Writing Secrets For Greater Productivity

Part of the Kenno's Blog series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, You Can Learn Series
December 14, 2007
I read an article the other day that has cleaned off my desk workspace. Every blogger should begin doing this today. The life you save will be yours. It might save your marriage, too.

When I wander around the internet or read books; sometimes an idea will spark inside my brain. This is interesting stuff. I wonder if I can write an article about this. So, I will do a couple of different things. I might jot a note on a piece of paper or I might email a link to myself. At the end of the day I will remove all these little notes from my pocket and put them on my workdesk. They are all ready for when I am prepared to take action.

Well, I do take action on many of them. When I write that article or contact a supplier or visit a website to get more information then I will throw the piece of paper away. But, sometimes I might write five excellent ideas on that one piece of paper. Maybe three of them are actionable items, but the other two are just long term ideas. That slip of paper will then go in a pile on my desk. Here's a way to fix this problem.

Time Saving Writing Secrets

I read an article by Pam Gaulin, titled, Time Saving Writing Secrets. The article just hit home with me. It is like that commercial for V-8 vegetable juice where someone bops you on the head to get your attention. This article bopped me on the head.

A quick summary of the article. Go Paperless. Do all your thinking on your computer. By doing so you can place little mental notes on quick little windows. Save them and they are off your desk and on your computer. When you are in the writing groove don't stop with one article keep writing until your time or ideas run out. She has 3 other wonderful tips that will help you be more productive when you write.

Non-Productive Interruptions

But, for me, using your computer as a note taker caught my attention. If you have a lot of memos or pieces of paper on your desk; then you can't concentrate on the task at hand. You will write for a couple of minutes and bingo, you look at a note and say, "Oh, I will take care of that, it will only take a second." Fifteen minutes to an hour later you are ready to write again. Then another note will interrupt you and you are off and running to another non-productive task.

To remove these interruptions, you place the notes into a single file or multiple files properly named. You might have a folder for new business ideas. You get a new idea, Open up notepad, type, type, type. Then save to the folder. Later when you have time to harvest these ideas they are stored nice and neat in the folder.

I had already started something similar with my blogging articles. As I thought of something to write I would open up a notepad. I would type up a summary of the idea or even bullet points I might want to cover. Sometimes I would have the first 4 paragraphs written just taking quick notes. But, then I would save the blog idea. When I was at a loss for a new article, I open up the folder and there are 10 to 15 great ideas ready to rock and roll.

Categorize and Label Correctly

Now for the program to work you have to do two things right. One, you must categorize and label them correctly. Two, you must name them with a meaningful name so when you come back to it 6 months later you don't have to open each individual folder. Imagine if you name them each with the date you created the file. So, you want to look up that article on writing that you started. You would be forced to open each and every file until you found that note. Ouch.

I currently have two folders. One, for all my business ideas is a folder labeled correctly, business ideas. My other folder for ideas I have for articles I want to pursue is named, Blog Starters. This is all I need currently. You might have other resources you want to pursue. Or maybe you are involved in multiple blogs. You have articles on travel, landscaping and weightlifting. Then you may want a folder for each one such as TravelStarters.

Give this idea a try. I think you will be amazed at your greater productivity. Your writing will flourish and who knows, maybe you will make more money. Good luck.

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