Friday, August 14, 2009

helpful sites and my tips for organizing

I hate to break a promise, but I didn't really promise, did I? I did say that I would occasionally update my sidebar links with the new sites I found to be helpful, but I didn't promise... I started following a half-dozen new sites today! I can see my sidebar running off the screen and across the keyboard. (I'm a bit under-the-weather and I haven't been able to focus on my writing, so I'm using the time to surf Blogville. However, I'm getting better so I might not hook up with any new ones for a while.) As soon as I get a chance, I will edit my list to the ones I find most helpful for the beginner. Yeah, like me.

Just now I added a blog that talked about hiring a tax guy and how to handle your earnings. I took notes from another on book signings. Well, if you're like me, you've got a ways to go before worrying about that. I plan to have the links on my sidebar focus on the blogs that pertain to writing, editing, querying, and things like that. One step at a time. If you are beyond that point in your journey, chances are you've already discovered helpful blogs for your circumstances.

On another note, I thought I'd share my thoughts on Microsoft Office One Note. I know a couple of people that have the program (it came installed on their PC) but have never used it. I was that person for a long while. One day I checked it out... wish I'd have done that a long time ago. It's the best for being organized with outlines, etc. It has books, tabs, sub-tabs, pages... and the best part? The search. You can search your entire One Note, or just a tab or book.

For example: My One Note is broken up into many books, such as recipes, author (bet you know what goes in that one), and one for Hubby's stuff I'm responsible for remembering. Within the 'author' book are section tabs: publisher, free-lance, agent, tips, promotion, after the check (the tax guy stuff), and a section for each book/series I am developing. Under the section for agent, I copy info on querying, choosing an agent; anything dealing with that step of the way.

The section for my current ms contains tabs for outline, locations and New York City. (Read the book - you'll understand.) Under outline, I have many pages: chapter outline, characters, time-line, Liz, Nick, Bill & Natalie, story layout, and of course, misc. I always need a miscellaneous spot! On each page, I group notes for that particular. Bill & Natalie's page is for notes about their relationship. Things I need to remember for later chapters. (When & where did he see her?) The time-line page is a must for me! If someone has a kid at fifteen, they must age at the same rate. In other words, she can't be thirty with a ten-year-old running around.

In the early stages of writing this ms, I found that I had given Liz one child, but later talked about her getting pregnant again. Oops. Don't worry... I found a way to make it work even better! Since I've discovered One Note, that will not happen again. If she has a kid, it goes in there! Most importantly, I make sure to use short notes; just enough info to refresh my memory. My time-line is a chart for easy reference. Don't overwhelm yourself with writing notes with a word count bigger than your ms! BTW... word count is in there.

Now for that search feature... You know all those lengthy e-mails that list a gazillion helpful hints that you'd like to remember when you needed them? Copy and paste it into your One Note. Dog gets skunked? I go to my Lily book (my e-junk drawer) and search skunk. Lipstick on carpet? Carpet. Vinegar, WD40, whatever... If there's a tip for it, I can find it lots quicker than you can Google!

I think I've praised this MS program enough. There may be similar programs out there that work just as well. My point is, FIND ONE AND USE IT! Having organized notes will not only speed up the writing process, but hopefully shorten the editing time.

There! Does your brain hurt?


Lillian Robinson said...

Just in case you care about any of this, I am available to answer any questions you may have about One Note. Just post it in a comment or e-mail me.

Terri Tiffany said...

You sound so organized! It is great to meet you:) I see you have one daughter too like I do:) But I've got only one grandson so far--more to come hopefully some day.
I took your advice and sent a query to the snark blog--I've been there before and always was afraid to try to submit but what better way to find out if it is bad or not. Thanks again!

Stephanie Faris said...

I've never heard of One Note. I'm off to see if it's on my PC now.

Susan R. Mills said...

I definitely need to check this One Note out. I don't know if I have it or not, but my computer is fairly new, so I'm assuming I do. Thanks for all the info, Lily!

Jody Hedlund said...

I have One Note but haven't used it. Your post is inspiring and I may just have to play around with it a bit and figure out how it works! Thanks for the tips!

Ziggy Stardust said...

I hope you are feeling better, you are in my prayers. Thank you for the great information.


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Lily -

Thanks for becoming a Follower at my blog. I've returned the favor. :)

I've never heard of One Note, but my version of Microsoft Office is very old.


Kimbra Kasch said...

I only wish I needed a tax guy to manage my money :(

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Thanks for visting my blog!

I've enjoyed reading yours and look forward to getting to know you better.

Thanks for the tip on Notes. I recently saw that on my computer but never took the time to check it out. I'll sign off and head over there now!

SquirrelQueen said...

Ouch, my brain is in pain! I would just be happy to get my photos organized.

Sorry I've gotten so far behind in visiting everyone. My 19 yr old stepdaughter is down from Anchorage for a visit before going back to college. It's made it a little hectic around here.

Hope all is well with you,

Lesley said...

One Note sounds great. I'd never heard of it! On a totally unrelated note, I have a friend named Robin who follows my blog, and her profile picture looks almost exactly like yours. I guess we found your twin! lol

Lille Diane said...

Firstly, my darlin', I hope you are feeling better, and understand the foggy brain. Mines getting BETTER!

I could use some help on this, too. I'm a visual learner. Takes me 6 times too longer learning by text. LOL

I've missed you! Happy to be back!

Linda D said...

Gosh - you are organized!
All my important writing notes are on bits of paper. It works because I know exactly where they all are - somewhere in that big pile over there!