Staying Organized in the Digital Age by Rebecca Heflin

File Cabinet

Way back in the Dark Ages, we used to make manila file folders, maybe using a label maker or a typewriter (remember those?) to make a label, and then we’d file it away in a file cabinet, typically in alphabetical order by folder name.

Now, everything is filed electronically and our file folders are those cute little folder icons on our computers and laptops. So, how do we stay organized so that we don’t have documents stored willy-nilly in those digital file drawers like scattered papers on your desk?

I create various folders, subfolders and sub-subfolders. Starting with top-level folders – let’s call them file cabinet drawers – I set up folders by general subject matter, and with each subfolder and sub-subfolder, the subject matter gets more specific.

For instance, I have a drawer called “Documents.” In that drawer, I keep files on general marketing, blog posts (this post will go there when it’s finished), ideas for my newsletter, and ideas where I keep notes for new books. And of course, I have a general file for “Books,” which in turn holds subfolders for each of my books or series (see photos below).

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Under “Books,” let’s take a look at the “Dreams Come True Series” subfolder (below). In that subfolder are files for each of the three books, a marketing file for the series, and a series info file. Since I use Scrivener to write, there is a Scrivener file for the series as well. In the file for each book, I maintain the different size jpegs of my covers, my book blurbs, cover art forms, excerpts, ARCs, word counter trackers, even the editorial reviews the books received – anything specific to that particular book – all in one place so I don’t have to hunt for things when I need them.

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So that’s my strategy. What’s yours? How do you stay organized in the digital age?

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About Rebecca Heflin

I've dreamed of writing romantic fiction since I was fifteen and my older sister snuck a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss' Shanna to me and told me to read it. Now I write women's fiction and contemporary romance under the name Rebecca Heflin. In case you're wondering, Rebecca Heflin is an abbreviated version of my great-great grandmother's name: Sarah Anne Rebecca Heflin Apple Smith. Whew! And you wondered why I shortened it. When not passionately pursuing my dream, I am busy with my day-job at a large state university or running the non-profit cancer organization my husband and I founded. I'm a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Florida Romance Writers, RWA Contemporary Romance, Savvy Authors, and Florida Writers Association. My mountain-climbing husband and I live at sea level in sunny Florida.
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