If you want to be more productive as a writer it helps to be organised. Because we all approach writing in different ways, how you go about getting organised is a very personal thing but here are some ideas which might point you in the right direction.
Get yourself some personal writing space
If you aren’t able to enjoy the luxury of a separate room or office all to yourself try carving out a bit of space in the corner of a room or commandeer the wasted space under the stairs or on the landing. If none of this is possible keep all of your writing materials stored in a box, a case, a plastic carrier bag – anything that is easy to pick up and take wherever you can find a space to work (at the kitchen table, in the garden, at your local café, in the library, on a park bench).
It doesn’t really matter where you work – the main thing is that all of your writing stuff is on hand so as you are always ready to start writing whenever you have the opportunity.
Don’t lose track of your ideas
Whenever you have an idea either write it down or record it straight away. Carry a notebook with you when you are out or use the recording feature on your phone, iPad etc.. In addition to the notebook or computer on your desk, keep a notebook in the kitchen, by your bed, on the coffee table, by the bath! – then collect all of the notes you have made and sort them into piles by theme or topic.
Organise your notes and research
If you mainly work on a computer create folders for each topic or project and then create separate documents/files within each folder for your ideas or any other relevant research documents. If you prefer to use a traditional filing system, get some suitable files or folders to which you can add labels (may be using a colour-coding system) and then put all of your notes and other information in the relevant folders.
Throw away (with caution)
Whenever you have a new idea or find some more information, file it away in the appropriate folder. Keep your folders up-to-date by deleting or throwing away the files or documents you don’t need any more (but do check that you really don’t need them).
If you prefer to go down the online route you could use Pinterest (an online noticeboard where you can post your own pictures and ideas for your writing projects) but if you prefer something more tangible and immediately visible then you can’t beat a physical display board. Put it somewhere you can’t miss and then pin up reminders about things you need to do, stuff that relates to your work or project or anything else that inspires or motivates you.
If you prefer to get organised online, take a look at Get organised with some great online tools for writers.