Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning time.
Okay, maybe it’s not spring here yet. But I’m optimistic that we won’t have snow in April. (But chances of that happening are pretty low.) So I started doing spring cleaning with my writing stuff.
I am one of those people who writes notes on anything. As you can see, I have a variety of things: little brown envelope, small spiral notebooks usually kept in my purse, scratch paper from our printer, whatever piece of paper I could find.
I don’t usually do this with life in general, mostly just writing stuff. Silly things my daughter says. Plot/character ideas, agent stuff, descriptive words I might use in my manuscript. Title ideas and character names. Sometimes dialogue. Anything that strikes me related to my writing. And unfortunately, if I don’t write it down, it has a 95% chance of being forgotten.

So I’m cleaning things up. When I start working on a story, I get an 8×10 spiral bound notebook to write those ideas. I went through all this crap and moved it to the correct notebook. But some of my notes are for stories I wrote a while back, and have no notebook, so then I just throw it into a manila folder. (I have a folder for each project. Even ones that got pushed aside for better ideas. But if I started creating scenes in my head, it has a folder.)
What I’m wondering is, how many people do this too? Do you write little notes like this for everyday things? Or is it mostly writing stuff like me?
Or are you the type of person who will put the information down in the correct place right away instead of leaving notes around the house?
I’m trying to get better at this. I should just leave small notebooks in several rooms, so that it’s there when I need it. But then I have to leave a pencil too. And the kids like to move them around. Or use the notebooks themselves. And if I hide it somewhere, I might forget where it is. 🙂
Maybe I should work on some memory exercises, so I wouldn’t have to write it all down.
So do you write yourself notes like this, or are you an organized person?

11 Responses

  1. I write notes exactly like that about everything – reminders, writing stuff, goals…I try to stay organized. I at least tape most of my notes in a big notebook, but I think you have me beat on organization. I wonder how many of my notes have been lost over the years. Hoping neither of us get snow in April!

  2. I don’t use scraps. I have a small notebook for every big project – using a moleskine one at the moment which is a bit more swanky than usual. Then I have a large notebook for all other writing which is a mixture of a few pages devoted to one short story or something, interspersed with single pages where I’ve jotted down individual lines, title ideas, descriptions etc. that have popped into my head. It’s a bit chaotic – I have to search through the whole book to find my flashes of inspiration – but it does at least keep the chaos in one place!

  3. totally do the same thing. i have notepads all over the house & in my purse for just such eureka moments. my in box could do with a spring cleaning/organization. thanks for the reminder!

  4. I do this too. I have notes everywhere, and then if I can’t find a note I made later I completely freak out. I have little notebooks all over the place, and sticky notes. My love of sticky notes is deep. When I go through my notes later, I always put them on the computer. It’s so much easier to find things on the computer.

  5. I think this is a sign that you are an organized person. I do this too, but usually file all my sticky notes once a week (so I can see the computer and all. lol) I like putting them on my computer all pretty, or in my idea book all safe. Someone suggested to just use my phone, but… that just doesn’t have the same feel as an idea on a sticky note, waiting for me to run with it, now does it?

  6. Okay – you are brilliant! And I need to do this in a bad way. Maybe I can find time to get myself organized over spring break! Great ideas with the manilla folders and stuff. And I really need to get myself a cork board for the office. Thanks for the tips Suzi! Your spring cleaning is impressive!

  7. yep I do it too! I have post-it notes all over my desk with lines I hear that strike me as keepers, and of course story ideas! I do keep spiral notebook bibles for every story idea,and they become the catch-all for anything relating to the story.
    I need to spring clean my old bill statements and filing cabinets!

  8. I email notes to myself, which I save in documents. I don’t like to have notes all over the place. I used to write notes in random notebooks, but it’s easier to find things electronically.

  9. Hi! I feel like I should introduce myself because I’ve been holed up editing for so long. I am a habitual notetaker, and I try to organize them, but then I get frustrated with the system, and start reorganizing. I’m having to learn to let go of my type-A proclivities, or I’ll never get any writing done. I also started using Scrivener, but even that is kind of a chaotic organization. 😛

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