Tag Archives: filofax

Blog Organization with Scrivener

Scriverner ScreenshotScrivener is my writing program of choice. I started using it during the 2010 NaNoWriMo and I credit it with part of the reason that I made my writing goal that year. The company that developed the program offers it at 50% discount to all NaNoWriMo winners and I used my coupon to purchase it. I use the program to organize, research and write my novels, compile short stories and to organize my blogs.

For instance, No Wasted Ink has a Scrivener project (file) where I write all the posts for No Wasted Ink. When I write I leave both the binder and the inspector open to view and I have a word count feature set on the bottom of the page. I aim to make most of my posts a certain length and the word count feature helps with this goal. Sometimes I write the draft on my Neo or in my NEC MobilePro 900 and then transfer the text into a scrivener file, but I find Scrivener comfortable to draft short term projects in.

The Binder

The Binder holds my pending articles at the top in no particular order. I work on the book reviews, commentary or memoirs as the mood strikes me. Even if all I have is a vague idea for a blog post, I will title it and leave the file there to remind me of the idea. Sometimes I will leave a short document note in the inspector with details of the idea if the title is not enough to spark my writing. Once the post is completed, I move it into one of the item folders in the draft section depending on the type of article. For instance, all my book reviews will be in a certain folder once completed. This allows me to find them when needed.

The Inspector and Meta-Data

Once a post is begun I mark its status in the inspector on the right hand side of the screen. I will give it a label as to what type of post it is and I will check the status as to where in the process it is. The labels are customizable as to color and name in Scrivener. My labels read: book review, commentary, memoir. Below that is the status of the item. My status can be set first draft, done, and posted.

Scheduling

The only part of Blog planning that I do not do in Scrivener is the scheduling. For that I use a Filofax Crimson Malden leather binder in personal size with a Week on Two Pages insert. As I schedule the blog posts in WordPress, I write the dates into the filofax. I note if I’ve done the twitter marketing tweets for each post and the title of the post. I like keeping this information in the filofax since it has less chance of disappearing due to server crash and I like the feel of paper. I suppose that an electronic organizer such as google calendar would work as well, but I prefer the filofax notebook.

Conclusion

The advantages of using Scrivener to organize a blog is that all the posts stay in one place, yet are separate. The inspector tracks the post as it goes through the various stages of completion. I have a permanent storage of the post in case of blog failure or if I want to publish it elsewhere. It is easy to go back and double check what I have written in the past and what I have planned for the future. I found that I had trouble being this organized when I was using Word. I still own Word and use it, but most of my writing takes place in Scrivener.

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

There are many amazing articles to peruse this week. From a new estore model that could facilate your book and short story sales, to filofax tips to general writing concepts. Enjoy!


Selling Ebooks Direct: How To Set Up A Simple E-Bookstore

Reading Self-Published Books

Why Rejections Are Good

How To Make Your Own Filofax Divider Tabs

Getting My Butt in the Chair

The Discipline of a Happy Life

A Subjective and Non-Flexible Contract with Humanity

That Freelance Mindset

Who Else Wants to be a Headline Writing Ninja?

30 Ways to Build Your Writer Platform

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

I have a nice assortment of writer theme links for you this week. Some feature scrivener, my favorite writing program and others are general writing tips or marketing tips for writers. Enjoy!


Why I use Scrivener for business writing

Word Count: Murdering Your Darlings and King’s 10% Rule

Tab Fancy – Dividers for Filofax

3 Myths of Guest Writing for Big Websites … and 6 Tactics for Doing it Well

5 Strategies For Reviving Your Freelance Marketing Plan

Enhance Your Freelance Writing Career with These 5 Tips

The End of an Era for “The Encyclopedia Britannica”

How to Read a Book Contract – Contempt

How To Boost Your Writing Confidence

Can the Right Tools Help You Write Better?

Filofax Writing Journal

Filofax Writing Journal and Alphasmart NeoFinding 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.

Paper-phobia and the Modern Writer

Crimson Filofax Malden BinderI’ve been noticing a curious habit in young writers that, quite frankly, baffles me. I call it paper-phobia. I first noticed it when someone asked for alternates of a word choice at a coffeehouse write-in. Trying to be helpful, I pulled out my soft cover pocket thesaurus and attempted to hand it to the writer. I was met with a puzzled stare.

“What is that?” I was asked.

“A thesaurus,” I replied casually, expecting a thank you. Instead, the young woman exchanged amused glances with two other college aged writers in the group. She did not take the book.

A second writer quipped, “Go to dictionary.com.” The first writer nodded and started to type quickly on her laptop. I sat there dumbfounded with my book in hand. I’ve used the search engine thesaurus before, but I’ve always found it to have fewer choices than the book bound version and since it is a search engine, you lose the added benefit of seeing other words near your choice, which often sparks other ideas. Not to mention, many times the wifi connection at coffeehouses are not the best and tends to drop out at the most inopportune time. I attempted to explain this to the young writer, knowing that the book was better, but I was met with resistance and amusement. I ended up tucking my book back into my book bag and returning to my writing.

Other incidents occurred. A writer would not take a referral from me because I had put it on my phone. It did not occur to her to write the information on a piece of paper. I even provided the paper and pen and she would not write it down. Another time, I was mocked at a write-in for bringing my outline on a sheet of paper instead of putting it on my phone and calling it up electronically. When I decided to be “modern” and put my notes on my ipod touch, I found that I could not access the information at a write-in and ended up losing more than one evening of work because the outline was not accessible. At a writer’s critique group I once belonged to, all of the writers read their stories off of laptops. When someone brought their story on a sheet of paper, they were looked down upon. I listened to other writers complain about how their laptops were constantly breaking down or worse, losing all their data because they had forgotten to back it up on a thumb drive. Finally, while at the post office, I spoke about an article that I had published while waiting to mail my package. The young woman I was talking to returned to me after concluding her business the with clerk and asked for the name of the magazine. I told her the name of the online publication, but said that I didn’t have the link available to write it down for her. She shrugged, “Oh, I’ll just google it,” she smiled and walked away. Now, while I’m glad to have a new reader for the magazine, I was baffled how she would find it since it had a common name. Yet, this young woman seemed confident that it would not be a problem.

This got me to thinking, when had people stopped using paper? Why was it considered old-fashioned to the point of embarrassment? I don’t view these young people as evil or even that their use of technology is wrong, but I don’t believe that cutting away everything from the past is right either. I started to view my own movement away from paper with a new eye.

In college, I used a paper planner to keep track of my schedule. All my class notes were written in notebooks, and most of my term papers and stories were typed on typewriters. White-out was my friend! If I published a story, it was to a limited print edition in a bound book or printed magazine. Gradually over the years my calender moved to my computer and synced with my phone, most of my writing was done on a computer and published on-line. My personal books went from scores of paperback novels to ebooks on my reader. My notes and recipes for cooking all became digital memos that I moved from one device to another via wifi. My paper organizer got lost in a box somewhere.

Technology is not a bad thing. In some ways the new methods of transferring and retaining information are superior to what went on before. However, I am becoming of a mind that losing the old ways of doing things is not necessarily a good thing. I’ve been taking a long look at what is needed to be a modern writer and I’ve concluded that it is a mixture of the old and the new.

My New Year’s Resolution to this end is to re-introduce paper into my life. I have purchased a new filofax organizer. In it will be all the notes, outlines and character sketches that I use as I work on my novels. I have set up a tracking system to write down each day my approximate word count, where I was writing and what I was writing. The act of putting it down on paper and seeing the marks when I open up the organizer helps to keep me on track. I will no longer be at the mercy of a wifi connection, a battery or a phone app when I wish to write in a coffeehouse, on my patio or at the park. I am looking forward to the day when not only will I come prepared with a paper bound thesaurus to my write-in, but all my research information will be written down on paper as well. That, combined with my Alphasmart Neo will make my writing desk truly portable and independent.

Paper-phobes….beware!!! I am on a mission!