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One reason my recent move went surprisingly smoothly was because of how insanely organized I was. I had one single notebook where I wrote down all the different things we needed to do, things were booked and set up weeks in advance of the actual move, and I labelled the moving boxes with the rooms they belonged in at the new house.

Now if only my writing and indie author business was as neat and orderly as my new kitchen!

I tend to be a very “big idea” oriented person, so I plan out the whole year/month/week, and then know in general what needs to happen. I don’t need to go back and check it every day. But this only works for one thing at a time. Since I have about six or seven things going on right now, I do need a way to keep track of everything beside just my poor, overworked brain.

In a recent podcast episode, we talked about our personal favorite organization tools, but we went to the Writer Mom Life Facebook group to see what other busy writer moms recommend. The suggestions fall into a few categories:

  • Planners: who doesn’t love a good planner? I have at least two every year and stop using them about 1/3 of the way through… But others are much better about continued use! A few favorites from the WML community are the Plot Your Work planner (made for writers by writers!), Plum Paper, Erin Condren, Passion Planner, and the Full Focus Planner.
  • Note taking: phone apps are the way to go it seems. Evernote is popular, along with Wunderlist and Paperless, which are more specifically for to-do lists. Workflowy is a newer app that one writer mom really loves. Google docs are another great way to sync up ideas you get on the go with your actual WIPs. Which brings us to…
  •  Writing organization: this is so much more than plotting! You need to keep track of character profiles, inspiration pictures, maps or other images you’ve created… Scrivener has a bit of a learning curve, but has everything a writer needs to keep all the WIP information with the actual WIP! Amazing! Though a few people did mention a trick using index cards to hold onto all those ideas. Try both and see which one your brain likes better!

No one tool will work for everyone or even every project! I use Evernote to plan for Twitter and jot down other story or business ideas, but Google docs has become my place to actually do the work. Plus, something that worked last month may not work this month. I go back and forth with my paper notebook and online documents; it just depends on what my brain needs that day it seems!

But there are tools out there that can help kick you into gear and start to think about things in a new (and hopefully more organized) way. Hopefully there are a few new ones here that you can try out!

Join the WML Facebook group and let us know what you’re using to stay organized right now!

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