My Mission For You:

Don't let #Doubt extinguish your #Sparks. Find the #Sparks you need to ignite your stories, dreams, and life.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Organization Tips / IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.



I'm a co-co-host for the A to Z April Blogging Challenge and a member of Tremp's Troops!

A is for Alien and Z is for Zombie.

Bloggers and writers can suffer from many forms of insecurity. They can even be insecure about their lack of organizational skills. Have you ever misplaced an important document/email or forgotten about a guest post? Have no fear...Chrys Fey is here! I have 10 tips that you can implement right now!

1. Blogger: Create a separate folder on your computer in the “My Pictures” folder and label it “Guest Photos.” This is where you’ll store the pictures your blogging guests send you, such as their bio photo and cover art.

2. Blogger: Create another folder on your computer but this time under “My Documents” and label it “Guest Posts.” This is where you’ll store the interviews and guest posts that you need to schedule on your blog.
TIP: You can add another folder for author media kits that contain all the information about the author and their book.
3. Blogger: While you’re at it, create a folder in your email to file every single email from your blog guests to keep track of them. Then delete them after their post goes live.

4. Author: Same thing...designate different folders in your email to keep your correspondences with editors, beta readers, and agents together. I have folders for query submissions, rejections, and one titled “Tour.” Whenever I orchestrate a blog tour for myself, all the emails I send out and receive from participants go into this folder.

5. Author: As soon as you have all the information for an upcoming release such as the blurb, excerpt, and buy links, fashion a .DOC file or “media kit” with this information. Include your bio and author links. This is what you’ll send to bloggers during your blog tour, or anyone else who needs this information.

6. Blogger/Author: List all of your blog and/or story ideas in a .DOC file or notebook, so you won’t forget any of them.

7. Author/Writer: Put together a binder with several tabs. Label the tabs with things like: queries, agents, publishers, etc. to help you organize your research and stay on top of your submissions. I’ve done this for years!

8. Blogger: If you do a lot of blogging, use a calendar to jot down your blogging schedule, especially when you’ll have a guest. This will also help you know which post to publish when if you write ahead like I do.

9. Author: You can also use a calendar for your blog tour. I love doing this! First, it’s easy to schedule your tour stops when you can look at a calendar and fill in each stop as they get approved. Also, when the dates come, the calendar acts as a reminder so you can visit each blog in time for your guest post.

10. Author: If you have a lot of responsibilities, get a binder and a bunch of tabs. You can label the tabs with things like: newsletter, giveaways, street team, website, promo ideas, etc. This will allow you to plan things out ahead of time and you won’t have to worry about misplacing something.

There's 16 tabs in the white one for everything that has to do with my writing, blogging, and marketing. The black one has three folders full of old blog posts. Yes, I'm a nerd!

If you’re a writer/blogger, being organized is crucial to your work. Use these tips (I do them all!) or adapt them to your needs, and you won’t be insecure about organization anymore. I promise!



QUESTIONS: Are you an organized person or a hot mess? ;) How do you stay organized?


118 comments:

  1. I should delete files when they're no longer useful. I don't know why I'm still keeping those ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clearing them out will give you more space and less clutter. Out with the old! ;)

      Delete
  2. Great tips. I do a lot of those, except for the emails. I just flag those.
    I do maintain a detailed calendar for blogging, especially since I'm posting at three public blogs and a couple private ones. Plus everything for my upcoming Dragon tour is in a Word document and ready to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figured you'd be organized, Alex. ;)

      Delete
  3. I'm relatively organized but I don't keep up with my systems the way I should/want to. I'm always looking for new and better ways to make things work. Thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gosh I love organizing. These are awesome. I have planner, calendar, and folders systems. Not binders but notebooks with colored tags and highlighters, etc. Cool post! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So do I!:D I have a planner, too. I love it! :D

      Delete
  5. Great tips! Especially since I'm trying to get more organized. I do use a blogging calendar, though. I love #7. I'll have to do that once I start sending things out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Getting organized cuts down on stress. My submission binder was the first one I ever put together. :)

      Delete
  6. yup I've been doing the calendar thing for upcoming guests--helps a ton, since I always tell myself "oh I'll remember" but I never will! I'm def organized...I'd get nothing done if I didn't plan a ton :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like to think I'm organized but actually paperwork gets out of control fast for me! My Beau is super organized (he's a Virgo) and he just shakes his head when he watches me rifle through dozens of files looking for ONE piece of paper. So, I need to work on this. Great suggestions, Chrys. I have a large binder for my legal shit I have going on. My writing files are all in folders (not the best). I'm a huge fan of flash cards for writing blog ideas, notes and my fiction. So, those are everywhere. Once I use it they get torn up and thrown away. e-files get out of control fast too.

    Short answer? I'm a hot mess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could get a little basket for your desk to put your flash drives/cards in. :)

      I also have a folder for my legal shit ;) and medical stuff. I guess you can say I'm super organized.

      Delete
  8. My ocd keeps everything in check pretty easily. So nice at times haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I have a little OCD when it comes to things like this.

      Delete
  9. I do keep the emails until a blog is posted but I don't make a separate folder for them. I keep my planner on my desk and make sure I write stuff down immediately when I schedule a guest. So far, it works for me but I might incorporate some of your ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have hundreds of Word document files and several binders to organize everything.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's like we're the same person! I use the folder method for organizing pictures/posts/emails that you suggested. Works so well.

    Happy March!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're organization twins! :D

      Happy March!

      Delete
  12. Wow, you really have it together. Your list both impressed me and gave me a stomach ache. I'm used to keeping everything in my head, but that is not possible anymore. The inbox is full.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A stomach ache? Oh no! I can't rely on my head anymore, because when I tell myself I'll remember something I never do. lol

      Delete
  13. Like Tamara, I try to keep everything in my head, but the holes keep letting important stuff fall out! I do use folders for my pictures and for my documents. So I guess I am more organized than I thought! Thanks for dropping into my blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Using folders for pictures and documents is a good first step. :)

      Delete
  14. Thanks for sharing your tips, I'm sure we can all benefit from them.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm organized sometimes and a big mess in other ways. Your suggestions here are excellent. I think a lot of insecurity is the result of not being organized. If we don't know what we're doing then we worry about it more.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! That's why I wanted to share my techniques to stay organized. :)

      Delete
  16. Ha! I'm a hot mess. I never prepare, but once I'm in the moment, I'm like a commander in the midst of battle. You should see me during critique group. I run it, keep everyone on track, but I procrastinate until the last minute to get everything organized. I'm hoping I pull it off well enough that people don't notice. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love to see that. ;) I couldn't function or do a good job if I wanted to the last minute to do things.

      Delete
  17. Excellent suggestions. I'm relatively organized and using folders helps a lot. Unfortunately, I sometimes forget I've made a folder and end up searching for documents that are already safely tucked away in a well-marked folder on my hard drive. I've also been known to inadvertently make two folders with different names for the same thing. Yes, I'm hopeless.

    VR Barkowski

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe! You sound like my mom when it comes to keeping organized. :P

      Delete
  18. I don't think I could ever be this organized! These are really great tips, though!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Being so organized is against my nature! I always hated when my mother would go into my room and reorganize my organized chaos to her style. I could never find anything afterwards, and had to immediately make it into my organized mess again. I obviously got the disorganized gene from my maternal grandmother, and it skipped a generation with my mother. I don't know if that's an Aspie thing or a me thing, or if the fact that my grandmother is so much like I am is yet another reason to suspect she might be a fellow Aspie but undiagnosed due to her age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not everyone like to organize things and that's fine. Some people say they can find things better in their organized mess. Like my sister. :)

      Delete
  20. Great tips. I'm very organised with guest bloggers (I'd hate to let people down, so I always make sure I'm on top of that), but with my own writing, I have a very random approach.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been a guest for some bloggers who fail to post my interview/spotlight when it's supposed to go up, or doesn't include everything. It sucks. I know your organized with your guest bloggers, though. :)

      Delete
  21. Great post Chrys. I'm not known for my organization but I'm doing at least half of the tips you've mentioned already. And as for keeping tracks of submissions/queries, I usually refer to my submittable account. But recently I created an excel spreadsheet to help track who I've submitted to before, whether it was rejected/accepted, if there were any editor notes/feedback, and who I want to try submitting to again or move on from and submit to for the first time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're doing half of these tips then you're doing a great job! I use Submittable too, but not all places that I submit to use it.

      Delete
  22. I am probably one of the most disorganized people you'll ever come in contact with. That's probably why I'm such a terrible blogger.

    ReplyDelete
  23. For the most part, I'm pretty organized and have lots of folders to keep me that way. :) But there are some things where I'm not so organized (until I have to be).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you have things under control, Kimberly. :)

      Delete
  24. These were great tips; I might use some of them in doing my A/Z :) I am pretty organized for the most part :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I hope they make things easier for you, Betty! :)

      Delete
  25. Sounds like some excellent tips here. I must admit my computer files could do with a spring clean!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Suzanne! Every once in a while I do a spring cleaning with my computer.

      Delete
  26. Wow, you are really organized. I'm a bit techno-challenged, but have managed to put folders in my email and laptop for "to-do" things. Great tips you have here. Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A little organization like what you do with the folders on your email and laptop can go a long way. :)

      Delete
  27. From one nerd to another, you go girl! I have almost the same system! Good luck with Tremp's Troops!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe! It's always nice meeting another nerd. :D

      Thanks!

      Delete
  28. I'm pretty organized...but I still learned a few things! :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I do a lot of your tips. My only problem is not deleting guest posts after they've visited. I don't do the binder thing, but I have a lot of "folders" for my doc files. Lots of good advice, Chrys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great! Sometime we forget to delete thing. I still had all of my editing rounds with my editor for my published work still saved on my computer! I recently deleted them.

      Delete
  30. Hmm, after reading this, I realize I might not be as organized as I thought. I know this sounds sad, but I'm still trying to figure out how to create folders on my new laptop. *sigh*

    Great tips! I think I'll try to do better. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually, in the "my documents" folder there's a sidebar with "make a new folder" as an option. But then again, I don't have a laptop. lol

      Delete
  31. Oh my! I wish I was that organized. I do start to be organized but then...yeah. Thanks for the tips. I love the binder idea. I actually do that with my work in progress. =)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Chrys. If your writing is a business you should follow business guidelines which you've given a taste of here. Good one. I do spend a lot of time hunting for files on my computer/s, flash drives blah blah and curse myself every time for not being more organised. :-0

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now is a good time to organize those files and flash drives. ;)

      Delete
  33. I'm usually a very organized person, but that all seems to fly out the window when it comes to blogging. I've got the folders and everything, I just forget when I'm supposed to use them!!! Yes, I need to start using some of these tips :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you do use these tips, I hope they help. :)

      Delete
  34. Today must be the day for organization. I've read a few posts about it today. :) We all do it on some level though, don't we? Love your tips! Honestly, I do use most of them already, but hearing that someone else does makes me feel like I'm on the right track.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really? Huh. It must've been the trend. ;)

      Delete
  35. I'm an organized person and do a lot of the things you mentioned having to do with Blogger. I have email folders for various writing and blog related correspondence, and then I have a "Blog Stuff" folder in which I separate guest posts, personal posts, images, links for Wednesdays (a spreadsheet), etc. And I have a "Writing" folder for all my other writing related stuff. I probably have way too much organization, but it works for me! Great tips on everything, especially the information on running your own blog tour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great! It sounds like you're more organized with your blogging stuff than I am. ;)

      Delete
  36. I like the idea of a binder. I have a number of writing binders, and I work best with hard copies of things. Computer stuff overwhelms me, and I'm not even sure how to create files. I tend to save my docs on the desktop when I'm currently working on them, and later file them in my regular docs or - if I don't need them or printed them already - just delete.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually, in the "My Documents" folder there's a sidebar with "Make a New Folder" as an option. At least that's what it's like with my computer. :)

      Delete
  37. I'm not a hot mess but I'm nowhere as organized as you are, Chrys. I do keep folders for my guest posts, and I love my scheduler. It keeps me sane.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scheduling things keeps me sane too.

      Delete
  38. I have many folders and bookmarks on my computer--not to mention spreadsheets, because I love those. In print, I know where to find things since everything's labeled and in the right place. Being organized takes time, but at the end it saves time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no idea how to do spreadsheets...they scare me. :P That's about the only thing with organization that I don't do.

      Delete
  39. I'm not naturally very organised but you're right that we need to be to keep track of our writing and blogging, so I'm working on it.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Gosh, you're organised!
    I try to be, I start off with best intentions and then somewhere along the line it all dissolves into a horrible mess.
    Then I start again...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the same problem my mom has. ;)

      Delete
  41. Are you available for hire? I am pretty organized on my computer--however, I hate dealing with paper files. And I love having an administrative assistant to make appointments, maintain files, and keep me walking in the right direction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! If I could travel to you, I'd let you hire me to be your administrative assistant. ;) Heck, I want one of those too!

      Delete
  42. I'm organized, but not like the above. Excellent list, Chrys. Very impressive. I'm bookmarking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess I outed myself for being an organization freak, huh? :P

      Delete
  43. Hi, Chrys.

    These are great suggestions, thanks! It is good to keep your work organized. As a designer I also have to have my work grouped properly because there are times I have multiple clients. Then add all my writing work to the foray and things can get "HAIRY"... but, like you, I do keep my work as organized as possible...

    ReplyDelete
  44. These are some awesome ideas and I can tell you are really good at organization. I recently lost a paper document at work and it was really embarrassing. That's what I get for taking a day off and coming back to chaos :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no! I'm sorry. Hopefully that won't happen again. :)

      Delete
  45. This is outstanding Chrys! You've out done yourself. I'm seriously going to print this out and make use of it. Very useful information. Is there a potential book in this for you??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I am considering creating a book with all of my useful posts someday. :D

      Delete
  46. I'm an organized hot mess! Truthfully! Doing the declutter challenge this month has pointed that out even more than usual. Head down, I'm going in!

    Great suggestions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Declutter challenge? I like the sound of that! ;)

      Delete
  47. I'd be lost without my Google calendar and multi-layers of folders!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't use Google calendar, but I'd be lost without my calendar/planner too.

      Delete
  48. You are incredibly organized! I'm somewhere in the middle. Organized enough to get myself in trouble but not deep do-do.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Believe it or not, I'm very organized about my stuff. Not only that, I will re-organize just for the heck of it.

    One more tip:
    Back up your blog!

    Thanks, Chrys!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love to organize. When I was little, I had a giant folder where I would store school papers, magazine clippings, and everything I loved. Every weekend, I would reorganize it for fun! lol

      I feel silly asking this, but how do you back up a blog?

      Delete
    2. I could write it out, but the lazy supper-cookin' Cherdo will just give you this link:
      http://www.bloggeryard.com/2013/08/download-complete-backup-of-blogger-blog.html

      Delete
    3. Thanks! I'll definitely check that out! :)

      Delete
  50. Oh, wow, you are the organization Queen, Chrys! :-)
    Awesome tips, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thanks for the tips! Most of the time I'm organized, but sometimes things get away from me. When I can't stand it anymore, a flurry of reorganization ensues.
    By the way, thanks for the how-to post about making a Facebook author page. Very helpful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you found this post and my Facebook author page post helpful, Lori! :)

      Delete
  52. Great tips for organizing Chrys. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  53. These are GREAT! I don't do too many blog tours myself--I seem to have one book out a year...so I need to start preparing for the next one now by setting up a system. As for hosting other people--I have a Word doc where I list every date for the next couple of months and note next to it what blog I'll be posting. I write my blogs a month in advance so guest blogs are usually set up as the stuff is sent to me. I end up doing a lot of rearranging of dates when last-minute things come up, as you can imagine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I write my posts about half a year in advance. ;) And I have the whole year scheduled for posts, except for guests which could be booked 2-3 months in advance. Blogging is crazy business. ;)

      Delete
  54. Those are great tips. I can see where having separate folders to keep photos and posts would really help.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi Chrys .. I am an organised person - but just never caught up after years of looking after my mother and uncle - just an excuse: Hilary get organised! I know ... I must knuckle under before April creeps up ...

    Well done - being organised is an essential in life .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hilary!

      Spring cleaning is the perfect time to get organized. :)

      Delete
  56. I thought I was an organized person, but after reading this I see lots of room for improvement. I guess post-its are not the best way to stay organized. Haha. Thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Post-its. Ha! I haven't used post-its in a long time. I could use some, though. ;)

      Delete
  57. Thanks for the tips! I'm pretty organized most of the time. For my blog, I filter all of my emails to help keep track of things, keep a calendar for upcoming posts, and I have lots of folders for images and book blast info. It helps a lot. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Lanise! Organizing things for our blogs does help a lot.

      Delete

Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

Follow!

Popular Posts!