As I gaze at my impossible cluttered desk, I wonder how I ever get anything done. My physical world is messy--let’s face it, I’m not a neatnik. In fact, I cross-stitched this little sign so visitors would know the philosophy behind the condition of my house.
The only way I succeed at anything is to be organized in the virtual world, which is where I live when I’m writing. It wasn’t always thus. In the old days of typewriters, writing was as physical as anything else. But when I’m doing most of my composing on a computer, it doesn’t feel real. I’m not producing paper or carbons. My timeless prose consists of data, which all comes down to ones and zeroes in the end. I have lots of paper printouts, of course, which explains the real-world messy desk, but I try to stay very organized within my computer.
My first, best tool is the spreadsheet. I’ve touted them before, and I’m doing it again. I couldn’t live without them at this point. (Unless you took away my computer and I had to go back to list making, I guess.) I make myself a schedule for the next week on Saturdays, putting down all the tasks I want to get done that week. I scatter them randomly among the weekdays. Somehow, most of them get done. When I see it on a list, whether a paper list or a spreadsheet list, I tend to just do it.
Works for me! What works for you?