Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Getting Organized and Getting Things Done

Getting Organized and Getting Things Done

Whether writing is a side job or the way you make your living, it won't be long before you realize you need some semblance of organization to meet your deadlines, track your income and maybe even reign in your blog-surfing so that it doesn't consume your writing time.

(MNABC is, of course, exempt. This blog is for your business!)

In my pre-mom years I was an administrative assistant for a busy sales office, and developed systems and helpful manuals and whatnot that ultimately made the sales team more productive.

It was easier managing all of that than it is to manage my own freelance schedule.

I love the new QuickBooks ads that show people trying to do what they do and hassle with invoicing and receipts and etc. One ad shows a dressmaker pinning all his receipts onto a dress form.

Those ads are a vivid illustration of why it’s difficult. When I’m in “writing mode” my mind is not on invoices and paperwork. When I’m in “administrative mode” my mind is not on writing. And some days, it takes a lot of time and energy to transition between the two.

With productivity in mind, I've been “collecting” organizational systems to help me manage the unpredictable workdays that come with being a freelance writing mom. If you think about it, any one of those three job titles presents an organizing challenge: “freelance” can mean a wildly deviating schedule, “writing” means thinking of the perfect phrase at the weirdest times and squeezing in interviews when you can get them, and being a mommy - heck, I don't have to tell you about the unpredictability of that job.

Some of these tips and tools I have actually implemented with great success. Some are great in theory, but didn't work for me. Some might work for me if I get around to using them.

And I'd really, really like to hear what works for you. Please feel free to add to the discussion!

So here's the deal: I'm going to post anything I find that can make your life easier as a writer and/or as a mom with the tag "Getting Organized." To find them, just click on that tag in the sidebar, and all those posts will show up in an orderly fashion. How organized is that?

Since it's almost tax time, I'll start with that. (Tomorrow. :) )


becky said...


I wrote a piece about organizing your paperwork for tax time. While geared towards those with taxes due on April 15, even the self-employed can use some of the tips.

You're welcome to quote from it and link to it.


becky said...

argh! here it is in tinyURL form: