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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Disorganized With a Happy Ending

Once again, my lack of an organizational system is costing me time and stress. I carry steno pads with me in my tote bag. Yes, plural because I filled one notebook, but I haven't finished writing those books. I haven't even written proposals yet on some of those books. And until I am done with them, I'll never know when I might need those notes. It's actually a pretty good system because I'll Post-it flag each idea with a different color and it's easy to find what I'm looking for quickly.

If I remember to write it in my notebook.

I have a habit of sending think-out-loud emails to my writing friends. This is fine, too. If I remember to transfer the information to my notebook. Usually, though, it goes something like this--send emails with information on ideas. Get home, have deadline (either self-imposed or contracted) so I don't take time to transfer notes. Decide I can do it later. Later comes, vaguely remember there was something, start searching email. And considering how disorganized my email is, this doesn't always yield success.

It happened again yesterday. The character from one of my series ideas started coming in strongly and I wanted to reread my notes and work on that arc. Of course, the information wasn't in my notebook.

I did a search of Gmail. The first attempt turned up too little. The second search term turned up too many.

I got lucky yesterday. I actually had the notes in my Outlook email. Filed even in folders that were labeled for easy finding. This is seldom the case. Usually, I don't find them and get more frustrated.

The other thing that was awesome? Not only did I find my notes, but one of them had information on a character/setup that I'd completely forgotten. As soon as I reread it, I got a whoosh and I knew who her hero was and his personality snapped into focus. All in all, it was an awesome outcome.

And my email notes? Cut and pasted them into OneNote so that I won't have to search email again. I still don't have them in my notebook.