As a author, I have a lot to keep track of and to schedule. I hate it when I can’t find something or my email inbox balloons to hundreds of emails. I’m afraid I’ll drop the ball and miss something, like forget to include a guest author in my newsletter.
I don’t have problems meeting critical or hard deadlines, but I need to look farther ahead. For instance, I’m planning a special Cyber Monday sale, but I didn’t think of it enough in advance to buy some slots in advertising newsletters. I thought about it a month ago, but by then, the newsletters I wanted were booked up.
I need to rely on my computer programs more and less on handwritten notes and lists, which can get messy and/or lost.
Writing takes first priority. I squeeze in a few non writing tasks, but it seems like there’s never enough time and mini projects start to pile up. All the “little things” become like gnats, a distraction from what’s important.
I’ve found it very useful to have nonwriting days to take care of all those other tasks. It’s amazing now much I can get done when I’m not writing!
I came to the conclusion I needed an organizational system.
Last week, I sent Hunted by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-if Romance 6) to my beta reader. I haven’t started writing the next book yet (which will be Alien Mate 2), so in the lull, I set up some Excel spreadsheets. In the short run it might seem easier to jot something down in a notebook than open up a computer program, but in the long run, having it in a spreadsheet will save me more time.
This is what I got accomplished in the past two weeks:
- Set up a spreadsheet for expenses and royalties (I was doing this by hand on accounting paper!)
- Worked out a spreadsheet for my reader newsletter schedule/content
- Transferred my handwritten “to do list” for the production/promotion of Hunted by the Cyborg to a spreadsheet
- Wrote my 2018 business plan
- Finally set up autoresponder emails on MailChimp for new subscribers to my reader newsletter (Doing this had necessitated figuring out how, which meant spending some time on MailChimp)
- I not only cleaned out my email inbox, I also reorganized my folders, creating new folders/subfolders, deleting ones I no longer needed, and regrouping the old ones I don’t use but still want to save.
Going into 2018, I’m going to rely on Excel more and handwritten notes less, and I plan to schedule more nonwriting days for planning and organization.
Do you have an organization tip to share? What keeps you organized?