3 Things Saving My Life Right Now

January and February are my least favorite months of the year. It’s cold outside. It gets dark way too damn early. It’s cold and flu season. My husband leaves the country for work every January for two weeks. The beginning of the year is the pits.

I recently read a blog post from my favorite blogger/podcaster Anne Bogel on modernmrsdarcy.com entitled 3 Things Saving My Life Right Nowย where she tries to reframe the negative woes of winter by focusing on the positives in her life at the moment.

I thought I’d play along, and I encourage you to, too. Here’s to hoping putting a positive spin on winter will get us through the next few cold, miserable weeks.


1. Books

This is an obvious answer, but I put it here because this is the first winter where I’ve really taken a deep dive on my book journey. There’s nothing better than coming home on a dreary day, starting a fire in the fireplace, and cracking open a book (or my Kindle app) to read under a cozy blanket.


2. LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-7 for Xbox

My husband and I saw this game on sale for about $20 around the holidays, and couldn’t resist the awesome deal. Now we spend our nights together playing a level or two and slowly making our way through all seven years of Harry Potter’s time at Hogwarts.

It’s a fun game for the whole family. My 12-year-old daughter also likes to play while my 3-year-old is memorized by the graphics. I love seeing the movies (which the games are based on) come to life in LEGO form, and using our wands and spells to make our way through the wizarding world.


3. Later.com

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I’ve had a #bookstagram account for a few months now (you can follow my account here). I’m still trying to learn my way through it, including what types of pictures to take and what to write in the captions. I was never good about posting consistently because it felt like such a hassle to remember to log in on my phone, think of something to say on the spot, and post right then and there.

Later.com has been a lifesaver. You can schedule your posts in advance, which includes writing your captions and adding your hashtags. It’s easy to space out your paragraphs (no more typing everything into the notes app first and then copy and pasting into Instagram) and you can store all your pictures in one space.

I use the free version, which has some limitations (you can’t view analytics, and there’s a hashtag suggestion feature that only comes with the paid version; man, would that be useful!), but you can schedule up to 30 posts a month, and it’s extremely easy to use. My bookstagram posts have jumped in number since I started using this app, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to get a better handle on their own account.


What’s getting you through this winter? Share in the comments!

 

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.*

Reading Trackers to Use in 2020

I was so excited when the clock struck midnight on January 1st because that meant I finally got the opportunity to use my new tracking methods for the year.

I’m changing things up a bit in 2020. In years past I predominantly used Goodreads to track my books. Goodreads is still my favorite app, so that’s not going to change, but I’m also implementing some new trackers that I’m excited to start using. Check them out below:

Currently Reading Illustrated Reading Journal

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Tracking what I’m reading while getting to color? Sign me up! This tracker from Currently Reading podcasters Kaytee Cobb and Meredith Monday Schwartz has reading challenges, recommendations, entries for your Bookish Moment of the Week, and, of course, illustrations to color in along the way. As a Patreon supporter of the podcast, I got to download this journal for free, but you can also buy the download for $7. Download your copy here.


Sarah’s Book Shelves Rock Your Reading Tracker

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You can tell Sarah loves making Excel spreadsheets and has a real talent for it. This spreadsheet lets you track traditional reading stats (title, author, number of pages, etc.), but it also prompts you to track things like recommendation source, author gender, and diversity. You can see your overall stats as you enter them throughout the year to see what types of books are working best for you. This one has a little bit of a price attached to it ($14.99), but it’s totally worth it for the quality. Find the tracker here.


The Book Lover’s Journal

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I started using this tracker last year as a way to write down my thoughts about the books I was reading. I love this tracker…except for the fact that I ran out of room. You can only record 60 books per journal; to most people that would be plenty, for me it wasn’t quite enough. So, I bought two journals for this year. Besides recording all the basics (author, publisher, number of pages, etc.), you can also rate each book you’ve read by quality of writing, development of characters, ease of reading, and so much more. And it’s cute and compact enough to fit in a purse. Check it out on Amazon.


Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge

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Goodreads will always be my go-to when it comes to tracking books. I refer back to the app a lot when I’m recording my books in other tracking methods. It’s so easy to use, and it has the information of the book built right in. It’s the best tracking app I’ve come across, and I’ve tried plenty others! Follow me on Goodreads here.


Yes, I’m such a big book nerd that I have four ways to track my books. What can I say? I love statistics just as much as I love reading!

What are some of the ways you track your reading? Let me know in the comments below!

 

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”