Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Journal For Everything

As a freelance writer, being organized is very important to getting anything done. I have many tasks going at once, but I can usually put my finger on whatever I'm looking for. To the untrained eye my desk would look like a paper mill had exploded in my office. To me, it means I'm being productive.

The organization method I use is very simple. I keep major appointments and my contact database in Microsoft Outlook. I write a daily to-do list for each day in a journal that I keep on my desk. Not only is this a good way to remember those little things that need to be done (simple reminders like go to post office to mail book, find article on so-and-so, call this person, Google such-and-such) it serves as a record keeper. I use the journal when I am on a call with a client and I jot down notes about their project as well as their email address, phone number, URLs, etc. Then, I can go back weeks later to retrieve the info.

I don't take the journal out of my house. It contains too much personal info on my clients and is too valuable to me to risk leaving it in a public place. Instead, I carry a small pad and pen in my purse that I can use when I meet a client. I take notes (including the tax-deductible mileage to the meeting) and then transfer the info to my journal when I return home.

I find it helpful to close my day by writing down my to-dos for the next day, and turn off the computer. Otherwise, I'll find myself back at the keyboard at midnight!

Maybe this tip will help you make more of your day.

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