Connect with us

Opinion Editorials

My experience with the Bullet Journal method (editorial)

(OPINION EDITORIAL) After nearly 6 months of Bullet Journal usage, here’s what I’ve learned about myself and my professional life.

Published

on

A list does not an organized person make

I am a list maker. A list lover. A list connoisseur.

Before I even knew the Bullet Journal method existed, I owned and collected journals like my ten year-old self once collected Beanie Babies. I loved each one for exactly what it was, and used each for a very specific purpose. One was for bucket list goals, one for recording positive change and progress, another for my calendar and to do lists, one was an actual diary – I could go on. Because I am a crazy person.

bar

Dipping a toe

The Bullet Journal method was perfect for my list-writing shenanigans, and of course, the strange love I have for my own handwriting. It basically consolidated all eight of my journals into one mega-journal to rule them all. Rad.

Plus, the amazing stuff people are doing with these things is cute as hell. Consider me inspired.

bullet journal instagram
images from bujoinspire

Six months of BuJo later

And now, after nearly six months of Bullet Journal usage, here’s what I’ve learned about myself.

1. I needed it.
Splitting my life into seven journals was not as convenient as Voldemort makes it out to be. Having everything in one spot was actually really, really helpful.

I mentioned above I am a crazy person, so for transparency’s sake I confess that in addition to all my journals, I also kept about five different calendars in various places (work, home, desk, by my getting ready mirror, in my purse). Having a SINGLE journal in which to log my dates, appointments, and reminders was revolutionary. Before I planned for my week, a simple skipping around in my BuJo helped me ensure that I didn’t miss anything.

2. I don’t have time for this.
Not to brag, but I’m busy as hell. This happens when you’re very, very important. Sometimes even when you’re very, very unimportant. I won’t tell you which I am!

Maybe naïve, but I had stars in my eyes looking at the gorgeous charts, habit trackers, ink lettering, and handwriting challenges splayed across various BuJo Instagram accounts.

I really hoped I would eventually get the hang of the habit, but I simply don’t have 30 minutes to dedicate to the delicate, wispy tendrils of the “y” in Tuesday.

bullet journal instagram
images from bujoinspire

3. I can’t change who I am.
As much as I want to be the person who plans her work outfit the night before (trust me, I try once every couple of years and last no longer than a few days), regularly incorporates Pinterest recipes into my dinner plans (I prefer the “pin-it-and-forget-it” approach), and doesn’t go through “phases” of regularly not flossing (much like a 15 year old boy) – I just can’t.

Having a Bullet Journal doesn’t change that. It keeps me organized, yes. But it doesn’t change who I am or what my priorities are.

Positive lessons learned

Even after publicly admitting all of this to you, I’m going to keep using my Bullet Journal. It may have not changed me or made my teeth whiter, but here’s what it has done:

If I procrastinate on a task, it’s stuck in there forever. The task doesn’t go away. It doesn’t suddenly get crossed out by a Get Shit Done Fairy. When I finally get to it, even if it’s months later, I feel awesome.

I don’t forget as much stuff. I have a record of when I worked, sometimes even how I felt, occasionally what I ate. That’s cool.

I get to try out new habits. And sometimes they stick. Sure, my habit trackers aren’t pretty. But they are efficient.

I can make it my own. There’s no wrong way to BuJo. And I think that’s what I want to end this with. You can make it beautiful, you can make it ugly, you can do straight lines or crooked lines or spell everything incorrectly. Your charts, methods, checklists, and words are your own. And that’s pretty powerful.

#BuJoMethod

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!

Jenna keeps the machine well-oiled as the Operations Coordinator at The American Genius and The Real Daily. She earned her degree in Spanish at the University of North Texas and when she isn't crossing things off her to-do list, she is finding her center in the clean and spacious aisles of Target or rereading Harry Potter for the billionth time.

Opinion Editorials

Dispelling the myth that women don’t get raises because they don’t ask

(EDITORIAL) It has been accepted as fact that women don’t get raises because they don’t ask as often as men, but new studies indicate that’s not true at all.

Published

on

women female negotiations

Many of the seemingly universal “truths” of business often come down to assumptions made about workers based on their gender.

Among the most oft-repeated of these “truths” is that women and other femme-identifying people are bad at self-advocating, particularly in matters involving compensation.

These include: Women don’t negotiate their salaries. Women don’t get promotions or leadership positions because they don’t “lean in.” Women don’t ask for raises.

This last truth is finally being discussed as the myth it is.

Over at The Cut, Otegha Uwagba discusses her own experience successfully and not-so-successfully negotiating a raise, but more interestingly how increasingly research has shown that there is no “gap” in between the genders when it comes to asking. Rather, the disparity really arises when it comes to which ask is heard.

As Uwagba explains, “While men and women ask for pay raises at broadly similar rates, women are more likely to be refused or suffer blowback for daring to broach the topic.”

This blowback comes from the inability of some people in leadership positions to think critically about the ways in which business still actively dismisses women’s leadership qualities while simultaneously praising less-competent men who demonstrate these very characteristics.

The HBR article acts as good reminder that the cumulative effect of all of these misguided “facts” about women and business often perpetuate the toxic culture that creates and circulates them.

The implication of all of these myths creates a sense that women are the ones responsible for the unequal treatment they often receive. When the message that women receive is that the reason they don’t get a raise is that they didn’t ask—even when they DO—that tells them that their lived experience isn’t as valid as the pervasive “truth.”

This is, simply put, gaslighting.

Even more, telling women that women face challenges because they didn’t do something or know something, rather than the addressing the very real fact that professional women face sexism at almost every step of their career does not help them.

It only helps those already in positions of power blame women for their own archaic beliefs and actions.

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!

Continue Reading

Opinion Editorials

Funny females are less likely to be promoted

(CAREER) Science says that the funnier a female, the less likely she is to be promoted. Uhh…

Published

on

funny females promoted less often

Faceless keyboard warriors around the world have been — incorrectly — lamenting that women just aren’t funny for years now (remember the “Ghostbusters” remake backlash?).The good news is they are obviously wrong. The bad news? When women dare to reveal their comedic side in the workplace they are often perceived as “disruptive” while men are rewarded.

That’s right. Women not only have to worry about being constantly interrupted, receiving raises less frequently than men despite asking for them equally as often, and still making nearly $10,000 less than men each year, but now they have to worry about being too funny at the office.

A recent University of Arizona study asked more than 300 people to read the fictional resume of a clothing store manager with the gender-neutral name “Sam” and watch a video presentation featuring Sam. The videos came in four versions: a serious male speaker, a humorous male speaker, a serious female speaker and a humorous female speaker.

According to the researchers, “humorous males are ascribed higher status compared with nonhumorous males, while humorous females are ascribed lower status compared with nonhumorous females.” Translation: Male workers earn respect for being funny while their funny female coworkers are often seen in a more negative light.

There are, of course, several reasons this could be the case. The researchers behind this particular study pointed to the stereotype that women are more dedicated to their families than their work, and being perceived as humorous could convey the sense they don’t take their work as seriously as men.

Psychiatrist Prudy Gourguechon offered another take, putting the blame directly on Sam the clothing store manager, calling out their seemingly narcissistic behavior and how society’s tolerance for such behavior is “distinctly gender-based.” She says these biases go back to the social programming of our childhoods and the roles mothers and fathers tend to play in our upbringing.

So what are women supposed to do with this information?

Gourgechon’s status quo advice includes telling women to not stop being funny, but “to be aware of the the feelings and subjectivities of the people around you.” While recommending an empathetic stance isn’t necessarily bad advice, it still puts the onus on women to change their behavior, worry about what everyone else thinks and attempt to please everyone around them.

We already know that professional women can have an extremely hard time remaining true to themselves in the workplace — especially women in the tech industry — and authenticity is often a privilege saved for those who conform to the accepted culture. We obviously still have a long way to go before women stop being “punished” for being funny at work, but things seem to be progressing, however slowly.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama shared her thoughts last year on the improvements that have been made and the changes that still need to happen, including encouraging men to step up and do their part. In the wake of the #metoo movement, CNBC recommended five things men can do to support women at work. There are amazing women in STEM positions around the world we can all admire and shine a spotlight on.

All of these steps — both big and small — will continue to chip away at the gender inequality that permeates today’s workplaces. And perhaps one day in the near future, female clothing store manager Sam will be allowed to be just as funny as male clothing store manager Sam.

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!

Continue Reading

Opinion Editorials

Two common business myths that could get you sued

(EDITORIAL) Two misconceptions in the business world can either make or break a small business.

Published

on

trademark lawsuit cartridges initiative

When you’re an entrepreneur with a small staff, you may be in the habit of running your team casually.

While there’s nothing wrong with creating a casual environment for your team (most people function better in a relaxed environment), it’s wise to pay close attention to certain legal details to make sure you’re covered.

It’s easy to misinterpret certain aspects of labor law since there is a lot of misinformation about what you can and cannot do inside of an employee-employer relationship. And since labor laws vary from state to state, it can be even more confusing.

As an entrepreneur, it might be strange to think of yourself as an employer. But when you’re the boss, there’s no way around it.

Here are two employment myths you might face as an entrepreneur along with the information you need to discern what’s actually true. Because these myths carry a lot of risk to your business, it’s important that you contact an attorney for advice.

1. Employees can waive their meal breaks without compensation

It’s a common assumption that any agreement in writing is an enforceable, legally binding contract, no matter what it contains. And for the most part, that’s true.

However, there are certain rights that cannot be signed away so easily.

For example, many states in the US have strict regulations around when and how employees can forfeit their unpaid meal breaks.

While meal breaks aren’t required at the Federal level, they are mandated at the state level and each state has different requirements that must be followed by employers. While some states allow employees to waive their meal breaks, on the other end of that the employer is usually required to compensate the employee.

For example, in California an employee can waive their 30-minute unpaid meal break only if they do so in writing and their scheduled shift is no more than 6 hours. In other words, when a shift is more than 6 hours, the meal break cannot be waived.

Additionally, when an employee waives their unpaid meal break, they must be paid for an on duty meal break and be compensated with an extra hour of pay for the day.

Vermont, on the other hand, provides no specific provisions for meal breaks and according to the Department of Labor, “Employees are to be given ’reasonable opportunities’ during work periods to eat and use toilet facilities in order to protect the health and hygiene of the employee.”

As you can see, some states have specific regulations while others have general rules that can be interpreted differently by each employer. It’s best not to make any assumptions and contact a labor law attorney to help you determine exactly what laws apply to you.

2. You own the copyright to all employee works

So you’ve hired both an employee and an independent contractor to design some graphics for your website. You might assume you automatically own the copyright to those graphics. After all, if you paid money, shouldn’t you own it?

While you may have paid a small fortune for your graphics, you may not be the legal copyright holder.

Employees vs. independent contractors:

When your employee creates a work (like graphic design) as part of their job, it’s automatically considered a “work made for hire,” which means you own the copyright. An independent contractor, however, is different.

While any legitimate work made for hire will give you the copyright, just because you created a work for hire agreement with your independent contractor doesn’t mean the work actually falls under the category of a work made for hire.

According to the Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. § 101) a work made for hire is defined as “a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas.”

This means that unless your graphic design work (or other work you paid for) meets these requirements, it’s not a work made for hire.

In order to obtain the copyright, you need to obtain a copyright transfer directly from the creator, even though you’ve already paid for the work.

The boundaries of intellectual property rights can be confusing. You can protect your business by playing it safe and not making any assumptions before consulting an attorney to help you discern the specific laws in your state.

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!