I’ve spent the last hour cleaning my home desk. My main problem is a pile of paper scraps with random notes. I have a scrap with the name of a book someone recommended to me, two passwords, fonts I’ve used for covers, plot ideas, and a sticky note with a phone number. They were in a neat little pile under my monitor, but still troublesome.
It’s strange how much difference it can make having the information I need on hand. I’m making a notebook for all of those scraps, the tiny bits of information that have no real place but are somehow important.
Having an organized space may not seem like a big deal. Artist types sometimes like to use the mess as an excuse. The truth is, spending an hour looking for the ‘exact’ font used on a previous cover has nothing to do with art and everything to do with organization. (I have a white board that I often use for reminders as well.)
Some tips for keeping organized:
On the Computer:
- Keep ‘like’ information together. For example, I have one document dedicated to cover image credits. If I need to credit someone, I know exactly which cover belongs to what credit link. My books are all in one folder under series subfolders.
- Use descriptive titles when saving. For example, since print and ebook formats are different, I will use the title of the book followed by ‘Smashwords’ or ‘Amazon’ or ‘print’.
- Keep spreadsheets of important details such as accounting, advertising, or submissions.
- I have a zipper pencil holder meant to go inside notebooks that I store the yearly receipts for any business-related purchases. It hangs on the wall and is easy to access and keep track of.
- A white board is handy for goal keeping or notes. I have the ebook cover sizes and a to-do list on mine.
- Use macros or templates wherever possible. I have ‘cover’ templates for each of my pen names.
Those are a few basic ones. One I wish I’d done earlier is to keep all computer files in a single folder and then branch out from there. I’m moving files from one hard drive to another and it’s painful when things are scattered.
Moon Struck is currently free on Amazon…