Jan 4, 2005 - The Gift of Organization for 2005
Volume 4, Issue 1
The weekly ezine with a road map for
"Be better writers today
than we were yesterday."
Thought for the Week -
The Gift of Organization for 2005
What one thing would most help you write and publish more in 2005? Is it getting your office organized? Or maybe gathering all those ideas into one central place?
Included below is the beginning of the 30-day plan to get organized so you can write more in 2005. Give yourself this gift this year!
Drawing Board Update -- In December, I started the Drawing Board change system, a new program from coach Lynne Klippel and promised to let you know how it's going. It's an amazing program, and I was shocked when the first night she did a visioning exercise with us that led to a personal breakthrough for me.
One of the challenges I've been dealing with lately is the whole work/life/mommy balance -- keeping our home life running smoothly and still run a business from the laptop in our family room. While I don't like the word "balance" (it reminds me of trying to keep from falling off a balance beam!), figuring out just exactly what this means is essential for me to get the
business to the next level this year.
There's a lot more than usual in this week's newsletter. I know many of
you are gearing up for the year ahead (Thanks for understanding about this issue being late. My grandpa passed away yesterday so it has been a difficult weekend.)
P.S. Did you miss last week's issue? Read it
Day One - The New Year
Don't you just love New Year's? Parties, the apple dropping,
and clean calendars. And resolutions. And holiday bills in
the mail. Hmmmm.... maybe it's not so fun anymore?
I know every one of us has set a resolution for the new year,
and then blown it within a couple days. Let's make this year
First, you are allowed to jump on and off this goal-setting/
resolution wagon with no guilt. If life gets too crazy and
you quit writing for a few days, no big deal. Just jump
back on wherever you were.
Second (and this is really important), I want you to work
with yourself this year. Make sure everything you decide to
do in 2005 fits with your personality and your life. Make
sure you really, really, REALLY want whatever you're going for
Take a look back at your successes. What worked
for you in prior years? What was different about that event
from other events where you weren't as successful? What
motivates you to stick with projects even after the initial
excitement has worn off?
If you own The Organized Writer EBOOK: Ctrl-N, page 10.
Take the personality quiz. Are you a messy, piler, pack rat or
procrastinator? What other personality traits affect how you think
and work? Learn tricks for working with each personality type.
Tax Note: Set up two taxes folders - Taxes 2004 and
2005. You'll be getting lots of tax papers over the next couple
Then, run out to your car, and jot down your
mileage on two slips of paper.
Stick one copy in Taxes 2004 (your ending mileage) and one copy in Taxes
folder (your beginning mileage). Or write it
on your Writer's Calendar.
Copyright Update: Then, hop out to your website, and
update all the copyright notices to include 2005. Updated
copyrights give the impression you are really on top of
things! Now, to fix all mine....
Day One Checklist:
___ 1. What successes did you have in the past year or prior years?
___ 2. What worked for you to help you succeed?
___ 3. What motivates you?
___ 4. Take the personality quiz on p. 10 and note your personality type: ______________________________________
___ 5. What tricks will help you with this trait?
___ 6. Set up your Taxes 2004 and Taxes 2005 folders.
___ 7. Note your beginning and ending mileage.
___ 8. Update the copyright notice on your web site.
Day Two - Your Master List
Where do you file your papers? What about your favorites on
your computer? Or your computer files?
What if I had one solution for all of these?
Consider using a Master List.
What is a Master List? The Master List, your organizing
bible, drives nearly everything you do. The Master List
categorizes your most commonly used topics into one
The Master List is based on a pyramid scheme. The top of
the pyramid contains only a few Main Categories. They are
subdivided into Subcategories. At the lowest level are your
Ideas and Topics. You should have lots of these.
For more info, check out the excerpt from The Organized
Writer: 30 Days to More Time, More Money and Less
Today, create your own Master List, or update the one from
If you own The Organized Writer EBOOK: Press Ctrl+N and
go to page 14 to read about the master list. Page 18 has the
blank form, and page 19 has a sample master list.
Day Two Checklist:
___ 1. Make your own Master List, or update it if you already have one.
___ 2. Print copies on colored paper to put in your planner,
by your computer, and in the front of your filing cabinet.
Day Three - Create Your Planner
If you haven't done it yet, get your planner in shape for
2005. If you'd rather, buy your planner supplies. You need:
-- dividers (15-20)
-- page/tape flags as subdividers
-- three-hole punch
-- clicker pens
Print planner pages from the file you received when you
subscribed. Not sure where it is? The file is called
writersplanner.pdf, and use Start > Search > For Files or
Folders... to locate it.
The planner pages are listed in the appendix. Be
sure to print the 10 new forms you didn't get when you
subscribed to this newsletter:
-- Idea Grabber,
-- Publication Analyzer,
-- Time Map,
-- Three new accounting forms (income and deposit records,
expense records, and credit card payments),
-- Pre-designed Hanging Folder Labels,
-- A proofreading checklist, and
-- A query checklist.
Day Three Checklist:
__ 1. Buy your planner or planner supplies.
__ 2. Print planner pages or send pages to a copy center.
__ 3. Clean out last year's planner.
Day Four - What Do You Want?
Today you get to put together a mosaic of what you really,
Remember how much fun it was in kindergarten to cut out
pictures from magazines and catalogs? We're going to do
that again for a couple reasons. First, our minds tend
to think in pictures so the more vivid you can make the
images for your mind, the better.
Second, I want you to visit that fun time when you were
a child and got to pull out the scissors and glue (and
crayons and markers, if you like!).
As you flip through the magazines and catalogs, look for
what appeals to you, things you love. One writer cut
out the New York Times Bestseller List and added his book
and name to the list.
What can you do with all these pictures? You can glue
them to posterboard or a presentation board. You can
also collect the pictures in a scrapbook. Pick whatever
appeals to you.
I'm pulling together several pages for each area of my
life: writing, hubby, kids, other family, home, financial,
time and organization, business, health, philanthropy,
spiritual, and FUN! I love quotes so I'm adding my
I did a simplified version of this last year, and
I was amazed at what I got. I wanted a portable of my own (my
husband and I were sharing one). Well I didn't get a new
one, but he did, and I got the old one all for myself --
yay! I also wanted a new handheld PDA (personal digital
assistant), but I knew there was no way I could afford
it last year. Guess what? My hubby gave it to me for
my birthday! Yes, this is the man who gave me a hard
drive for my computer when we were dating <grin>.
What amazed me was how these two items materialized
in my life even though I was certain they would not
when I cut them out.
Ctrl-N, p. 41 - What works for you? Fill out the
assessment form with ratings from 1 to 10 to see which days
over the next month will be the most helpful for you.
Day Four Checklist:
___ 1. Create mosaic of what you want for 2005.
___ 2. Determine which days over the next month will be
most helpful for you.
Day Five - Your Time Map
I'm going to tell you a little secret. Today's assignment will make or break your success this year. If you can master the Time Map project and then implement it in your life, tweak it here and there as your life changes, I am absolutely positive you will write more this year.
How do I know this? Because I've tried it both ways.
I've tried to write and manage my business without having a working time map in front of me, and I never got as much accomplished as I thought I would. During the years when my time map was accurate and fit the way my mind and body work the best, AND I actually implemented it, I was incredibly productive.
OK... so what is a Time Map? A time map is a grid of your time laid out in a week. Those of you who have my ebook can print the grid on page 54, and color code it as listed.
If you don't have the book, go buy it <grin>! You can create your own time grid with the times down the left and the days of the week across the top.
You can also use Microsoft Outlook (not Outlook Express), the Palm Desktop if you have a PDA, or my favorite, Agendus for
Start filling in the blocks. What happens in your day? What's permanent and can't be moved? What's the best place to put the moveable items? I'll give you a few of mine:
5:00-9:00 Exercise, Shower, Breakfast, Make lunches, Start laundry, Check dinner,
9:00-10:15 Answer email and 1 hour book time
Sun 8-10:45 Church
Sun 1-3:00 Groceries
Fri afternoon Writer-Reminders draft
Two more tips... first, if you have a spouse or partner in your life, make a map with columns for both of you and then work out your two schedules together. My husband and I did this last fall, and you can read more about it at: http://snipurl.com/3ncm
The last tip is to find the right balance of structure in your schedule. You need to be specific, but if you are too rigid you'll sabotage your success. My husband and I just
reworked ours to find better time slots and make it a bit more flexible. Be willing to play with this project until you find the perfect fit.
Day Five Checklist:
___ 1. Create your Time Map and color code your time.
___ 2. What events must occur at a specific time?
___ 3. What events can move? What is the optimal time for you?
___ 4. Have you built in adequate structure and flexibility?
___ 5. How does your map match that of your spouse/partner?
Day Six - Goals? Who Me?
OK, we've got our writing goals from above, but what about the rest of your life? Karen Hoffman, the Idea Coach, told me about Mark Victor Hansen's Goal Rush Challenge where you come up with 101 Lifetime Goals. I put mine together this weekend... how fun! Check it out
I highly recommend his Rich Results newsletter.
The best part about this exercise is you aren't setting goals you have to complete this year. These are goals for the rest of your life.
I'm also spreading out my goals instead of trying to do everything January 1st. My writing goals are starting this month, but my exercise goals are for February.
If you've got the ebook, Ctrl+N, page 55, to read about intention and rank the six areas of your life.
Day Six Checklist:
___ 1. Create your 101 Lifetime Goals.
___ 2. Pick up to 10 to focus on this year, and assign them to different months of the year.
___ 3. Put reminders in your email software or calendar, or use memotome.com to remind you each month what's most important.
___ 4. Read about intention and rank the six areas of your life.
Day Seven - The Power of Routines
Routines - yuck! Why is it I cringe at that word? I know
how much they help me, but it just sounds so boring!
My routines, though, save my keister all the time. Forget
to pay the credit card bill? Not as long as I do my
monthly billing routine. Forget to back up my computer?
Not as long as I check my weekly routine (see below).
Starting today, pull together your routines into an
Activity List. Make a checklist for yourself.
If you've got the ebook, use Ctrl+N, page 62. Fill out the Activity List Form.
Day Seven Checklist:
___ 1. Make your Activity List with the routines you need.
Day Eight - Your Writespace
This is such a fun day. We want to set up your own
"writespace," your creative haven that nurtures your
writing soul (and brings you money!).
Step 1: Quick! Clean off your desk.
Grab a big box or a laundry basket, and dump everything on
your desk into it. There, don't you feel better already
with all that free desk space? Actually, make sure you
flip through the papers, and determine if you have any
hidden tax returns, property tax receipts, or bills. THEN,
sweep it in the box.
Step 2: Sort!
When can you start organizing this stuff?
When you are on hold or as the computer boots or when you
are waiting on the printer, start sorting. Tomorrow, we
get your files in order so you will have a place for many
of these papers.
Step 3: Jazz it Up!
What can you do to jazz up your writespace? Even a new picture or a new calendar will spruce it for you.
EBOOK: Day 8. Acrobat, Ctrl+N, p.65. Paper, p. 59.
Read about how to design your perfect workspace, the IRS
requirements for your workspace, what to do if you don't
have a desk, and ergonomics.
Day Eight Checklist:
__ 1. Clean off your desk, and start sorting.
__ 2. Improve your space with a new picture, photo or calendar.
Day Nine - What's in Those File Drawers?
Where are your papers? Sprawled all around you? Stuffed into a filing cabinet that doesn't even open correctly?
Make every inch of your filing space work well for you.
One last tip is to stop printing and keep as much of the paper as you possibly can in files online. Create Word documents for each of your main categories, and keep your research in a file instead of one paper. Be sure to include the URL of web sites.
Set up your pre-made filing system for 2005.
I can't explain the entire system (you'll need the ebook for
that) but here's a place to start:
Make Project folders and number them one through ten or one
through thirty if you have that many projects. Then,
instead of having to rename the folders each time you
create a new project, you can just reuse Project 1 or
Project 10, etc.
In the book, I also talk about how to survive if you prefer
piles instead of files.
I've heard lots of positive feedback about this software.
Basically, you have a database of your documents online and
can quickly search by keyword for your papers. The files
are stored in numerical order. PROS: I love the idea of a
searchable database, and it is guaranteed to find your
papers in 5 seconds or less. CONS: I wasn't sure how I
would find my papers if the computer was off. You can
print reports though.
Pick the solution that works best for you.
Day Nine Checklist
____ 1. Assess your filing needs, and find the best solutions for your particular needs.
____ 2. Use the Hanging Folder Labels Form to create your new files (ebook, Ctrl+N, p. 68).
____ 3. Read about why its OK to pile instead of file.
____ 4. Learn the best way to file your receipts so you can find them back.
"Julie, I love your book. I have read (or at least opened) more than a trunk load of books about writing over the years. Yours is the first I have seen that gives readers so much in one place. For me, the Master List and putting that together was more than worth the cost."
-- David Stoddard
Motivational writer, trainer and publisher of the
Terrific Life Concepts ezine.
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