4 Ways to Organize Your Writing in 2016


4 Ways to Organize Your Writing in 2016

Over the past few years I’ve gotten in a better practice in organizing, with my writing especially.

I had files scattered, drafts placed here and there, several notebooks in various places. I had to look for things I KNEW I had written, but where did I put it. *sigh* I began (slowly, but surely) to gather things and put them in the same area. Then I began to organize that better. I finally have things where I can find them. *YAY* It takes time. I thought I would pass on some of the things I’m doing and maybe you can incorporate it and make it work for you too.

  1. Laptop -In the past few months I had to save everything to thumb drives. *Yes, I needed plural* As I was reloading, it gave me the perfect opportunity to reorganize. I deleted duplicate copies. For manuscripts, I created folders and made sure all my revisions were placed in them. I was able to get my workload refocused. Creating folders, and sometimes subfolders, helped organize all my work. It took a few days… Okay a week, but it is done and I can pull things up and bam-o it’s all there!
  2. Notebooks – I still love to write long-hand. Most of my first few drafts are long-hand. While it’s a great way to show students how I do what they do, it can amount to a lot of paper. I have several notebooks with stories in various stages. I gathered them all together and went through them one by one. On the inside front cover I wrote the titles of all the stories included in that particular notebook. This way I can simply open the notebook and see if it is the one I want. Bam-o!
  3. Ideas – I have a few things I do to keep my ideas together. I have an ideas notebook, an ideas file, and an ideas jar.
    I use the ideas notebook for challenges that I do, like #PiBoIdMo. This way I can start a new page with every idea.
    I use an ideas file on my laptop for the ideas which have more potential on becoming an actual draft. If/When the idea forms into a draft, I move the document into my stories file.
    I use an ideas jar to keep all my best ideas where I can see them. REALLY see them. I have a jar (large pickle jar that I’ve cleaned to be precise) on my table next to my laptop. Inside that jar is scraps of paper. On each paper is an idea. Whenever I get stuck, feel in a rut, or just blah about my writing, I pull out my stack of papers and go through them. Something will trigger in my brain and there goes my imagination.
    The thing I’ve found about keeping my ideas up front and center is that it keeps my muse happy. A happy muse and you’re writing. Bam-o!
  4. Thumb drives – Or as I say back it all up and then back it up again. Back in the dinosaur age of computers, I used floppy disks to back up my writing. One day my floppy disk stopped working and said it was corrupted. THANKFULLY it was at the beginning of my career. I didn’t have many stories. Most of them were mailed *yes, mailed* out on submissions and I got those back. Three weren’t. I remembered the jist of two and lost the other one. Lesson learned! Now I back up my stories on a thumb drive (organized by files), on email, and I have a hard copy printed off. Overkill? Maybe, but I have it.  😀  Thumb drives are wonderful, compact, and have multi uses.

Maybe this can help you on your journey. Let’s start 2016 in a positive note. One where we have a writing right where we need it to be, so we can push it further!


How are preparing for the new year?
Do you have different ways to organize your writing?
What are some things that work for you?

Until next time,

Happy Writing!

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5 thoughts on “4 Ways to Organize Your Writing in 2016

  1. Happy New Year, Tracey! And my, doesn’t your blog look nice. 😉

    Here’s my organization tip: Carbonite. Really, that should be in all caps ’cause it’s worth every penny. It automatically backs up EVERY file, picture, you name on it, on my laptop. Which is a very good thing ’cause me and flash drives = disaster. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the tip, Cathy. I’ll have to check that out. I love my thumb drives, but I’m scared of loosing them, spilling something on them, or destroying them. (You have to know me. Haha.)

  3. Mom smiled when she read about writing longhand and writing ideas on papers and keeping them in a jar. It’s so heartfelt and vintage…. 🙂 Scraps of paper do not exist in this house. Ideas are in Mom’s phone, and stories are uploaded to a folder in her Dropbox. In other words, if the Internet goes down, she’s not a writer!!!

    Love and licks,

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