete backlist of episodes and depending on your patron level you could also get access to monthly Live Q&A’s where you can ask me anything, plus earn a 10% discount on any of my online courses over at TechTools4Authors.com, a choice to decide what topics I discuss in future episodes and a behind the scenes look at my workflow processes.
Now those are a lot of benefits for the price of a coffee or 2 each month – so check it out and I look forward to including you in my next shout-outs. All the links I’ve discussed today can be found in the show notes.