If you’re an author, you know that one of the hardest things to do is stay organized. There is so much to keep track of, and we use our computers for so much more besides our writing that it’s critical to keep things on your computer organized. Otherwise, you spend most of your time hunting for things rather than writing, editing and promoting. Here are some ideas for keeping your computer organized so you can find what you are looking for when you need it.

1. Figure out what you actually have saved on your computer. Then decide where you want to put it so you can easily find it. In my case, I have WIPs, E-books, excerpts, cover art, photos to help inspire me and for blog postings, lists of ideas for guest blogs and articles, promotional materials for different e-books, and completed e-books of my own. You name it I have it and it was all haphazard in all different places on my computer. So making a list of what you actually have is crucial.

2. Make a list of folders that you think you’ll need in order to get organized. Here’s what I came up with when I organized my computer:

a. A folder for each published book. Inside that folder, I have one folder each for excerpts, cover art, articles and guest posts, stock photos for articles and guest posts related to the book in question, book trailer(s) if I have them, and one for promotional materials I and others have created. I also have a folder for royalty statements by year in each book folder and when I receive a royalties statement, I file it accordingly.

b. A folder for each WIP with the tentative title. Inside I have one folder each for the WIP in question, promotional materials I’ve created, excerpts, stock photos to inspire me of my characters or for guest posts and articles I’ll use to promote, and finally one that has articles and guest posts that I’ll use to promote.

c. A folder for e-books. I love to read, so I have a lot of e-books on my computer. Inside this folder, I have a folder for each author and then inside that folder if the author has a series I have a folder for the series. Then I organize my books accordingly within that folder.

d. A folder for Taxes. I have a folder within that for each year. I also like to scan my W2’s for each year and then add them to the year they belong to. That way I don’t have a bunch of paper hanging around.

e. A folder for my receipts, and I put a folder for whichever year it is inside as well. Within each yearly folder, I have a monthly folder and I scan my receipts that are related to my writing business and file them accordingly.

f. A folder for story ideas and pieces of stories and scenes that I’ve started writing but don’t really know what I’m going to do with. That way, when I’m stumped later for ideas or what story I want to write next, I can go there for inspiration. I also like to keep a folder within this one with images that inspire me for future stories.

[image:image-1]Now of course you can add other folders as you think of them, and this by no means is an even one day job, especially if you’ve just been haphazardly saving things all over on your computer. A final tip I have is to go slow and easy with organizing your computer. Take your time. You don’t have to do it all in one sitting, you’ll just frustrate yourself. Especially if, like me, you’ve been saving stuff to your computer for years! Start with creating the file folders on your desktop that you think you’ll need. Then pick one folder to start filling and spend time searching your computer for the files you’ll need and adding them to that folder as you find them. It took me a couple of months in my spare time to actually get my desktop completely organized and I found a lot of duplicates so I was able to delete a lot of stuff off my computer and gain more computer space.

This alone was worth the time it took to organize my computer.

Good luck!

Free copy of Bondage Slave For Hire, my acclaimed BDSM novel, to a lucky winner who leaves a comment on this blog and shares his or her organization style!
4 lucky winners. 4 great comments! Here are my winners.

Name: G.D. Ogan
Internet website
: Bondage Slave for Hire sounds hot! As for my (dis)organized research files, I’m pretty well versed in the areas I write into my “Immortal Relations” novels (medical/military/political/and psychological – having worked in or around those fields in my 71 years of existence). Of course the “paranormal” part of the novels is mostly my “muse” speaking through me and, as currently writing a time-travel novel back to the age of dinosaurs (I bought a book describing some of the lesser known dinosaurs). It’s to be read to my six-year-old granddaughter who loves dinosaurs.

Name: Christina Strigas
Internet websiteVote: 5/5
Message: Hi, I am also a MIU newbie. I found your blog so interesting. I haven’t gotten that far yet, but great points for an author. Thanks Chrissy

Name: Helene
Message: depending on just what I need to organize I do color coding for can goods fruits , soups then vegs but for my print books (over 300 )always looking for more it’s A,B,C and the order in which they were released , I have to be OCD because I live in a 1bedroom apt LOL but never fear I will ALWAYS find room for another author lol

Name: Alicia S.
Message: Hi & thanks for sharing your organization tips. I’ve really been procrastinating in e-organizing my computer mainly because it seems overwhelming. But your suggestions helps me put in perspective & gives me easy & efficient foundation to get crackin’ on it & not dread starting it.