Friday, January 18, 2013

Lists! I NEED Some List Ability!



Time for some brilliance!

Uh huh.

Okay, time for some…thing shiny. Or something that needs to be shined up. I can do that. Let’s talk about lists today.

I suck at making lists. Well, maybe it’s more realistic to say I suck at sticking to my lists. I also lose them regularly and find them, usually in scraps in my lint trap. When I find them intact, I usually stare at them for a while, trying to figure out what I meant.

I also have a tendency to fold them up and tuck them in the back of whatever tablet I wrote them on. To be found some time later, when the need for them has passed, for good or ill.

I’ve heard all about how to do this right. Post them somewhere on a wall where you’ll see them often. Keep them in a book you write in every day. Organize them.

(Yeah, right. Organize is such a distant relative I don’t even know how to address the post card!)

So, I need some help on this. I have a smart phone, and something tells me there is a way for me to program that sucker to make noise and keep reminding me of things. But so far, all I’ve figured out is how to get it to buzz once for appointments.

(And watch cat videos.)

I need an assistant app. Or I could use a program for my laptop where my list is on the desktop, maybe it could blink at me. A big cartoon hand with a pointing finger…ala Monty Python, or for the older gen, the hand from Yellow Submarine…


 

I really do need something to get me on track. I have declared my intention to self-publish this year. I have dates set with a copy editor and with a formatter. I still need a cover designer, though I have my idea…what I really need is someone who can make my vision a reality with the right graphic programs and provide me the right files for the different formats. (Damn it, I just remembered I need to send money to my cover designer!)

But I need a veritable check list of what I need to do. Like open accounts with the distributors, buy the ISBNs…and somehow put together a system so I can keep track of the millions I’ll make… (Yeah, if that happens all of this is meaningless, I’m paying a hottie to do it all for me.)

You know, my brain has been on a partial hiatus ever since menopause settled in for a nice long stay. It’s really a struggle to remember, prioritize and figure this stuff out.

Who has a system that works? Anyone seen an online system I should consider? An app? Heee-eeelp! These spreadsheet things…how does one make them work?

23 comments:

MsHellion said...

I just use a legal pad and make a list, then scratch off as I go. *LOL* I'm a Luddite. Spreadsheets frighten me. And I'm not sure I could ever get a comprehensive list of EVERYTHING I needed to do on something, because usually something goes wrong or gets stymied and I have to add a couple things to fix that. Lists are not chiseled in stone; they're fluid.

But you have to HAVE an ISBN number--so that would be the first on my list. Things I literally have to have to have a book. Covers are almost fluid...you need a good one, but if you don't remember it right away, you can pick it up eventually.

It's January. Do what needs to be done first: ISBN, copyeditor, and formatting...isn't that what happens first in publishing? Once you scratch those off, then revise your list...that way you don't overwhelm yourself. I think you're looking at how long the list is and freaking yourself out. Pretend this is your first draft. You only need to be able to see as far down the road as your headlights shine--looking 500 miles down the road to see a bridge out isn't going to be beneficial to you right now. Bridge might be fixed by the time you get there, etc.

Terri Osburn said...

I'm sure there is an app, but I don't know what it is. I bought a new 2013 planner/organizer for just this reason. And I have a desk calendar here at work that I'm always writing appointments/events on. Since you don't have a desk at home where you always right, I'm thinking that won't work.

What about a big dry erase board calendar? You'd have to update it every month, and so you'd need to keep future stuff in an organizer somewhere, but at least you'd have the whole month at a glance. You can even find them with more than one month at a time. I saw one with four months and that might be perfect.

You just hang it on a wall in your house.

MsHellion said...

I keep wanting one of those dry erase calendars. *LOL* They look so alluring! But pretty much everything in STAPLES is alluring....

Haleigh said...

I got one of those monthly dry-erase calendar. It's still got the dates from April 2012 on it :)

I personally love and use g-queues (https://www.gqueues.com/) You can do it online, on your desktop, or on an app on your phone (and sync between all three). You can organize by topics, with sub-taks. So for instance, you can have one category for "cover design" and then break it down into manageable tasks like "look for designers," "check into pricing," "send ideas for cover design," etc.

I also use this awesome series of dry-erase calendars from Staples that are thin, giant, sticky notes, basically. They're paper-then, but still dry-erase, and you just peel off the back and slap it up on the wall. They have weekly, monthly, yearly calendars, and blank ones, so you can create a whole mosaic on your wall of whatever you need, without having to hang anything. (http://www.ataglance.com/ataglancestore/mwv/cat/WallMates/cat70078?pageName=catPage&rootCatId=Wall_Calendars_11&isSubCategory=true&catId=cat70078&isEqual=true&parentId=cat70078)

Terri Osburn said...

Hal, those look awesome! That's amazing. And I love me a giant post it. Heck, I could make one of those into a storyboard.

Sabrina Shields (Scapegoat) said...

I've fallen in love with Wunderlist - it's a free desktop and smart phone app. It syncs any info you input while on the computer with your phone and vice versa.

Best of all, it's free.

You can create lists of to-do with sub lists. So you can break it down the same way Haleigh mentioned above.

It allows you to set due dates and reminder dates and will push you alert chimes to your phone as long as you accept notifications when you download the app.

What I love most about it is that it syncs. I have it on my work computer, netbook, ipad and iPhone and no matter what I'm working on, it updates it in all the places.

I know it has even more bells and whistles but I'm still figuring those out! :)

You can check it out at www.wunderlist.com and it's an app in the iTunes store.

Marnee Bailey said...

I have no idea if this is a good app or not but I was browsing....

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocket-lists/id482537116?mt=8

It's Pocket Lists, from the apple app store (do you have an Iphone?)

I was thinking I might check it out myself.

As to how to manage, I keep all my todo stuff in excel. It doesn't blink at me or anything but it's effective for my needs.

Marnee Bailey said...

I'm going to start using this GQueues. It looks awesome.

Terri Osburn said...

I just checked it out and signed in with my Google account. Looks daunting. Is there a tutorial? LOL!

Maureen said...

Wunderlist! That sounds awesome! And gqueues...I gotta go check these out...

I have the big calendar dry eraser thing. It's in the room I never go in because it's so cold in there...

The big post it dry erase sounds fun... I'm no imagining Terrio's walls covered in giant postits...

And I have an iphone! So pocket lists...need to check that out.

The one that beeps at me and won't stop beeping until I do the items would be great for the everyday stuff that I just blank out on....

See, I knew you guys would have some ideas... Though it would be sorta fun to have the big blue hand floating around above me, pointing out what I need to do. Though, if I remember the movie, it also forms a fist and smashes people.

That might come in handy...

Janga said...

I use Excel for all my lists too--books read, books to be bought, books I have read, review books, meal charts, lists of articles I have to write, character lists, story chronologies. and so on. I love lists. They make me feel organized even though I am not a natural organizer.

Now I'm off to check out G-queues and Wunderlist. I don't dare go to Staples. Office supply stores are as dangerous for my budget as bookstores are.


Maureen said...

Staples is a very alluring store, just sucks you in with all the ways to be organized. Then the bags sit at home, in the cold room.

Maureen said...

Hey! Wunderlist has tutorial videos!

Terri Osburn said...

That Gqueues thing wants me to pay to sync with my Google calendar. Forget that.

Haleigh said...

Ter - the giant dry-erase post its could definitely be used for story boarding! and they're cheap when compared to regular dry-erase boards.

Checking out Wunderlist - this is awesome!

Haleigh said...

yeah, it looks like Wunderlist does better free syncing. And push notifications are fabulous

Maureen said...

Exactly what is a push notification?

Haleigh said...

it's on your phone, when it automatically pops up on your phone, without you having to open the application.

So with some apps, you get all your most recent notifications when you open the app, and with others, they pop up on your home screen whenever they happen. The latter is a 'push notification.' You usually have to specifically turn them on, as they take up more battery life.

Haleigh said...

(at least, I'm pretty sure that's what they are. I wouldn't be overly surprised if I was wrong :))

Maureen said...

Well, what do they notify you of? I mean is it tasks you set yourself, or just their bits of advertising/updates?

Terri Osburn said...

I will be watching the Wunderlist tutorials. We could use this to plan the TGN Retreat. Thank you, Sabrina!

Haleigh said...

It's the tasks you set yourself. In the video tutorial, there's a picture of a little rectangle popping up on a phone with a set task - that's a push notification

Maureen said...

Aha! Brilliant!

Now, is it big and blue with a smile on it's...uh, hand? ;-)