Life Design Hacks to Make You Marvelous as Maisel

It’s fitting that as I organize my life for a 40-hour road trip back to Georgia, this week’s roundup covers ways to get organized.

Better said: it’s about life design (and doing it right).  

If you’ve been following, you know that I’m all about organization.


But I do try (sometimes). So on that note, you’re about to discover five things that will honestly make your life more organized in that grand-scheme kind of way. Also: better, funnier, smarter, and more beautiful.

on the road in santa fe, sunset and road sign

Just remember: all those things are subjective … but still!

Read on…

Weekly Roundup: Life Design Edition

1. Life Design

2. Write! App

3. Ayse Birsel

4. Fakespot and ReviewMeta

5. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

1. Life Design

I keep hearing the term “life design” here and there, and when the universe repetitively pings me with something, I try to listen.

Then lo, there on beloved Audible, I came across Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. Here’s your sign, Megg, READ THE BOOK! Or listen to the book, whatever.

“When you have a desired outcome (a truly portable laptop computer, a sexy-looking sports car, or a well-designed life) but no clear solution in sight, that’s when you brainstorm, try crazy stuff, improvise, and keep “building your way forward” until you come up with something that works.” – Designing Your Life


I can compare myself with Lamborghini designers? Don’t mind if I do!

It’s simple: the term “life design” makes me feel good about myself and my zigzag path leading to wordsmithery. Here are successful, employed, grown-ass people touting what I’ve believed in all along—trial and error to discover what works.


“Everything that makes our daily living easier, more productive, more enjoyable, and more pleasurable was created because of a problem, and because some designer … sought to solve that problem.”  Designing Your Life


Building on that, this research article on life design concluded that the “self” operates in three realms:

The author creating “narrative identity” and observing/reflecting upon …

The actor playing out the self’s unique role guided by…

The agent planning and organizing the actor’s actions and future.

In other words …

You are the brain, the pen, the blueprint, and the lamborghini. Let’s, ride, baby!


2. Write! App

Medium matters. I’m picky about how my writing looks. Not how it reads or sounds, but how it looks (okay, also how it reads and sounds).

Give me a cluttered screen and dreadful Arial font and hellooo, anxiety.

Aesthetics count, which is why I hunt the best online text editor. Though typically I use Google Docs, I explored Write! App and its promise for distraction-free writing software.

girl typing using text editor

It definitely feels clean and conducive to writing and editing online. The highlight is its simplicity—I found the black backdrop to be surprisingly helpful, and I love the fonts; it doesn’t start you out with that loser Arial.

The Write! App text editing software has pretty much everything you’re looking for in a word processor unless you’re super fancy (whatever that means).

Here are some bonus points:

-Productivity tracker gives info and/or notifications on writing progress

-Rich text formatting enables copy-paste italic, bold, etc.

-Direct publishing to WordPress

-Downloadable to write and edit offline

-Emoji support

-I think there’s a free text editor option

Possible cons:

-For spellcheck you have to click a small “abc” icon beneath the word-in-question

-No auto-capitalize (the shift key and I have issues)

Anyway, if you feel even vaguely dissatisfied with Google Docs or Microsoft Word, go download Write! App to see if it’s the best text editor for you.


3. Ayse Birsel

I found Ayse Birsel amid the flurry of my life design research.

She’s been named one of the world’s most creative people by Fast CompanyWhy? Because the woman knows how design a dang life.

Birsel probably isn’t busy enough as co-founder and Creative Diector of Birsel + Seck—a design and innovation studio that works with the likes of GE, Colgate-Palmolive, IKEA and Toyota—so she wrote the life design book Design the Life You Love: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Meaningful Future.

It kills me that if I were to ask you to name 10 famous creative people, the majority would probably be men.

I’m guilty of that too, and I hate it, but I’m also trying to change it for me and everybody while following women who are doing the same.

I’ve been exploring Birsel’s blog and just love love the way this woman thinks.

Check out Birsel’s article in Time called “How to Sketch a Life Plan,” it’s the perfect designing your life summary with brilliant ways to map life design exercises and thought habits.


4. Fakespot and ReviewMeta

Did you know that fake reviews on Amazon are a thing? They are. A big thing.  So I’ll keep this short and sweet: if you shop on Amazon (let’s not kid ourselves—you shop on Amazon), you should be using Fakespot or ReviewMeta.

I tried to figure out which one is better, but they both analyze slightly different things. Since I’m overly-meticulous, I just use both.

Use the review analysis tools in Fakespot or ReviewMeta by copy/pasting the product link into the search bar. It’s that easy to not waste your money!

Also, when you buy things on Amazon, leave a review. Be one of the good people! We can start a club!

I had a glass of wine and a review binge just the other night—boy, my nights are crazy! I also need to stop buying so much stuff on Amazon. But! Sidebar: the Amazon Prime credit card has 5% return on purchases (if you’re a Prime member) and no fee for the first year, so … that’s a bangin’ deal!


5. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

First Ayse Birsel, now THIS!?

Not only is the star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel a WOMAN (Rachel Brosnahan), but she’s a woman in COMEDY.

Woah there, tiger!

comedy women standing grouped on a stage

golly gee aren’t they funny!? photo credit: Center for Jewish History, circa 1930 via photopin (license)

The show is also created by a WOMAN (Amy Sherman-Palladino) and here’s the real rub …

It’s actually good! And funny!

Who do these women think they are? Humans!?

I was loathe to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel because after doing the comedy thing in LA I thought I’d forever forsaken stand-up—too many painful memories of being an audience member and wanting to die.

But I was wrong. This show was my first binge since Galavant’s first season (yes, odd), and my third since Lost (about a decade ago).  I don’t know what that says about me, but I do know that you should watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Just to clarify: I hate the term “women in comedy.” Not because I am against all gender stuff, but because I think funniness typically shouldn’t have gender distinction.  

There you have it! Leave comments below to entertain me on my long drive, and let me know of other cool things! Oh, and get an email when I post something new.

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