The Checklist Book by Alexandra Franzen Blog Tour (And Giveaway)

Monday, May 11, 2020

Simplicity at its best: The checklist is one of the world’s oldest―and most effective―productivity systems. If anything, author and entrepreneur Alexandra Franzen shares, it is just as valuable now as it was during the days of the Roman Empire. Writing out a simple checklist allows us to tangibly plan our day and set in stone what we want to accomplish.

Cut out unnecessary noise: There are countless apps and organizational systems out there to help us straighten out our lives, but often they only add to the madness. Trying to keep up leaves us feeling drained and overwhelmed. Learn how to choose your highest priorities, set realistic goals, celebrate tiny wins, and feel calmer every day with the magic of checklists.

Be realistic about the time in a day: By physically writing down our tasks on a single piece of paper, we force ourselves to limit how much we can do in a day. Too often, we cram our day with tasks and chores and leave almost no space for self-care or time with loved ones. We end up disappointed in our inability to complete our never-ending to-do list. Checklists help you plan your day in a more gentle, realistic way. You accomplish what needs to be done―and enjoy things you want to be doing, too.

In the life-changing Checklist Book, learn:
  • The history of the checklist and why it remains to be relevant and effective today
  • The science behind the success of checklists, such as the instant satisfaction we feel when we put a check next to a finished task
  • How to create a basic daily checklist―and checklists for specific situations, like moving to a new city or navigating a divorce

Print Length: 160 Pages
Genre: Self-Help
Publisher: Mango
ASIN: B07V6GWGW5
ISBN-10: 1642501182
ISBN-13: 978-1642501186

The Checklist Book is available to purchase online at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Target, and IndieBound.

Book Giveaway Contest

To win a copy of the book The Checklist Book by Alexandra Franzen, please enter using Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Giveaway ends on May 17th at 11:59 PM EST. We will announce the winner the next day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

About the Author, Alexandra Franzen


Alexandra Franzen is the author of several books, including So This Is the End: A Love Story (2018), You're Going to Survive (2017), and 50 Ways to Say "You're Awesome" (2013).

She has written articles for dozens of sites, including Time, Forbes, Newsweek, HuffPost, The Muse, and Lifehacker. She's been mentioned/quoted in The New York Times Small Business Blog, The Atlantic, USA Today, BuzzFeed, Brit+Co, and Inc.

Alexandra is best-known for writing about creativity, productivity, the power of setting tiny goals, how to develop more confidence in your writing skills, and how to stay motivated, keep working towards your personal and professional dreams, and never give up.

She also works as a copywriter, ghostwriter, writing teacher, and consultant. She helps her clients to develop podcasts, videos, websites, speeches, books, and other creative projects.

Find Alexandra's latest projects, classes, and hundreds of free articles and resources at: AlexandraFranzen.com

--- Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: First of all, I just want to congratulate you on your book! Tell me about why you decided to write a book about the checklist. As a list maker, this book has totally spoken to me. And I was reading your blog lately and I loved your suggestion for making a list during challenging times. For those who aren't familiar with the benefits of making lists, what is the benefits of making a checklist?

Alexandra: Thank you for the kind words!

Creating a book is definitely a labor of love, and it takes a village to make it happen! So many people worked hard to produce The Checklist Book and bring it into the world, and I’m so proud of how it turned out.

I’m a proud “checklist freak” and I’ve had a lifelong obsession with checklists.

I use checklists for all kinds of things: to plan my day, to divide big projects into small steps, to stay on track with my fitness and self-care routine, and more. I also make checklists to navigate stressful situations, like a painful break-up, house sale, or moving to a new state.

Basically, checklists are my “rock” in a very chaotic and complicated world. They keep me sane, and remind me to celebrate my tiny victories each day.

For me, it feels so powerful to take all the disorganized thoughts inside my brain and pour them out…onto a single sheet of paper…in the form of a list. When I make a checklist, it’s so calming. I feel immediate relief, and my intentions feel much more doable.

And the cool thing is, there’s science behind this! Studies confirm that checklists are powerful medicine for your brain. Making a checklist can help reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) and boost dopamine (that’s the joyful feeling you get when ticking a completed box!), and basically, make you healthier, happier, more productive, and more fulfilled. The benefits are innumerable.

For those who are curious to learn the neuroscience behind why checklists work so effectively, this is something I cover inside my book, The Checklist Book, in the chapter called “The Science of Checklists.”


"If I write a book, essay, or article—and it helps even just one human being have a slightly better day—to me, that’s worth celebrating. Because helping one person is a big deal."


WOW: I find that so fascinating there is a science behind why checklists work. So, I hope you don't mind but I was doing a little digging around online and found a writing prompt that you suggest to your clients. I'm not sure if you still do this, but I read that you ask your clients to complete this sentence, "I want to live in a world where..." Why do you ask your clients to complete this thought?

Alexandra: I’ve written six books to date, and for me, being a writer is all about making a contribution, and hopefully, leaving the world in slightly better condition than I found it.

I write because I want to make a difference in people’s lives. If I write a book, essay, or article—and it helps even just one human being have a slightly better day—to me, that’s worth celebrating. Because helping one person is a big deal.

I sometimes get hired to coach and consult with people who want to write books of their own, or who want to launch businesses or podcasts, and do other creative things.

So, I love asking my clients questions like, “What kind of world do you want to live in? What kind of contribution do you want to make? What’s a meaningful project you want to complete before you die?” These kinds of questions are simple, but deep, and can really help you clarify how you wish to serve humanity.

I feel compelled to mention one of my all-time favorite books, Die Empty by Todd Henry, a must-read for anyone who wants to stop wasting time and start doing meaningful work.

So many people reach the end of their lives full of regrets, with projects they never started, adventures they never took, creative visions they never found the courage to do, with so many genius ideas still “inside” of them. Henry urges, “Don’t die with your best work still inside of you. Die empty.” Powerful words that echo inside my head, almost daily.

WOW: I love that sentiment and it's so inspiring. And you are such a prolific writer! How do you write for so many different audiences?

Alexandra: That’s so kind of you to say, thank you!

You know, I think when you do something 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 10 years in a row, you inevitably become pretty efficient and prolific.

I’ve been a professional writer for over a decade now, so writing isn’t really something I “struggle” to do. It’s my job. I just wake up, drink coffee, and do it. It’s not optional. It’s how I get paid. No writing, no income, no groceries! And my dog, Zuki, needs high-quality dog food and special treats, so I gotta keep writing.

Some projects are tougher than others, for sure—I’m still working on my third novel, and I’m definitely procrastinating a bit and being a slow-poke with it, haha!—but overall, like anything else (yoga, running, baking, etc.) the more you do it, the more proficient you become.


“Don’t die with your best work still inside of you. Die empty.”


WOW: I totally agree! I am so shocked to read you have no social media accounts! What led you to delete them (or what has kept you from creating any)?

Alexandra: One day, I sat down with a calculator, because I was curious to find out:

- How much time am I spending on social media per day, on average?

- How much time per week? Month? Year?

- If I continue using social media in my current manner (tweeting 3 times a day, etc.), how much time will I spend on social media by the end of my life? What’s the grand total?

I crunched the numbers and discovered the grand total would be: around 3.4 years. I immediately felt sick to my stomach, because that number—3.4 years—just feels like way too much time.

I started thinking about all the other things I could do with that time—learn a foreign language, write a lot more books, spend quality time with my loved ones—and something shifted inside of me. I realized, “I need to cut way back on my social media usage.”

I decided to take a temporary break from social media to see how things felt. That led to a longer break, and then a permanent break. I deleted all my accounts a few years ago, and I’ve never looked back. For me, personally, it feels like the right choice.

To be clear, I don’t think social media is “bad” or “evil.” It’s a powerful tool that can be used to do beautiful things like share your art, spread inspiring ideas, connect with amazing people, promote your work and earn a living. If you love social media, and it adds good things to your life…great! Use it. But I would advise, use it intentionally, and be mindful about how much time you’re putting into it. Maybe 10 minutes a day is sufficient. Maybe it doesn’t need to be 30 or 60.

Or maybe social media just doesn’t need to be part of your life, and that’s okay too. Just because “most people” use it doesn’t mean you need to use it, too.


WOW: That must have felt so invigorating and I hope more of us become more mindful of social media! Who do you hope reads this book? What do you hope they take away from it?

Alexandra: The Checklist Book is for anyone who feels stressed, overwhelmed, mentally fatigued, or who always feels like, “I have too much to do, and not enough time.”

I hope this book brings some calm and simplicity into your life. That “ahhhhh” feeling, like a deep exhale. Shoulders dropping down. Tension released.

I hope The Checklist Book helps you see your life from a fresh perspective. Maybe you don’t have to be so frenetically busy all the time. Maybe you can do less, and live more.

I hope The Checklist Book helps you become gentler with yourself, more compassionate, and more realistic about how much you can accomplish in a single day.

And of course, I hope it inspires you to make lots of beautiful checklists! A summer checklist. A self-care checklist. A survival checklist for difficult times. Maybe a daily checklist, like I do.

Whether you’re already a list-lover, or not, I hope you find a few gems inside the book.

WOW: I do too! What is next for you? What are you currently working on?

Alexandra: I’m working on a “top secret project” that involves detoxing from social media, changing your relationship with technology, and creating positive new habits.

Less time on your phone. Less time dealing with email. Less time clicking, scrolling, sitting in front of a screen. More time unplugged, offline, doing things that feel really meaningful, things that nourish and energize you.

If anyone is curious about this project and wants to be involved (I’ll be looking for some volunteers to test-run a new program soon!) they can join my email list: alexandrafranzen.com/newsletter

WOW: If you could share any advice with the world right now, what you would say?

Alexandra: Today is not over yet.

There’s still time.

Even if it’s 11:30 p.m. at night, today is still not over yet.

You still have time to meditate, stretch, drink a glass of water, call your mom and say “I love you,” write down a new goal, or do something else to end your day on a positive note. Still time to turn your life around, and get things moving in a new direction.

If you’re still alive, and still breathing, then today is not over yet.



WOW: You are so inspiring! I hope everyone picks up your book. Best of luck with everything coming up for you and on the tour!

---Blog Tour Dates

May 11th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Make sure you visit the WOW blog today and read an interview with author Alexandra Franzen and enter to win a copy of the book The Checklist Book.
https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

May 12th @ Karen Brown Tyson
Stop by Karen's blog today and read Alexandra Franzen's inspiring guest post entitled, "You Are Going to Survive."
https://karenbrowntyson.com/blog/

May 13th @ World of My Imagination
Join Nicole as she reviews Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

May 15th @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf 
Visit Veronica's blog today and you can read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogspot.com/

May 16th @ Lapidus International
Stop by the words for wellness organization today and read Alexandra Franzen's guest post about the importance of nature time.
https://lapidus.org.uk/news

May 18th @ One Sister's Journey: Keeping It Real
Visit Lisa's blog today and read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://www.lisambuske.com/

May 19th @ Chanel Bevis' Blog
Stop by Chanel's blog today and read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://chanelbevis1.wordpress.com/blog/

May 20th @ And So She Thinks
Visit Francesca's blog today and you can read Alexandra Franzen's guest post about what a checklist can do you for you.
https://andsoshethinks.co.uk/blog/

May 21st @ Reviews and Interviews
Stop by Lisa's blog where she interviews the author Alexandra Franzen.
http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

May 23rd @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion
Visit Linda's blog and you can read her interview with Alexandra Franzen. Don't miss it!
http://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

May 25th @ The Frugalista Mom
Stop by Rozelyn's blog today and you can read her post about Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://thefrugalistamom.com/

May 27th @ Dog-Eared Days of Summer
Visit Courtney's blog today and you can read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://dog-eareddaysofsummer.com/

May 28th @ Strength 4 Spouses
Visit Wendi's blog today and read Alexandra Franzen's guest post unplugging more.
https://strength4spouses.blog/

May 29th @ Books Beans & Botany
Visit Ashley's blog today where she shares her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://booksbeansandbotany.com/

May 30th @ Memoir Revolution
Memoir and self-help expert, Jerry Waxler pens an article about the value of a checklist habit for memoir writers, inspired by his reading of The Checklist Book.
https://memorywritersnetwork.com/blog/

May 31st @ Michelle Cornish' Blog
Stop by Michelle's blog today and you can read a guest post by Alexandra Franzen about shifting away from perfection. A post we all need to read today!
https://www.michellecornish.com/

June 1st @ Strength 4 Spouses
Visit Wendi's blog today to read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://strength4spouses.blog

June 2nd @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Visit Bev's blog today and you can read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

June 3rd @ Rachael's Thoughts
Visit Rachael's blog today and you can read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://rachaelstray.com/

June 4th @ Michelle Cornish' Blog
Visit Michelle's blog today and read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://www.michellecornish.com/blog/

June 5th @ Editor 911
Stop by Margo's blog today and you can read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://editor-911.com/blog

June 6th @ Megan Writes Everything
Visit Megan's blog today and she reviews Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://meganwriteseverything.com/

June 7th @ The New England Book Critic
Visit Victoria's blog today and read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://thenewenglandbookcritic.com/

June 8th @ Dog-Eared Days of Summer
Visit Courtney's blog again and read Alexandra Franzen's guest post about focusing on tiny wins.
https://dog-eareddaysofsummer.com/

June 9th @ Alternative Grace
Stop by Amber's blog today and read her review of Alexandra Franzen's book The Checklist Book.
https://alternativegrace.com/

June 10th @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Stop by Bev's blog again and you can read Alexandra Franzen's guest post about putting self-care into your daily checklist. An absolute must-read!
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

June 11th @ Jill Sheet's Blog
Visit Jill's blog today and you can read Alexandra Franzen's guest post about getting the phone out of your room.
http://jillsheets.blogspot.com/


***** BOOK GIVEAWAY *****

To win a copy of the book The Checklist Book by Alexandra Franzen, please enter using Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Giveaway ends on May 17th at 11:59 PM Central. We will announce the winner the next day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


6 comments:

Angela said...

This interview is super inspiring! Thank you! I needed this today. :)

Alexandra, I love what you said about today not being over yet. I also need to check out Die Empty! I thoroughly believe in that idea.
I got off of my personal social media accounts a long time ago...maybe around 2010, but kept business accounts. It's a hard decision for a writer to make if they are pursuing book publishing--it seems like every publisher requires a social media presence. But you've done well without it, and I thoroughly admire that! It seems like you pursued other means of platform, like writing articles, newsletter, classes, and podcasting. I'm just glad it can be done. The only one I do enjoy is Instagram--I've used it for business--but when I start promoting my forthcoming memoir I'll start using it to post my artwork, which is a big part of my book. Anyway, I just subscribed to your newsletter! :) Looking forward to getting more inspiration from you. <3

Sioux Roslawski said...

Nicole--Thanks for doing this interview. It is certainly a book I could use.

Alexandra--I too loved the simplicity of "Today's not over yet." Isn't it Bon Jovi that sings of going out in a "Blaze of Glory"? As writrs, we want to do that. We want our best words to flow out, to have our best writing published--before it's too late.

Good luck with your 3rd novel.

Unknown said...

I have not yet read any of Alexandra's books so I can't comment on anything at this time

TRIPPER2365 said...

Enjoyed the interview it was insightful and I can't wait to read your new book .

Edye Nicole said...

favorite food?

mia2009(at)comcast(dot)net

lilyk said...

This book looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top