Vinnovate - Ep2

Bullet journal, Meditate, Notion Websites and how I wrote a book

Hey there!

Welcome to the second episode of Vinnovate. Still a work in progress, but getting there. Let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions in the comments.

In this episode:

💡 Bullet Journalling

📖 How I wrote a book (as in the tools and processes)

🧘🏻‍♂️ Meditation will change your life, but not in that way you’re thinking

📧 Update on the newsletter

🛠 Building websites easily with Notion (and quickly)

🗒 The weekly five things

Let’s get to it

Bullet Journalling: Year 4

I’ve used task app after task app, productivity app after productivity app. All that they end up becoming is a cool looking list with daily notifications you find yourself swiping away. (granted - if you had to make a call, Todoist, is probably one of the better apps)

However, for the 4th year running now, I have gone analogue and used bullet journalling.

I bloody love it. For one, there is definitely something to be said about writing things down. I don’t know what it is, but it’s like a commitment. Maybe it comes from signing documents or something. 🤓

Every morning I make a coffee, then sit down with my bullet journal and plan the day. Over the years I’ve learnt to customise it to work for me. Which is the beauty of a bullet journal, you can build it to whatever works for you.

By the way, if you google ‘Bullet Journal’ and go over to images there are some seriously customised ones - I don’t go that far. I keep it simple. Before I tell you about my customisations, here’s a video explaining what Bullet Journaling is :

In summary, you write a line with a symbol on tasks you want to get done for the day. A dot for a task, a triangle for travel, a circle for a meeting.

Here’s how I’ve customised mine :

One achievement a day - to make it feel like I’m making progress or am on the right track, I add one tick box dedicated to what I want to achieve that day. In some cases, you may not get to all your tasks (and if you watched the video you would know how to deal with them) but the achievement box is paramount. I have to have that done. When it comes to the evening session with the Bullet Journal, ticking off that one achievement feels great

I’ve created 90-day sessions. This was thanks to a book I read some time ago about how we all base our goals on a year. 12 months, 365 days. But why not make it 90 days. In other words, review every ninety days, rather than a year. Adding this to my bullet journal consists of countdown days next to each day. When there’s about two weeks to go on a 90-day sprint you create a sense of urgency and get those things done. It works for me.

I’ve made sure each days block is small enough to add enough tasks, but not too many. We tend to think adding tasks makes us productive and look busy. It doesn’t help and can become overwhelming quickly. By limiting the space, I can move a task to another day as I can quickly see I have too much on.

Make sure you check out the video to explain it in more detail, but Bullet Journaling has helped me loads. Looking back on a couple of months also allows you to see how far you have come.

Bonus: I've ordered these, - little cards on a stand with your tasks for the day.

Writing a book

By the time you get this newsletter, I am at the halfway point of writing my first ebook book. I started this 6 months ago. When I say started, I wrote an outline and then a few notes and then just stared at it or made an excuse not to get to it.

However, in the past week, I’ve written 50% of it. My goal is to have it on Gumroad by the end of Jan. Plus promote it in here by episode 4. As I know you’ll be buying it right? 😉

So how did I speed up the production? For one, it came down to just starting. By opening up my editor and just typing I would get into a state of flow and churn out line after line. Its that simple. There’s no magic setup or magic timing. You just suck it up and get writing.

There are a few things I put in place to make sure I stuck to it. Here they are :

  • a distraction-free writing tool. I recommend IAWriter. The beauty of this is when you go full screen on your mac, there is nothing to disturb you. Just write. Plus, it works across devices. So if you are waiting for someone, whip out your phone and get writing. No excuse

  • Next, I wanted a visual representation that I was making progress. I used a Gantt chart plugged into Trello. Then as I mark percentage compete the Gantt chart would show it and I could see how far I was. I used Elegantt. As it plugs into Trello

  • Talking about Trello, I split up every chapter into a card on a column. This way I could add notes or checklists if I wanted. I could also add the deadlines on each card. which then allowed me to view cards in a calendar and know what chapters needed to be completed that day. (When I worked on my bullet journal in the morning, I could easily add the chapter tasks)

  • I have an accountability partner. My accountant. (She’s bloody amazing) Every Monday we check in to see what I have achieved. Now, I make sure I have a lot to show on that Monday meeting.

  • Finally, I’m saving editing till the end. Editing kills your flow. DO NOT EDIT WHILST WRITING.

  • Currently, contemplating doing a live stream of my writing and then sharing to Google docs for feedback. A technique I saw someone use a while ago, it’s great for accountability but also helps build potential readers.

So, using the above I am nailing these chapters. I’ve recently discovered how you can use Airtable to design and build your book instantly. - More on that in another issue.

Looking forward to sharing this with you!

The book pre-order is here (It’s a working title) - this week I made 12 sales!!! Even more, reason to complete it 😉 - a big thank you to those that pre-ordered.

Meditation will bring ideas

Don’t skip this one, trust me. This isn’t a hippy-dippy, Anti 5G, anti-vax post. ;-) This is about clearing your mind and finding amazing ideas. And this shit works.

I’ve been doing this for 20 minutes every morning the past three years. Took some time to get it right and man I’m glad I stuck with it. For me it’s not about being ‘at peace’ or in tune with one’s self but more about clearing my head, removing some stress and worries and best of all, a shit load of ideas. Really. Every week after a few sessions Ideas just appear, be it an app idea, content idea, solution idea, whatever. Since regularly meditation I have loads.
If you are stuck on something, just try it. May not happen at first, but once you get the technique down… wow.

Apps to help you:
Headspace - my favourite

Calm - not my favourite ;-)

Do not do it for less than 20 mins, there is no point

Growing the newsletter database.

I started using the typical methods this week for the newsletter. Just to tick them off. I did the following:

Added the link to signup to :

✅ Twitter Bio

✅ Instagram Bio - I used for this so I could add other links.

✅ Linkedin Bio - part of an experiment I’m running on there. More about this in another episode

✅ Added it to my personal and business emails signature (but only the first email, it could get a bit much on every reply)

✅ Embedded the form on my new site

I also started registering on some newsletter sites, now granted these are busy channels and it takes some work to =rise to the top, but why not get in there now. Two sites I registered Vinnovate on : and
this week I’ll be pushing a few other techniques to see how it goes and keep mentioning it on my social channels.
One thing I usually to do is announce it the day before that it’s going out the next day. I get the occasional signup off the back of that.

I’m setting goals as I move. Right now its an easy 100 subscribers, then it moves to 200, then 400… little bit of compounding. The big goal is 1000, 1000 true fans, then I’m happy to see it slowly grow.

📈 Newsletter Growth so far:

98 subscribers ↑15%

oooohh two away from goal 1. 😀

Build a website with Notion

Did you know you can turn your Notion pages into fullfledged websites? If you’ve not used Notion before, you should. It can do anything. It helps power my ideas and content for this newsletter. You can share and collaborate with team members. However when you share its a long URL that’s not too pretty.

Last year I discovered - it allows you to add your Notion page and set up a URL so it functions as a website, and a website that’s so easy to update. They also have some great templates you can copy and paste in Market. But you can use any prebuilt items that come with Notion. Go and check it out. I’ve built three sites so far.

Ideas for Notion Websites: Agency, Playbooks, Team onboarding, File structures, Extra content for your ebook, tutorials, references and more.

Five Things:

🍔 Fastic - Intermeittnent fasting is my jam. Is that an oxymoron? Anyway, monitor your fasting states and check your progress with this app. I use it alongside my Keto. Nothing better when my watch tells me I can eat

🧠 MyMind - I love this. I used to save things from the web to my notes on my mac, eventually, they would be pushed down and I would forget about them. MyMind allows you to store everything but automatically sorts it for you. So when you search later it will bring everything related to that search up. It even stores colours in images, so you could search ‘Blue’ and images containing that colour will come back.

I use this in conjunction with Roam Research. Add your notes, save tweets, quotes, websites and always be able to find them, even if you can’t remember the exact name. (I have 5 invites - Tweet how much you love Vinnovate and Ill give one to the first 5 😎 such viral strategy


💡 MC Aperture LED - Filming yourself for courses? Youtube videos? These tiny little light blocks are amazing to at lighting effects to your background, making it look a little bit professional. I have two I’m using for some filming and its looking great. Millions of colours and has a small softbox too. Slap one behind you and you have a nice gradient glow rather than a boring background. So small, you can even travel with them.

🛌 Rise sleep I’ve always been sceptical of most sleep apps. I do own an Oura ring, which is great. Rise, however, shows you your sleep debt. How much you need to pay back to feel alright. And it works. I tried it just before Christmas and followed its prompts, felt bloody great.

🎲 Vectary - I’m currently on a bit of a 3D objects vibe with my new site and Instagram posts. Vectary is probably the easiest 3D modeller I have ever come across. So easy to use. and 3D is sooo 2021

That’s it for this week, let me know if you have any suggestions in the comments below. And as usual, please share this with anyone you think that would enjoy it. Till next Friday have a lovely weekend!

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Where to find me:

Twitter : @vincenthaywood

Website: Launching soon

Network: Launching Soon

Instagram: @thecontentblueprint (working title)