Creative minds tend towards, well, creative ways of organizing. But when you’re working on content marketing, blog posts or other time-sensitive writing, having things in an order that makes sense to you can do a lot to keep you in the flow of productive writing.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Your sleep cycles tend to tie in with when you are at your most effective. For some people, this is regular office hours, but many successful writers do their best work at 2:00 AM.
What are your obligations? This also affects the time you have available to write. Sit down and plan out your writing time every week, then stick to it as much as you can. Have a blog client who wants a new post every Tuesday? Schedule it in.
Setting Up Accounting
It’s great to make money, but keeping records seems like a pain. Even if you don’t want to mess with an accounting program like QuickBooks or GnuCash, you still need to keep records of what’s coming in.
A simple but effective recording method is keeping a binder with notebook paper, one page per client or work platform. For each line, write a brief title for the piece when you get the job, leave a space to mark when the job is complete and write your pay for that job next to it. You can add another column to keep a running total or simply total up the page when you finish filing it.
Making a Content Marketing Workspace
To stay in a state of flow when you’re writing, you’ll want to have everything you need close to hand, but off your work surface with the exception of a couple art or decorative pieces. Having a clear surface makes it easier to focus on the work at hand. You can store office essentials such as pens, post-it notes and chocolate in a nearby basket or a desk drawer. They’re close to hand there without crowding your desktop.
Atmosphere is also important to many writers. Some can do their best work in a strictly office-like environment, while others prefer to get away to a coffee shop or neighborhood park to do their writing. That’s one of the awesome benefits of being a writer today—you can literally work from anywhere, provided you’ve got an internet connection.
Filing Things Away
There are many different ways to organize records, and none of them are right or wrong! You can file by subject, client name or date. I’m slowly working on changing over from a date-based system (read: archeological strata, newest papers on top) to an actual filing system based on the client name. I tend to associate projects with the clients themselves, so this works well for me.
Now that you’ve gotten some ideas on how to organize your workflow, try a few different arrangements to find what works best for you!
Cathleen V is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.