Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Five Tips to Organize (and de-stress) Your Business by Linda Shenton Matchett

I’m an office products addict. Give me a package of pens, a stack of sticky notes, or box of folders, and I’m a happy (and organized) camper. I can spend hours at my local Office Depot or Staples store. So many products, so little time.

Not everyone gets the same tingling feeling when it comes to organizing the business side of their writing career, so I’ve got a handful of low-tech tips that will hopefully make your life a tad bit easier, especially at the end of the year during tax time.

1. Envelopes: Purchase a box of 9X11 envelopes. On the front of each one, write the name of a tax category such as advertising, car expenses, membership fees, office products, etc. When you make a purchase, stuff the receipt in the envelope.

2. Three-ring binder with tabs: Clutter can be distracting, but so can having to hunt for that idea you scribbled on a scrap of paper or the print out from your research about the Oregon Trail or cell phone carriers in Europe. Create a notebook for every book you write (and are going to write). Make a tab for each aspect of the book: character bios, outline, blurb, cover ideas, and research. You may want a tab for each research topic.

3. Jacket folder: Pick up a plastic jacket folder in your favorite color. Label the jacket “Ideas,” and every time you write down a story idea or find an article of interest that could inspire a book, put it inside the folder. The sides and closure will ensure you won’t lose any of those precious jewels you think you’ll remember.

4. To do lists: Face it. There are myriad tasks that make up our writing careers and juggling them can be a struggle. Write down everything you need to get done (including writing the manuscript) in no particular order. After you’ve got everything on paper, group related tasks, then number the items in order of priority. As you complete tasks or new tasks arise, reorder the list.

5. Calendar: Choose the one that works best for you (paper or digital), then get rid of all your other calendars. Use just the one to record everything. If you’re maintaining more than one person’s schedule, use different colored inks for each family member. One week prior to any event, make a note on your calendar about what you need to do (e.g. send flowers, purchase paper products, make cookies) By making a note of the tasks ahead of time, you can stay on top of them instead of figuring out how to make six dozen cookies at ten o’clock at night for the following day.

Get ready….get set…go! You’ve got this.

...low-tech tips that will hopefully make your life a tad bit easier, especially at the end of the year during tax time. via @lindasmatchett #SeriouslyWrite #amwriting


Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days
gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is also a trustee for her local public library. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Now located in central New Hampshire, Linda’s favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

Under Ground ( It’s been six months since Ruth Brown followed clues to England and discovered the identity of her sister’s killer. When a bombing raid destroys her home and unearths a twenty-year-old skeleton in the cellar, her reporter’s senses tingle in anticipation of solving another mystery. Unfortunately, the by-the-book detective inspector assigned to the case is not interested in her theories. As Ruth investigates the case on her own, she butts heads with the handsome policeman. Will she get to the bottom of the story before the killer strikes again?

Under Ground explores the challenge of having complete peace in God (especially during emotional and physical danger), experiencing the joy found in following the path He sets for us, and trusting that He has our best interests at heart.

Social Media Links:

Newsletter signup (received a free short story):
Amazon author page:
Twitter: @lindasmatchett