The Best and Simplest Time Savers of the Year

Sunday, January 03, 2016
The New Year is just beginning and I’ll bet you’ve got all kinds of wonderful resolutions or goals or word counts or…

Yeah, okay. I haven’t quite got ‘round to figuring it all out, either. But one thing I did figure out last year helped me in short term and long term time management. It’s just a few organizational tricks, so simple that I managed to stick to ‘em all year long. And I’ll bet you can benefit from these handy little time-savers, too.

First, I instigated the “Monthly Writing Notes Method” and presto! I found time to read lots of great blog posts and articles about the craft and business of writing.

Here’s how this little gem works:

1. Open a Word doc and title it “Writing Notes, Name of Month.” (I keep the doc open every day, all month long.)
2. Copy the url of the link that looks interesting and paste it into the file.

Yep, that’s pretty much it. Later, like when I’m watching a football/baseball/basketball game on TV, I’ll open those notes and spend a little time catching up on my writing reading. ‘Course, if you have a fancy-shmancy smart phone, you can save stuff and read whilst you’re watching the kiddies at their live sporting events. (Don’t act like you watch the entire game. You know you only watch your own kid.)

I’ll also dump titles of books I want to read or quotes I love or an idea for a blog post—anything that I want to save but can’t get to right at that moment. But when the moment comes around—like when I need to order library books—there’s the info at a snap of my fingertips. No more wasting time, looking for where I saw that link or racking my brain to remember something.

Next, I have a few tips for cleaning out the inbox. You can read all the details here, or you can just follow the old “if I haven’t read it in 60 days, it’s probably not that important” trick. Just read the timely stuff and then dump the rest.

See how I’m saving my writing time on a daily basis? And cleaning out my inbox? And organizing my tips and information and ideas?

So simple. (But you have to actually do ‘em. Here’s wishing you a 2016 absolutely brimming with writing time!)

~Cathy C. Hall


Linda O'Connell said...

Great minds.. and all that. Before I read your column to day, I decided to dump interesting info and links into a new folder, and clean up my desktop. You are an inspiration.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Actually do them. That's definitely the hard part! My biggest challenge is organizing and doing what I've slated for particular times rather than being willy-nilly all over the place. Working on it. Your little trick looks like it might help. Thanks!

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