Monday, November 09, 2009

Prize for best tip on getting organized!

Oops! I forgot to blog last month and nearly forgot again today. I used to be a pretty organized person, but lately I’ve been so busy and so immersed in the books I’ve been writing that many other things are slipping past me. Like blog dates and housekeeping and cooking anything that requires more than a microwave to defrost and reheat it. :)

I need help getting back on track! So I will reward the person with the best organizational tip for me the full set of the wedding party books!

My system of sticky notes on the side of my desktop computer isn’t working. They usually become unstuck or disappear when other stuff – like school papers, junk mail and bills get piled above them. Writing notes on the calendar only works when I remember to look at the calendar – same with the appointment cards that are held to the fridge with magnets.

I suppose I could use some computer program, but I alternate between my desktop and my laptop so much that it would have to be a program compatible with both XP and Vista – and my Blackberry. The program can’t be so technical that it’s too difficult to use and not so much work that I’ll never use it as has been the case with some programs. And if it’ll dust and cook, that would be a definite plus. :) I’ll settle for it reminding me to do those things – like scheduling different housekeeping jobs in addition to appointments and birthdays and all those other things that I’d love to keep track of!

On the bright side, I do have a good reason for being so forgetful. I’ve been busy writing. My next Harlequin American is an April 2010 release, HIS BABY SURPRISE, about a hockey player who finds a baby on his doorstep. This December I have a Christmas novella for Silhouette Nocturne, NOTHING SAYS CHRISTMAS LIKE A VAMPIRE, in the Holiday with a Vampire III anthology. I have another Nocturne in March 2010, MISTRESS OF THE UNDERGROUND, and I return to writing for Harlequin Intrigue with MYSTERY LOVER in June 2010.

Please help me get organized again! I’d love to hear how you keep your busy life running smoothly! And I’ll send out those autographed books to the person with the tip that I think will get me back on track!

Thanks for your help, happy reading & happy early Thanksgiving!
Lisa Childs


Laney4 said...

I have tons of tips, but I'll limit myself to one here....
I keep a piece of paper on my desk, today labelled Mon, Nov 9/09. I write down what I want/need to get done (hopefully in somewhat chronological order). I actually printed it from an organizational web site, so it has lines and headings (like the hours of the day, Errands, To phone, To email, Computer work, Evening, and Other). I write down in pencil what I want to do and erase those items as I get them done. I keep a week's worth of pages in front of me so I can add to them at a moment's notice. They can be silly things like "empty pencil sharpener", but just write them down and do them, one at a time. Keep referring back to "the list". If I'm upstairs and think of something to add, I now make a conscious effort to walk (or hurry) to my office to write that item down before I forget, as I WILL forget. That's a given.
Okay. I lied. A second tip came to mind. I have a masterlist of all my friends'/relatives' birthdays/anniversaries. If I send cards to those people, I write down two weeks before that date to send them a card. I try to buy those cards on sale and set them aside under those dates in my filing system, but sometimes I don't have an appropriate card so go and get one on the next shopping day.
Good luck! Sometimes it takes years to find a system that works for you. I'm 50 and still finding new ways to improve (especially now that I'm even more forgetful and need to make allowances for such).

robynl said...

A planner is the way to go, for me at least. In here you have a section for daily activities, appointments, to-do lists, address book and phone # lists. Mark everything down and set a time, such as first thing in the morning while you are having coffee, brushing your teeth or when you sit down at your computer, to look at your planner and see what needs to be done for that day. The planner can be carried from laptop to desktop.

Another thing I did for a while was have a mini file folder holder on my counter top in the kitchen. There are 5 different colored folders and each one was for something specific such as bills, receipts, appointments, jobs to be done, work schedule, etc. I referred to this every day and it was handy in the kitchen close to my phone.

Estella said...

I use lots of post-its.

Lindsey Brookes said...

I have no organizational skills, so you're on your own there. But I am looking forward to reading your upcoming books! And I'm so excited to hear you are returning to your roots at Intrigue as well.


Lisa Childs said...

Thanks for the suggestions and the comments! I've tried the paper and planner methods. The problem is that they get lost on my messy desk -- under the bills and school papers and notebooks and pieces of scrap paper on which I scribble scenes/dialogue/plots. Has anyone found a computer program that sends email reminders with appts/birthdays and other important stuff -- like blogging dates? :)

Thanks for the help!

Victoria Chancellor said...

The trouble I've found with computer programs is that they remind you ONCE and then go away. If I get distracted by the phone or television or whatever, I totally forget what just popped up for me to do. The exception I've found is my phone (AT&T Tilt, which is Palm based) which has a very nifty calendar feature. Once the appointment or task pops up, you have multiple options, such as dismiss, remind again in 5, 10, 15 or whatever minutes. That way it's not out of mind. I'd suggest something you can keep with you all the time (you can even get a little carrier to clip on your waistband.) This is important; Use only ONE calendar for everything. Lots of busy moms and working women make the mistake of using multiple calendars, and then you overschedule/forget. If absolutely everthing is in one place, you don't have to mentally combine all your different roles. That's my two cents worth. Good luck getting organized again!

Lisa Childs said...

Thank you!!! I'll definitely check out what the Blackberry has on it. Only problem is that I sometimes "unplug" everything when I'm deep in deadline mode. That's why I thought it would be cool if one program worked on the phone and the computers, so I could enter stuff once but have reminders popping up all over. :)

Thanks again!

Linda Henderson said...

I find the thing that works for me the best is a wall planner. It's erasable so you can reuse it and as long as you can remember to write things on it you are good to go. I've used pocket ones and I loose those and the bigger ones are easy to put up and forget about but if it is hanging right in front of you it's harder to forget.

Lisa Childs said...

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions! Linda, I'd try the wall thing, but I really have no space big enough to put one big enough for all my appts & reminders. I'd have to take down framed book covers, and I've been too lucky with gorgeous covers to do that! :) So I'm going to try the planner again and just make sure that I find a really, really good one that I will actually carry around with me. So, Robyn, you're the winner! Please email me at with your address, and I'll send off your autographed set of the Wedding Party books.

Thanks again for all the help! Hopefully next month I will have no problem remembering to blog on my day! :)


shelley galloway said...


I have no suggestions for you! Being organized is not my strong suit. But, I wouldn't worry about it too have lots of books to write!

Congratulations! I can't wait to pick them all up.