GET SIMPLE: Online Folders

18 Jun

Taking a break (stalling) from some really focused writing (still stalling) I decided to trip over to my “Story Ideas” folder and take a peak.


Lot’s of it. Everywhere. In the right folders. In the wrong folders. Grouped logical and illogically. Just a mess. Like a junk drawer online.

I set out to organize it. Of course, as sick as I am, this was a lot of fun. Here’s what I did:

  1. Opened each file and renamed them for clarity
  2. Made folders for each project that was actively being worked
  3. Made folders by genre for non-active “just a page or blurb” files
  4. Created a list of files with small blurb or explanation, grouped by genre
  5. Went thru notebooks, totes, phone, etc to enter all of scribbles into the system

And this all took me about 40 mins. Everything done, clear and saved in less than an hour.

This was great on so many levels. Hmm.. I’m feeling listy:

  1. All the ideas I wanted to capture that were floating around in weird places are saved now
  2. Everything is organized and easy to find
  3. Ideas I had totally forgotten about are suddenly alive in my head again
  4. Looking at all my ideas at once had newer, more clear (maybe more exciting??) ideas pop up
  5. Yes, I put them into the system right then
  6. And Worry is gone

You see, I’m a worrier. I had a job right out of college that was horrible (let’s just say, the man threw a stapler at me and hit me in the forehead) – I was constantly worried. He would call me in the middle of the night to get information. He would beat me to work by hours and expect me to get to work and have stuff done already at 7am. I was on edge and panicked and just 23 so I had no experience in an office to know this was Not. Normal. (ok, the stapler to the head was obvious, but you know….)

So, back then I used my love of organizing to creating a portable system for anything I’d need at the office and at home (this was before the days of almost everyone having a laptop). But, the one thing that has stuck with me since then is the fear of losing information. It is truly the best reason to keep your files organized.

because, who knows! Maybe that passing thought you had a year ago is now a hot idea that your mind put a new spin on and is going to be your big breakout!

Share with us! How do you keep your Do Not Lose information organized?

6 Responses to “GET SIMPLE: Online Folders”

  1. Laura Fitzgerald June 18, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    I use splash notes to keep outlines of my ideas and projects on my iPhone since I never know where I’ll be when inspiration strikes. And then back it up to my PC once a week to be safe.

  2. Kimberly Farris June 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    What a timely post. I’m in the process of organizing my writing stuff. I’m going to use your suggestions to get my stuff in order. Thanks!

  3. Katrina Williams June 18, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    You mean everyone didn’t already do this? *blush* I’m a bigger organization freak than I thought. I’ve always labeled folders with the working title of the wip and saved all notes there. If it’s not fleshed out enough to have a title, it goes in the Ideas folder. I also have a Writing folder, with sub-folders like Editing, Characterization, etc.

    I really stopped doing anything longhand many years ago because my handwriting is terrible plus it hurts my hand. So it’s all on the hard drive. And backed up. In four places.

  4. briaq June 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    Laura – what are splash notes? Is it a program or something I might be calling by another name?

    Go Kimberly!

    Katrina – Mine is typcially set up like this. Things have been crazy I feel like they “Story Ideas” folder became the closet you throw everything you didn’t have time to organize in when a guest unexpectedly shows up 😉

  5. Cambria Dillon June 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Um…I bow down to your organization skills. I have…ahem…old receipts, gum wrappers, a napkin (which may have been *slightly* used) with ideas written on them. Usually I just tape them to my handy dandy moleskin and call it a day. But dang. Your way seems a lot more efficient. 🙂

  6. briaq June 21, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    It was so great to see those ideas saved and get them fresh and orgainzed.

    Um, my receipts are all shoved in an envelope…. I’ll org them when I need them – There’s only like 9 LOL

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