Six Ways This Writer Organizes

So you think that all a writer has to do is write that magical tome and then sit back and reap the rewards. You know the writing is sometimes tedious, often frustrating and even a little difficult, but, really–authors have nothing else to do. You can hardly wait to sign the copies, accept the accolades, and cash the cheques.

Now that all my writers are clawing the ceiling, let me tell the truth. Being a published author today is a full time job. We write, edit, rewrite, get critiques, rewrite–well, you know all that. But at the same time as an author is polishing her work, she needs to be doing a host of other things, a large part of which is preparing the world for the impending birth of her baby.

Indeed there is so much to do that I have struggled over and over to find a way to keep stuff from slipping into oblivion in my file drawers and out of my mind until I realize a deadline has passed or I’ve missed applying for another award.

A few weeks ago my very clever and well organized daughter who is a minimalist of the first order told me about something she discovered. Prior to her wonderful suggestion I used:

  1. a small white board,

  2. countless To Do sheets,

  3. multi-coloured sticky notes,

  4. my computer desktop to put current items, and

  5. my iPad and iPhone for countless lists which could be easily transferred.

File folders didn’t really work because of the old adage out of sight, out of mind, plus my curious mind has spent a lifetime collecting valuable and extremely important bits of knowledge, so much so that I fear it is just running out of space. Things slip away.

Along came Beth with #6. My KanBanFlow chart.

from the KanBanFlow website at

On KanBanFlow’s site they have 4 columns but I chose to just use 3: I left out Do Today as most of my projects take a few days and In Progress seems to make better sense for me. Also they have shown how to use the board with several different teams which I did not need. Would be nice to have a staff, though!

Here’s yesterday’s version of my KanBanFlow chart and you can see the progress I’ve made. That is why I love this system. Tasks stay on the board for me to keep track of. The Done column has changed considerably. Yay!

I learned to use marker on the later notes so that I can read them from my desk.

Of course I still use the earlier methods but this latest one is a keeper. It’s helping me get caught up and organize my new ideas which are percolating a lot these days.

 The Loyalist’s Wife, The Loyalist’s Luck, The Loyalist Legacy

by Elaine Cougler

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