At this exact moment, I have 602 drafts sitting in my inbox:
I’m actually a pretty organized Gmail’er* if you can believe it (look at all those labels and inbox!), but the last area desperately needing taming is the Drafts :) It’s where I put all my ideas, thoughts, to-do lists, and anything else that seems important at the time.
I know there’s tools like Evernote and what not that help with this, but Gmail is always open and just the quickest way for me to get down ideas. Which is probably the reason so many have piled up! Haha…
In an effort to pair down these drafts to my preferred amount, however, (under 50 which = 1 page) I thought I’d go down each and every one and either delete them, archive them, combine them, or pluck out my favorites to share with you today. I can’t tell you what ideas are exactly IN there as some of these date back to May of 2011 (!!!) but I’m pretty sure we’ll come across some interesting ones :)
If you like them, we’ll continue publishing them until I reach the bottom!, and if not, well, just pretend this post never happened and we’ll see you back on Wed with a different angle.
For any bloggers out there, feel free to steal any of these and explore further!
Draft Titles and Brief Descriptions:
(We’ll start with some of the drafts that stay indefinitely, just in case they help ya. Then we’ll move to the “idea” drafts…)
“What people are saying…” — This is one of my favorites as it’s where I paste all kind words ever said to me or about my projects :) We all have our “days” no matter how successful we are, so anytime I need a quick pick-me-up I open this up and get quickly reminded of why I’m doing it all. It also helps when you need testimonials for something too.
“Hate mail” — I also have one for hate mail :) I don’t look at this one nearly as much for obvious reasons, but one day I want to do one of those “Mean Tweets” type-clips a la Jimmy Kimmel Live. Here are some of the gems on the list:
“You have an error of arrogance that rubs me the wrong way; there is a fine line between confidence and cockiness and you cross it.”
(Nice use of “error” – hah)
And as I alluded to on Monday’s BadVoices.com hustle/not hustle:
“I listen to your podcast with Paula. Love her, but you sound like a clueless 16 year old valley girl. Sorry, but to these old ears you sound childish.”
Again, no one’s immune to this stuff! Just a part of the game…
#ARTICLES and #QUOTES — I also keep a running list of both interesting articles and quotes I come across … Mainly for Rockstar Finance (my curation site) but also for future blog ideas. As my drafts got crowded over time, I found bolding them and then adding the hashtags helped me find them quicker :)
“To Do” — A short list of stuff I try to remember to do for the day… usually small annoying tasks as the big stuff is always the same (like writing a blog post for the day, responding to comments, etc). Notice they’re not bolded or hashtagged either, haha…
“Twitter Poll results!!!” — The other week I did a fun Twitter poll which didn’t turn out all too surprising considering the audience ;)
“Weirdest things sold on eBay?” — I once sold my old car there that only had 3 out of its 4 cylinders working :) The guy who bought it happened to be obsessed with the model (it was an old school Honda Prelude, remember those?) and he drove 300+ miles to come pick it up and fix. He had 15 others already. #Hoarder
“Cool budgeting idea” — Check out this graphic! Could be worth a shot if you’re having trouble… “I keep a physical copy of my budget in the form of a little brown folder… Every time I get paid, I pencil in little boxes on a spreadsheet that I print out at the beginning of the year… By the end of the year, this spreadsheet turns into a mess of valuable data.”
“The perfect day.” — I was wondering what my kids thought a perfect day would be so I asked. They named three parks and then candy. I made a list of what my own would be: coffee, walk, time to work on whatever project I want, sex, walk, beer, insanely good food, insanely good sleep, help someone, sex, walk, coffee, repeat.
“1 in 3 Americans Has Saved $0 for Retirement” — Crazy stat I saw at Time.com (!!!)
“The largest bills & checks in history?” – I saw this awesome post by Three Thrifty Guys on the largest checks ever written (one being $974,790,317.77!!) and thought it would be fun to compare with the largest bills too. Like this bar tab from Tryst that went viral years ago @ $189,375.98!
“Blog about: optimallivingdaily.com” — Keep meaning to share this – it’s a podcast that READS OUT awesome blog posts! Mainly on minimalism, productivity, life and of course money. Some of the bloggers he covers are Ramit Sethi, Mr. Money Mustache, Cait Flanders, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits and others including yours truly. Always so weird and interesting hearing your words come to life – especially with all my smiley faces and exclamation points ;) Here’s a sample of one of my blog posts being read out loud: 047: What if You Could Live Off 50% of Your Pay?
“True story: real life is > online life” — An observation I had the other day… so obvious, yet so true! Yet we still spend gobs of time glued to the computer every single day…
“Create your own CV of Failures!” — Came across this the other week and SOOOO want to do my own! This professor made one and it went viral. Here’s the reasoning for it:
“Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible. I have noticed that this sometimes gives others the impression that most things work out for me… This CV of Failures is an attempt to balance the record and provide some perspective.”
(You can download it here: Johannes_Haushofer_CV_of_Failures.pdf)
“Share: King For Just a Day” — Stumbled across this old post by Mr. Money Mustache on “luxury” and it really made me think…. In a nutshell the first few days/instances of anything new/juicy/exciting are the best, and thus you should try to figure out a way to milk that part vs having to pony up major moolah to own it. Give it a read sometime this weekend, might help you put things in better perspective too? King for Just One Day.
“All the time and money in the world” — Observation: All the time in the world means nothing if you have no money (it’s called unemployment!), but all the money in the world with no time is jack too (you’re about to die or a workaholic).
“The Three Solutions to Every Problem” — My brother texted me this last month and thought it was pretty good: “Three solutions to every problem: Accept it, change it or leave it. If you can’t accept it, change it. If you can’t change it, leave it.”
“Old vs New idea” — How cool would it be to measure the time it takes to do something from back in the day vs now? Like, researching something via Encyclopedia (remember those??) vs internet, calling people on a rotary phone vs speed dialing on cells (remember when you had to remember/write down everyone’s numbers?), and of course writing a letter by hand vs email. I don’t know what the point would be other than for a quick time waster, but someone should definitely do it :)
“Hike in 15 miles, kill a black bear, and pack that 300lb beast out on your back” – What someone once said my beard looked like, haha….
“Interesting clip…” — found this particular clip by Ben Carlson’s article, How to be More Productive, pretty interesting:
“If my grandfather were to lose concentration on the job, he would have fallen off the building he was working on. When I lose concentration on the job, I go browse the Internet.”
“Side hustle idea?” — Share your WiFi and get paid for it: tsunamiblu.com
“Do I feel better after talking with you?” — This is a question I ask myself sometimes after talking to people or reading their blogs, going on Facebook/Twitter/etc. If I leave feeling worse than when I got there/interacted with them, I do my best to avoid them in the future. This is what led me to delete my personal Facebook page over 3 years ago, for example.
“To counterfeit is Death” — Saw this on a recent bill I picked up in a coin trade (I got re-excited about collecting once I went back to having fun!), and was going to write something about it, along with how “mortgage” = “death pledge” in French (true fact), but ended up sharing it on my coin collecting blog instead. Here’s a picture of it though – still in tact from 1777!! Some of our nation’s first currency!
“Crayon quote!” — “We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors…. but they all exist very nicely in the same box.” ~ Author Unknown
“Blog Post: Save at least 1/10th of all income” — Was gonna write a blog post around this based off George S. Clason’s book, The Richest Man In Babylon. While many of us are striving to save way more than 10%, he poses an excellent exercise: “If you did keep for yourself one-tenth of all you earn, how much would you have in ten years?” He also goes on to say, “A part of all you earn is yours to keep. It should be not less than a tenth no matter how little you earn.”
“Every Financial Nerd In The World…” — I have no idea where I was going with this, but here’s what I had in the message section, haha… “This is what it’s like every day for us $$ nerds except on days like today – black friday”
“NYS Resolutions – 2016”
- Don’t Die (without accomplishing this, nothing else matters)
- Don’t Be Stressed (or try to speed up time to get over stressful events)
- Come Up With a Life Plan
So far I have an A+ on the first one, a B- on the second, and an F on the third, haha… But something tells me we’ll always be working/thinking on that one?
And lastly, “hair cut joke :)”
The Hair Cut
One Monday, a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut he asked about his bill and the barber replied, “I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.” The florist was pleased and left the shop.
When the barber went to open his shop the next morning there were a “thank you” card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.
Later on Tuesday, a cop came in for a haircut, and when he tried to pay his bill, the barber again replied, “I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.” The cop was happy and left the shop.
The next morning when the barber went to open up there were a “thank you” card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.
Then on Wednesday, a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay the bill the barber again replied, “I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.” The Congressman was very happy and left the shop.
The next morning when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.
Have fun today? Shall we keep going this week? Head Explode? :)
Either way, after two hours we’re now down to 531 drafts – woo! We’re only into November of last year so far, haha, but hey – nothing better than working towards a goal, right?
Hope you guys had a good (and cheap) weekend over there… See ya back soon!
[Update: Unpolished Gems Part II is now out :)]
* I keep my inbox completely free of clutter and only house those items requiring my direct attention or response. As each one is completed, it gets archived into the right section and eventually helps me get to Inbox Zero (which I hit 2-3 times a week). 50% of all emails get automatically pushed into a project “folder” (ie Gmail label) and taken care of in chunks when I’m ready to dive into them. Examples of these projects are Rockstar Finance, Coin Thrill, and the latest one I’m building out, PF Directory. I also have labels set up for social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter too to help streamline alerts. All this doesn’t prevent ALL the hours needed to stay on top of my inbox, but it certainly helps :) For what it’s worth, anyways…
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Thanks so much for sharing my podcast, J! The hardest part of reading your material (compared to others) is the smiley faces. Nevertheless, I just might have to read THIS post on the show now, too. ;)
Haha… What can I say, I’m a happy guy :)
I like the “do I feel better after talking to you” part. Isn’t that true! I need to start implementing that.
That one NY resolutions “Don’t Die” is really funny! :) But,I must say that I agree with you on that too!
It’s a pretty important one :)
OK J. Money, I have to let you know that I think you should switch over to Inbox by Gmail. It’s glorious. It changes your e-mail into a to-do list. You can snooze items, set reminders (based on time or location!!!!!), or you can mark it done and it “goes away” (gets archived).
You can even setup automatic reminders for repeating items. On top of all of this, it organizes trips and other things together. For example, we’re going to Florida in the fall and it knows that it can combine my flight and hotel information into one event.
It has been the only “system” that has worked with me to hit Inbox Zero. I’ve tried GTD and it sort of works, but oh man I love this stupid email system. I only wish that I could use it with my work e-mail.
Finally, these topics are awesome. I have a big backlog too and a lot of times, there’s not much else besides the little nugget you provided. If you try to expound on it, you’re just gonna have a lot of filler!
Well that’s pretty cool! I’ve just been ignoring it cuz been pretty happy w/ my own system besides the drafts problem, but the snoozing and reminders sounds incredible! That alone would save me time adding stuff to more drafts (which I also use as reminders) as well as adding things on gmail calendar to remember.. Thx for the tip!
I don’t think I have 602 posts on my site. Now I feel sad. :(
I feel even sadder, as I’m WAY behind you guys!
Take a look once you hit 8 years blogging – can’t compare until after that ;)
I save a notepad file on my desktop with to do things, then promptly forget I put it there. Next time something pops up I try to find the note but if it takes more than 5 seconds, I just make a new one. Over time I end up with a dozen or more files on my desktop all named “Untitled”.
Untitled 7 was a really important one, I got that done yesterday. I might work on Untitled 3 today.
haha… that’s probably the greatest thing I’ve read today so far :)
It sounds like your Drafts folder looks a lot like my Evernote! Doesn’t matter the system – they all can get a little out of control :)
My husband and I always joke with each other that the number rule is Don’t Die. So it’s funny to see that at the top of your resolutions list.
Looks like there’s lots of fun in your drafts. Good look with decluttering!
I love hate mail and seeing people’s reactions to it! Please do share that one! I don’t have a lot of readers, but I’ll never forget the one time I got a comment that said my couch was the most hideous thing they’d ever seen. I had just bought it, so it stung.
Then I thought- why the hell do I care what they think about my couch? I love it! And so does everyone who sits on it.
Anywho, I love seeing how other people handle hateful messages.
It’s a lot easier for people to be negative online than it is in real life, that’s for sure. I always try to engage w/ the people as long as they’re semi-civil, and often times they’ll either apologize or we’ll at least understand each other more.
For example that one guy up top (about my cockiness) later said “It’s probably me. You have tons of energy and I know you are serious and devoted to the cause” – so that made me feel better! And because of it I now try to tell if I’m being super cocky or not.. Most times I don’t even realize I’m being *confident*, no less cocky, but guess stuff comes out certain ways and people interpret different ways as well.
Nothing we can do about their bad taste in couches though :)
I’ve really been working on being as courteous and diplomatic on the internet as in real life. I’m really careful with people’s opinions IRL. It takes a lot longer than just stating my opinion, that’s for sure, but it is important because there are people on the other end of wires. I’m far from perfect, but I’m trying.
That said, J, you are FAR from arrogant! Error or no. You actually stand out for your humility and willingness to learn as well as teach – a really hard skill! I’ve never read arrogance into anything you wrote. I read ‘hey guys this is cool’ and ‘here’s the mistake I made so you didn’t have to’, but not ‘I’m so smart, you’re so dumb’.
Thanks Superbien – means a lot :) Especially coming from you as I know how feisty/excited you get in some of your comments! haha… So thanks!
The CV of Failures would be interesting. Even if we all made one for our own lives. Any inventor failed numerous times before becoming famous. Thomas Jefferson admired failure as a way to learn your true strengths to become successful.
That is an impressive backlog of ideas, you are more organized than I am- mine are on some random notes app on my phone and a piece of paper in my wallet (that one I use at work so they think I am working)
I totally want to see that paper now :) It would have saved me a good 2 hours by just snapping a picture of it and uploading it to the blog! I think you should do it :)
This is awesome! Why get some fancy app when you can keep it simple? Do what works for you. I actually use Gmail as a writing tool, similar to the way you do it here. I can access my Gmail account at work, so when an idea pops into my head, I jump over to Gmail and put it in a draft. I only have about 30, not 600, drafts right now, but they’re all articles-in-progress.
On another note, don’t you just love hate mail? I’ve never considered sending someone a negative message for anything. It’s worthless. It says more about the person sending the message than it odes about you. But you know that!
Take care my brotha!
Great way to look at it!
I never go out of my way to be nasty to anyone either – so much easier/peaceful to just click away and move on even if they did something to upset me. There’s enough hate in the world to be adding to it.
Funny, that’s often the way I store my unpolished gems too. Usually I’m walking somewhere and have plenty of time to think and zero distractions so all these ideas naturally float to the surface of my thinking. So I pull up an email on my phone and voice dictate whatever crazy article idea into an email. Thinking I’ll add more to it, I don’t click send yet. Most of the time I don’t finish fleshing out the idea completely.
And that’s how my draft folder gets filled with article ideas. :)
Fancy pants! Never even thought to speak them out loud… I don’t think I’m smart enough/quick enough to be able to do that properly, haha… takes me forever to try and put down my ideas (which is also why I didn’t start a podcast by myself! I need time to think before responding most times so helps having a partner by your side.)
You just sent me down an inbox rabbit-hole after reading this; great pro-tip using drafts that way. I also love the fact that you use the “wooden desk” background too. Great minds truly do think alike!
I feel like this is a metaphor for my life. I always feel like I have 12 tabs running the background. It’s always fun to peek into people’s digital lives and see their organization tricks. Great idea to have a gold mine of ideas at your fingertips!
Hah! It is a great a metaphor for life! :)
I’ve been off Facebook for a few years now as well. I don’t even have business accounts that I use it for. And now that I’m off the site, it’s kinda amazing how much time I see others spending on it.
I often left the site feeling sad or pissed, rarely happy so one day I just nuked my account and that was that.
Hehe awesome idea here!
I loved the MMM king for a day post. It is so true isn’t it? Why bother buying something for big bucks when you can just sample it and get 80% of the enjoyment for about 1% of the cost and get zero of the negative impacts of ownership and maintenance in the long run.
I work for a website during the day and we used to keep a collection of the funniest (and sometimes just damn right rude!) comments/emails we received. We have been called all sorts over the years. Some people out there are just plain mental! You definitely shouldn’t take that sort of criticism to heart and just laugh it off :)
I feel like everyone in customer service does this :) I ran two customer service departments before blogging full-time and had miles long worth of crap people would say, haha… I should actually see if I can find it just for a fun trip down memory lane!
I’d love to hear your real life > online life! We went camping over the weekend and it was so nice to experience some real life with my kids, at least for a while. We had a blast playing games and roasting marshmallows, but they still managed to max out the data on their phones.
Hah! I was watching some show on Netflix last night and at one of their family dinners the dad went around with a cigar box and made everyone drop their phones into it. People hated it of course but I feel like I’ll be stealing that idea as my kids get older :)
There are some good ideas in your drafts. You’ve actually given me a couple topics for new posts. I chuckled when I read this quote “You have an error of arrogance that rubs me the wrong way”. You can’t win them all.
Let me know if you end up writing about any of them so I can check out! Someone should use them!! :)
That beard observation seems rather spot on. =)
Must have come from a super intelligent woman :)
You are very organized Haha. One of those ideas can be a million dollar jackpot someday! :)
Love it :) I try to clear out my draft emails pretty regularly but, uh, my draft posts tab is a whole other story. It’s awesome when I’m in a writing mood and can expand several of them into real posts. Then there are those times when I wonder sooo what on earth was I getting at here??
That is one incredible organization system. I open drafts all the time for notes especially at work and then I need to go through them all to try to figure out context of why I was writing them. I do however like to get to inbox zero as well and I include drafts so I want to address things as quickly as I can. These are some great ideas. I really liked the “Do I feel better after talking with you?” as I try to surround myself with people (real or virtual) that contribute to me being a better person and I feel that there is a give and take to our relationship. Hope to hear on some of these topics soon once you flush the ideas out. :)
It’s amazing how many people/areas don’t add anything positive too once you start paying attention :( Though on the plus side – it opens up more time to focus on those who bring you UP! :)
Another epic post. I love a lot of thoughts/ideas you shared – but my favorite is the “three solutions to every problem”. Gems indeed.
I’m glad man! Working on Part II now… fun going down memory lane :)
I do this same thing. The first thoughts I have that I intend to turn into posts. The things I want to research and write about. The articles I want to share with others. So helpful. Thank you, internet Gods, for large gmail storage.
Haha. Love the idea for doing mean tweets with your hate mail. And I can’t imagine you getting hate mail! I’m stoked that you are so candid with your finances/advices/etc. We have 500k of debt that we blog about and I’m sure the hate mail is a comin!
Oh WOW! You’re gonna have one helluva story to tell once that’s gone – I’m kinda excited for you guys! I’d imagine that debt comes from some pretty epic degrees, eh? Going over now to check out the blog – it’ll def. stand out from the others :)
Loved this thanks for sharing. I have a content planner resembling this, although admittedly with not quite so many ideas! Haha. I think you should keep them coming!
“Do I feel better after talking with you?” – needed that.
Going through what is in all probability the end of a 7 year close friendship and 15 year acquaintanceship. I’ve just realized our values are not in line and refuse to commit anymore of my most valuable commodity (time). Feeling drained every time I talk to this person is no way to live my life, and sometimes you just need to be selfish when it comes to matters like this. Anyway, here is another one for you (also applicable to my situation).
“You can polish a turd all you want, but at the end of the day its still a turd”
Haha, amen brother.
I do hope things work out okay with you and your friend though – always sad when things like that happen :( Will send over positive vibes to ya! And that your friend gets better too, with or without you.
Yeah, I feel like its time to move on honestly. I don’t think we have the capacity to give each other what we need. I just cant deal with all the negativity and attempts to compare and one up whatever I’m doing in my life. I’ve said I need this to change but his responses sadly make me think that he isn’t capable of understanding from other people’s POV. I’ve tried to put myself in his shoes but I just don’t see a reason for his selfishness. To put it into perspective, he s the kind of guy that doesn’t care if you make a million dollars so long as he makes a million plus one. Since, you know, we are in our mid 30s and not 15 anymore its just not something I can continue to endure. It just wears on me and makes me feel horrible every time we talk.
Sounds like the right time to move on for sure, ugh.
Can’t wait to reread that MMM post.
New reader here. Impressive list of drafts, J. Money :) Have you heard of Scrivener? I use it for organizing my (non-finance) blog. Here’s a link to an article that helped change how I write: http://www.jennifergregson.com/2016/02/how-i-organize-my-blog-using-scrivener.html (Savings note: you can search for a coupon code and get it for under $35) :D
Thanks Kim! Adding to my list to check out today – thx for stopping by :)
Wow, I can’t believe those ‘hate’ comments. First off, you are NOT arrogant in the least. The blogosphere is waaaay saturated these days with boring or narcissistic blogs, but you are one of my very, very few favorites because you are very easy going and have a natural talent for writing interesting articles. Also, for the other comment, I wouldn’t use the word ‘childish’, but I do like that you bring light hearted, fun articles. We are way too serious in this world and you remind us to actually live and have fun, while still being responsible!
I will read the MMM article “King for Just a Day”, but there is a term in economics called ‘diminishing returns’. Basically, think of food… if you want chocolate or chips and you haven’t had it in awhile, the first few bites are awesome, then less and less. If you keep eating without restraint, then you actually walk away wishing you didn’t have any! It can be the same for luxury and stuff. If you haven’t already, check out the documentary “I AM”. He realizes that his mansions aren’t bringing him any more happiness and so he sells them and downsizes to a mobile home on Malibu beach.
Fascinating! Will add to my “find on Netflix” list haha…
And really appreciate the kind words too – I def. want it to be fun and low key here so I’m glad it’s coming across that way. And I honestly don’t know how to act otherwise as it’s how I am, so it’s not like I could change anyways! Haha… You win some, you lose some :) And I’m totally adding this to my “what people are saying” list to better counteract the hate. So thanks!!
Hey J. $$$!! How can you write the length of such articles and focus on detail, when you’re as ADHD as you say you are? Man, I feel like an ADHD slacker compared to you!
It takes a LOT of patience and time :) And also why it usually takes me 4-5 hours to pump out any of my articles even though they look like anyone can do it in 30 mins! Haha…
Your perfect day sounds awesome! I can’t decide if my perfect day should start with:
1. getting up super early, but feeling 100% refreshed, or
2. sleeping in, but waking up without feeling guilty in the slightest.
Ahhh, decisions decisions…
I think we’d all love option #2 but how that’s possible is beyond me! :) Unless you’ve gotten up super early and accomplished all your goals the week leading up to that day, haha…
Great post idea a nice way to hit on stuff that just isn’t going to make it on its own.
My favorite was the optimal living daily podcast. Great resource.
I am…an email hoarder. (there, I said it). In fact, after reading this article, I looked at my original hotmail account I opened my freshman year in college in 2001…it has 78,334 emails.
I can’t believe I publicly said that! Hotmail…please don’t shut me down.:).
Haha… hopefully they’re all read!
Mostly! Some of the spammy ones I never went through and opened:).