Here is my monthly report on projects, goals, and the lessons I learned along the way.
My 2021 Goals
523,080/1,000,000 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal) (+12,180 words)
656/1,000 Resources (Videos/Worksheets) for Members of The Religion Teacher (+7 resources)
17/24 Books Read (+3 books)
36/73 Books of the Bible read from beginning to end (+0 books read)
45/100 30-minute workouts (+11 workouts)
How I Spent My Time in May 2021
I track every minute of time I spend working on projects using an app called Toggl (here is why). Here is a list of the top ten projects I spent the most time on last month:
- 15:36 – Theoloji 101
- 13:38 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 11:01 – @jareddees Social Media
- 6:28 – The Religion Teacher Blog
- 6:47 – Daily Review
- 6:27 – Morning Preview
- 4:15 – The Religion Teacher Videos
- 4:13 – Weekly Review
- 2:23 – Formation5 Daily Email Newsletter
- 2:03 – The Religion Teacher Social Media
Total Time: 89:08 Hours
May 2021 Highlights & Lessons Learned
I finished the first draft of Theoloji 101.
A little background on this project:
- I made it a challenge: Write an entire book on my phone.
- I wrote in public: I shared each chapter on a unique Twitter account.
- I wrote for a specific audience: I wrote for the iGeneration with short sentences and (of course) emojis.
Wow. It was an interesting experience. I can only describe the experience of writing long-form content on an iPhone as “painstaking.” It took me hours to write just a few hundred words at a time.
But I found some weaknesses in my knowledge of theology. There were a few areas that I needed to read more than I expected. It isn’t easy to distill complex ideas into short sentences and picking just the right emojis was a real challenge.
I used a few tools in the writing process:
- Brainstorm and collect research in Notion.
- Write the first draft in Notion.
- Rewrite with emojis on the iPhone in the Twitter app.
- Turn the Twitter threads into articles using Threadreader App.
- Copy and paste the article into Evernote and reformat.
- Copy and paste the chapter from Evernote into Scrivener to prepare the first draft.
- Compile the Scrivener draft into Microsoft Word to be submitted to a publisher.
Submit to a publisher. If the book gets turned down by the publisher or the negotiations don’t go well, then I will publish it directly with my own company. Either way, I will be happy with the future of the project
I have some fun ideas to add and improve the book, but I need some feedback on the work so far. I’m looking forward to gathering information and making it the best book it can be.
The Reply Challenge
I gave myself a challenge last month. For one week I set out to reply to ever single tweet I saw. The results were pretty incredible:
I found that the three kinds of replies that work best are:
- Questions (ask and answer)
- Congratulations and Praise
Overall for the month, I had 120,000+ impressions and a lot of profile visits. I actually lost followers in the aggregate, though, likely because of the large number of replies in people’s feeds.
Next step: Focus on an audience then create a system for content creation.
The Religion Teacher Blog & Videos
There were many months (even years) when I barely published anything new on The Religion Teacher blog. I spent a lot of my time focused on creating content for members and I neglected the free part of the website.
Today things are different. When I created content, I see it as a fully integrated experience. I focus on a topic and create different versions of teaching tools for the different platforms: free videos, free lesson plans, and member-only worksheets.
Here are some of the videos I published last month: