Organization is a Moving Target

For us writers, organization is pretty important. We’re constantly dealing with long-term goals and that requires some level of keeping our stuff together. Looking at my posts, I realize it’s been a bit of awhile since I’ve said something here. Between moving and finishing a book and all the stuff that life requires of me, I’ve let things slip through the cracks. For awhile I thought it was perhaps because I wasn’t organized or properly self-motivated to do All The Things. After all, if you make a to-do list and you’re not checking off items, what else could it possibly be?

Well, in my case, I think it was a problem of outgrowing my organization solution.

A little over two years ago, I realized I needed to get properly organized. I was having a difficult time keeping things straight and getting things done, simply because I was so disorganized. So I got myself set up on Google Calendar, and I started putting in events as they came up, and behold, suddenly, I was organized.

It worked for a good while, too. The one-two combo of Google Calendar and Google Tasks helped me keep track of everything I needed to do. And it was really easy to be flexible and re-organize things as needed. Just drag-and-drop events around, and my whole schedule could be re-worked at a moment’s notice. Easy, clean, and everything’s there where I need it.

Unfortunately, all of that flexibility became my downfall. Staring at my upcoming summer, I realized I had over-scheduled myself. And looking back over the past year, I realized that had been an ever-growing problem. I was over-scheduling myself to a point of unsustainability, and it was causing things to slip through the cracks. So I’ve made a switch to paper planners (specifically this paper planner). It’s forcing me to be more deliberate about my schedule, and to really consider moving something before I move it, because it’s just going to make the whole page look messy and cluttered.

It may turn out in a year or two that I need to shift organization methods again, but that’s the joy of tools: you need to find the specific one to get the job done, and once it’s not getting the job done, you move on to a new one.

And because I love organization tools, I’m curious: What organization tools do you use? How do you keep yourself on-track to hit those word counts and turn in your projects?

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