Building in public: behind the scenes of Calmer Notes in January 2022


Hi friends! 👋 Thanks for your interest and support of Calmer Notes. I’m so grateful to have such a warm group of friends and supporters along for this journey. 😊

I’ve been trying to keep on top of monthly check-ins as I continue to build Calmer Notes in public. (Want to know more about what “building in public” means? Check out fellow indie hacker Kevin Cheung’s guide to building in public.)

Here’s a quick rundown of updates on Calmer Notes as of January 2022— I’m so excited to share some recent milestones and future directions.

Calmer Notes sales report

I’m delighted to share that Calmer Notes has sold 149 copies since launching! It sometimes feels surreal to know that 149 people in the world have copies of the digital textbook, workbook, and PKM Notion database that lived for so long only on my hard-drive (and the cloud).

I’ve really appreciated when lovely readers like Monica and Carolee have shared on Twitter that they were reading Calmer Notes while travelling. It feels amazing to know that Calmer Notes is actually out and about in the real world!

About the Calmer Notes affiliate program

In December 2021, I launched the Calmer Notes affiliate program. I had some kind early adopters who were keen to help spread the word about Calmer Notes. It only felt right to create an affiliate program to say thank you for their kind help in sharing Calmer Notes.

Calmer Notes affiliate monthly showcase

I thought it would be nice to have a monthly showcase of Calmer Notes affiliates. They’re all interesting people, working on their own great projects in the personal knowledge management, productivity, and creativity spaces.

I’ll choose three people each month. Excited to feature these lovely people here and in upcoming months, and help spread the word about their own projects!

Martine Ellis

Antonio Simón

Philipp Temmel

Apply to become a Calmer Notes affiliate

If you’d like to apply for the Calmer Notes affiliate program, you can head over to the Calmer Notes affiliate application form on Gumroad to get started. Thanks for your interest!

Social media and SEO marketing updates

Twitter #1, Google #2

Currently, my top source of traffic to my blog at ElizabethButlerMD.com is from Twitter, by far. Google searches are slowly gaining, but in the last month I still got about twice as much traffic from Twitter as from Google. I still find this fascinating… when I started, I had definitely thought that SEO was going to be my main driver of traffic, and hadn’t really imagined Twitter would be so integral.

Exploring Pinterest

I’ve been exploring Pinterest as another method of helping to spread the word about Calmer Notes.

I set up a Pinterest account when I first got started with this project, but feel like I didn’t have a clear handle on best practices, keyword research, Pinterest SEO, etc at the start beginning. I pinned a bit, and generated a little bit of traffic to my blog, but it all felt a bit non-strategic.

I’ve found some excellent guidance on Pinterest SEO and keyword research from some generous Pinterest strategists. I’m linking to these tutorials + videos below in case any other indie hackers are also interested in learning more about Pinterest content marketing:

I’m slowly trying to implement a routine of regularly sharing my blog posts as well as other interesting PKM links on Pinterest… we shall see how it goes!

If you’re on Pinterest, I’d love if you followed me at @elizabethbutlermd.

Launching later in 2022 – Calmer Notes cohort-based course (CBC)

I’ve noticed that, in some cases, people purchase Calmer Notes, are enthusiastic about the concept… but find that actually reading the textbook and going through the workbook falls by the wayside for a while since there’s no inbuilt urgency with a self-paced course. The self-paced concept works incredibly well for some people, but others find they do better with more of a community learning environment and some group momentum. I’ve had a few people reach out to ask if there’s any chance I’ll be creating a cohort-based course (CBC) version of Calmer Notes.

I’m excited to report— yes! A cohort-based course (CBC) version of Calmer Notes is in the works. It will be six weeks long— one week dedicated to each of the steps of creating a mindful personal knowledge management system, and the final week dedicated to setting up sustainable routines, workflows, and habits to keep your newly-designed PKM system current and up to date.

The self-paced course will still remain available as well, as I know that style of fully autonomous learning is also an excellent fit for some people. And if you’re someone who has bought the self-paced course and later realize the cohort-based course would be a better fit, I’m working on making the upgrade process as simple as possible!

If you’re interested in joining the inaugural cohort-based course version of Calmer Notes, please do join the wait list below so I can let you know as soon as registration opens.


New look for the Calmer Notes landing page

I’ve also created a new look for the Calmer Notes landing page— to ensure it also reflects the new upcoming cohort-based course learning option as well. You can check out the new version at CalmerNotes.com, if you’d like to see the fresh look.

Thank you!

Thank you to all of my lovely early adopters, newsletter subscribers, and blog readers. I couldn’t have launched Calmer Notes without your encouragement and enthusiasm! I’m delighted and grateful to have you along on this journey with me.

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