I’ve written a lot about the tools I use to handle the creative side of writing. But what about the professional side?
It’s a principle of both GTD and Zettelkasten (the two productivity systems I follow) that you keep your reference materials separate from your work. I’ve learned by experience that this is excellent advice.
I’ve had 8 novels and around 70 short stories published. Here’s how I use Evernote to keep track of my writing career.
The basic unit of my writing is a story. I use Evernote to create two notes for every story I begin, one for recording ideas and one for the professional details.
Here’s what goes into a “professional” note.
- The date I started and finished the story (this is for my own interest.)
- Dates of revisions, submissions to beta readers
- Beta readers comments
- Submission details.
Evernote has recently introduced a tasks feature that is ideal for keeping track of submission deadlines.
Once a story has been placed I add the following to the note:
- The contract (usually a pdf)
- Date of publication, magazine issue (if appropriate)
- Cover image. This is handy for producing publicity materials.
- Reviews, quotations
- Reprint details.
If you’re just starting out as a writer, I’d advise you to begin doing the above with your first sale. If your work is resold, editors want to know these details. Having them to hand will save you a lot of time in the future.
One last thing.
Evernote now allows you to place filtered widgets on your home page. I’ve set up a widget with works in progress or stories currently on submission. I can now see at a glance just what I should be doing.
I keep several bios on Evernote. A very short one, (22 words), short (60 Words) and longer (over 200 words). They are then when needed, though I usually have to update them at the time. I also have several photos I can download as needed.
Evernote allows you to create a shareable page. This is ideal for creating a press release. Here’s an example for my recent novel, Midway.
Income and Expenses
I keep a separate record of sales, payments and residuals on a spreadsheet and I refer to this when doing my tax return. I use tables on Evernote for keeping track of day to day expenses. I keep a note bookmarked for the current tax year so it’s easily accessible.
I have a note with a list of markets. Evernote tasks are an easy way to keep track of submission windows and deadlines.
Interviews, Panels and Workshops
I may not do as many appearances as I used to, but all my past notes and presentations are stored on Evernote for reference.
I’ve had changing opinions of Evernote over the years (see this post). The new direction the company is taking, plus the addition of a Linux client (currently in Beta) mean I’m once more fully committed to the system, so much so that I’ve recently taken the exams to become an Evernote Expert. I receive a free professional subscription to Evernote. The opinions here are my own.