I wonder if there shouldn’t be a ‘trying to’, or ‘sort of’ in that title, because no matter how organised I try to be, it either doesn’t quite work out, or I get the impression I’m making productive-feeling non-work for myself. Procrastination of the most seductive sort!
My current methods of organisation are nothing special, and seem pretty common sense to me. They are:
- Saving work under a sensible, useful title and making sure it goes in the appropriate folder.
- Having appropriately named folders and sub-folders.
- Keeping a number of up-to-date documents dealing with various information, including titles of work and when they were written, what stage they’re at, who they’ve been sent off to and when, what the response has been, and details of competitions, publishers and magazines.
- Finding a cheap calendar I can note important dates on, such as deadlines and submission windows.
All of these things I’ve found useful. And easy ways to loose five minutes. . . ten. . . twenty. . . They aren’t infallible of course, because I’m the one that has to implement them. Which means if I forget to keep up with them I have at various times had to: Spend ages getting them up-to-date, ‘loosing’ a piece of work in the sub-folders, nearly missing deadlines because (strangely enough) you have to actually have to keep an eye on the calendar – and look ahead – to make sure you’re not going to end up needing to finish five different things for the same day and you only have a week to do it all.
Having said that, I’m doing much better than I was before I had the calendar and various ‘detail documents’, which are all still kind of new to me. Oh, and a little tip about getting a calendar: I’ve found it more useful to have one that shows a month at a time, with space to write on each day and somewhere at the edge – you can see what’s ahead and there’s plenty of room for notes. Just remember to turn and check the beginning of the next month before it gets there. So. . .
As a final note – You can be organised without being a planner. I never plan my writing, and yet I keep all these records of stories I’ve written and when and so on. Planning and organising are two entirely different things!