Building in Public & Entrepreneurship

Building in public: behind the scenes of Calmer Notes in November 2021

Writing the Calmer Notes manuscript, creating infographics, and selling out the first tier with preorders (!) thanks to my lovely early adopters.
Elizabeth Butler 3 min read
Building in public: behind the scenes of Calmer Notes in November 2021
Photo by Thought Catalog / Unsplash
Table of Contents

Building Calmer Notes in public

Thanks for checking in! I had a lot of interest after my October 2021 update on going behind the scenes as I work on Calmer Notes. So I've decided to do another monthly update as I continue to build in public.

Working on the book manuscript while working full-time and parenting

Last month I shared my realization that Calmer Notes would be more useful to readers (at least at this point) formatted as a digital book manuscript rather than a traditional online course. It's now a PDF digital book, accompanied by an interactive workbook and database of PKM software and apps.

I've been working on completing the book manuscript in spare moments (which aren't as plentiful as I'd like!). The upside is that when I manage to carve out some time, I'm able to write very quickly. The content of the Calmer Notes method has been years in the making– I've been capturing ideas and detailed outlines in my own PKM regularly, so that I know precisely where I'm going with the manuscript whenever I have a chance to write. Just wish I had a few more spare moments for dedicated writing sessions.

The first pricing tier of Calmer Notes is fully sold out (!)

I am so grateful for the amazing support of my lovely group of early adopters. I am delighted (and a bit incredulous!) to report that the first pricing tier of Calmer Notes for pre-order on Gumroad is fully sold out.

I am blown away by the warm welcome that this project has received. I'm so excited to see that it really seems to be resonating with people.

A sneak peak at the updated table of contents

As I've been working on the manuscript I've been finessing and rearranging the order of contents a bit. For those of you who are curious enough to be following along, here's an updated draft table of contents (with further changes likely to come before the finished product!).

Adding diagrams and infographics to the manuscript

While writing the manuscript, I've been trying to identify portions that could also benefit from having a visual diagram or other infographic to help explain the concepts. I've been building these images in MindNode and Whimsical– both wonderful tools to work with.

Finding a balance between marketing and creating

Given the restricted time I have for working on this project as a part-time creator, one challenge is balancing time spent on marketing versus creating. When I'm actively posting threads on Twitter and writing frequent blog posts, I see a clear uptick in website traffic, newsletter signups, and pre-orders of Calmer Notes.

However, I want to be focused primarily on crafting the Calmer Notes manuscript right now in the time I have available. It's an imperfect trade-off (and I apologize if you're following me on Twitter and I've been a bit less responsive lately!). My current plan is to focus primarily on the manuscript right now, then get back to the marketing and community-building side after the manuscript is officially done and launched.

Done this month

✅ Sold out first pricing tier of Calmer Notes on Gumroad
✅ Launched free PDF guide, Craft Your Personal Knowledge Management System This Week: Your Free 7-Day Plan
✅ Sent out my first issue of Notes and Queries, my email newsletter for busy people interested in digital note-taking and personal knowledge management

What I'm working on right now

✍️ Continuing to improve, edit, and add to Calmer Notes manuscript
✍️ Finalizing the companion workbook for Calmer Notes
✍️ Adding to the PKM apps database to keep it current

Want to stay in touch? Or become an early adopter?

You can head over to to learn more and join the list below to get updates on the project.

Psst... If you want to join my inner circle of early adopters (thank you to those of you who've already pre-ordered - I appreciate your support! ❤️), you can preorder on Gumroad to lock in the lowest early-adopter pricing.

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