Friday miscellany

I am sitting in a hotel room in Canada and have an hour until I need to get my kids, so I thought I'd post a few quick Friday things.

First, for any Canadian readers, I'm excited to be speaking at The Art of Leadership for Women conference in Toronto on April 13. I'm particularly getting a kick out of seeing my face next to Malala's in their marketing materials! I am really, really looking forward to hearing her speak. But anyway, if you're in the Toronto area, please consider getting a ticket to the conference and coming to see me! (And Malala. Because I'd rather see Malala than me. But if you're coming to see Malala, you could see me too while you're at it...)

I am also speaking at the upcoming Watermark Conference for Women in California, but I know that one is sold out. If you happen to have a ticket, please let me know - would love to try to meet up.

I'm meeting with the publicity team at my publisher for Off the Clock (out May 29!) next week. Publicity is much the same as advertising in the sense that you don't ever entirely know what is working and what is not. So if you feel like sharing how you found me I would really appreciate it. An article you read -- by me or someone else? Through another blog? A friend's recommendation? A bookstore display? If you don't want to post a comment you can email me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com . I'm always trying to figure out what is effective and what is not.

A reading update: I am approximately a third of the way through Moby Dick. I'm still enjoying it -- though I kind of need to take it in small chunks. Ahab does not make an appearance until about 25 percent in, and the white whale is not named until 30 percent in. Talk about a build-up! This is after a whole set piece on cetology, and a description of about a dozen different kind of whales. And yet, all this randomness is kind of fun. I can see why people didn't know what to make of it when it came out (and it didn't sell all that well at first).

My 8- and 6-year-olds made a robot together this week. They pretty much did the whole thing themselves, with Daddy downloading the instruction app to his phone. Then they made it run around the house, and go through obstacle courses. It was cool!

 

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53 Responses to Friday miscellany


  1. Amanda says:

    Laura, I actually found your blog/books through Sarah’s blog once you started collaborating. I’m also a doctor mom like Sarah and have loved her blog for some time. Now I’m a regular reader of your work too!

    • @Amanda- great, welcome! That’s been a fun thing about the podcast – sharing audiences. There is quite an overlap in interests!

  2. Linda M says:

    I found you in 2010 when you did an interview for Gretchen Rubin’s blog (The Happiness Project). That was after you wrote “168 Hours” but before “All the money in the world”. I’ve read all your books including “The Cortland Boys”. The funny thing is I can’t remember how I discovered Gretchen Rubin. It’s been interesting for me to follow your blog and watch your family grow since mine are all grown. Some things about parenting have changed and some haven’t.

    • @Linda M – fascinating! I checked my blog stats the day I did that interview, and I only got about 200 extra readers, but I have heard from a fair number of people who found me that way, so either it was 200 of the exact right targeted people, or people have gone through her archives. Probably both!

      I really appreciate your reading The Cortlandt Boys.

  3. Amy says:

    I first heard you on Paula Pant’s Afford Anything podcast. I promptly went out and bought all your books. Loved your refreshing approach and have been a reader ever since!

    • @Amy- I am learning that podcasts are a great way to get people interested in your ideas. Definitely a reason to try to be a guest on more of them. So glad you’ve been enjoying the books and blog!

  4. Shelley says:

    I read your book “All the Money in the World” based on a recommendation from a personal finance blog, although I can’t remember which one. From there, I occasionally checked your blog and was reminded of it after the podcast launched. I’m loving the podcast!

    • @Shelley- So glad you’re loving the podcast! Yes, there was a brief personal finance interlude in between time management stuff. I have thought about trying to reach out to some of those places again, as it’s been a long time. And time and money are always somewhat related!

      • Linda M says:

        I still often think about your question from that book: “if I had all the money I wanted, what would I change about my life” because chances are you can do something about it now. We outsourced our lawn care after thinking about that question.

  5. Hillary says:

    I found your book 168 hours at the library and really liked it so I checked you out online.

    • @Hillary – excellent. I’m trying to figure out good ways to get on librarians’ radar, as I know they talk up a lot of books to people. My books have often been reviewed in Library Journal, but maybe any librarian readers can chime in with ideas too.

    • Meghan says:

      That’s exactly how I found Laura! Also, I’m an erstwhile reference librarian (I’m just working a different job right now). Have you thought about coming up with a program you’d be willing to put on at a library? Like a mini-version of your bigger paid events, since library budgets are different from other ones. You could approach regional library associations (the PA one, and maybe other states within day-travel distance) and let them know you’re available to come to a professional development day. Or, offer a small time management program (1 hour) to your local library for the public — January is a good month for resolution-themed events, though it is almost over. If I were still in a library and doing programming, I’d consider something like this in June or September, or even March (a don’t give up on your resolutions kind of thing). When your next book comes out, you can give book talks at libraries.

      Reviews are good for getting librarians to purchase your materials; getting to know them and them getting to know you is what will make them recommend your books to patrons.

      • @Meghan – thanks for the librarian professional development idea – that’s a good one.

    • Byrd says:

      Me too! I was searching about morning routines in the catalog.

  6. Nancy says:

    I found your blog through Sarah’s blog and have since become a fan of your blog, books and podcast. I started reading 168 Hours feeling like your ideas could never apply to me, a project manager with a 4 hour daily commute, and eventually realized that everyone has 168 hours a week and some level of discretion about how to use them!

    • @Nancy- I appreciate your giving my book a chance! And yes, I’ve really enjoyed seeing the audience cross-over.

  7. Barb says:

    Laura, I “found you” via Gifted Exchange, though I don’t recall how I got THERE. Maybe a google search? Or the fellow who teaches at UCSC? Or the fellow in Lima, Ohio? And though I don’t have young kids anymore, or need to manage my time in quite the same way, I still enjoy your excellent writing!

    • @Barb – wow! Thanks for sticking around for the past decade — and not for holding some of the early stuff against me 🙂

  8. Kim says:

    I’ve found your blog many, many years ago through the frugal girl’s blog. I think through a small list of her favorite blogs. Now you are one of the few blogs I follow on a daily basis. Keep up the good work!

    • @Kim – I love The Frugal Girl blog. I read her daily. She has fantastic reach, and such a connection with her readers (her comments section is possibly the nicest comment section on the internet).

  9. Krishna says:

    I have been reading your blogs for almost a year now(and of course the podcasts from when it started). I am in Bangalore, India and saw an article about you featured in the newspaper here – I guess you had visited India then.

    • @Krishna – So glad you found me! I know even less about how international media gets read and received. I haven’t been to India recently (was last there about 10 years ago) but I do recall giving a few interviews when some of my books were published in Asian markets. The beautiful thing about the internet is being able to keep in touch with readers anywhere.

  10. Louisa says:

    I believe I “met” you through Gretchen Rubin’s blog. Ironically, I only occasionally read hers now, but always see what you’re up to!

    • @Louisa – see the other comment on this thread – maybe you were one of those special 200 people!

  11. Jena says:

    Hi Laura – I “found” you via the What Should I Read Next podcast. Now I’m reading _I Know How She Does It_ and following your blog. Thank you for your insights!

    • @Jena – welcome! I read Anne’s blog daily and love her podcast. I was so excited to be a guest, and I really appreciate your reading my book as a result.

  12. I found you when I was browsing organisational books on Amazon, then found your twitter feed and through that clicked through to your website! I’m a mum of 3 young children, freelancer, living in SE London, UK and an organisational geek 🙂 Your concept of thinking in 168 hour terms has changed how my life in terms of fitting everything in and not making excuses for not doing certain things anymore!

    • @Becky – thank you! And that is great to know. I should definitely pay attention to how my book is tagged on Amazon, as that probably matters a lot for the algorithm, and since it’s a point-of-sale place to reach people, has outsized influence. Thank you so much for letting me know this.

  13. Morana says:

    I found you through Amazon recommendations on what to read next based on what I’ve been reading which at that time was “The Happiness Project”. The recommended book was “What Most Successful People Do in the Morning” and the audiobook included first chapter of “168 hours”. After reading that I was hooked at read all non-fiction you wrote, including “Grindhopping” which I wish came in the audiobook format, too. I mostly select books based on recommendations in other books I read. And having that sample chapter in the other book was significant, because I’m not sure I would have continued to read all your books and blog (only blog I read) if it wasn’t for that.

    • @Morana – wow, you read Grindhopping! Possibly only about 500 people have so I really appreciate that. I am not sure how the audio of the next book will be formatted, but I will definitely ask to have a sample chapter in there as you’re right – what a no-brainer for getting people interested in other titles.

      • Morana says:

        @Laura – actually I bought an extra copy of “Grindhopping” for a friend, something I very rarely do. I’m not sure why it isn’t as popular as your other books, it is very relevant with the job market today. I know it influenced my career path and looking at jobs from “project” rather than “employment” perspective.

  14. Corinne says:

    Hi Laura! I found you last year when you guested on Tonya Dalton’s podcast, Productivity Paradox. Your thoughts about time management and how people think they are much busier than they actually are intrigued me. Since then I’ve been a follower of yours and Sarah’s podcast as well!

    • @Corrine – podcasts! They definitely do make people feel like they know you. Thanks for letting me know (and for listening to BoBW!)

  15. Rebekah says:

    I found you several years ago via a guest post you did on the Money Saving Mom blog. While I don’t frequent her site anymore, I’ve kept up with yours! Am definitely enjoying the podcast as well!

  16. Nicole says:

    I found your book “168 hours” shortly before I started law school on a recommended reading list for women trying to “balance” a demanding career and fulfilling personal life. I now own most of your nonfiction books and been following your blog since just before your youngest was born. I enjoy reading about your trips to Indiana with exteneded family, since I am also a member of a Dutch family from northern Indiana who no longer lives in the state and have friends who attended the academy.

  17. Marie says:

    Hi Laura. I first heard about you on the organize 365 podcast. I am really enjoying your podcast with Sarah!

  18. Jessica says:

    I read about your book, 168 Hours, in Gretchen Rubin’s book. I immediately read it and found it to be inspirational. I found your blog and other resources from there.

  19. Debi Simons says:

    I’m pretty sure that I heard about you from Gretchen Rubin’s website–specifically your “What the Most Productive People Do Before Breakfast.” So I got that and really enjoyed it, then signed up for your emails, and have read several of your other books. I always enjoy reading about what you’re doing with your time!

  20. Hilary says:

    I learned of you just after “I Know How She Does It” came out. I believe it was through a WSJ or NYT article. At the time I had been back working full time for exactly one year and newly pregnant with our third. I quickly read that and many of your previous works. They were all of great benefit for me to read, and really perfect timing for where I was in life. Thank you for your work!

  21. Tricia says:

    I found you through the Shubox blog. I found Sarah because our girls are the same age and I was trolling the internet looking for someone to make me feel sane as a new mom. The idea of tracking time sounds awful to me but I really enjoy the podcasts and both of your blogs. I’m guessing I’ve been reading Sarah’s for 5 years now.

  22. Mari says:

    I am a Norwegian reader, and I found your book «I know how she does it» in my audio book app. The book was great and I searched up your blog when reading it 🙂

  23. Keren says:

    hi,
    I found out about you after seeing your Ted talk. (saw it a few months back, it was one of the “featured” talks in the TED app)

  24. Claire says:

    I recently found you and I think it was from Modern Mrs.Darcy/Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next podcast. Now I read your blog and listen to podcast. Love time management tips!

  25. smh says:

    My sister mentioned who you were/what you did when we saw you at a fellowship/reunion dinner.

  26. Alex says:

    Hello. I ‘heard’ about your “I know how she does it” book/approach in Cal Newport’s blog. I read the book, then discovered your blog, then read your other books and am now waiting for the new one.

  27. Alex says:

    Oh, and would you please tell us what kind of robot that was? Thanks.

    • @Alex – it was this R2D2 style Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit (purchased on Amazon). My husband had been having a conversation about girls and tech and decided we needed to make sure our daughter had programming related toys. So he bought it for her, and then her 8-year-old brother who loves all things star wars and robots “helped” put it together.

  28. Caitlin says:

    I am a librarian and found 168 Hours at my library and have been a fan ever since 🙂 As a librarian I also put books on display or mention them to potential readers, so hopefully some people have found you that way.

    Re: Moby Dick–I read it in high school and liked it, but when I read it again in college with the Norton Critical Edition and all of the notes about whaling terminology and explanations of references, I enjoyed it much more. Something to consider. I highly recommend reading Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund after, if you haven’t already. There is a sentence or two from Moby Dick that mentions that Ahab has a wife and Jeter Naslund created an entire beautiful novel around it. It’s one of my favorite books.

    • @Caitlin- I’m enjoying it even without knowing what on earth he’s talking about some of the time. I know nothing about Melville either, but I get this impression of him as being irrepressibly interested in random stuff. Like, let me tell you about ROPES. Right after we’ve just had this harrowing chase of a whale.

      I really appreciate your recommending my books to readers in the library — that’s awesome!

  29. Kate says:

    I heard about you on Kimberly Wilson’s Tranquility du Jour podcast.

  30. Irene says:

    I came across your book a while ago but didn’t start “following” you until the podcast with Sarah started up.

  31. Clare says:

    I found your blog in 2012 through a post about dads going mountain biking! I was grouchy that my husband was spending a chunk of time biking every weekend while I was looking after our two young children. I must have searched the web hoping to find lots of support for my self-pity! I find your approach really refreshing and level-headed. That post helped me realise that going biking is important for him, and I need to be better at setting time to pursue my own interests.

    I’ve been enjoying your writing, and now podcast, since. I think you’ve also been my intro to Gretchen Rubin and The Frugal Girl.

  32. Mine is a very embarrassing story – you sent me a review copy of 168 hours when I was in the newborn twins fog… and I lost it on my computer.

    But then you popped up somewhere – probably Gretchen Rubin – because I’ve been a fan of hers forever – and I sort of checked in now and again, but properly about 4 years ago, when I started reading your blog daily, and am a fan of your podcast too.

    By the way, I eventually found your PDF version of the book on my external hard drive last year, and finally read it (8 years later!).

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