On my desk in the office, I keep a rolodex. There’s a second one in a binder in the first drawer of the desk. There’s a digital one in my inbox. There’s a supplemental one in a folder in my Dropbox. There are a number of large D-ring binders on my bookshelf. I’m 37, and I’ve spent twenty years collecting information for writers during my time as a writer, editor, word consultant, story developer, game creator, marketing guy, teacher, coach, and professional creative.
And it occurs to me that me having all this information is great, when you know I have it, and when you know you can access it. Hoarding the info does neither of us any good. So today for FiYoShiMo Day 30, I’m opening my rolodex and notebooks and giving you some material so you can start your own toolboxes.
Software You Can Use
While there is no perfect software that will do everything for you, I have recommendations for you as to software that will make your working easier.
Scrivener – For writing things
I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t Scrivener to the fullest. I use it, I love it. It makes my writing feel more polished and substantial, thanks to a lovely UI and clean lines, but I’m likely not cranking it up to 11 the way I think many other people do. It’s worth the $40.
Evernote – For collecting info
Guess what? I don’t Evernote to the fullest either. Again, I use it, I think it’s great now that I’m using it in more organized ways, but again it’s something that I will over time get even better at. Don’t let the tiered price tag scare you off, it’s worth a little money if you tend to assemble heaps of research. Or just different articles to read later when you should be writing.
Scapple – For clarifying ideas
The Scrivener people have a great piece of mapping software that I use even when I’m just making goofy ideas for games. Scapple is incredibly versatile and in using it to build FiYoShiMo, it’s very much helped my decision making process. Totally worth the $15.
Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Prime Music – For focusing on things
You can track what I’m doing during the day based on what sounds are coming from the office. Lots of music without singing? I’m writing. Lots of music I’m singing along to? I’m working on Noir World. Lots of music and I’m cursing? I’m probably losing at a video game. I can no longer work in silence since I got sober. So I work in stereo. Spotify Premium is my go to, though Pandora and Amazon Prime Music make any work I do on the couch pretty awesome too.
Amazon Prime – For getting things
FREE Two-Day shipping on any office supplies, food, tech, gifts, random stuff? Access to movies, cable TV, and TV shows? A huge library of music to listen to? How have you not signed up for this already?
These are the best pens I’ve ever used, lost, left at friend’s houses, or accumulated in cups throughout the house.
Need to write things down? I have dozens of these, all color coded.
Business Card Holder
Stop stuffing a stack of them in your pocket with a rubber band around them. Put them in a case. Look like the professional you’re becoming.
Yes, get some.
No, it doesn’t matter if you go Mac, PC. Your OS doesn’t matter. Your phone doesn’t matter. What matters is that you find the best tools that you can use comfortably that help you do the stuff you want to do. What works for me may not work for you, so if you’re already doing something and it works well, stick with it.
Tomorrow, we wrap up FiYoShiMo with a breakdown and my closing thoughts.
See you then.