Organizing All Those Blogs, Tips, and Notes

OrganizingWriting colleagues think of me as a disciplined writer, but there’s an area where I’m a huge procrastinator, which is in organizing the how-to writing articles, blogs, and notes I’ve accumulated for over thirty years.

I have oodles of them, including a thick accordion folder crammed with old Writers Digest articles about writing in general. There’s another folder filled with notes on mystery writing, as well as files on setting, characters, etc. Now that I’m working on my first full-length fantasy novel, I’m also collecting lots of great how-to tips about that genre.

The way I’ve collected material has changed over the years. Rather than read paper magazines on writing like I used to, I read blogs and visit useful sites. I now have a growing collection of bookmarked folders containing all sorts of things about writing, research, marketing, and so forth.

A couple of years back, I purged my accordion files while looking for a specific article, which I eventually found, but I still kept quite a few pieces because the information might still be useful. Who knows what type of writing I’ll gravitate to ten years from now?

The thing is, while writing and editing new novels, I often forget about the great editing tips and articles I’ve collected. I even have a green file folder on top of my fantasy manuscript with the most relevant info. After the second draft was completed, I realized that I’d barely looked at that folder, and that’s a mistake.

I need to come up with a useful way to make all this information more accessible. The task will probably start with paring down the folders again (admittedly several cover the same topic and give similar advice).

Second, I’ll need to create a binder or something with tabs that focus on specific topics and editing tips. I don’t always edit at my computer, so having a cheat sheet of key editing points might prove useful. It also means that I’ll probably need to print out the most useful of those many bookmarked pieces.

But all this will take a lot of time and effort, as I have a lot of sorting to do. Thus the procrastination. Maybe I’ll set aside a couple of hours per week and see how it goes, but if you have any tips on organizing all those great articles and tips you come across I’d love to hear how you manage them.

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and security work inspired me to write the Casey Holland transit security novels set in Metro Vancouver. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at

11 thoughts on “Organizing All Those Blogs, Tips, and Notes”

  1. I leave folders on my table of work I have to do because if I put it away it’ll never get done. Perhaps one article a day because you don’t want to take time away from editing. Besides I’m waiting for your fantasy novel to finally be finished!

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  2. So often those helpful posts and articles are filed or bookmarked and forgotten. I guess I hope that when I read them, my brain will absorb the information and I’ll unconsciously “know” all that stuff when I need it. (I do bookmark things too, just in case).

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Audrey, and I thought absorbing things would work too. But when I pulled out some tips to share with others, I realized how much I’d forgotten and how useful those particular tips were to the WIP I’m currently editing!

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  3. Thank you for sharing the same dilemmas I have with notes, files, and memory. I have so many story or poem starts I have filed somewhere to pick up again that it’s overwhelming and distracting to the work I really want to do. There must be a way to file these on the laptop for easy access and reminders just to scroll through them. Then I can throw all the loose paper away! The journals are also a warehouse, and to tell the truth, reading through the old ones bring me insights and ideas in a fresh way and always become an impetus for new writing. I wish you well for the new work. I love bringing out a draft and seeing it anew. The task of editing and rewriting is one that I enjoy immensely. Having the whole novel on the page, then just making it better–that’s a good kind of work for me.

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    1. Thank you for your comments, and yes, there must be an easier way to organize everything online. Part of it must be changing my habits to regularly look into the online folders to review all those great tips. Good luck with your writing!


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