Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Staying Organized

I'm not an organized person by nature.  I mean, I know where everything is for the most part and I can usually keep track of appointments in my head.  (Sketchy business, I know, but it used to work for me.)  But the more things I have to do, the less I'm able to juggle it using just my brain cells. 

When I started this self-publishing thing, I knew I would need help.  I picked up a date book.  And a wall calendar with just dates and no pictures.  Stuff gets jotted one place or the other or both, so I don't drop the ball on the things that need doing.  (In theory.  I still drop the ball from time to time anyway.)

That was last year at this time.  And one would've assumed I would be smart enough to know in advance that I would need all that stuff again.  But no.  It's December 15th and I only just now got a 2016 date book.  I still need a calendar I can write stuff on.  I guess I should've written 'buy new organizational materials' in my 2015 book so I wouldn't forget.


Being a self-published author means keeping track.  It has to.  I don't have a boss, giving me deadlines.  I don't have a secretary to remind me I have something due to the editor.  There's no team putting together my marketing plan and no assistant following up on things for me.  It's just me.  And my planner.

Me... and my planner... strolling down the avenue...


It's green.  I like green.  This year's is smaller because the dollar store didn't have bigger ones and I didn't want to drive to Walmart.  (Which is why I didn't get a calendar.  The dollar store didn't have anything but the pretty picture calendars.)  As long as it keeps me on track, I don't care how big it is.  When I was outside sales, I had a huge date book.  But I had a lot of appointments and notes and junk.  "10:30am - Ann Arbor - Mary Jones at Widgets, Inc. to discuss engineering of new Platt case."  Stuff like that.

Now?  No time stamp. No location.  "Edits to JC" "Contact AB about ad" "Make shot appt" Check it off when it's done. 

I just have to remember to write it in the book.  And sometimes that's the trick.  Remembering to write stuff down so I'll remember it. 

How do you stay organized?


  1. I'm naturally organized. (Don't smack me.)

    I mostly just write out a list when there's a lot to do. I list them in order of priority. If they're all equally important, I do the most disagreeable tasks first to get them out of the way.

  2. Google Calendar. All my appointments go into it, and I set up email alerts to let me know in advance when an event is approaching. For important ones, I give myself a week's heads up, and then another one two days out.

  3. What is this organization of which you speak? I didn't take that language in school...

    I'll have to do a blog post on the state of my office. With pictures. In the New Year. Because...I really should get organized, right?

    For deadlines, I have a white board. I right on it with a red marker. In big letters. WIP. Publisher. Hard deadline date. I just wiped it off for this year and it looks bare. I need to take a day to contemplate 2016 deadlines and projects.

    The rest of it? I hold my breath and hope... LOLOL

  4. We have a wall calendar above the phone. I still find it the best way to keep track of things. Oh, I also have a small pocket calendar in my purse, for when I'm not at home, but I usually (when I remember--gah!) transfer the stuff to the big wall calendar (and vice versa).

  5. I'm really organised and have a great memory for detail at work. I've been in this job 18 years now, so I get called on for all sorts of things from registration numbers to names of previous colleagues.

    I used to be that organised in my home life too, but these days I just lose track and forget to post birthday cards etc, or just forget altogether. Thank goodness for direct debits & online banking, as I'd never remember to send cheques. I have to organise myself for important things like doctor / hospital / dental / bank appointments by setting an alarm on my phone. And yes, having a calendar on the fridge is a must.

  6. I have a lovely date book. I've tried using technology to keep track of appointments but writing them down works the best for me at this moment in time. Good for you for being so organized.