If the theme of the year is Embrace the Journey, then we will need tools to get there in one piece. I realized during my BlogCast FM Interview – From Untrained Housewife to Published Author – that not everyone knows HOW to organize a long-term project. So here’s how I organized Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) when I was working on it and how I’ll organize future eBooks, Untrained Housewife Guides and other projects.
Organize Large Projects in a Single File Box
I like to give each project its own file box. This allows me to jot notes, clip articles, and print research and have a single spot to stick it into. For Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) I used a cheap file box with a handle from Wal-Mart like this one but since have found The Office Stylist and picked up a red portable file box. Brilliant! You might as well have your style on display while you work. And if your project is a book, blog or course, the box would hold the entire thing.
Hanging Folders to Organize Sections or Categories
Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) had five main sections so my file box had five hanging folders. My new project this year is an e-course with a personalized coaching session built into each week, so I have a file folder for each of the hour weeks. I also have two extra folders for the book The Myth of Perfection: Failing Passionately to Succeed Powerfully since I don’t know that it’ll take a giant file box of its own but will fit into two hanging folders for the two parts I anticipate.
File Folders to Organize Individual Chapters or Pieces
Now, I use manilla folders to hold the individual chapters of a book or daily lessons of a course. That way, I can pull out all my research notes, source material, quotes, and outline for a specific course or chapter and get right to work. You know with five kids I don’t have time to let a minor interruption derail me for the entire day…I have to be able to quickly pick right back up where I left off. This was the simplest way I could find to make it happen.
Storing Digital Files for Easy Accessibility
I tend to use two methods of file storage for easy accessibility while working on a project. I use DropBox to synch my files across multiple computers or share it with a team member I need to look at something. It works really well, and you get a good amount of free space just for signing up and installing the dropbox folder to your desktop. The other way I manage the files I need is to store them on a flash drive. Have you seen these? I used to put a pretty red flash drive on a landyard like this or a keychain like this. But I think I found my new flash drive love – check this jeweled flash drive necklace out!
Anyway – The flash drive clone of my dropbox folders means I can work on a project while not connected to the internet. You gotta have a spiffy flash drive for each project – just be sure you save to your dropbox when you get internet connection back so you don’t accidentally lose any work if you lose your flash drive.
How do you organize your long-term projects that will take you more than a couple days to finish?
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