Monday, September 17, 2012


I don't do a lot of guest blogs, but I do enough that this summer when my organizational system failed (Verizon somehow deleted ALL of my messages...thanks for that, btw.) I missed things. I missed deadlines to submit blogs. I lost emails that had addresses of contest winners. I missed going to blogs that had already been submitted to answer comments and chat.

My system of depending on old emails to remind me was a ... bad one.

And as a former legal secretary (back in the days when legal secretaries did a lot of paralegal work and kept track of EVERYTHING in a case) I hung my head in shame.

So I thought back to those days and set up a calendar/schedule system that wouldn't fail. And I put it on paper. No more system fail for me. (Thanks again, Verizon) But also, I created a Book of Everything.

Every password
Every reviewer
Every blog appearance
Every contest I'm hosting
Every winner of those contests
With check marks that tell me if I've sent the books!

I have birthdays in the book
Twitter handles for people I don't normally tweet but might someday want to
I have notes on how to use Goodreads
I have a list of contacts for workshops (emails of course)
And contacts for blogs

I have a list of people who make covers for self-pubbing
And a list of people who edit
People who format

You know...rather than go on and on...Let's just say I have lots of lists. They are my memory (in some respects), not because I'm slow and dull, but because it's easier to have a book I can lay my hands on to find just about anything I want, rather than have to stand for five minutes trying to remember how to do something or find someone.

I know there are probably better, more technologically advanced ways to do this, but have one computer crash and you'll be glad you have a Book of Everything!

Anyway, my point is...

We no longer get to write a book, revise the book, read the AA's and cross our fingers, hoping for sales. We have to do a lot of things. I started off my career being reasonably organized but technology crept up on me and one day I woke up realizing I was so far behind I might not ever get caught up. And I had to go to work on promoting myself and using social media. Everyday I learn something but at least now I don't forget what I learned!

So, though you don't have to create a paper notebook like mine, you should have some systems in place. At the very least, you need a list of passwords (which you probably don't want in your computer), along with a list of email contacts and a solid calendar that doesn't just keep track of things, it comes with reminders about a week before things are due!

It's never too early to have a contact list, a blog list, a reviewer list. Start them now before you're on book #50 and you'll have smooth sailing long before I did. LOL

Happy Monday



Grace/Lu said...

Ooh, will you make one for me, too? LOL I have a list of passwords already, written on paper. But I also rely on emails as reminders for blog deadlines. I shudder to think what I'd do should I suffer a computer apocalypse.

Susan said...

Trust me, Grace, when Verizon arbitrarily deleted all my was not pretty!


Dixiane Hallaj said...

I have a handwritten password list, but I live in fear of it getting buried and lost in my office, or worse yet, being tossed in a cleaning binge. I remember putting it on my computer some time ago (password protected of course) but can't retrieve it. I've tried all the search terms I can imagine. No worries about it falling into the wrong hands. LOL
Must find a better solution.