Organization for a BETTER Writing Life

Yes, I just yelled ‘better’ at you. And yes, I know some of you subscribe to the “It’s an organized mess!” group. I know I spent the better part of 16 years thinking the same while the stacks of paper grew around me. However, the ‘organized mess’ really should be an ‘unorganized mess.’

Don’t believe me? How much time do you spend looking for things when you could be writing? Do you forget things because the paper you lost it on is lost in the craziness? For those who don’t have a dedicated writing space. How long does it take you to locate a paper when you sit down to write? Do you have to go to a different room to retrieve things you need?

It’s probably not surprising to most that writers and creative types aren’t the most organized person, after all, many of us appear flighty daydreamers to most people. It’s kinda part of the job description. It shouldn’t be a surprise that organizational systems that work for some don’t work for us. Our needs are as varied as any other business.

Streamlining one’s working life can go a long way toward better productivity and more writing time. Organization in your writing life can make it less stressful and better. Why? Because when you have a place for everything and everything is in it’s place (Oh! Just quoted my mom!), life is easier.

So my question is, what kind of organizational systems do you use to make work easier? Are you interested in learning to organize your writing and business life?

13 Comments

  1. AR Neal says:

    Excellent points here! As I began my fiction writing journey, I certainly was one of the disorganized organization types: I had notes all over the place (but I knew which went to which story…most of the time). However, as more and more ideas have come to me in rapid succession, I have taken to a new tactic. I now have separate notebooks for each story line (with one reserved for random snippets that could go into a story or become one) and I have taken to typing up my drafts and keeping them in folders. It has worked well so far! I would love to hear more about ways to organize my writing, of course!

    1. Thank you. 😀 I like your way of keeping everything separate and organized.

  2. Paul Davis says:

    Notebooks and sticky pads. There are two notebooks dedicated to each story (one for an actual outline and one for notes) and the stick pad is used when there’s no more space on a page but I have a good idea that fits in that location. When editing, I use sticky notes to insert scenes that weren’t there, just to let me know I want to put it in.

    1. I love sticky notes! They are so much fun and so easy to use. 😀

  3. I’m really streamlined. I do most of my writing on my smartphone or Kindle. All of my manuscripts, notes, research, etc. are organized in files in Box–and I have the app on all of my devices. I also have the books I use for research on my devices, via Kindle and Audible.

    1. Wow! You are streamlined. I tried using apps but I always forget to check them. I’m more of a paper and pen person.

  4. I’m semi-organized when it comes to my writing. I could stand to be a bit more organized, but I’m getting work done with the way I am now, so I’ll keep it this way until otherwise needed.

    1. Couldn’t we all stand to be a little more organized? LOL If if works for you I won’t change it either. New systems are hard to implement.

  5. Everything is in my “Writing” folder in Dropbox. No notebooks for me. I can access it from home or work. And I’ve downloaded a program/app called “Todoist” where I can list projects and all the tasks to do in that project. Good stuff.

    1. Thank you. 😀 I wish I could use technology more, but it never seems to work out for me.

  6. feltenk says:

    I’m actually quite organized b/c I’m a total Type A person! I bought a large writing desk so that I have everything at my fingertips. Making lists probably helps me the most with organization. I have a list of upcoming blog posts (I create posts a few weeks in advance so I always have a bunch of posts to chose from) a general to do list, a writing to do list, etc. I also use a paper calendar nearby with birthdays, events, appointments, etc. 😉

    1. Nice! I dropped by your site. Love your office. Makes me jealous. 😀

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