Hiya everybody, so here’s how my life’s going: I got 2 [supplemental income] jorbs! And I’m pretty happy with them. Obviously, this might complicate some things on the comic front, but I intend to keep updating on Tuesdays just as before. But if I’m a bit late or I’m not replying asap, just know it’s probably because of my work.
A young, aspiring illustrator recently asked me how to become a full time freelancer. The answer is murky at best and provides no quick route to a stable career, but I’d like to think I learned a thing or two over the last fifteen-ish years that’s worth repeating.
My ToDoist isn’t half as detailed and organized as yours, but I still think it’s an invaluable tool for helping me remember what I want to do in terms of creative projects and it’s SO FREAKING CLEAN AND SIMPLE that I love it to death. My husband, who oversees projects at his work, swears by it.
Yeeeah my Todoist list everyday is somewhere between 12-17 items long, many of which are subtasks (my friend was actually telling me my Todoist list is ridiculously long last night). There are some things on there that /should/ be more like a habit, but I just like checking my phone when I roll out of bed and knowing what to do, even before I’m fully conscious.
I also rarely ever finish -everything- on my list, probably a leftover side-effect from my extreme procrastination days, but hey, at least I did most of the stuff I planned for the day.
But yes, Todoist is deliciously clean and easy to use. And I have jumped from a lot of different checklist apps and the syncing on Todoist beats everybody’s by far.
So, as I said in a previous post, for the first time in a couple of years, I actually have a bit of a buffer now, and it feels amazing. I have never been a productivity queen (I get horribly, horribly distracted), but with the help of TECHNOLOGY, I have been fixing that. Here are some of the tools that helped me.
Todoist - My favorite To-Do List App/Program by far. It has a sleek, good-looking interface and a lot of advanced features on every task you need to do (including sub-checklists!). You can have tasks repeat themselves every day, every weekday, every Wednesday at 5:47 pm, whatever. It’s incredible. And it organizes everything into a neat little “What do you need to do Today/This Week” list. The “Karma” feature is also pretty neat, if you feel the need to turn productivity into a game.
Available for free on Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad, Chrome, Firefox, etc. and syncs together flawlessly. Also has a Premium upgrade.
StayFocusd - Do you like playing with fire? Sure you do. StayFocusd is the most interesting internet blocker extension I’ve come across. Basically, you input in all the sites that distract you, such as Tumblr, Twitter, etc. And then you make a bet that you won’t visit these sites for more than (X) minutes combined (I put in 20 minutes) until a certain time, like 6:30 pm.
Every time you are on a site on your no-no list, a timer will start silently counting down. Switch to a ‘good’ site, and the timer will stop. If you fail, StayFocusd will BLOCK ALL THE SITES that you put on your no-no list until the next day. There’s a lot more to this program, but this is essentially how I’ve been using it. And it’s been VERY effective.
Available for free for Chrome. A similar clone exists for Firefox called “Leechblock.”
Vitamin R - Confession: I actually only started using this recently, but it’s been great so far. Vitamin-R is essentially a glorified Pomodoro timer. If you’re not familiar with the Pomodoro technique, it’s basically dividing up tasks into small bite-sized time slices (such as 20 minutes) with a forced break in-between slices.
What makes Vitamin-R great is that it forces you to think about your tasks. You’re prompted to write out exactly what you need to do in each time slice, and while you’re doing the task, the program automatically puts a bit of white noise in the background like the ticking of a clock or the sounds of a bustling coffee shop. And when it’s over, it asks how focused you were and if you completed what you set out to do. Repeat cycle.
If you need something to nag you on your productivity, Vitamin-R is great. Vitamin-R is $29.99 and exclusively for Macs, but currently it’s on the MacHeist Bundle for $19.99, along with a suite of other great programs.
(It’s worth noting that the Pomodoro Technique can be done cheaply and or free with just some kind of timer, and there are many free timers specifically for Pomodoro out there. I just like how Vitamin R works.)
Artists on tumblr typically use their blogs as a form of self promotion for their work. Please don’t remove commentary, and ESPECIALLY don’t remove source artist/blog names when you reblog. It’s super disrespectful, and causes the artist to lose potential jobs, audience growth, exposure and feedback on their work since there’s no longer a direct link back to them.
Just for the sake of making that clear since I’m still seeing it happen, and I hope that people are just uninformed when they do it and not intentionally trying to be rude.
I was gonna write out a thing about if Carl and Dude were in a Harry Potter Hogwarts AU, what House would they be sorted in, but then I realized that would actually spoil something in their own canon CoB universe.
Yeah, more or less. Cans of Beans is the werewolf comic nobody was waiting for. Cans of Beans is the werewolf comic that makes werewolf fans go “huh?” Cans of Beans can hardly be classified as a werewolf comic, yet it is.
HEY NEW READERS, GO READ MY COMIC. IT’S GOT A WEREWOLF IN IT. SORT OF.
Today, I rewrote a good chunk of January (Chapter 5) today. I’m really happy with the changes. I feel that a lot of the conversations in my first draft were forced or didn’t contribute to the emotional arc, so today, I fixed all of that.
Writing is rewriting is rewriting. And now to thumbnailing.
I’m so happy people are liking the new site. It’s been an immense source of anxiety for me for the last couple of months, and I was so scared that people wouldn’t receive it well or they’d stop reading it altogether during the move. So, for everyone who’s helped me on the site move, from checking it on different browsers to giving me feedback, to even just checking out the site once it opened up officially again, thank you.
Shout-Outs ESPECIALLY to:
CB Webb for letting me use her site to get the hang of Wordpress/Comicpress, for walking me through the move process, and for answering all my ridiculously dumb tech questions. Seriously could not have done this without her.
Natalie (Gearfish) for all the critique, encouragement, support, helping me on the grunt work, and for listening to my tech rants. She’s got the patience of a saint for putting up with me.
Grace for also putting up with my tech whining. I’m sorry for all the tech jargon!!
Anthony (Demoweasel) for inspecting my original designs and giving me feedback on how it looks.
You’re all amazing, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you. <3
Is the new Cans of Beans site loading for you? (All the images are loading properly, comments are loading properly, etc.) Because I got one report so far saying their Firefox isn’t doing so hot. I tested the site through my own Firefox and things seem to be okay, but I want to make sure it’s viewable by everybody.
Please respond or drop me an email at email@example.com