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What Are the Best Apps For Artists and Writers Desperate To Get Work Done?

Organizing Your Creative Life in 13 Weeks, Week 2.

by
Sarah Hoyt

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July 13, 2013 - 9:30 am
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Imagine a picture of perfect serenity.  This is not me.

Imagine a picture of perfect serenity. This is not me.

Prolific science fiction novelist Sarah Hoyt follows up her “Your Novel in 13 Weeks” PJ Lifestyle series with a new weekly experiment each Saturday to figure out the best way for all creative types working from home to better organize their efforts.  

Week Zero, Introduction: Organizing Your Creative Life In 13 Weeks

Week 1/2, Preparation: The Case For Making Lots of Lists

Week One: How to Make Your Mind Like Water

*****

So how did it go with the first week of Getting Things Done?

There is the good and the bad to report.

On the good side, I got a short story delivered on deadline, got two articles finished, and did post every day except – arguably – Friday on my blog. These were the things that absolutely had to be done.

On the bad side I have yet to find a program to keep my lists under, because right now the lists are in the drawer and none of the long-term tasks are getting anything done to them, except in sporadic and unfocused ways. Once the “thing that must be done today is done” I didn’t have easy access to the list of things that “could” also be done today. Also, I’m keeping the must-be-done’s scrawled on the calendar, which is not a good thing because it brings about all my fears of losing/forgetting the calendar.

I’m a Kindle Fire (and the other kindles too) user, and there are several free or inexpensive apps on kindle for keeping lists. Unfortunately I haven’t found one yet with the right combination of sub-lists that can get cued up.

The suggested OmniFocus is not available on Amazon except for Mac and as an old version.

I’m considering Evernote, and an ebook guide to using Evernote with the Getting Things Done methodology. But there are also lists of alternatives to OmniFocus. That is the task – in addition to getting half of Through Fire beta-ready and finishing the edits on Witchfinder – for the coming week.

What about the stress level? Am I less stressed?

Well, I confess that I’ve felt markedly less stressed about my to do list.

Again, as with the week, there’s a good side to this and a bad side. The good side is that I felt less stressed because I knew I wasn’t blowing past any crucial deadlines. Just having the dates on the calendar, even if all they do is induce an almighty panic the week before, means I’m not ignoring them and forgetting things.

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As a musician still getting this organizing thing sorted out, I can definitely relate.

One thing I've found that helps is the reminders app on my iPhone, which allows for multiple lists, and each can have days and times to alert you. You can also set up repeating to-do items.

So far I've found a couple downsides, though: it's easy to end up with way too many lists (and then I just ignore them), and it doesn't differentiate between categories. Some sort of color coding might be a nice added feature there.

Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the Kindles, but I guess if any of their apps was just like that you'd already know (and it might still not fit your needs).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sarah, in case you missed this comment on an earlier post:

The computer program that implements the Getting Things Done system is called Thinking Rock (www.thinkingrock.com.au). It is designed to capture thoughts on the fly, so you don't have to remember everything yourself, and then organize them into actions and projects. Give it a look, it might work for your needs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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