Beginning my Bullet Journal

Forever inspired by those around me, I was introduced to the bullet journal by my sister who had come across it as she was looking to buy her next planner. The idea is that it gives you the ability to create a planner/journal/notebook/list holder/budget tracker extraordinaire. No two journals look the same because it is tailored to meet the needs of your specific lifestyle.

In the week that I did research on the journal I became more and more enthralled about how different bloggers and business people bragged about how much it had increased their efficiency and decreased procrastination. Each day they were setting themselves up to be accountable for tasks that need to get done in their personal and professional lives. Also, for those as competitive and OCD as myself, it created a “competition” to complete good habits such as drinking more water, spending less money, actually eating 3 square meals or WHATEVER it was that they found to be important. After I was fully convinced that the bullet method was the one that I needed, my sister and I purchased our first bullet journals.

We were both completely ready to setup our new life line until we opened the packaging of our 240-page whatever we wanted journal.Determined to not give up we began watching videos of how people had setup and evolved their bullet journals from novices to semi-experts. This is how we got to the temporary nirvana that we have created in our journals.

  • Developed an outline of things we wanted to see in our journals under the overall breakdown of yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, habits, and MUST HAVE collections.
  • Watched YouTube videos from the original bullet planner creator (Ryder Carroll) and other bloggers whose spreads we enjoyed.
  • Took a deep breath, while sharpening (yes sharpening!) pencils
  • Started the setup of a “basic” journal outline ensuring we hit all the points of our outline

Then the most important step:

  • We made a promise to not beat ourselves up for lack of creativity and to let the system work for us. Then making a plan of how to incorporate the journal into our daily lives.

I am only about two days into the using the journal daily and I am starting off with good strides. If you choose to start your own bullet journal good luck and feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments, I am no expert but I will gladly help to the best of my abilities. I am not yet at a point where I feel that I can share with you all my spreads, but when I get a better handle on it I will upload them to this page. Do you have any tips to share on how to create a bullet journal, or elements of your planner that you LOVE and think I should incorporate?

Using Social Media to Break the Internet

Last evening, Drake made an attempt to break the internet by releasing an album with no promo through iTunes. The 17 track mixtape features appearance from Lil Wayne, Travi$ Scott, and PARTYNEXTDOOR. Sales projections are at 500,000 units before the end of Saturday – that is a gold record goal before with less than three days of sales.

Following in the precedence set by Beyoncé who on December 13th, 2013 released her fifth album, self titled Beyoncé, to a exclusively to the digital audience through iTunes Stores. This release too was not prompted by promotions or a hit single instead fueled by social media. Columbia Records recorded the sale of 828,773 units worldwide in three days and gave Beyoncé her fifth consecutive number one album and a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. This is an interesting thought for marketers who target the young adult demographic.

Just as traditional journalism is shifting so is marketing for the new age, gone are the days of posting a full color ad in the newspaper or magazines. Now if you are not embracing social media in some way, through an app, or actual medium, you are passed on by this market. The revolution is now televised through 4.7-5 inch screens of smart phones in the hands of nearly all consumers aged 18-30. What do you think of this new phenomenon that is being fueled through social media? Please share your thoughts in the comments below…

Maybe even while listening to “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” available in the iTunes store.

6 Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself Daily

This article was written by  – @LOLLYDASKAL and was originally posted on

Intelligent and successful leaders all do one thing better than anyone else. They are constantly asking themselves questions to stay relevant and insightful.

Whether you’re running a company, heading up a startup, or leading a team, asking yourself these questions every day will help you get the most out of your work and leadership and make the difference in your success:

1. Did I work toward my goals today? 

Successful leaders understand the importance of goal setting in everything from long-term vision to short-term motivation. Focusing on your goals helps you organize your actions and make the most of your ambition and aspirations.

2. What bad habits do I need to stop? 

Your bad habits–and we all have them in some form–may be damaging your credibility and your business. It is well worth putting in the daily time and effort to overcome them and replace them with things that will serve you better.

3. What motivated me today? 

Motivation is the force that keeps pushing you forward. It is your internal drive to achieve, produce, and develop–and it’s always to your benefit to pay attention to the things that feed your personal motivation.

4. Have I been the kind of person I want to be? 

Character rules. You’re not born with the qualities that make up your character, but they develop as you go through your experiences, your failures, and your wins. Govern your sense of responsibility and responses to events to develop the character you’d like to have.

5. What mistakes did I make today, and what can I learn from them?

We all experience failures and mistakes; it’s how you respond that makes the difference. You can choose to see failure as proof of your inadequacy, or recognize it as an incredible learning experience.

6. What am I grateful for today?

There will always be bad days and good days, bad luck and good luck. Through it all, gratitude remains among the most useful tools to have. It shows you what really matters and what’s important, and it keeps you levelheaded and focused on what is important.

If you want to create a shift in your business and your leadership, make a daily practice of asking yourself the right questions–because it is the right questions that lead us to the right answers.

Follow Lolly on Linkedin or Twitter and her blog at

Increase your Reach Across Platforms

I am not one to push my religion on other people but my Washington DC church home (@CapCityChurchDC) is amazingly progressive. One sermon that I often revisit came from the Executive Pastor, @HarrisonWilder, on October 06, 2013. The sermon entitled ‘Great Faith. Little Faith.’ spoke about reach, and ways to increase your reach across platforms and through  people.

My interpretation of the points he made related back to my journey as a professional and publicist. I have the bold face words highlighted on the wall in my office just to help me when I get off track. Many times I revisit my notes when I am dismayed with a client or am just in need of a reminder of what it takes to be on top.

  • Become a good listener, people will tell you what you need and where they are. Listening comes in handy not just when speaking with clients but also with their publics. Proper response to complaints, feedback and compliments are key factors in maintaining and retaining good reach with public.

  • You must seek to effect one life at a time, make your message personal. A message that appears to be custom tailored  is more likely to get a response than those that are mass produced. Sometimes expanding your reach can come from just touching a few, remember not everything has to be grassroots.

  • Get intentional, develop a concise message that gets your point across. Once you get the attention of a public they do not want to be spammed or overloaded with information. Have your message make sense, as if you were to explain it to your Grandma!

  • Get prayerful, as you develop and finalize your plan, literally talk about it outloud. Once you have created the steps that will get you to the finish line have faith that it’ll happen. Most importantly on your journey to the finish line you cannot forget to be thankful for the progress that has been made with each bit of movement.

  • Take small steps, when you take too much on, you will just drown yourself. Don’t go for the home run right off the bat, mistakes are less likely to be made when you take your time, within reason, to ensure it gets done correctly.

  • Utilize community, although as publicist we want to be able to do it all no person is superman/woman. You cannot be afraid to ask for help and utilize the resources around you when you are unsure

  • Be patient, change takes time and good things come to those who wait. I cannot think of one brand that went from inception to household name overnight, know that you must create and follow a process..

  • Believe that people are hungry to live in their own purpose. This is key in choosing and keeping the right clients, if you are working harder than the client is working themselves there is something wrong. If a client doesn’t believe in themselves or their product what are we working for?

The points that he gave not only help increase your reach but help you become a better influencer or game changer. I believe that these are important to remember on this journey to go from being extra ordinary to extraordinary.

5 Morning Rituals That Will Keep You Productive All Day

This article was originally posted on 1.15.14 at Business Insider and was written by
Most of us work long hours: 40, 50 or even 60 hours each week. But chances are, given distractions like online entertainment, office snacking habits and ill-designed time management, we’re only churning out high-quality work a portion of each day.

Here are five practical steps to incorporate into any morning routine to optimize your time at the office and maintain productivity all day long:

7 minutes of exercise. Yep, not 10 — just seven. Why? It’s short enough that it won’t impact the rest of your morning routine and long enough to shake off any residual sluggishness from the night before — including that extra glass of wine.

There are endless fitness routines to turn to, but the one I like best is called the 7 Minute Workout (and yes, there’s an app for that). In just seven minutes, it works all major muscle groups with 12 total exercises.

Start your day out green. Sure, we’ve all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s pretty easy to reach for a bagel, bowl of cereal, egg sandwich or cup of yogurt to get your metabolism going.

While all of these options are fine choices once in a while, you’ll be shocked at the morning lift you can get from a green smoothie. And healthy juicing requires less time in the morning than toasting a bagel and slathering it with low fat cream cheese.

I go quick and easy, blending (for about a minute): one apple, one banana, one orange, a handful of spinach, half of a cucumber, any juice or coconut water on hand, a few cubes of ice and some flax seed. It’s cheap, easy and energizing.

Pick 3 wins for the day. While you’re waiting for that smoothie to blend, get ahead of the evening’s conversation with your significant other — you know, the one that starts, “How was your day?”

Decide on the three things that you’d like to accomplish in the next 12 hours in order for you to feel like the day was a success. Sure, not every day will be an epic win, but strategizing in this way will help to move the ball forward.

Block your calendar to achieve wins. One of the most common mistakes people make at the office is not turning to-do lists into time-bound, effective project lists. I’ve found that people who have mastered this hack are far more likely to deliver tasks on time.

It’s simple: For each of the big things on your list, block off the amount of time on your calendar that you estimate the task might take — and then add 33% more time just to be sure.

If a project is multi-day or has dependencies, break it up into digestible chunks. Use one block to plan and a second or third block to accomplish.

This simple method will help hold you accountable and immediately help you refocus on the tasks you’ve prioritized when you do get distracted. Too often, we let one distraction steamroll an entire morning — now you don’t have to let that client email derail you from your winning plan for the day.

Power up after lunch. Take the 15 minutes right after lunch to refocus on the day — a kind of professional meditation. Get away from your computer, turn it off, go sit in a conference room and determine what you have on tap for the rest of the day.

Think about how the list you set in the morning is shaping up. Are you ahead of schedule? Behind schedule? You’ll find that these 15 minutes help you identify how you got derailed, what’s causing you distractions and help you to rediscover a rhythm to be productive all day long.

Give this simple formula a try for a week and I think you’ll be pleased with the results. Here’s to a more productive 2014!

Inspirational Quote: January

Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.


Instead of looking to get rid of habits in the new year I have created a vision board and am focused on the future. The mistakes of my past will lead me to a prominent career which will lead to being a positive influence on youth in this world. There is still so much that I need to do/achieve but with a plan in place and a support system pushing me to get ‘er done, I know that great things are on the horizon.

5 signs you’re not cut out for PR

Originally posted on PRDaily in March 2013 then Dec 2013 at Written by Scott Signore. 

While my firm is incredibly fortunate to employ some of the very best PR and social media practitioners, we’ve also had a number of staff members who simply weren’t cut out for our business. Sure, they were good, hard-working people, but the writing was on the wall early on that they weren’t cut out for public relations. 

Here are a few key indicators that PR might not be a good career path for you: 

1. You receive critical feedback, well, critically. 

Critical feedback is a way of PR life and professionals in this business are required to have thick skin. Even the very best piece of secured coverage can generate commentary from a colleague or client about a key message that was missed; the most successful social media campaign may result in a request for more “likes” or a greater number of followers. And that’s the results end of the campaign. 

The feedback during materials development and/or project management is typically without a filter and often comes from a number of sources including colleagues, managers, and clients. Critical feedback is part of the gig, and the best you can do is embrace it, learn from mistakes, and improve moving forward. 

Can’t handle it? Consider another career. 

2. You think the PR job (or project) is finished. 

An old and great client of mine, Jim Gustke, now the vice president of marketing at Internet phone company Ooma, once told me (wisely) that the problem with PR (and social media, marketing, etc.), is it’s never finished. PR people can always do more. And these were the words of a satisfied client—one who understood that the agency support I was providing his organization was the very best I could do under the budget, program, and business circumstances. 

You may come to the “end” of a launch, or a short-term client project may be “over,” but there’s always the next thing, the higher level. You can send one more pitch, or comment on one more blog. You can spend more time prepping your spokesperson for the next interview, or spend more time following-up with a key contact. 

In general, there’s always more to do and you should always be thinking of “what’s next.” If this isn’t in your makeup, you might start thinking about what comes next—after PR agency life. 

3. Breaking news means nothing to you. 

If you wake up one morning and realize that you couldn’t care less about what’s happening in the category in which you and your clients work, start thinking about your next career step. 

PR pros are expected to embrace the energy and enthusiasm that surrounds their clients’ categories. Do you keep up with current events? Are you a voracious reader? If your answer is “no,” you really ought to consider a new line of work. 

4. You have a perpetually low energy level. 

Does this sound familiar: After several coffees in the morning, your pulse barely registers? If so, the career gods are waving a large red flag in your direction and letting you know to pick another path. 

There’s natural and trained enthusiasm—and PR requires both. Trained enthusiasm is a person’s ability to credibly show enthusiasm for a topic without necessarily feeling the love. We’re not talking about faking it, but rather knowing how to make your client, colleague, or media target know that you are “genuinely” pumped about the latest and greatest. PR is a high-energy gig—and that’s one of the reasons why I love it as I do—and a lack of juice is synonymous with a “slow fade” from the PR biz. 

5. You are educated and you’ve been trained, but you can’t talk or type your way out of a paper bag. 

This likely seems harsh, but this list is incomplete without mentioning basic and solid communication skills. It should be a glaring sign to hang your professional hat elsewhere if you struggle with finding the right words to say or type. 

I wouldn’t expect any of our clients to rely on a communicator who is anything less than top-notch. While such standards aren’t as critical at the start of a career, you need to reach them relatively quickly, ensuring that colleagues and clients have confidence in your ability to deliver key messages. 

Can’t write? Can’t effectively talk with clients? You know what I’m going to say next. 

What have I missed? 

Scott Signore is the principal and CEO of Matter Communications, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a firm next week.