Welcome back to another edition of my writing resources segment. Today I have a pretty basic topic that is very important when it comes to being a writer. Organization. Yes, sometimes a little disorganization keeps the creative juices flowing, however, it can also halt the creative process.
Today, I have some tips to stay organized and keep your writing flow.
I love being organized. I mean check out how much organization is on this blog alone (go ahead and check it out, I’ll still be here when you return! 😃) However, when I first started writing, I was far from organized. I had no idea what my characters looked like because I wrote it in the story but never wrote it down for reference. One time I even wrote two different descriptions of the character…WHOOPS!
I’ve found that being organized with everything truly helps declutter your brain and brings forth the creative juices that have been blocked by disorganization. I’ve compiled a list of the ways that I use to stay organized.
I recently started using a paper planner and it has been a miracle in my life. I’ve noticed that I get so much more accomplished throughout the day. The block calendar I write when blog posts are going out and other important reminders for the month. And I use the day segments to write daily goals that I want to accomplish. It helps me stay on track throughout the day. This way I know exactly what I need to do in order to move closer to the next step in my projects.
There are plenty of planners out there. Pretty much any office supply store or Walmart will have them. (That is how I got mine!) However, these are usually pretty basic in design. If you’re looking for something with added design, you can check out Amazon and Etsy. Or you can create and print your own using any type of word processing programs like Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
If planners aren’t really your thing and you like to be creative, bullet journals are really popular. You customize the pages to fit your needs with drawings, washi tape, or your favorite coloring utensil. I’ve personally never used a bullet journal, but I love looking at other people’s. My favorite bullet journal designs are from two book bloggers Shannah at Bionic Book Worm and Emily at Alwaysopinionatedgirl. Obviously, it’s your journal so you have set it up any way you like with whatever information you want that fits your needs.
Spreadsheets are the reason I’m still functioning right now. These are the best invention since books (and books are pretty magical!) Anytime I need to sort things out, I open a new Google Sheets page and lay it out on a spreadsheet. I have lists of books that I haven’t read. A budget list. A list of characters. A list of settings. You name it and I probably have a spreadsheet for it.
These are handy in keeping your mind clear of clutter. Just open a new spreadsheet, it can be digital or handwritten, and organize a particular aspect of your project all in one workbook. If you’re starting a new project, start a new spreadsheet and VOILA! You’ve made a serious effort at decluttering everything around you. You can also color code the tabs (see image) to make it easier to distinguish the information you’re putting under each tab. I recommend using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets for your spreadsheet needs.
I don’t know about you, but it is very difficult for me to work in a messy environment. My mind wanders way too much and nothing ever gets done. To help this, I recommend keeping your work area clean and tidy. You can do this by simply dusting the area around you or purchasing desk organizers. When you have nothing distracting you, it’s easier to get things done. Especially when we’re writing and anything can be a distraction from completing a word goal.
Ensuring that your documents are organized is key to being successful as a writer. You don’t want to send the wrong file of your book to your editor or to a reviewer or even as the interior file for your book (if you’re self-published). All of those potential hazards can be avoided if you ensure to name your files correctly.
For example, each draft of your book should have its own file. That way it limits the potential for mixing up the documents. I have a file for each file of Not Like Everyone Else. All labeled with their respective draft number. That way I know exactly what file to pull up when I’m working on my edits.
There is no real program or anything for this one, but to save you the stress of finding a document, keep them clearly labeled.
These are my top organizational tips for writers. This is to help ensure that you make the most out of your day. I hope you find these useful and find that you are more productive after putting these tips into place.
Do you already use these tips? How does it work for you? Is there any other organizational tip out there that you use? Talk to me in the comments below!
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