Episode 28: The Paper Whiteboard

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Hey everyone, good morning. This is Julie, this is my first podcast episode of 2019. I am so excited for this new year to start. I feel a little bit like the end of 2018 sort of kicked my butt. I had Christmas, then my kids got the flu, then I got pneumonia and Bronchitis, then before I was even better I had to hop on a plane, go to Miami and spend a week in the Caribbean on the Two Comma Club X cruise.

So now here I am, it’s January 14th, I feel like it’s still 2018 and yet we’re two weeks into the new year, and I’m feeling completely unprepared. So this morning, as I sat down to go through my to-do list, which was really just in my head, I started to feel that rising overwhelm. And I thought how many other people are feeling that way in the new year?
So I’ve had plans for a long time to write a book, but we all know that that’s just not going to happen any time soon. Mainly because, for those of you who don’t know, I have accepted a position at Clickfunnels as the VP of Marketing, as an executive partner, which means my world, life, business, everything is going full force into Clickfunnels, which is super awesome. It also means there’s no time to write a book.

So I thought, why don’t I just give it away? Give all this content away so you guys can benefit from it, I can benefit from talking to you about it. So today I want to bring to you a concept called the paper whiteboard. Now, I remember the first time I saw Russell, he was drawing on one of those big whiteboards, it was an ad in my newsfeed for Clickfunnels. And his handwriting was terrible, but I watched the ad all the way to the end. And there was something about watching him bring his idea to life on paper that really mesmerized me. I ended up buying whatever it was he was selling, of course.

And we know that whiteboards are really popular in the entrepreneur space because it creates this opportunity for creativity in a way that a typical project management tool like Trello or a calendar can’t really do. One of the reasons why whiteboard is so popular is because brains don’t like lines. Our brains are really complex. Neurons, cells, hormones, you know. And if you sit with yourself for five minutes and you observe all the thoughts that go in and out, I guarantee you they’re not numbered, bulleted or come in any particular order.
So several months ago as I was brainstorming an idea for a book, I knew I wanted to write a book on productivity, but everything was just like half-baked in my head. It was very difficult to see any kind of patterns. And I realized that observing your thoughts and your feelings is the key to creativity.

So in your business, it doesn’t have to be a book, it could be a new course, new program, new offer, new service, a strategy for a client, you need to be able to observe your thoughts and feelings. That’s the way that you’re going to see those layers and those patterns. So how do we create that system where we can observe what’s happening in our heads, study it to find the patterns?

So the bottom line, you need to get everything that’s in your brain onto a canvass that doesn’t put any restriction on you. So a whiteboard works really well. But why do I have a paper whiteboard?

A paper whiteboard at its core is simply a very large, heavy duty, mixed media sketchbook. So it’s the stuff that artists use. And the reason why I like the thick paper is because it’s not going to rip and I can use colored markers and/or sharpies and it’s not going to bleed through. It has all the features of a whiteboard in that it’s white, big, empty, you can doodle, draw, write, you can use color, and you can observe it from a distance.

And I’m sorry if my podcast episodes for the next month have me coughing, because Pneumonia kicked my ass.
So there are a few reasons why I prefer the sketchbook over the traditional whiteboard. And one is because each day I flip over a new sheet of paper. So the previous day’s ideas and thoughts don’t have to be erased. So basically every day you get a blank sheet of paper, which is the most amazing thing on so many levels, in fact, from a religious standpoint, I love that scripture in the bible that says, “His mercies are new every morning.” It’s like every day you get to start over.

You can also carry the mixed media sketchbook with you, and you can’t really carry a whiteboard with you. You don’t have to have any anxiety about it getting erased. That’s oftentimes my fear when I have a whiteboard. It’s like, someone’s going to come by and erase it all. You can color on the pages, it’s not going to rip. And then everything is saved. So each day I start a new sheet of paper, but I can always go back to the previous day and see what maybe I missed, okay.

So that’s the point of this. It’s a brain reflection of the day, so that you can study it and look back to find connections or patterns. You could also use it to get stuff done. And there’s no lines or dates or checklists or anything that will restrict you.

So on my blog, over at juliechenell.com, I have some pictures of what my notebook looks like. I always think it’s funny, people, I think they think because of how productive I am that I’m super organized, and I’m really not. All you gotta do is go look at my notebook to see I’m really not as structured and organized as one might think. I’m pretty all over the place.
So what you’re going to do at the end of every day, is you’re going to cross off anything you got done, you’re going to ignore anything that’s not really important, you’re going to circle the things that need to be transferred. Now, you can transfer to one of two places. You can put it on the next day’s sheet, just to keep reminding yourself and reinforcing it by re-writing it. Or just add it to Trello, Asana or whatever project management tool you’re using.

That’s all there is to it. I mean, that’s really it. And I know it sounds so basic, but it will change your life having that big white sheet of paper. Do not judge your thoughts as they’re coming out. They’re not coming out in any real form, and that’s okay. Just get them out, use the biggest notebook you can find because it gives you plenty of space to doodle, draw, you know you can section off the page. And then at the end of every day you know that you have it all stored, and you’ll be able to start and see connections.
So whether you’re starting your business, growing your business, scaling your business, everybody needs a paper white board on your desk, so go get one. If you go to my blog you can see a little bit more examples of this. But it literally is a game changer and has been a game changer for me. And now I have stacks of these mixed media sketchbooks and I can always go back and look at the thoughts as they started to crystallize to see those connections and patterns.
Appreciate you all, I’ll talk to you guys soon.