Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog.
Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Order can Give Peace of Mind by Paty Jager

Does one of these shelving units make you cringe? It does me. I'm not a neat freak, but if things are a shambles around my desk or in my writing life like the unit on the left...I can't write or do anything.

However, trying to keep things straight as an Indie Author is hard. And it can become time consuming.

There have been days when I spent too much time trying to make a spreadsheet to keep track of promotion and/or releases, not to mention guest blogging and events.  But I will never be a person who can make a spreadsheet that will keep me organized. I can't have everything in one place--it overwhelms me.

I have been lured several times by a busy author commenting on these great organizers that helped them stay focused and on top of everything. I looked at a couple and found while I use multiple things to keep me focused, I can't have it all in one book and flip back and forth between pages or there isn't enough room in the square for one day to put what needs done.

The system that works best for me is:

1) Calendar - I have one on the wall for personal stuff. I can look at it multiple times a day and see what is coming up.

2) Date Book - I keep a date book on my desk. It's open all the time beside my computer. I can take it with me when I'll be gone for more than a day. This has events I'm participating in, guest blogging dates, my group blog dates, and promotion dates. The squares are large enough to write in the blog titles and any topics for those. The edges of the pages have space for notations about promotions I want to do, when to send guest blog posts.

3) Whiteboard - This is on the wall between my bookcases. It is there for me to see all day long. This has Write 3K a Day! across the top. That is what I need to finish the projects I wrote down on the board in December. I have the word Write and the months under it.  The next column is the project I should be writing in that month. The next column is release. The projects are written in this column across from the month they will be released.  And an X means a cover needs to be ordered.

4) Post-its -  I have various sizes and colors for these. I love the small slender ones for marking pages in research books.  I use the next size up for adding things to my calendar to make my eye catch it. And the most common size, I use every day. The first one of the day is to make my list of things to do that day. I stick it on the side of the computer monitor. Then I use Post-its to keep track of things when I'm writing that I want to check later or to keep track of names of characters that I'll add to my character list at the end of the day. That way I don't have to stop, open my binder or open another document on my computer. I just jot it down and deal with adding it later. 

5) Binder and Spreadsheets - I have a binder with pages of grids that I made to keep track of where, when, the price, the format, and the ISBNs for my books. It also has a spread sheet of FB places to promote that I can put the title on a column and write down the date that I put the book there. And I have a spreadsheet for places I promote, when, what book, how much I paid and the result of sales or downloads.

Trying to do all of this and write my 3k words a day and not feel like I'm chained to the computer is daunting. When I take more than two days at a time off, it takes a lot to pump myself up to get back to the grind. I LOVE the writing! It's all the other stuff that makes it hard to get back at the computer. 

Whether you're a writer or a reader, what do you do to try to keep your life in order?

I have a new mystery that released this month. Artful Murder book ten in the Shandra Higheagle Mystery series.

Secrets… Scandal… Murder…
An autistic boy and his brother need potter Shandra Higheagle’s help when a teacher’s body is found after a confrontation with the older brother. Shandra knows the boy is innocent. Digging into the teacher’s life, she and Ryan turn up scandal.

Detective Ryan Greer has believed in Shandra’s dreams in the past, but she can’t always be right. When his investigation uncovers a principal on the take, females being harassed, and parents kept in the dark, he discovers more suspects than the brothers. Shandra’s time at the school is coming to an end, and the killer has struck again.

Universal buy link:   

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 32 novels, 6 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”

Photo source: Depositphotos


  1. Hey, Paty! I loved this post!!! I will be incorporating some of your tactics into my writing life. I wish to heck I had room for a white board, but my desk/writing area is a tiny corner of the den, and no wall space available. I keep my life in order by having calendars in the kitchen for my Mom to see and one in the den. This has all personal appointments for the month. Mom, 92yrs young, gets upset if she doesn't know where my husband or I have gone. This way she knows in advance, plus she can see the days I have to take her out to appointments. For my writing life I am not very organized, but I am making some changes this year. Number one, I sit down and write at least for an hour everyday. Great blog post!!

  2. Paty, you are much more organized than I am. I keep my datebook open on my desk all the time, too. I'd be lost without it. Best wishes for continued success with Shandra Higheagle!

  3. Definitely, you're more organized than I am. I use a datebook like Caroline. I just read, "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" that is only 117 pages and tells how to de-clutter your life and surroundings. It was mentioned at my book club, and has lots of merit. This spring, I'm going to give it a try. Best of luck with your writing.

  4. Paty, I just finished cleaning out my closet then sat down with a cup of tea to read some blogs. I'm one of those organized people, and I use the same tools as you. Congratulations on the new release this month.


Thank you for commenting on Smart Girls Read Romance. We love readers and love their comments. We apologize that due to a few unethical spammers we've had to institute comment moderation. Please be patient with us... we DO want your genuine comments!