Catching up on Organization – 2014

Posted by Akira | Posted in General Writing, Organization | Posted on 13-01-2014

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Courtesy of cfci.net

Courtesy of cfci.net

The new year has begun and I’m taking a bit of my own advice! I’m knee deep in new writing projects and the need to re-organize has hit me like a brick. I’ve posted a lot about the need for useful organization in the past. I’ve found that there’s also a need to make sure I’m not spinning my wheels when I take on new projects and commitments by updating my approach to organization when it’s needed.

Tech Savy Organization

Posted by Akira | Posted in General Writing, Organization | Posted on 10-10-2013

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This was a difficult post to write for some reason. Certainly not because I lack a list of blog post ideas, a schedule, and several calender and task reminders about this exact post. Perhaps it was because I was bombarded with a plethora of post ideas. Or, my excitement about the many upcoming writing projects. Maybe I am overwhelmed about those projects and the responsibility to keep them all together, streaming nicely across the blogosphere. It’s the latter. However, when I do get scatterbrained like this, I tend to fall back to my organization roots to help me maintain focus and keep deadlines.

One of the best tools I use to stay organized is Google calendar. I don’t think it matters which type of calendar you use, so long as you use one. You’ll have a difficult time meeting deadlines if you don’t know when they’re coming. I prefer Google calendar because I can synch across my devices, invite my other accounts (work, author, hubby, etc) and it has a reminder function that I use frequently. I do not like the task function. Though it works well, I feel anything other than the calender view just clutters the screen.

I also use Springpad  to keep organized. I use it to jot ideas down, to keep task lists, to keep track of my blog ideas and for keeping a visual checklist on all my projects. You can create a ‘notebook’ for each subject (hobbies, blog, cooking, etc) and look at only those notebooks when you want. You can ‘snip’ things from online and stash them in your notebooks (like new blogs, recipes, or visual inspiration), and you receive an email weekly that updates you on your recent “springs.” Springpad does have a calendar function with reminders, and I have used it. However, I have not been able to synch it with Google successfully yet, so I have not been able to use it entirely for planning/calendaring.

Microsoft’s OneNote is a great little tool that I use as my ‘whiteboard’. You can create notes on the ‘board’ and move them around in any fashion you want with a simple click-drag. You can date the notes, color code them, use tabs instead of notes…however you feel the need to use the tool, it’s up to you. At first, it seemed very abstract and not very user friendly. However, I have come to rely on its simplicity in organizing everything from my blog posts to future book plots. I’ve even used it for world building!

With so many projects and so little time, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with deadlines and commitments. Utilizing familiar tools available in today’s tech-heavy world is a great way to remain focused on your end goal and up to date with your deadlines.

Identities

Posted by Akira | Posted in Book 2, General Writing, Wild Royal | Posted on 06-03-2011

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Having shelved the novel for a while I started working on an outline. I hadn’t run into a writer’s block, but I did find that I was stuck trying to tie my plots together. I had my romance and I knew how the outcome would be. I had my main plot and I knew how that plot would end. I had my main character’s “journey” detailed so I knew how that would end. The problem was that, in several rewrites, I still hadn’t tied it all together in a neat or semi-neat little package. It was difficult to find the ending to the novel because I just couldn’t tie it all together. Enter Microsoft OneNote. I’m not one to push any type of Microsoft product, but this one has worked for me. I used it in conjunction with a good book, Fill-in-the-Blank Plotting: A Guide to Outlining a Novel Using the Hero’s Journey & Three-Act Structure by Linda George.  I found the book by George THE strategy to use to focus my story and take me through the plotting process to structuring an ending. Using the technique as presented by George was one thing, but I just don’t have the inclination to construct a physical cork board with tons of index cards and push pins. That’s where Microsoft’s OneNote comes in. I used it to simulate the cork board that George presents in her book. It allows the user to create multiple notes of various shapes and sizes and allows the user to move the notes independently of each other all over the screen. It also auto saves so you never have to worry about losing or accidentally deleting a note. It served me well. It is a great electronic cork board and works well for my purposes.