How This Blogger Stays Organized: meet Jules from Pancakes & French Fries

March 24, 2010

I’m so excited to bring you another installment of the “How This Blogger Stays Organized” Series.

This time, we get to know Jules from Pancakes & French Fries. Jules is one of my favorite bloggers because she’s funny, adorable and, above all, very “real”. She shares her life in such a personal way and I always look forward to reading what she’s got to say. Here, she gives us an inside look into how she balances being a mom and a successful blogger.


Q. When did you start your blog?

I started on my 35th birthday.  November 30, 2007.

Q. Why did you start blogging?

My friend, Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely, decided I needed one. She put one up for me and that was that. Secretly, I think she was trying to reduce the amount of emails I was sending her at the time. What can I say? I had a newborn–I spent a lot of time in my rocker with the laptop.

Q. What physical items keep your work organized? (notebooks, binders, etc.)

Notebooks.  I feel better writing things down.  I’m a bit particular (understatement) and have different notebooks for various ongoing projects (blog, weight loss journal, freelance writing projects, etc.) Each notebook has its own pen, too.

For example, I use a green or turquoise roller ball pen for my blogging notebook because it matches the design of the cover (I told you I’m particular). I can’t be positive, but I am pretty sure that if I were to use a different pen in my blogging notebook the world would spin off its axis and life as we know it would end.  Horribly.


Jules from Pancakes & French Fries

Q. Are you a “list” person? If so, what kinds of lists do you find yourself making most?

I work better with a concrete list of things to do. Left to my own devices, I can pretty much spend the day buying books I won’t have time to open, reading blogs (thereby limiting my time to do anything else), and eating obscene amounts of salad.

Q. What do you look for in a perfect notebook?

It has to be lined and open flat.

Q. What software or online tools do you use to keep yourself organized?

I’m trying out Teux-Deux this week, thanks to a recommendation from Lori Dunbar of Fin and Roe.

Prior to that, I wrote out my lists on sheets of paper but my three year old kept taking my paper to color pictures. I’m not sure about the online list thing, but I’m willing to give it a go.

Q. Mac or PC?



Q. How many hours a week do you spend on your blog?

Well, that depends.  I’m lucky in that most of what I blog about is just a retelling of my day-to-day.

On average, I would say 10-15 hours a week. Probably more if you include the hair pulling and agonizing over what to write.

Q. There are a lot of tasks involved with successful blogging: writing content, guest blogging, commenting on other blogs. How do you organize your time?

Organizing my time is a challenge as a stay at home mom with very young children.  I can’t say I do a very good job, really.

The best thing I have done recently is to limit the number of blogs I read.  That’s a terrible thing to say on a blog in an interview about your own blog, but it’s the truth.

Balance is key, even when it comes to things you enjoy.  Actually, especially when it comes to things you enjoy.

What about your blog work makes you most anxious and how do you deal with it?

Oh, just the writing part. ;)  I agonize about what to write and if people will like it. I posted about deodorant the other day and almost lost my lunch thinking people would think I was insane posting about a hygiene product–that I MADE.

That’s my problem: I worry that people won’t find me interesting or that my life isn’t exciting enough to blog about when, really, if I just remember to write about things that excite me I will be fine. That’s the trick, I think.  When you write about something that excites you, that passion and energy will carry through to your readers and excite them, too.

Q. What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to a new blogger?

Post everyday in the beginning. It’s too easy to get stage fright at first, and if I didn’t commit to posting everyday at first I might have stopped blogging early on.

Q. And, finally, what’s your favorite book of all time?

It changes. For a very long time, it was 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Then it was The World According to Garp, by John Irving.

Right now it’s The Bible. I’ve challenged myself to read it this year. I don’t think I ever have (in its entirety), and that bothers me.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The winner (selected using of the Olive Manna giveaway is BROOKE, with this comment: “The classic letter writing set is so cute… but I love the neighborhood print, the jotters… it is all so adorable!” Congrats, Brooke!

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Pancakes and French Fries » Penelope Loves Lists
March 24, 2010 at 9:39 am

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristi W. @ Life at the Chateau Whitman March 24, 2010 at 9:09 am

Oh, how I love to read things like this! So interesting to hear how others stay organized. Also Meredith- I gave you a little award on my blog. You should go check it out. :)

Marci@OvercomingBusy March 24, 2010 at 9:41 am

I am a paper and pen girl, too! I have a notebook for blog stuff and a notebook for personal stuff. The correct pen is essential, too. I lost my fave pen last week (I take my notebooks everywhere) so I am on a hunt for the perfect one- again!

Brigitte March 24, 2010 at 11:38 am

I love this interview series. And, I just finished The World According to Garp last night!

Shrie S. March 24, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Love this series! Always in need of more organizational advice. Sidenote: my fave book is 100 Years of Solitude. OUTSTANDING. xxxooo

Miss B. March 24, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Go Jules! Good call Meredith:)

Kimberly March 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I am becoming a soft-sided binder kind of gal. My favorite book right this very minute is A Reliable Wife. Jules, I so agree with you on the Bible. It bothers me that I haven’t read it in is entirety, too!

Marie March 24, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Hey Meredith…wanted to let you know I finally posted my top 5 and you’re on my list! xo

DemMom March 24, 2010 at 7:12 pm

I love the “different pen for each notebook” thing. An obsessive compulsive after my own heart!

Jesse March 24, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Great interview! I am totally a list person.

Carrie March 24, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Great Interview – I just started reading her blog too, I love having the extra insight now. I’m also loving all the new blogs I found with the BYU class – Including yours!

Krys March 25, 2010 at 6:24 am

Meredith – I love this interview series! So cool to see how “normal” people organize themselves. Your questions are great and the people you have interviewed are interesting!

Jules – I do the EXACT same thing with my journals. I do it at work, too. All of my little notebooks have matching pens. I’ve gone so far as to visit 3 different art stores looking for just the perfect color ink to match a favorite notebook. Crazy? Maybe, but it makes me happy!

Piper March 25, 2010 at 11:19 am

I love these questions – it’s so great to hear how others stay organized and manage their time. Tons of tips I can use here :) And Jules, your writing is awesome – so witty and full of personality – love your blog!!

Slumber Designs March 28, 2010 at 8:04 am

Oh how I love posts like these! I gives me a chance to get to know my favorite bloggers a little better! More Please!!

Maartje April 7, 2010 at 10:35 am

Nice interview, I love columns like this!

Kazimirchik April 26, 2010 at 10:34 am

And it is pleasant to me Alexandre Davy de La Pailleterie Dumas, very good products, music I love different, and too a cat I want =)

Chante Fire November 13, 2010 at 10:09 pm

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Alba October 10, 2014 at 10:14 am

Wow, amazing blog format! How lengthy have you been blogging for?
you make running a blog look easy. The overall look of your site is fantastic, as smartly as the content material!

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