Editorial Calendar and Writing Prompts

Last year I managed to get a few Editorial Calendars out but this year, I want to be more focused and try to get these out on a regular basis.  So this February I have put together an editorial calendar and writing prompt that should help me and other bloggers have a better idea about what we can use this to help them should they get writer’s block.

February is both Black History Month and Heart Month and contains Eating Disorder Awareness Week (Feb. 1 – 6), International Development Week (Feb. 7-13), World Cancer day (Feb. 4),

Editorial Calendar and Writing Prompts Februrary

Editorial Calendar – February 2016

  1. Monday: 4M – Manic Monday Tips /
    1. Tuesday:  Travel Tuesday – #TravellingMaple on Instagram PHOTO CHALLENGE #DPROtravel
  2. Wednesday:  (Not so) Wordless Wednesday / 10 Books to Read During Black History Month
  3. Thursday: World Cancer Day #WCD How to Support a Family when Someone is Sick #WeCanICan
  4. Friday:  Friday Follow: Twitter Let us know what some of your favourite twitter accounts are and why.
  5. Saturday:   Are you thinking about your spring garden yet? Tell us about how you plan for the spring planting season.
  6. Sunday:   Super Bowl Sunday Safe Internet Day: How do you keep the internet safe for your kids?
  7. Monday:  4M – Manic Monday Tips /Organizing Sport Equipment #OrganizedBlogger Carnival
    Writing Prompts:  Gung Hay Fat Choy means “Best wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year.” Chinese New Year – Random Acts of Kindness Week: Feb. 9 – 15
  8. Tuesday:  Travel Tuesday – #TravellingMaple on Instagram (follow the #DPROtravel hashtag for the photo challenge)
    Writing Prompts: Mardi Gras – Pancake Tuesday
  9. Wednesday:  Wordless Wednesday /Capilano Golf & Country Club
  10. Thursday:  Make a Friend Day  – Talk about why one of your friends is so special to you.
  11. Friday: Friday Follow: Pinterest – Which boards do you just drool over? Give us 10 Pinterest accounts we should follow.
  12. Saturday:  What was your favourite Valentine’s Day with your kids?
  13. Sunday:  Valentine’s Day. Share photos or write a love letter to your love.
  14. Monday:  4M – Manic Monday Tips / Family Day or President’s Day
  15. Tuesday: Travel Tuesday – #TravellingMaple on Instagram
  16. Wednesday:  Wordless Wednesday /
  17. Thursday:  What is your favourite show on Netflix or whatever you use to stream shows?  Tell us about ‘must watch’ shows that you love.
  18. Friday: Friday Follow: Facebook.  Is there a page that you read EVERYDAY?  Maybe you find a blogger or a brand that you think is a page you should ‘like’. Tell us about them.
  19. Saturday:  World Day of Social Justice #HeNamedMeMalala
  20. Sunday:  Your best crock pot recipes
  21. Monday:  4M – Manic Monday Tips / International World Thinking Day! Guiding: Where you Brownie, Girl Guide or Scout? What was your favourite part?
  22. Tuesday:  Travel Tuesday – #TravellingMaple on Instagram
  23. Wednesday:  Wordless Wednesday / Pink Shirt Day: Anti-bullying Day
  24. Thursday: Write about a bucket list item that you want to get to this year?  Travel, learn a new language, run a half-marathon…
  25. Friday:  Friday Follow: YouTube, Periscope or Vimeo
  26. Saturday:  Giveaway Linky What song played during your first dance as husband and wife? Why did you choose that song?
  27. Sunday:  Write a letter to your younger self. Be really honest.
  28. Monday: 4M – Manic Monday Tips / It’s Leap Year: What do you celebrate that is unusual?

#LinkedIn Endorsements vs. Recommendations–Understanding why you should go the extra mile…


I wrote a blog post about the virtues of having a professional photo.  It was a rant really but I got some fabulous feedback and a whole lot of questions.

One question in particular really stood out from the others. “I am really confused about the difference between endorsements and recommendation. Could you please explain which one I should be using or asking for?” 

I know many people are wondering the same thing so I thought I would explain my take on things. 


A recommendation is a written affirmation of a job well done or a confirmation that you have worked with someone in a particular ‘job’ (company, event, project, service)  at a given time. 


A recommendation can be requested or can be given without a request (the nicer of the two since the latter comes as a surprise when you receive one).  When LinkedIn was launched it was a requirement to get at least one recommendation to have a 100% completion of your profile.  So it was imperative that you get a recommendation

When I first started on LinkedIn I sent out six requests for a recommendation thinking that may three or four people would respond.  I chose people from different areas of my life: personal, work, professional associations and volunteer organizations.  People that I had worked with in my city.  [To request a formal recommendation: Go to Profile—> Recommendations—>Ask for Recommendations]

Since I was an independent contractor, I needed recommendations from clients also.  I was taken aback but happy to receive a recommendation from every connection that I solicited.  I was humbled by what they thought of me personally and professionally. 

Four years later, I have received many more and varied  recommendations for presentations that I have done, jobs I have completed and workshops that I have given.  They have been for both my professional organizing business and my social media training and speaking business.

It is important to note here that you can give anyone a recommendation whether they are a connection or not. 


A recommendation is a verifiable sourced commendation of a specific task, job or project associated with  a particular organization given by a specific individual that you worked with.

It is verifiable because that recommendation is directly connected to another LinkedIn member

~ Margarita Ibbott


One cannot argue with the popularity and easy of giving an  endorsement. With over 58 million professionals who have been recognized for their skills and expertise on LinkedIn and one billion endorsements  given in the last 6 months, this is one feature that cannot be ignored. 

An endorsement, is an acknowledgement of a skill given by a 1st Degree connection.  As a LinkedIn member, you have the capacity to list different skills sets.  You can use already defined skills or you can create your own unique skills. My skills, for example, vary but include: organizing, consulting, speaking, social media training, Twitter training, LinkedIn training etc.  These are skills that are associated with the jobs that I have done and continue to do.


(Source – LinkedIn.com)


An endorsement (unlike a recommendation) are not formally solicited (see above)  but can be given for a known or perceived skill.  This is a key to understanding the difference.

A person can give me an endorsement for social media training without having taken one-on-one training with me but they may have attended one of my many presentations or conference workshops.  They may also have read one of my blog posts on social media or gone to my website to confirm that one of my services is social media  training.

They don’t, however, have to give a specific session, workshop or conference reference.


(Source – LinkedIn.com)

Endorsements seem to be flying willy-nilly all over the place for real or perceived accomplishments. LinkedIn pop-ups actively asks members to endorse another member if you so much as view the other person’s profile.  It also asks you, almost every time, you log onto LinkedIn to endorse one of your connections. Hence the randomness (and in my opinion – weakness) of an endorsement.

I appreciate every single one of the endorsements that I receive. I   REALLY do.  It reinforces that people are paying attention to what I do, what I write, what I say… or do they?

For the sake of argument, I often wonder if people just give endorsements so the requests stop popping up when they log into LinkedIn.  Or do they hope for an endorsement themselves? A tit-for-tat if you will.  When suggesting an endorsement, LinkedIn pop-ups almost exclusively suggest people that have already endorsed me. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do give endorsing love… when I think  my connection merits it or I have witnessed or I know they possess those particular skills. Endorsing someone is quick & easy – I get it. People glance at this feature (maybe even keep count of how many other people have given an endorsement of that same skill) so it does count for something.

But to me, a recommendation is the gold standard for someone’s TRUE accomplishments.

I know I take the time to read the  recommendations people write when I am surveying a person’s profile.  Even though I may glance at the endorsement they receive, it is clear to me that a recommendation hold more weight because it was written specifically for someone by someone. 

They took the time to think of the wording, acknowledged the time they worked with that person and then they went through the process of submitting it to the recipient.  The recipient then has to choose to accept or revise the recommendation and finally chose to hide or proudly display those commendations.  A lot of work goes into that particular feature of LinkedIn so that is why I value it so much.  You have to really ‘work’ for a good recommendation!

Still confused? Join me on Friday for a webinar on Advanced LinkedIn Features.  See details below.

How do you use recommendation  or endorsements?

To learn more about the unique features that you can use (or not use) on LinkedIn, join me for a series of webinars on Thursday nights at 8 pm. EST or Friday afternoons at 1:30 pm EST.  They are affordable and full of great techniques for you to use.  From the comfort of your home or office sign up today.


Join us on @LinkedMoms Chat – Wed. March 26 at 8 pm ET for #LinkedInForBloggers–You need to be there!


I have a passion for LinkedIn®. Long before others understood the importance of networking on-line, I was preaching to the doubters. LinkedIn® is a powerful networking platform. So much so that every second two more people join LinkedIn®. With that kind of growing professional network it is no wonder that we find many brands and brand managers listed there. Remember LinkedIn® has over 277 million global members.

Here is the thing, many bloggers have yet to discover the benefits of being on LinkedIn® feeling that it is not ‘social’ enough or that the platform does not welcome mom or dad bloggers. That is not true. LinkedIn® helps expose you to potential clients (brands, PR firms/agencies or digital marketing types) that are looking for professionals. So if you are a professional blogger that is always looking for opportunities, then you need to be on LinkedIn.

If you are looking to connect and work with a particular brand, then you need to be on LinkedIn® just to be able to see if you are connected to someone that works in that company. Working on the principal of six degrees of separation, you will be able to find someone that knows someone that works with someone that may be able to help you out.

Remember, as bloggers, we live in a very social world, but that does not mean that brand and marketing people are there. They may be in a boardroom or office with little to connection to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It also means that some owner and decision makers are to busy running their business and they just need to find you in a directory. That is what LinkedIn® is: a worldwide professional directory.

If you want to know more about why blogger need to be on LinkedIn®, you can read my 5 Reasons Bloggers Need to be on LinkedIn post that I wrote for Type A Parent. Please leave me a comment and let me know how you use LinkedIn®.


Once again in an effort to help our Blogger Community grow, we will be hosting a #LinkedIn4Blogger Chat. Join me as I give you tips on working with LinkedIn® on #LinkedMoms Chat


8:00 – 9:00pm (EST)
7:00 – 8:00pm (CST)
6:00 – 7:00pm (MST)
5:00 – 6:00pm (PST)


LinkedMoms website


@DownshiftingPRO and @4LinkedLearning – Margarita Ibbott
@DownshiftingPRO on Facebook
@DownshiftingPRO Blog

@inkscrblr – Paula Schuck
@inkscrblr on Facebook
@inkscrblr on YouTube
@inkscrblr Blog

Join @LinkedMoms for our First 2014 Twitter Chat–What’s Your WORD?

January is GO Month… Get Organized and get going.  If there is one month when most people set goals, make resolutions and look at the glass half full, its January.

2014 calendar target shows year organizer

Yesterday I was working chipping away at some proposals to companies that Paula and I would love to work with.  We want to continue to grow our #LinkedMoms community with more chats to inspire and motivate you to be better parents, better bloggers, healthier people, have more balanced lives, travel more, be happier and have more fun! Those are the goals for our LinkedMoms Community.

Personally, I was also very busy updating new social media training webinars for professional organizers & small business owners on LinkedLearning website, I also created a Blogger Planner which includes custom made printables and activity sheets. I put together a blogging binder to keep track of all the great posts I want to share with you. 

January is a month to get motivated and set some goals.  Define your 2014-self.

Recently, many people have strayed away from a number of resolutions and worked on a ‘theme’ for the year.  Paula recently wrote a great post about what her WORD for 2014 – GROWTH.  Last year her word was HEALTH.  Make sure to read both her posts to feel inspired. 

I haven’t come my word yet but I am toying with the word CELEBRATE.  I have still to ‘officially’ celebrate 20 years of marriage (that is still on the backburner). My oldest child will be going off to University in the fall – another milestone to celebrate.  More importantly, I have a milestone birthday to celebrate this year and so I think I am going to celebrate the great things that I have in my life: my husband, my children, my mother, my family, my friends, my health, my life.  We will see if that is the word I want to work with this year… but its looking good so far!

I bring this up because I want you to think of your word for 2014 and share it with us tomorrow night on #LinkedMoms chat.  Share your New Year’s resolutions, goals or dreams for this coming year.

Inspire us.

Motivate us.

Grow with us.

Celebrate with us.


Wednesday,January 8th, 2014

8:00 – 9:00pm (EST)
7:00 – 8:00pm (CST)
6:00 – 7:00pm (MST)
5:00 – 6:00pm (PST)


LinkedMoms website


@DownshiftingPRO and @4LinkedLearning – Margarita Ibbott
@DownshiftingPRO on Facebook
@DownshiftingPRO Blog

@inkscrblr – Paula Schuck
@inkscrblr on Facebook
@inkscrblr on YouTube
@inkscrblr Blog

Another Amazon Giveaway–Twitter Blast

@DownshiftingPRO_DownshiftingPRO.com_Margarita Ibbott


That you can follow me on a few different accounts?

My main account is @DownshiftingPRO

I share content from my blog as well as other resources.  Its where I interact the most and you can find me there 24/7… o.k. maybe 18/7…

My second account is @4LinkedLearning

I share content from my other blog and also content about social media points of interest.

My last and shared account with is @Linkedmoms 

I share this account with Paula Schuck from Thriftymomma’s Tips @Inkscrblr – we communicate with our community about Sponsored Twitter Parties, Twitter chats featuring tips, resources and general topic info.  Our LinkedMom’s Blog has a list of upcoming twitter parties and how you can get a hold of us to host a party for you!

You can also win a $100 Amazon gift card if you enter below…

amazon blast Makobi Scribe and Sason and Pobi are bringing you this Amazon Twitter blast. The winner will receive an Amazon gift card for $100. The giveaway is open to Everyone🙂 Good Luck! If you are a blogger, you can sign up for this blast here.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

#Instagram Blast–You Could win a $100 Amazon Gift Card


Many already know what Instgram is but for the uninitiated, let me explain.  Instagram is a photo and video sharing social media platform.  It is an app that you use with your smartphone or tablet to capture life’s wonderful moments, funny videos (15 seconds or less), promotional shots or clever pictures.  You take the picture/video upload it and share it on Instagram immediately. 

The personal profile pages always has a collage of pictures or videos that have been uploaded (hence the different views – above & below).


You can have a private or public profile.  If it is private, only people that you have accepted as followers can see your pictures.  If it is public, anyone can search and see your pictures but only followers will automatically get your feed.  You can also use # hashtags to track popular topics; tag others using the @sign (when you share it on Twitter, you can tag with the person’s twitter handle); and you also have the ability to like Red heart a pic or to comment on it.

Instagram introduced the capability to create videos after Vine became very popular with their six second video clips.  It is pretty easy to join Instagram and download the FREE app to your smartphone or tablet.  Instagram does NOT work on a laptop (other then to view content).  In other words, you cannot Instagram an image from a file on your computer.

So if you want, please follow my antics on Instagram by following the link in the contest listed below. 


You can follow people on Instagram and be entered to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. 

amazon blast

Makobi Scribe and Sason and Pobi are bringing you this Amazon Instagram blast. The winner will receive an Amazon gift card for $100. The giveaway is open to Everyone🙂 Good Luck! If you are a blogger, you can sign up for this blast here.

TWEETSTOCK8–Social Media Rock Conference–May 29, 2013–You must go…

Every once in a while the universe comes together to produce a truly awesome event that cannot be missed.  Then to add to it, it puts this event close to home and at a reasonable price. If you register for the early bird pricing its even better!

Tweetstock is a ‘how-to-get-it-done” social media conference. It focuses on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ a business should be in the social media space.  It works to bring together creative, entrepreneurial and business minds to help you understand and learn from their success stories.  You need to go if you are a small business, non-profit & charities, entrepreneur and professionals – really, anyone interested in social media. 

Follow them on Twitter: @TweetstockCA

Like them on Facebook: Tweetstock

View Past Tweetstock videos: Tweetstock videos

Tweetstock8_social media Rock Conference_Laurier University_MitchJoel_CC Chapman

What: Tweetstock8 – Social Media Rock Conference

When: Wednesday, May 29, 9:30am to 4:30pm EDT


Laurier University Brantford Campus
73 George Street
Brantford, Ontario, N3T 2Y7, Canada

How to register:

Go to this page to register

Why am I so excited about attending Tweetstock8? Well, you see sometimes you just need to be surrounded by your peeps.  I am heavily involved in the social media world.  My life is comprised of blogging, tweeting, posting, liking, commenting, capturing and sharing.  So when you have a conference that helps you do all of the above BETTER… well, you have to go. Social media has many facets and seeing how all these different platforms work as vehicles of social change, marketing ingenuity and business drives is very interesting in today’s world.

Tweetstock has been growing into a ‘must-attend’ event in the South-western Ontario and GTA area. As it keeps getting bigger and better it is attracting more influential social media speakers.  This year’s heavy hitters include:


Mitch Joel – “When Google wanted to explain online marketing to the top brands in the world, they brought Mitch Joel to the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. Marketing Magazine dubbed him the “Rock Star of Digital Marketing” and called him, “one of North America’s leading digital visionaries.” "


C.C. Chapman – “C.C. Chapman has spent the past five years helping people and brands convert passive consumers into passionate, invested advocates. He’s built meaningful relationships between a Who’s Who of A-list companies and their markets. He’s helped these companies sell more things.”



Rebecca Harris sm


Rebecca L. Harris “Rebecca leads the Social media team at General Motors Corporate Communications. Her team is responsible for the GM Corporate Facebook and Twitter engagement, video strategy, brand social media strategy and blogger outreach”

{I am looking forward to hearing what Rebecca has to say, considering General Motors is one of the leading companies working in the social media world.  I have had the privilege of working with GM Canada and have first hand knowledge on how well they work with bloggers and influencers.}

Another great reason to attend it that you will meet a lot of people that have a passion for social media and its place in our everyday world.  From bloggers to digital strategists, brand managers to ‘influencers’ in our community – you will meet many of them at Tweetstock8.


Make it a point to register soon… because the sooner you register, the more money you will save!  Hope to see you there! Click on the image below to go to the registration page.

Register_Tweetstock8_May 29, 2013_MitchJoel_CC Chapman