I think it's safe to say you could use some organization help.
The writing industry is a messy place. There's CDs, flash drives, paper, books--not to mention all of the
junk food fruit and coffee water you have handy (because writers are SO well known for their healthy diets). Of course, there's always the random pieces of paper/napkins you've written ideas or scenes on when you wake up in the middle of the night, or the hand-written plots scattered over various notebooks.
The GotYA wants to know how YOU deal with clutter.
Do you use digital dictation--where you talk, it types? What about FreeMind--the perfect tool for those who like to outline?
Of course, there's always the old-fashioned way: sticky notes.
It's fantastic how tiny pieces of sticky paper can create so much order...at least, order when it comes to ideas. Where you place said sticky notes is an entirely DIFFERENT topic. For the most part, they're slapped onto a corkboard or poster board, maybe a wall. Whatever you choose to do with them, they become a great way to get those pesky ideas separated and organized.
And when you're revising your manuscript/filling in plot holes/making scene changes/feel like taking your writing rage out on something, you rip them off and toss them in the garbage.
Plus, they're all rainbow-like and shiny.
Okay, back to digital dictation. This seems to be growing in popularity. For those that know exactly what they want to say and how their story goes, it's a blessing. The world can talk faster than they type. This can allow the writer to finish their novel much faster. But again, this isn't for everyone. Half of writers can just crank out words and make them sound amazing. The other half needs time to think about how their characters interact/think/feel/talk. They need time to plot. For those people, a great tool is FreeMind.
FreeMind is a web map with a variety of features. It's designed to be an outline with webs spurting out in all directions. Want a section only for your characters? Done. You can make specific sections and add sibling webs along the way. Or perhaps add a child web for certain aspects of your characters, like looks or quirks.
FreeMind allows you to prioritize and mark each individual line with icons, such as "Priority1" or a light bulb for "Idea."
As for paper manuscripts and books, well, those are pretty standard. A good binder and bookshelf can solve those problems.
Computer documents, on the other hand, are a tad more special. The worst possible event that could happen to an author is to lose their novel due to a computer malfunction. Your computer dies, you got the Blue Screen of Death and didn't save, dog chewed your power cord--something ALWAYS tends to happen. The chances of losing your work are growing slimmer with the new technology coming out, but do you want to risk it? Here is where flash drives and the internet come in handy. Emailing your novel to yourself not only time-stamps it, but you have it for future use in case the unthinkable happens. Google Documents is another way to keep your work online.
Folders and files keep your desktop arranged nicely, flash drives and the internet keep it safe. Your book is too precious to not take cautions.
So how about you? What are the ways that you keep your thoughts/files/sanity in check? What are some ideas to help out fellow writers?