You might remember me mentioning Scrivener a few posts back, when I was discussing my top writing tools. I use it for my novel writing, but I also use it to organize this blog and today I thought I’d tell (and show) you more. Screenshots and explanations are going to be bursting off this page, but please ask me questions. I’m definitely not an authority, but I’ve been using this method of organizing for about 6 months.
If you are completely new to Scrivener – start here. If you’re using Scrivener for your other writing projects but haven’t thought about using it as a blogging tool, then keep reading.
First, I set up a new project called JenniferGregson.com. Then I created files for Goals, To-Do, Ideas, Drafts, Scheduled, and Posted. There’s also the normal Research folder and the Trash (standard Scrivener items).
Right now, I have just a few listed, but they are items I want to think about and work on through the next few months. Especially posting at least 3 times a month and researching possible ad revenue.
Simple reminders of things I can actually do to work towards my goals. These are NOT blog post ideas, these are items to research, or revisions I need to start working on (so if I have a draft, and it’s just sitting there, then I might drop a to-do item to kick my butt back in gear), or books I want to check out. Once I’m done with an item – it goes in the trash. It looks like you could check things off, but you can’t – the only downside, but I have a Filofax/planner that I can write down and check off items if I feel the need.
The meat and potatoes of this system. I drop a new card on the “cork board” every time I think up something I might want to write on. All of my flash fiction ideas live here too, although I’m rethinking some of these so they might disappear into their own folder for awhile until I decide if I want to keep including short stories on my blog. But seriously, if I think of an idea, any short little idea, I drop it here. As I grow and research and update the ideas, they get closer to the top of the list. I physically move them there for visual reasons. I use the “index card” portion to write notes to myself, or an actual synopsis if one of my short stories, or any links that I know I want to include. Basically, it’s the place my main blogging ideas live.
Pretty self-explanatory. Once I have a full first draft, I move my card out of Ideas and into Drafts. Then I can read them out-loud, take notes about pictures and/or graphics that I need, etc. As you can see, my current post (the one you’re reading) is in Drafts right now in all of the screenshots because I took them as I was working on this post (makes sense, right?)…and actually it might have moved in some of the screenshots because it definitely started in Ideas and then moved to Drafts. Once I get this sucker either scheduled or posted, then it gets moved again.
So, if I have a post ready, but I’m not ready to post – it gets dropped here. I don’t use this very often as I usually write, revise, and publish right away. But it has happened, so I gave it a spot in the chain. Usually this happens if I want to post something while I’m away and since blogger does have a scheduling option…well, it’s here just in case.
Once I publish on blogger, it gets dropped here so I know what’s what. If I need to go back for any reason, all of the posts I’ve written since starting this project are there, right there. I haven’t done much with these, they are just here for posterity or if something happened to blogger than at least I have a backup.
If I have any research links that I’m including (not just YouTube or specific company links) then I usually store them here, so everything is in one place, and I know I can find the link if needed. A lot of my research lives in Evernote, so this hasn’t been utilized often….but I did throw in some Scrivener research for this post. Honesty! It feels good.
Uhh….it’s where old ideas go to die, old research, old links, old….well, you get it, it’s the trash.
And two last things I want to mention, Labels and Status.
My labels here correspond to the labels within blogger (writing, music, etc) so that’s pretty self-explanatory, but it helps color code things here so that’s nice.
The statuses help me know where things are at: Ideas, Drafts, etc. These show up on the “index cards” making a nice visual reminder for me. So, if I’m looking at my Ideas cork board and notice a card that says Draft across it, I know that I have at least a first draft written but haven’t felt ready to move it yet…usually because I’m waiting for something, time to find pictures or links, time to find a YouTube clip, etc. I can tell at a glance what type of post it is and where it is within my system. I love these! If you’re visual like me, they are amazing!
So, I think that’s it for now. Like I said, if you’re already using Scrivener for your novel, playwriting, or poetry, then give it a shot for your blogging needs. It’s super helpful to keep you organized but let’s you work the way you want and need to. I have felt more productive since starting this “project” within Scrivener – I feel like I generate ideas quicker, have better ideas, and can make sure I stay on top of my blogging goals.
What do you guys use for blogging? Do you plop right into Blogger or WordPress and write on the fly? Use Word or Pages before hand and then copy and paste? Real paper? Let me know below!