Monday, April 18, 2011


For the A to Z Challenge, I’m posting promo and other tips for writers. Today it’s organizing.

And thanks for the comments this weekend - our NC county was very lucky! Over 60 confirmed tornadoes left a large path of destruction and killed two dozen people, but the funnel clouds never made connection with the ground in our area.

Are you an organized person?

I’m scary organized. I have lists for my lists. If someone calls, I can lay my hand on the correct information within seconds. Of course, these means I spend time organizing, too.

Writers have to be organized, though! At least as organized as their personality type will allow.

What areas do I organize?

To do lists - I write it down or it doesn’t happen
Computer files - everything in its properly labeled folder
Physical files - ditto
Bookkeeping and Taxes - I address it monthly so it doesn’t attack me at the end of the year
Contacts - I keep a notebook with all of my contacts & their information
Ledgers - keeping track of sales and money coming in
Appearances - in real life and online
Stock and Promo material - organized so I can see at glance what is needed
My library - I have a lot of books!

Where else should a writer practice organizational skills? Are you organized? Need help? LOL


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm organized. More or less!


I'm organised at being disorganised, I make a list then lose the list that sort of thing, But for remembering dates and so on I have a good memory,

Pleased you wasn't touched by the awful weather,

Nicole McLaughlin said...

Oooh, you're good! I'm actively trying to maintain organization!! haha! Better than nothing right?

Linda Leszczuk said...

I'm messy but it's an organized mess. My spouse knows never to straighten all those random piles on my desk. I know what's in each one.

Laura S. said...

YES, I'm so organized! My husband teases me that my life motto is "Everything in its place and a place for everything." Which is so true! I love making lists and keeping files or folders for important things. Office supply stores are super fun for finding organizational materials! :)

notesfromnadir said...

TO DO LISTS! Absolutely the #1 thing for any writer.

Anonymous said...

I used to be organized. I loved it. I'm not so much so now. I live in a somewhat controlled chaos. Not as much fun.

Talli Roland said...

Wow, you are organized! I am to a degree. When things are super busy, then I'm an expert list-maker, too.

Claire Goverts said...

Nice post, your level of organization is impressive.

I need to be more organized, both my writing stuff and my hobbies. (My poor supply of beads is all over my work area).

I have been making some progress with organization. Awhile back I created an Access database for my writing, to keep track of what projects I'm working on, top level information on the characters, and milestones. I also have a table for keeping track of agents, markets and submissions when I get to that stage.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Yvonne, I used to remember dates...

Nicole, it is better than not trying at all.

Linda, I have a friend who's like that.

Laura - yes! Someone else with my obssession.

Shelley, I think it's because my life is so chaotic that I have to maintain order someplace.

Claire, that's good!

Anonymous said...

I used to have great organizational skills. They lagged this past year but tax season has forced me to get it together. I'm organized once again and feeling good about it.

Karen Lange said...

I am generally organized. My desk and filing system is in need of some refinement of late, though. Keep thinking I'm going to get a break in the action to fix things, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to make the time soon! Thanks for the tips.

Arlee Bird said...

I wish I could be as organized as you sound like you are. In some things I can be extremely organized. I can plan a trip almost down to minutes and miles. In other things, like my desk and office, it looks like an absolute mess, but I do have a pretty good handle on where things are. In other things--forget it.

I need to resort to more list making and doing things according to a specific schedule. I would benefit greatly from more organization and, yes, a personal assistant to help me would be nice.

Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

I have baskets. I know what's in each and one basket a week gets sorted into the permanent file. On Monday and Thursday I cleanup the computer because the hard drive backs up Tues. and Fri. Every day I copy my work to flash drives.

Southpaw said...

I’m pretty organized. A while ago, I realized I wasn’t organized with my current writing so I spent a week getting to together. I had notes all over the place not it is all together and easy to access.

Anonymous said...

Sad to say, I'm not a very organized person. Working on it, but not there, yet.

Tony Eldridge said...

Ugh, this is the big challenge for me. There are some things I had to learn to organize, especially as I work with other people. But it definitely does not come naturally.

My wonderful wife, Emily, is the epitome of organization. If you've ever seen The Odd Couple, then you'll have a glimpse of our relationship. To her credit, she has helped me a lot in this area.

WomenGrowingInChrist said...

I was organized when my kids were little, then I think I kind of let things go. Then I started watching those hoarding shows and I kinds got back in shape...