Want to stay organized? Keep it simple.
Written by
Alissa Johnson
November 2017
Written by
Alissa Johnson
November 2017

Do you ever find it hard to sit down and write because you cannot remember where you left off? Or you’re having a hard time deciding where to begin? If so, I can relate.

If you’re like me, you’ve already tried the over-the-top approaches. You’ve done the excel spreadsheet. You’ve done the color coding. You’ve done the methods that take more time to create and maintain than the act of writing itself.

If that’s what you’re looking to avoid, you’re in the right place because my recommendations are simple. Keep reading below for my tips or watch the video.

Writers in my online coaching programs and in my one-on-one coaching programs often ask me how to stay organized. By which they mean:

How do I keep track of everything I’ve already written?

Here are my two simple tips. It's what I do and what I recommend.

First, get a notebook. Anytime you are doing freewriting, exploratory writing or writing a rough draft, put it in that notebook. When it’s time to write all you have to do is find that notebook and a pen, and you are ready to start.

It reminds me that my writing doesn’t have to be good.

When I’m looking for the story and finding ideas I can write as badly as I need to in order to write at all.

When it’s time to start typing and revising then I suggest moving to the computer. Create a single folder where you can keep all of your writing. I like to have subfolders. One for each of my short stories and one for my novel. I never have to think about where I left off. I can just find the piece that I’m looking for in that moment and get started.

Now I know this sounds deceptively simple but here’s the thing – you want it to be that simple.

Any process of staying organized that requires too much work is one that you’re not going to follow through on.

So give these two things a try and let me know how it goes. If you have other suggestions for how you like to stay organized, please let me know in the comments below or on the Facebook page. I’d love to see them.

P.S. Ready for a writing breakthrough? Break free from writing rules that don't work and find your way with my FREE three-part series: Inside the Writers Mind. The first insight (and writing prompt) could be yours today.

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