28 February 2020

Off the Shelf; Or What's New in My Corner of the World 9

Off the shelf at Beth Fish ReadsHurray for March (technically still two days away, I know) and all it brings. I'm looking forward to better weather, Daylight Savings Time, spring, gardening, and the promise of more outdoor life.

Getting Organized

About six months ago, I admitted total defeat to keeping a bullet journal, although I liked the idea of having a single place to keep track of both my work and personal lives. After researching paper planners, I ended up with one of the popular (and slightly costly) brands because it seemed to offer everything I needed, including the lack of time slots.

After a half a year, I can say I'm more organized than ever. I love seeing everything I have to do for the week all in one place. The layout of the planner I picked provides four (un-timed) sections for each day. I use one for my editing work, one for my writing gigs, and one for personal things. I use the small fourth block for tasks I don't want to forget about but aren't of immediate concern; for example, today I've made a note to start looking for flower seeds at the stores.

I use the weekly sidebar for meal planning and to track my exercise. The monthly dashboard, calendar, and notes pages are handy for brain dumping, making note of library books, planning travel, and keeping an eye on the bigger picture. I love being in a single paper planner.

Do you use a paper planner or have you gone totally digital? Do you have a single calendar or multiples? Do you share your calendar with your family?

More on eBooks

One of my goals for 2020 is to try to increase the percent of books I read digitally. I've decided there are two issues holding me back. The first is how I pick the next book to read. I know I'm so last century, but when I'm looking for a book, I browse my shelves, I look at the covers, I take note of the spine's thickness, and I flip through and read a few pages. Plus I like to see the titles neatly lined up on the shelf.

When I go to pick a digital book, I have to go to my office, wake up the computer, and open a spread sheet or program (I use Calibre) to see what I own. Right there, I'm often halted -- usually out of pure laziness and sometimes because I just don't want to go back to my office and sit at my desk before I can start new book. It often seems easier to stick with print.
How do you keep track of your digital books? Am I the only one who finds the extra steps to be stumbling blocks? I need an easy-to-use system!

Thinking Ahead

I can't wait to set up my deck for the summer, and I'm hoping this year brings better weather than last. I remember summer of 2019 as being windy and wet and not all that inviting for outdoor living. Here are some of the things I'm dreaming about:
  • A new dinning set (table and chairs) for the deck. Our current furniture is about 8 years old and is definitely starting to show its age.
  • Cleaning up the gardens and planting new perennials.
  • Finally getting around to painting and stenciling the wooden bench that sits on the porch.
  • Plotting out new places or routes for my outdoor walks.
  • New walking / running shoes!
  • Planning some weekend outdoor adventures that Mr. BFR and I can do together.
What are you looking forward to doing this summer?


bermudaonion 2/28/20, 8:21 AM  

I use a paper planner and print out a monthly calendar that I post on the refrigerator plus I keep a digital calendar with Carl and Vance for store related things.

Every year, I vow to read more e-books and I never do - I haven't read a single one this year. I can just pull them up on my iPad so I'm not sure what the problem is. Maybe it's out of sight, out of mind?

Our winter's been so mild, I'm worried this summer will be hot, hot, hot.

sherry fundin 2/28/20, 10:30 AM  

i put everything on one paper calendar so it's always handy, no searching. i have been working on organizing my goodreads shelves and doing the library challenge. unfortunately, my library leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to ebooks. i have started choosing the oldest book on my tbr shelf. plus, i flip through my kindles, especially the documents, ticking them off. i too am getting ready for the season and hope to clean up my patio this weekend. i am usually in the pool sometimes in march, regardless of how 'cool' the water is.
sherry @ fundinmental

Mae Travels 2/28/20, 3:20 PM  

The kindle app keeps track of my e-books. Maybe I should be ashamed to admit it, but I just use the sort feature which offers by author, by title, and by most-recently-looked-at. Or a search function. Since I use a laptop, an iPad, and an IPhone, I don’t have to go to the study where there’s also a desktop computer. I use the amazon “wish list” feature to keep track of books for which I have an interest in reading later. I’m totally hooked on e-books, Instant gratification if you want it: see a review, go to the amazon page, buy it and you can be reading in an instant. OK this makes me sound like an idiot, but it works when I want it to work, and sometimes I get hard copies at the library too.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Judi Easley @ a thoughtful reveal 2/28/20, 3:52 PM  

I use GoodReads because I buy ebooks from lots of places. So everything I buy goes in as Want to Read. Then I can control where it goes numerically on that list. ALL my books get entered into GoodReads and tracked now. I read primarily digital but gave gotten back into my local library lately.
Judi Easley at a thoughtful reveal

Marg 2/28/20, 8:16 PM  

I don't have a system re ebooks but for some reason everything I have read this year has been on e-book, which is unusual. Normally my reading is a mix of paper, ebook and audio.

Greg 2/29/20, 4:27 AM  

I like a paper planner, there's something for me about a physical thing I can hold and write in haha. And yes same here- already planning for the (hopefully) nicer weather! So many things to do . Where to start??

Bryan G. Robinson 2/29/20, 9:04 AM  

Well, this week it does look like it's going to warm up, but rain :(.

I'm not a paper planner and keep everything online, but my schedule and my job aren't that complex. Also I have horrible handwriting so there's that.

Like Mae, the Kindle app keeps track of books, plus I don't have that many to keep track of as I am a slow reader and also am making my way slowly through a couple of larger books over several months.

This summer, after being "down" with a bum knee last year and having arthroscopic knee surgery in October, I'm looking forward to being able to get out to hike. Luckily, there are lots of places here to do just that.

Amanda 2/29/20, 9:31 AM  

I admit - the ONLY time I read digital books is if I have no other option. While I love audiobooks and dont mind the inability to flip through them, I have never been able to get past that in digital format. I flip through paper books too much for the digital format.

Wishing you a beautiful summer! I know this year is going to be dreadfully hot for us, because the winter has been ridiculously mild and that's always a good predictor of the summers. I'll be thinking lovely envious thoughts of your deck life. Ha!

Jackie McGuinness 2/29/20, 12:29 PM  

I use the library wish list to track the books I want to read. Then when I need to borrow a book I look at what's available on my wish list.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 2/29/20, 3:02 PM  

I bought a Kindle when I went to Paris, and now I'm quite interested in reading ebooks. I've never read them much in the past as I tend to forget about them.

Daryl 3/1/20, 5:30 PM  

i dont organize per se .. i keep a calendar - iPhone's app is my go-to, for appointments i dont use the reminder sounds because i seem not to notice. i like the search aspect which helps me keep a handle on when to re-order cat meds

i use Audible's library to choose a new listen, the NYT Book Review for inspiration and YOU/this blog to learn whats new especially because there are many genres our tastes are similar .. you've never steered me wrong

(Diane) bookchickdi 3/7/20, 7:49 AM  

My husband and I share a calendar. He is always running around the city and it makes it easy for me to know where is or if he has a business dinner. He can see if I have a book event planned for an evening out. It definitely helps with communication.

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