Finding alternate sites to write in is proving to help me to increase my writing productivity. While I have a studio set up in my home that is set aside for me to write and make jewelry in, there are times when the familiar surroundings lull me into the doldrums where little creativity happens. To counter this, I like to find locations outside my home to write in. Sometimes this place is simply my backyard patio, but other times I drive over to the local coffeehouse, treat myself to a fancy coffee and use one of their tables. Power outlets are often hard to come by when I’m out in the world, so I’ve designed a system that is as electric independent as possible. This includes my digital typewriter, the Alphasmart Neo, a paper bound thesaurus and a new Filofax journal to hold all my research notes, character sketches, outlines and word count charts. Everything fits into a large tote bag, so when the writing bug strikes me, I just pick up the bag and go.
My writing journal is a Filofax Crimson Malden that my husband gifted to me for Christmas. The smooth leather, multiple pockets and sturdy rings will make for a rugged, yet elegant writing journal. Moving into the journal with my notes has been an adventure. The most difficult part was learning how to format the printing of my notes out of Scrivener in a meaningful way and of organizing them so that I can find what I need quickly as I write.
The front part of my Filofax is quite ordinary. It holds a plastic pouch for odds and ends and a plastic divider with an inspirational poem. Behind that are various charts that came with the new Filofax, weights and measures, time zones and other general information that is good to have at your fingertips. The next section is a Month on two pages (MoTP) calendar that I use to track my writing output. Word count, what I was writing, how long I was writing and where I was writing are all tallied each day. This is a simple section that takes less than 10 seconds to notate at the end of the day.
Next is a Week on Two Pages (WoTP) section where I keep the present month and the next month in the binder. There I jot down a writing todo list for each day and check if I finish the project or not. I also write down what posts are scheduled to appear on my writing website.
The heart of my writing journal is the research notes section for my novels. Each novel gets a similar section in the writing journal. At the front of each section is an index of characters. Simply all the main characters in the novel. Each character’s full name, titles and other quick reference items are noted on one line per character. Behind the index is my novel outline. Each chapter has a paragraph devoted to what happens in it. A loose road map of what I need to write there.. Finally, behind that is a alphabetical divider system where I place all the character sketches, scene descriptions and maps and other related materials in alphabetical order. If I can’t remember a character’s name, I find it on the index. From there, I can find more related information on the character by flipping to its place in the alphabet.
The research section of my notes is all printed from files I keep in my writing program, Scrivener. I’ve used Nellie’s Guide to Printing on Personal Sized Paper from Philofaxy to print on personal sized filofax paper to facilitate my notes. I end up with clean, professional looking, double side printed notes that are easy to read.
6 thoughts on “Filofax Writing Journal”
Cool beans. That does look cool. I’ve never even heard of it–I should visit Best Buy more often LOL.
PS. What type of jewelry do you make? I love rings.
Which? The Filofax or the Neo? Neither are stocked at Best Buy I’m afraid. 🙂
My jewelry is celtic inspired, a combination of wire-wrapped and hand forged items. http://www.indigoskye.com is my jewelry website.
I love my Neo! My hubby got it for me, gently used, on eBay for about $50.
Wendy – I’m also from southern CA – the Inland Empire. We’re looking for more writers for our critique group… Interested? 🙂 (if so, email me at nataliesharpston at gmail dot com)
Thank you for the invite, Natalie. I appreciate that. 🙂 I’ll email you for details, however I suspect that you will be a bit far for me to travel to on a regular basis. Glad to hear you love your Neo too! There are many Neo lovers out there. It’s a great writing tool.
I was wondering if you could post a pic or elaborate more on the daily tally you do on your writing output. I’m interested in doing that, but would love to learn your super quick method!
I’d be glad to elaborate, Jane. Basically, all I do is make a note of my word count or time spent writing on each project as I go in my WO2P section. I also note where I am writing since this allows me to see where I am more productive. Most freelance artisans do something similar to this, especially when you do custom work and need to charge for your time in addition to materials used. I sometimes call the time units “tomatoes” since I have started to use a simple pomodoro tracking timer (mytomatoes.com) to pace my work in 25 minute segments, followed by 5 minutes of rest. In the MO2P section, I tally up how much writing I’ve done in my various projects and note the word counts from the WO2P section. That way I can see at a glance how productive (or unproductive!) I’ve been for the month. When I was first starting to write, I found that keeping the monthly count was helpful in prompting me to write more since it was glaring obvious when I had too many empty squares in the MO2P. The meat of what I do is found in the WO2P schedule, there I put in the details. MO2P is only statistics.