This is what my office looks like when I am finishing a project: messy.
I spent the whole weekend moving furniture, tossing old stuff, cleaning, and organizing. I still have more to do, but I am beginning to feel like I can breathe again. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to think when my house is a mess. I cannot write with files strewn all over my office. Well, I can write and I often do, but I think better when everything is organized.
Here are some tools that have helped me stay organized:
*Project shelves! I like to keep all of my books and papers for a particular project on their own shelf in my office. That way, when I am on deadline, I don’t waste time running around the house looking for resources—they are all right here.
*A Place for EVERYTHING. Writers need a lot of stuff—pens, paper, file folders, envelopes, dictionaries, and more. I added a little filing cabinet in my office so that I could keep all of these supplies in reach and out of sight.
*A clean desk. I have two desks in my office—one for computer work and one for everything else. I like to keep both desks clear (No STACKS!) so that each day I can spread out my writing work.
*Action files. On a shelf behind my desk, I have a small holder filled with action files on current writing and speaking projects. This way, my work is always within reach. I do not miss deadlines, because the files remind me exactly what is on my to-do list!
*Clean up time! No matter how organized I try to be, my office gets messy. At the end of each day, if possible, and always at the end of each week, I clean up my space (just like kindergarten!). I try to do the same for my online space, clearing out my email’s inbox so that I don’t wake up on Monday to a long list of emails to answer.
How about you? This week, I am asking for your best organizing tips for writers. What keeps you organized? Leave your tips for organizing here, at the blog. Everyone who leaves a comment on the blog this week will get entered into a contest to win Eileen Roth’s wonderful resource: Organizing for Dummies. I’ll hold the drawing over Easter weekend and announce the winners next week!