Task List Trello Board

This month I’ve been organizing my schedule, tasks, and goals with Trello.

I love how visual it is (GIFs!!!) and how I can drag and drop to see when I’ve completed tasks. It’s seriously great if you’re a visual person like me who likes tangible ways of tracking progress.

(Here’s how I use spreadsheets to track my editing progress)

I have a few boards I’m trying out. The weekly planner is plastered with Captain America GIFs as rewards for getting my work done (hee hee), and my master task list has Wonder Woman GIFs since she’s so motivating.

That latter list is something maybe you’d find helpful. I’m still working out the kinks with the weekly planner, but if I figure out how to make that work best for me, I’ll share it as a template, too.

I’ve also got plans to create a template board for story planning!

task list

If you’ve ever seen my work place, you know that I am HUGE on color coding. Trello makes color coding easy. I like to include a key on each board so I can remember what each color means without clicking on each card.

So on this board, I make major, time-consuming tasks red. They might not be the highest priority, but if I need to get them done, I need to schedule them first. When you’re filling up a jar, you have to start with the rocks before you fill in the gaps with sand.

The minor, quick tasks are orange.

Fun things I want to do but have to use as rewards for myself are dark blue.

Then I can add another label for any tasks that represent the things that are not urgent but are important to me.

(Urgency and importance: using the Eisenhower Matrix to get things done and meet your goals)

I’ve got labels for family, editing, writing, and teaching.

Trello also has a “Color Blind Friendly Mode”!

How to use this system

  1. Add all of your incoming tasks to the Incoming list as soon as they come in.
  2. Once you have several or a few spare minutes then you can go through and label the cards in the Incoming list—remember, doing things in batches saves you time!
  3. Then get tasks out of the Incoming list and into the 45-minute and 15-minute tasks.
  4. If you think something will take you longer than 45 or 15 minutes, create another card for the task. (Click on the card and click the “copy” button under Actions)

You can work directly from this master task list, or you can move the task cards to another board (in my case, the scheduling board). I like having two separate boards so that the scheduling board doesn’t get inundated with incoming tasks.

Copy the template

If you have a Trello account, you can copy my board and use it yourself.

  1. Visit my Master Task List template board
  2. Click “Show Menu” on the right side of the screen
  3. Click “More”
  4. Choose “Copy this Board”
  5. Start adding tasks!

Do you use Trello? Have any tips or advice for others? Any great template boards you want to share? Comment below!

I haven’t been paid to talk up Trello. I’m on the free plan and have found it useful enough to share with my audience here!

Swallowing Frogs, Biggest to Smallest

This quote from Mark Twain is one that I have kept coming back to over the past year (whether I follow the advice is another story).

A frog. Not a toad, though bumpy, because apparently if it's moist, it's a frog. Yum.


If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.—Mark Twain

Look on the bright side, you might have to eat some frogs today, but at least you’re not eating toads?

“Toad’s skin lets out a bitter taste and smell that burns the eyes and nostrils of its predators, much like a skunk does.” —KidZone

What are the biggest frogs you need to swallow this morning?

70pit17 Codenames Advancing to the Judging Round

Next time I will likely not do a lottery—I thought it would save me time, but I was very, very wrong 🙂

Most disqualifications came from too-long entries. I relaxed on some of the rules so that we could have 77 total entries in the YA and adult categories.

Have feedback on what worked and didn’t work this year? Please let me know.


  1. A dream within a dream
  2. a little world made cunningly
  3. A white flower grows in the quietness
  4. A World of Pure Imagination
  5. all the magic I have known
  6. Amid this tangled web of fate
  7. Being a foreigner, in my dreamland.
  8. But I Must Have That Pony
  9. Come hither, Son,” I heard Death say
  10. Deep roots are not reached by the frost
  11. Der Sommer war sehr gross.
  13. Emperor of Ice Cream
  14. Hope is the thing with feathers”
  15. Hummingbirds Hover and Fish Flop
  16. Hung in the golden Galaxy
  17. I am his Highness’s dog at Kew
  18. I refuse to give up my obsession.
  19. I saw eternity the other night
  20. I shot an arrow into the air
  21. I’d rather play at hug o’ war
  22. In that wild throb when all existences
  23. is but a dream within a dream
  24. Kid, you’ll move mountains
  25. Learn well your grammar, and never stammer
  26. Let me grow lovely, growing old
  27. Love and marriage, love and marriage
  28. Married at 19
  29. Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
  30. My life had stood a loaded gun
  31. Nay, we are seven!
  32. not with a bang but a whimper
  33. Of lofty dragons belching flame
  34. On the other hand, you’ve different fingers
  35. Out of the ash I rise
  36. Pass the salt I say, and yet
  37. Rage against the dying of the light—There were two entries with this code name. One was disqualified.
  38. she tries to teach me risk
  39. strange things done in the midnight sun
  40. That lie, as dark as afterlife
  41. The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker
  42. The Haunted Palace
  43. The joy, the freedom, of the mind.
  44. The Lockless Door
  45. the whittled fantasies of wooden cages
  46. The yellow years have gathered fast:
  47. There’s too many kids in this tub
  48. They say I am safer here
  49. Twas brillig
  50. Two Roads
  51. What have I done that you wouldn’t
  52. your peculiar mouth my heart made wise;
  53. Your ugly token my mind hath broken

Have feedback on what worked and didn’t work this year? Please let me know.


Twinners Code Names (in alphabetical order)

Some potential Twinners had already been chosen for the lottery. These are the top ones that had not made it through the lottery on the first draw. So many great tweets!

  1. All human things are subject to decay

  2. And I Eat Men Like Air
  3. Hope is the thing with feathers
  4. Hulk hate paperwork! Hulk smash paper shredder!
  5. I was asleep while you were dying.
  6. Moon never beams without bringing me dreams
  7. On Stars Where No Human Race Is

Scroll to the bottom for a word cloud of our favorite YA tweets!

Lottery Winners

  1. a hole in the soul
  2. A Kind of Measles Of The Spirit
  3. A little learning is a dangerous thing
  4. All That We See or Seem
  5. And bobbing poppies flare like Elmo’s light.
  6. And the tender fumbling of the surf
  7. Away to the window I flew
  8. Bloodied but Unbowed
  9. but, having fallen, it was blood.
  10. Cause we could take the bad stuff
  11. Celestial onion
  12. Cloudless climes and starry skies
  13. Come hither, hither, pretty fly
  14. Double, double toil and trouble.
  15. Doubt thou the stars are fire
  16. Fall, Gall Themselves, and Gash Gold-Vermilion
  17. Freedom lies in being bold
  18. Garden of ash and shame
  19. half blade and half silk
  20. hear the library humming in the night
  21. His fingertips like tongues kiss my body
  22. Hold fast to dreams
  23. Hope is the thing with feathers
  24. I do not resemble your other lovers
  25. If I die Tomorrow
  26. I hold with those who favor fire
  27. I made an airplane out of stone
  28. I see a shinning in the darkness under the rubble.
  29. i’ve no patience for stars
  30. In a Sieve they went to sea
  31. In the haunts of goblin men
  32. Let be be finale of seem
  33. life from the roll of the dice
  34. Listen to the MUSTN’TS
  35. many-lettered, one-syllabled lumps
  36. Measured out my life with coffee spoons
  37. Miles to go before I sleep
  38. My Words become Stained with Your Love
  39. nobody, not even the rain
  40. Nothing Gold Can Stay
  41. Our laughter is muted by their agony
  42. our love is more by far
  43. Phenomenal Woman
  44. red ones in a row
  45. Reflections on a gift of watermelon pickle
  46. She took me to her Elfin grot
  47. Silver Girl
  48. somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
  49. soul selects her own society, shuts door
  50. Stand up for the stupid and crazy
  51. Summer Gleams and Glows
  52. Swifter Than The Moon’s Sphere
  53. Tell this soul with sorrow laden
  54. The Best Witchcraft is Geometry
  55. The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships
  56. The hell where youth and laughter go
  57. The sorrows of your changing face
  58. The Tender Protest of the Stars
  59. the way that runs among the lost
  60. The wings’ shades pursue the flying swallow
  61. There is no frigate like a book
  62. There’s a bluebird in my heart
  63. This being human is a guest house
  64. To lose – if One can find again –
  65. Trouble deaf heaven
  66. We’ll break taboo, and other stuff!
  67. When the stars threw down their spears
  68. While I am I
  69. You will softly and suddenly vanish away
  70. I think of you when shadows slant

Have feedback on what worked and didn’t work this year? Please let me know.


Twinners Code Names (in alphabetical order)

Some potential Twinners had already been chosen for the lottery. These are the top ones that had not made it through the lottery on the first draw. So many great tweets!

  1. a joke before the rain
  2. Looks on Tempests and is Never Shaken
  3. Now let the night be dark
  4. Oblivion is the name of this abode
  5. That shall remain forever England
  6. The dwarves of yore made mighty spells
  7. The slithy toves did gyre and gimble

Scroll to the bottom for a word cloud of our favorite Adult tweets!

Lottery Winners

  1. a tree deep-rooted yet dancing still
  2. All too often my back betrays me
  3. Beloved, what are names but air?
  4. But oh, the agitated heart
  5. Darkly bright, are bright in dark directed.
  6. Fear of my children’s handwriting on envelopes.
  7. Her voice revives the leaden strings
  8. isole di umanità erano dentro te
  9. mama said I’d lose my head
  10. miles to go before I sleep
  11. Poetry fills me with sorrow
  12. Six weeks our guardsman walked the yard
  13. Straightaway the silver bird looked grave
  14. The lonely belfry
  15. Whose Woods Are These
  16. A bride married to amazement
  17. A clever man was Dr. Digg
  18. Am perpetually awaiting a rebirth of wonder
  19. and I would rather look at you
  20. And on the pedestal these words appear
  21. And Shun the Frumious Bandersnatch
  22. Annabel Lee
  23. arriving wildbright and never again
  24. But air just danced wrong around them.
  25. but my words like silent raindrops fell
  26. Cheat time, go home, or stay gone
  27. Dance Like a Wave in the Sea
  28. Death kindly stopped for me
  29. Deep roots are not reached by frost.
  30. Do I Dare to Eat a Peach
  31. flame on flame and wing on wing
  32. Frame me! Take the copyright from God
  33. frog jumps in, sound of water
  34. Gender Bender
  35. Haunted By Ill Angels Only
  36. hearts, Made weak by time and fate,
  37. I know why the caged bird sings
  38. I’m the enemy you killed, my friend
  39. Listen to the voice that speaks inside
  40. Lone and Level Sands Stretched Far Away
  41. Love said, You shall be he
  42. Most this amazing day
  43. My sentence served in days long past
  44. Not on His Payroll
  45. One garland of flowers, leaves, thorns
  46. Renewed shall be blade that was broken
  47. shrill demented sparrows bark the sun
  48. slowly evening comes
  49. The Canals of Mars
  50. The caustic ticking of the clock
  51. The only leaf it drops goes wide
  52. The world-spring running down
  53. There are heroes who walk among us.
  54. There in the little house roses bloom
  55. There sat the Shadow feared of man
  56. There’s trouble in the wind
  57. Time’s too short for those who wait
  58. To the delirious eye, more lovely things
  59. Unable are the loved to die
  60. Under the light of a thousand stars
  61. Upper boulders in the sun
  62. We are more alike, my friends
  63. When Fortune mark’d me for her own
  64. When the stars threw down their spears
  65. Where the sidewalk ends
  66. Which taught thy felon heart to feel
  67. wrap them in a blue cloud cloth
  68. Your freedom’s in a bind

Have feedback on what worked and didn’t work this year? Please let me know.

Word Clouds of Our Favorite Tweets

Young Adult




Have feedback on what worked and didn’t work this year? Please let me know.

Feedback on #70pit17

Well hi there!

Maybe you were expecting to see the Twinners and lottery winners here.

Frankly, so was I. But I am still deliberating and narrowing down the Twinners, and I have to do that before I can announce the lottery winners.

One of the issues was how many entries I had to disqualify, both from the Twinner nominees and the lottery winners.

Now, submission guidelines are not new for writers.

But I know that some of the #pg70pit rules are quirky and/or complicated. They were for the following reasons:

  • For you to have fun with the contest
  • To help make things easier on contest judges
  • To narrow down the list of entries for us, since narrowing it down ourselves to just a few is so difficult!

Still, so many entries that won the lottery—even ones that were our top picks for Twitter winners!—were disqualified this year that I wanted to take a look at the rules and get your feedback on them.

The whole reason of doing #pg70pit is to amplify voices that might be missing out from other contests. (You know the ones—they have a different focus than pg70pit, and they are very successful! But not all manuscripts are made to fare well in those types of contests.)

Can you respond to the following survey to give me some feedback and improve the contest for everyone involved?

In the meantime, I’ll be figuring out the Twinners to post here ASAP.