Thought it would be a good time to share my management tools since I read and hear a lot about them on other writer’s blogs. Have a friend, Eric Beaty, in our local writer’s group that swears by Trello, a management app that is available online. I think it’s free since I signed up for it and usually only sign up for things that are free. Clicked on it just now, and it opened up with the same board I created back in September 2015. Have about ten postings on it, then I gave up. The trouble with management tools is you have to visit them and use them before they help you manage anything.
If I have to figure out what I’m going to do, break down all the steps, write them down, and record my progress, or the lack thereof, I’m probably not going to be using it. It works great for him and might work for you too. I’m just clearly too lazy, or too undisciplined, or both.
Have one simple tool I use every day. Jerry Seinfeld did a funny rift on how to be productive and called it not breaking the chain. Print off a sheet with 365 days and try to put a check or x over each one for that day if you did your creative work.
Simple, because you feel like “s–t” when you break it. Tried it and made several months before missing a day. You do feel really bad when you’ve worked so hard and been so good and then break the link.
Modified it a little. I use a free bank calendar with big empty squares. Each night before I turn off the computer, I record the number of new words, current total on the book. If I’m editing, I put the page count for those days. Working on a book cover, I make a note of it and how many hours I worked. Simple. It works well for me.
I also enjoy these challenges. Favorite is Nanowrimo and variations. Doing second Camp NaNoWriMo now, 9179 words so far this month. Pretty good since my goal is 30,000 words. Thought I might slow down since I missed last month’s Junowrimo goal by a few thousand, and it is summer. I like this because it is just posting my word count on one other site and there are people to talk to and whine when you have an off day or to ask questions if you hit one of those can’t move forward days.
The second challenge this month is the Ultimate Blogging Challenge, one of these postings every day for a month. They have a little sheet, UltimateBlogChallenge-31DayTracker, where you check off a list of four things: write it, Tweet it, pin to Facebook, comment on other posts. I’ve not had to miss one yet this month so it does help. Honestly, would not post if it weren’t for the challenge. Hear it’s good to blog and I always want to be good. Would never Tweet or Facebook my progress unless I were doing this challenge.
If you have something that you use, please share.