It’s that time again – the Blog All About It post for May. This month’s prompt is
I’m a list maker and follower –and I have lists for my lists. Ridiculous, I know, but managing to read all the titles I do a year, and keep other obligations from falling through the cracks, or (my nightmare) waking up to find I’ve overscheduled a day or days and haven’t time to get everything on the ‘do today’ list completed.
When I started with book reviewing, I decided that I needed to set up a system for that – and with a combination of Google Calendar, outlook folders and an excel sheet that I refer to on the days I pre-set posts, I had a good thing going. Still – other information and lists were in paper form – and if I forgot to cross check the two sources, I’d have issues. So I added in a few steps that, at first, felt redundant and ridiculous, but now I can’t do without.
First up – Google Calendar –
When I take a book for review, or have a date to schedule something important (editing, bithdays, holidays, etc) I have a color-coding system that lets me see the days at a glance. This is my June obligations as of the date I write the post.
Then there’s my excel sheet that corresponds with my requests and approvals for upcoming titles – this is saved in 2 places for two purposes. Shown is the Excel sheet in google docs that I refer to when pre-setting posts. It shows title, author, date of post and goodreads link. A similar sheet is part of a group on my desktop – which also has date requested (if on NG or Edelweiss) the date set to read, (usually 2 – 3 weeks before post date), length (if I audio) and the date completed – when the review is written and scheduled. These are also color coordinated so, at a glance, I can see how many reads I have coming up versus how many hours of audio.
Taking that to the next level of organized (and yes –I do call my system a touch obsessive) I use notebooks – specifically Moleskines as I can get these in many colors – and I can keep the ‘general’ notes away from the ‘to do’ list.
With that – in the yearly notebook I use the stickers. Also color-coordinated so I can mark pages/entries for personal, blog, edits and business. Every time I make a new commitment I enter it on the page for the week due –and then do a count back to see 2, 3 and 4 weeks before the date committed to, and enter it there in the “to start” portion of that week’s page. I always have a paper copy of the titles I should be reading / listening to for each week – if I want to stay organized.
Additionally – I’ve already blocked out specific tasks that are time consuming to be set for different days each week – allowing me to not get lost in 12 hours of setting posts because I didn’t pre-set them 3 or 4 weeks before the post date. And I’m not up at 2 am finishing something that came up because I forgot to mark down everything.
So – call me obsessive – even a bit compulsive: but I have, for truly the first time in over 6 years, been able to get off the computer by 6 at night, not have to rush on and spend hours setting posts that are live tomorrow – and I actually have more time to read, laugh and live. So – organize – even one corner of your life. It’s addictive.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: