Organizing My Notebooks

Here I am, still organizing! I went through my books the other day and now I’m organizing my notebooks. I’ve felt so good going through all these things and more. Maybe I’ll talk about the more part later on, but I think I’ve overloaded you guys with so many organizational posts lately!

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I have more notebooks than I can count. I’ve got a drawer under my bed filled with notebooks that have been used and filled. I have two other bins under my bed filled with notebooks and journals that have yet to be used. I also have a three-shelf bin in my office. The top holds my accordion folders with my manuscripts and various drafts in them as well as notebooks that are being used for current drafts and projects I’m on right now.

I had gone through those last summer (I think) and that’s why they each have their own little home. I also have a filing cabinet in my office that has two drawers. The bottom one is filled with Kris’s things and the top drawer is… overflowing with my stuff.

I give each of my writing projects a file folder that holds the current draft as we as an research or loose-leaf notes. I didn’t count how many folders I had in there, but the drawer was filled enough that when I opened the drawer, it would sag because it was so heavy with folders and paper.

I have a list of stories I plan on writing and when I was younger, this list used to be pages and pages long. So, instead of waiting until I officially began a project, I made a folder. For every. Single. One.

Half of these weren’t even “ideas,” mind you. If I came up with a title idea that sounded cool, I turned it into a folder because… I’d come up with a plot to go along with that title at some point, right?

So, I put the live action 101 Dalmations movie on Netflix over the weekend and I tackled that drawer. It took me almost two hours to go through it all. (That time could also be because I got distracted by the movie at times.) I saved the folders of stories I knew I was going to write soon or in the future. I put the other folders to the side and went through them separately. I wanted to double check I would never write those stories and I also had to go through any research or notes that might have been in the folders. Most of the folders were, however, empty.

My drawer is now just a little less than halfway full. I can open and close the drawer smoothly because it no longer weighs a ton. Not to mention I can fit the folders in standing up now rather than stacking them on top of each other to make them all fit… and then taking them all out one by one to look for that certain folder.

Looking at it, it doesn’t seem like I did much but it really made a difference. I feel so good that I’m slowly going through all my things and de-cluttering everything.

Have you gone through your notebooks and writing lately? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Organizing My Books

Since I’ve been doing so much organizing this month, I decided I should probably do my books as well. I have two bookshelves in the basement as well as two small “floating” shelves in my office. I typically have the floating shelves hold books I’m currently reading or what I’ll be reading next as well as writing craft books.

My bookshelves in the basement have been overflowing for a long time now and they’ve been needing some organization.

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Except I didn’t actually organize my books. I took all my books off the two bookcases and went through the ones I want to keep and got rid of some others.

Every time I try to get rid of some books I end up donating a handful. I become too attached to the books and keep them all. Except, I’ve been in the mood to clear some things out and make room. I have too much stuff and things have been super cluttered lately. It’s driving me nuts.

It took me a half hour to go through my books and I ended up with six stacks of books that I’m getting rid of. Honestly, I didn’t seem to get too attached to any of the books either. I think I’m just “ready” to clean house.

The books I got rid of were old series like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars that I will never read again. I was into those books in middle school and a bit of high school and then grew out of them.

Other books I decided to donate were books I’ve had for years and I know I will never read. Then there were other books I let go of that I have read but know I will either never read again or I just didn’t care too much for the book and it no longer needs to be displayed on my shelf.

I always hate getting rid of things. I’m one of those people who believe inanimate objects have feelings and I feel bad donating them. Unless something is broken or in bad condition, I never throw anything away. I always donate it to my church’s Thrift Shop or other places that accept donations. I know someone will be able to use whatever I give away more so than how I’ve been using it… or not using it.

I was proud of myself for getting rid of so many books. Honestly, it didn’t free up that much space on my shelves, but it did make some sort of dent.

I definitely feel good about getting that done and out of the way. Now I need to go back to it at some point and actually organize the books by series or author or… something.

Have you gone through your books lately? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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How To Organize Your Notes

Do you have too much information to keep track of for your novel?

Are all your notes weighing you down?

Do you have index cards, post-it notes, and loose paper flying free all over the place?

Well, this post can help! (I think.)

how to organize your notes rachel poli

I started writing George Florence in November 2013. Since then I’ve edited two drafts. Then I re-wrote the whole novel, completely changing the dynamic of it. I am currently on the second draft of that version.

So I tell people I’m on the second draft, but it’s technically the fourth draft. The information is the same, the plot is the same, the cases are the same.

Yet every time I’ve edited the draft, I’ve looked at pacing, dialogue, character development, and that kind of stuff. I’ve looked at plot, but never really paid any attention to whether or not my information was correct.

Yes, this is fiction, but I need to throw a little bit of reality in there. It’s not a fantasy world, so I can’t just make up news laws as I go along.

It’s a lot of information and since this novel has been on paper since late 2013 (it’s been in my head much longer than that), I have my fair share of notes piled up.

There are a number of ways you can organize your notes.

1. An accordion folder

I use a 13-pocket accordion folder for each of my novels. One pocket for each draft. It gets big and bulky, but it keeps my novels away from each other and is easy for me to organize my drafts.

Depending on how many drafts of the novel I have, I use the back pockets for my notes as well. I toss index cards in there as well as a notebook or two. It keeps everything contained and the folder closes with a rope so nothing will ever fall out.

2. Notebooks

This is an obvious one. A notebook is made of paper and that where you write your notes. Duh.

If you use a notebook all the paper is together and contained by the binding. Better yet, you can get a five-subject notebook. The more paper for notes, the better. Plus, if you ever jot something down quickly on an index card or the like, most multi-subject notebooks have a built-in pocket folder. So easy enough.

3. Filing cabinet

I have a filing cabinet where I keep all my novels. Of course, you can use it to keep your research and notes for each novel.

I’m sure you’ve researched something for one novel and needed to know the same information for another novel. Why not have your own Google system in a cabinet? Then if you need to know something, you can ask yourself.

4. Your computer

Let’s be honest, most of us keep notes and research on our computer instead of printing it out or handwriting it.

If you research on the Internet, you can easily just bookmark a page or copy down the link to the website you found on a Word Document and go back to it later. It’s faster to type notes than it is to hand write them and you can get it anywhere at anytime. If you save it to Dropbox or your e-mail, you can check your notes on your phone or tablet when you’re not home.

Technology is wonderful.

What are some ways your organize your notes for your novels?

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Organized Bookshelves

Back in December I wrote a post about How to Organize Your Bookshelves.

I listed different ways to go through your books and make them look pretty and presentable on the shelves, but I never organized my shelves in real life.

Christmas was around the corner and that room of the house was packed with boxes, presents, wrapping paper, etc. There was no room to move, let alone spread out all of my books.

So I recently organized them the other day.

I have two book cases. One is brown with three shelves and the other is white with three shelves. The shelves are deep enough that I can fit two rows of books on each shelf, so it’s like have 6 shelves for each book case.

Sometimes it gets annoying because you can’t see the books in the back when you’re looking for a specific one, but whatever. It is what it is.

Here are my shelves before I organized them. The bottom shelf of the brown case is bare because I started organizing before I took the picture:

books

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I organized my brown shelf by series. I put all my Erin Hunter books first because the Warriors series is quite large, plus they have the Seekers series and Survivors series. Then I put all my other series on the shelves.

There was room on the last shelf so I decided to put all my writing craft books. I didn’t realize just how many books I had about writing, but I have a ton.

One my white shelf, I put all my standalone books. It looks much more disorganized than the other book case because none of the books are uniformed with each other since they’re not part of a series.

No, I did not put the books in rainbow order. That would have looked cool, but I don’t think I would have the patience for that.

Maybe someday though.

Here’s what the shelves looked like after:

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Some of my books are on my desk in my office, which is partly why the white book case looks so bare.

But I also got rid of some books, too. I got rid of some really thick books, which is why there is so much extra room on the white book case.

I guess I’m just going to have to go to the bookstore and buy more books.

Inspiration Station: How To Organize Your Books

Organize Your Books

 

You can never have too many books, but when you barely have room for them all… You have too many books.

However, just because you have too many to fit on one shelf doesn’t mean that you can’t make them look pretty in the process. There are multiple ways to organize the books sitting on your shelves.

1. Alphabetized by author’s first name or last name.

I think this method makes a lot of sense. It makes searching for a certain book easier and it keeps all books together by the same author. This is especially great if there are series’ involved.

2. Alphabetized by series name.

More or less the same thing as before. All the series’ stay together, though the same author may be in multiple areas of the bookshelf–or on a completely different bookshelf.

3. Put all the hardcovers together or all the paperbacks together.

The books themselves will be jumbled around, but it would look uniformed. If you have OCD, that’s a win for you.

4. By page number. Do thick to thin or thin to thick.

Again, you authors and series will be jumbled around, but the books would look uniformed.

5. Rainbow.

You would never find the book you’re looking for unless you remember the color of its spine, but it sure would look pretty.