To be honest, it’s almost an obsession with me. At least in certain areas of my life, especially with my writing. At one time, I used to have notebooks everywhere, one for each project I was currently working on, as well as one for all future ideas. Inside the notebooks, I’d have my stories broken down into characters, settings, world notes, and book notes. I’d also have a section for research, ideas for names, and titles of future books in the series. Of course, eventually, the pile of notebooks became way too big to carry everywhere.
Then I switched everything to a day planner with section tabs for each series. Now, I could carry what amounted to several notebooks in one planner. Of course, I had three planners because I had that many series going. At least in my head.
The problem was that I wanted to carry these around with me everywhere because I never knew when I would want to work on one project or another. I didn’t want to risk getting an idea for my stories in Bull Creek and wind up only having my R.C. Wynne notebook in hand. This may not sound like a major problem, but believe me, it caused me great anxiety because I was that geeky with my writing. I love Scrivener, my writing program, for that very reason. I can keep everything in one project and always have it at my fingertips. Of course, I had another issue. Scrivener is not Android friendly, and the girls won’t allow me to carry my laptop everywhere I go. It’s kind of rude, but what can I do?
So, I then tried other note taking programs, like Asana, Evernote, One Note, and the simple Android notepad. None of them made me happy because they wouldn’t allow me to set them up the way I wanted them.
And then a podcast introduced me to Notion.
I love it. And I can create templates for exactly what I want it to look like. There’s also an app for my phone, so it syncs to my laptop. It’s perfect for my organizational-minded nature. I can create notes in Notion, and then once I have what I need, I can simply import it to Scrivener. Works like a charm. At least for me.
And it slips right into my back pocket. No more carrying a ton of notebooks or thick binders everywhere I go. My arms and back thank me, as you can imagine.
It also has the added capability that while others think I’m being anti-social by scrolling Facebook or playing Disney Emoji Blitz, which is somewhat acceptable because everyone does it, I’m actually writing. I love it because when it comes to my fictional worlds, I’m a workaholic.
What I have found over the years is that the more organized I am with my writing, the more writing I can actually do. There’s no searching for the color of a character’s hair or the name of their favorite drink. I even have maps of where they live and the names of their best friend in elementary school. This is probably why it hurt so much when I said goodbye to a couple of characters in Thanksgiving in Bull Creek. I knew everything about them, had watched them come to be, made them, and then watched them grow into themselves. And yes, I cried like a little baby.
How about you? Do you classify yourself as someone who prefers to be organized, or do you just toss things everywhere, hoping you’ll find it later? Drop me a comment and let me know.