September 2, 2019 All, Writing in English
Tips for Staying Organized as a Writer – or Any Other Professional
While most writers are fantastic at their craft, many tend to be more creative than they are analytical. This is the case no matter what country a writer hails from. While being left-brained is a great asset to have in a creativity-based profession, it can cause problems if you want to be an organized professional that excels in your field. Writers tend to see the “big picture”, even when writing highly technical or business-based topics, which doesn’t always translate well if you are trying to plan important tasks. This is also true of other professionals who are trying to
succeed in the business world but have trouble getting past their creative, “looser” approach to work.
I am lucky in that I am both creative and somewhat analytical, which has helped me to be a very efficient worker and a super-organized person in both my professional and personal life. Even so, there are times when I need a little help to stay on top of things, especially since I work freelance and need to manage my own time on a daily basis, with no one to keep me on top of things if I don’t do so myself. The following tips have helped me to stay organized as a writer and a digital marketer and achieve my professional goals. Try them out and see if they change your life as a writer – or any other type of professional – for the better.
1. Use a Planner
Some have teased me for using a pen-and-paper planner in the digital age, but I find that writing down my tasks – with my own hand, in front of my eyes – helps my brain to sort out all of my daily responsibilities that need to be completed and remember them with greater accuracy in the following days. I also find it easier to forget about all my daily responsibilities when I go to sleep at night if I know that they are written down and waiting for me to tackle them when I wake up in the morning. This works wonders for my stress levels as well as my work-life balance. If you still find yourself more comfortable using online tools for task management, try adding tasks to a smartphone planner app or an online planner tool instead.
2. Set Reminders
If you have a particularly important task or meeting that is coming up, set a reminder in your phone or on your computer for an hour before the deadline or event. This way, you will have very slim chances of forgetting about it, since your device will let you know it is coming up. Make sure that you have your notifications set to appear on your screen, and use a notification tone that will be guaranteed to get your attention. You can even set two reminders for different times if you think that one just won’t do the trick.
3. Rethink Your Workspace
I hold a special place in my heart for interior decorating, which has allowed me to set up my work desk in a way that is both visually appealing and work-friendly. I personally need labeled folders, a traditional hanging wall calendar, intuitive storage space and plenty of light to stay productive, but you may find that different elements of an organized work space help you to stay efficient. If you aren’t sure where to start when rearranging your desk area, start with my suggestions. If they don’t seem to help you or actually make you feel less organized, try different setups and office supplies until you have created your best workspace.
4. Write Daily To-Do Lists
When you start working for the day, get out your planner and check your email or any other sources of information that tell you what needs to be done for the day. Get out a piece of paper or open a list on your favorite digital device, and start writing out tasks that need to get done for the day in order of importance. Make sure to keep checking them off as you do them so you don’t forget what has already been done and cause yourself greater stress. I sometimes find that a simple sticky note on my computer works great as a daily to-do list and can be easily moved around my screen until I find a position that works the best for me. You can even add formatting to the note or create notes in different colors to better organize your tasks.
5. Sign Up for a Project Management Tool
If none of the above work well for you, or they just aren’t enough to meet your demanding project needs, consider using a more full-featured project management tool. A great free option is Trello, which allows you to assign yourself tasks with due dates, project details and more. Basecamp and Asana are two more great options, and Asana even has a free version for single users and teams of up to 15 people. Many project management tools also have smartphone apps and email reminders to help you stay on top of your projects on-the-go. Do some research and try some free tools or free trials until you find one that works for you.
If you find that none of these tips have helped you to get organized, don’t give up. There are many more that you can try. Consider asking your friends and colleagues what they do to stay one step ahead of their to-do lists or trying different tools in the same category until you find one that meshes with your job and your personal preferences. I truly believe that anyone can become more organized. All it takes is looking at your work habits, identifying where changes could be made, and finding tools or other helpers that can help you make those changes happen.
Lindsey enjoys helping others through her work and in her everyday life.
“The following tips have helped me to stay organized as a writer and a digital marketer and achieve my professional goals. Try them out and see if they change your life as a writer – or any other type of professional – for the better.”
“While being left-brained is a great asset to have in a creativity-based profession, it can cause problems if you want to be an organized professional that excels in your field.”
“I truly believe that anyone can become more organized. All it takes is looking at your work habits, identifying where changes could be made, and finding tools or other helpers that can help you make those changes happen.”
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