Tinkering With Ideas #042: Incremental progress

Hello, fellow tinkerer 👋 -

Happy Wednesday. My part of the U.S. is experiencing sweltering heat right now — 95F (35C). I'm not a fan of heat in general, and this is way above my "comfortable" zone.

When it's this hot, I love going to ultra-cold buildings like a museum or a movie. In fact, that's what I'm doing with my family today. It's a holiday in the U.S. (Juneteenth) and my kids' summer camp is closed, so we're headed to the James Bond exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry.

What are your favorite things to do when it's hot? Reply and let me know!

1) Reflection:

For the past two-ish months, I've been working on my business a lot. All of my brand assets (images, fonts, colors, etc) have been re-designed which required a ton of updating (and still not done).

I've also been streamlining some of my internal processes. They work well for me, but I brought on a VA and hope to bring on some other fractional help later this year. And a few months ago, I hired a bookkeeper. I know that I have to make my work easy for someone else to understand and document the how and why.

Working on your own versus working with other people are entirely different ball games. It's taken a lot of prep work, which means putting some other projects on hold. Yet I know that the prep time now will make things easier later.

Have you brought on a VA or other people to help you with work? I'd love to hear about your experience!

2) Product:

Because I have so many things I want to work on — both for my business and personally — I need a way to keep track.

For home projects, I use Todoist. I have various Projects set up, and a list of to-dos within that project. For example, this summer I want to repaint our bathroom, so it's on the list. Doesn't have a specific date (yet), but I know that it's something I want to get done. That way, it's on a list rather than in my brain.

I also have longer-term home projects, like replacing our windows. Within that project, I'll put a target timeframe like "next summer."

3) Tip:

Seems like every project costs money, doesn't it? I learned a long time ago that this is a lot easier if I save a little bit with every paycheck.

I have 12 savings accounts, each with a different purpose. I figure out my annual budget for something (like "travel" or "home maintenance") and then have automatic transfers set up to each account.

That way, things are roughly the same every month. I have a budget for general monthly spending, and the rest is divided into the savings accounts. Anything that's not a regularly occurring expense (like car insurance, paid twice a year) comes out of one of the savings accounts. Larger, necessary purchases don't throw off my budget, because money has been tucked away in a savings account.

Want more ideas?

With the brand re-design, I've been venturing into video (please clap). You can check out Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. (Instagram in particular is feeling lonely because the account is new 🤣)

Do you have Amazon Alexa devices at home? Check out these voice commands.

That's it for this issue of Tinkering! See you again in two weeks.


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Anna Burgess Yang

Practical tips to make your day better & make your life easier.

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