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Task Management and Kanban

Kanban is a method for managing work to be done without overloading the people doing said work. The method is applicable to writers, especially when undertaking complex projects. It allows the author to have a nice overview of what needs to be done while still having it easily organized into do-able tasks.

Kanban starts with creating a few basic categories for your work. I divide my process into Triage, Do Today, In Progress (right now), and Done. You can divide your process into categories that resonate with you and match your personal way of doing things.

Post It Notes and Kanban

At first, I take each of my tasks and put them in the Triage category. These should be finite, do-able tasks. If I’m drafting, this could be researching a particular detail or writing a specific scene. If I’m revising, this could be addressing a specific revision note like clarifying my order events and timeline or adding more detail to my hero’s backstory.

At the beginning of my day’s work session, I pick one or two tasks–no more than three–and put them in the Do Today category. Then when I’m ready to start working, I pick one task and put it in the In Progress category. Then I get to work.

This allows me to focus on the task at hand. And maybe I’ll finish it, so it then goes in the Done! category. Or maybe I’ll have worked on it as far as it can go before I finish other tasks, so I’ll leave it in In Progress and take the next task from Do Today.

The goal here is to not be overwhelmed by all the things floating in the Triage category. I’ve identified them. I know they’re there. I can even add more. But on a given day, I’m only focusing on the few tasks I’ve placed in Do Today. Because I’m focusing on them, I can get them done.

Kanban method can be done on paper. I have big Post-It notes on my workspace wall, actually. Or there are online web apps to let you organize. I use Trello, for example.

Trello and Kanban

Using the kanban method to manage my “things to do” is effective to keep myself productive and protect myself from getting overwhelmed. It makes me feel better to have all my random, free-floating to do’s in the Triage category. It let’s me focus on the specific tasks I’ve pulled into my Do Today. It feels really good to drop a task into my Done! category.

Does this method interest you? I’d love to see examples of this method applied to other authors’ work.

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Giveaway! Erin Condren Life Planner

I’ve got some challenging deadlines writing both the Safeguard series (mercenaries, explosive action, strong heroines) and the True Heroes series (hot military heroes, the women who love them, and the dogs that always have their backs). The time management involved can be intimidating.

So you might have seen me get excited about Erin Condren Life Planners somewhere around social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) or heard me talk about them with Katee Robert and Robin Covington in my most recent #EMEPiper podcast episode. If not, shoo! Go check it out somewhere.

But come back!

Because I decided the Erin Condren Life Planner helped me organize my writerly life so much, I wanted to share the organization fun (really, it can be!). So to celebrate this Independence Day weekend (Happy 4th of July!) I’ve decided to give away an EC Rose Gold LIMITED EDITION 18-month life planner to one winner (open to Residents of the US only this time).

It’ll be enough to get you started in planner fun right away in July 2015 and take you right to the end of 2016.

Erin Condren Life Planner

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Piper J. Drake at RT Dallas #RT15

330_BW 1123x1123RT Book Lover’s Convention is huge and one of the events I attend as both my alter-identities. It get’s pretty confusing sometimes, but I answer to both Piper and PJ and love to meet readers of any of my books, no matter what name they call me by. 😀

This is the most involved I’ve ever been in this convention and I’m looking forward to all the opportunities to meet readers. I’ve been told I’m so energetic that it can be a bit intimidating…please don’t let this stop you. I very much love to say Hi and look forward to meeting new people!


Scheduled Appearances on Panels and at Events:

First Timer (aka RT Virgin) Orientation

This convention orientation is designed for all first-time RT attendees. We’ll give you the “quickie” seminar experience. Trust us: if this is your first-ever RT Booklovers Convention, this could be the most important 60 minutes of your week! After you head to registration, get your bag of goodies and experience the initial shock and awe, you’re going to have questions. That’s where we come in. Come join us for an hour that, for some, has been a life-altering experience. We understand what it’s like — your virgin year at RT! Here is where you get your questions answered, meet other first-timers and become part of a special group like no other during convention week.

Event Date:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 – 8:45am to 9:45am

Panelist(s):

Location:

Lobby Level

Room:

Reunion A

SCI-FI: THE STRANGENESS BUDGET — Overloading on Weird

Singing starships, pouting planets and alien languages that consist only of punctuation … When is the strange just too strange even for science fiction? Can an author’s love for all things alien alienate the reader? Come explore the weird, the wacky and the why not with this panel of top SF authors!

Event Date:

Thursday, May 14, 2015 – 11:15am to 12:15pm

Captain:

Panelist(s):

Location:

Atrium Level (2nd Floor)

Room:

McMillan

HORROR: One … Two … We’ve Got Something Scary for You

Horror is making a come back in literature and TV. Why do we love to scare, and to be scared? What’s the difference between horror, dark paranormal and urban fantasy? Join authors of YA, romance and historical fiction as they discuss the appeal of this creepy genre, and why it’s becoming more and more popular with women writers and readers alike.

Event Date:

Thursday, May 14, 2015 – 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Captain:

Panelist(s):

Location:

Atrium Level (2nd Floor)

Room:

Bryan-Beeman A

Fun and Games with Forever!

Come play with us! Forever Romance is throwing a Wild West carnival that features classic games with a romance twist. Don’t miss your chance to mingle with authors, win fun prizes, and enter our epic raffle to win a full year’s worth of books!

Event Date:

Friday, May 15, 2015 – 10:00am to 11:00am

Host(s):

Location:

Lobby Level

Room:

Reunion E

Working That Tension in All. The. Ways.

Join popular & bestselling authors as we explore how we build the tension, draw out the suspense and let the action loose in the stories we love. We’ll share behind-the-scenes research, have fun with TV/movie clips that inspired us and answer questions from the audience!

Event Date:

Friday, May 15, 2015 – 11:15am to 12:15pm

Panelist(s):

Location:

Atrium Level (2nd Floor)

Room:

Gaston

Intergalactic Bar & Grille

Attention starship crew! Charge your blasters and get ready to repel the invasion of the dastardly alien space ducks as we drink, snack and indulge in sci-fi silliness at RT’s only sci-fi party. Win prizes! The first 200 crew members to report for duty get goody bags loaded with swag. Brought to you by Captain Linnea Sinclair and her trusty space commando authors: Cathy Clamp, KM Fawcett, Pauline Baird Jones, Stacey Kade, Monette Michaels, Janet Miller, M.D. Waters, First Officer PJ Schnyder and more!

Event Date:

Friday, May 15, 2015 – 2:45pm to 3:45pm

Captain:

Panelist(s):

Location:

Exhibition Level

Room: 

Cumberland F


Giant Book Fair

Event Date:
Saturday, May 16, 2015 – 11:00am to 2:00pm
Location:

Lobby Level
Room:

Landmark Ballroom & Reunion Ballroom

Forever! and Piper J. Drake

AAAAHHHH! *muppet flails*

Ahem.

I am incredibly excited to announce that Grand Central Publishing’s FOREVER imprint has acquired my new romantic suspense series in a 3 book deal!

This will be my first series with FOREVER and will be available in print. (Woo!)

This is a huge evolution in my career as a writer and I look forward to learning from the FOREVER team and embarking on this fantastic adventure.

Hopefully, you’ll all be as excited as we are about the series. 😉

DogsofWar_promo1

The Centurion Corporation…coming Fall 2015

Hello! And what better way to celebrate my brand new site than with awesome news?

I’m very excited to announce that Carina Press has acquired my new romantic suspense series, The Centurion Corporation! This 3 book deal will kick off with the release of the first book, Hide and Seek (tentative title), in fall of 2015.

Piper J Drake 3 book to Carina

It might seem a long way away but I’ve got lots of teasers, sneak peeks, and behind-the-scenes insights to share with you to make the wait a little easier. In the meantime, check out my feeds all over the internet. I’ll do my best to be interesting. 😉

Follow Piper:

Web: http://piperjdrake.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/piperjdrake
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/piperjdrake
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPiperJDrake
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PiperJDrake
Tumblr: http://piperjdrake.tumblr.com/