This is an update to a post from early 2016. Be sure to check that out, too! This post also contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.
Being the organized person that I am, everything I do has to have at least some sort of organization. This includes everything to do with my pen name, Laura Teagan. Because my writing involves such big projects, that always means I need some kind of project management system. Last year, I talked about how I used Todoist to manage my writing projects. I still use Todoist to manage the day-to-day tasks, but recently I’ve added more to the mix and I want to talk about those additions, so it was time for Project Management for Authors 2.0.
Project Management with Todoist
As I mentioned above, I still use Todoist to manage the day-to-day tasks of running a pen name. Things like social media (I’m trying to integrate more of my books into my social media plan because I don’t actually do that a lot for Laura Teagan), the chapter or chapters I’m working on for the current draft, and I also include posts I’d like to do for the Laura Teagan website. Everything I do for Laura Teagan goes into the Laura Teagan project (that’s a pen emoji if you were wondering).
Then I use labels to specifically talk about what aspect of Laura Teagan something goes in. So I have LT_website, which is obviously Laura Teagan’s website. LT_marketing is social media based, and then each book I write has a label.
For more info on how I use projects and labels, be sure to check out this post: How I Use Todoist to Get Shit Done.
The two other tools I use most for project management of Laura Teagan are Evernote and Trello.
Project Management with Evernote
I use Evernote to compile ideas. Because I write crime fiction, I save a lot of articles about famous crimes, ridiculous crimes, stories in the news that I think would be fun to incorporate into a book, and general research. I also use Evernote templates to use with my characters and settings. While I have one giant notebook I use for all my notes (the filing cabinet), I use tags in Evernote to note things like “news inspiration,” “crime research,” each book in my series, and specific main characters.
For more information on how I use Evernote and organize it, check out Reorganizing Evernote and How to Organize Your Series with Evernote.
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Project Management with Trello
About a month and a half ago, I wrote a post about using Trello to track my job search and applications. At the time, that was the only thing I used it for but I became curious about how else I could use it. So I read everything I could about Trello and dug in. And now, here’s all the boards I have just for Laura Teagan (I’ve developed a lot of boards). A few boards are templates I got from other places (like Trello for Business), but I also made most of these.
As you can see, I’m preparing for two book launches this year (good Lord willing), both books have a board that I’m using/will be using to track book launches. The Justice & Lies Book Launch board actually works double-fold. While I’m editing the book, I’m using that board to dump important info that I’m likely to forget. I used to put this in Evernote, but a lot of these details are little things that I need a quick reference to all at once.
With power-ups in Trello, I can connect my Evernote and Trello accounts. This is great for finding things quickly. I almost always have this board open when I’m editing, so if I’m looking for something, like my note with all my cut scenes, I can just open it in Trello and it’ll automatically pull up the Evernote note in my app. This saves me a ton of time since I don’t have to search for the note in Evernote (I have 5400 notes in the app, I need to do a clean out).
I’m slowly adding more information to this board, and I’ll go add character templates later this week for two new characters I just introduced to the story. I also have a list on this board that’s just a brain dump. Miscellaneous information that I will not remember, like the name of the bad guy’s lawyer. This is where I can add random notes that I remember while I’m editing. I love that the board allows me to look at all of them at once, something Evernote doesn’t quite do.
I also have an editorial calendar for a blog that I rarely use and one for newsletters and automation email series. A third one is used for a social media calendar. While Ginger & Co. recycles a lot of content because I love evergreen content. But Laura Teagan is a little bit different, and it’s a long project but I’m building a social media strategy that I think will help.
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Project Managment with Quickbooks
So when you make money from your books and spend money on building a buisness, you have to track it all. I use Quickbooks Self-Employed. My favorite part about this is that you can track mileage, so my trip to the coffee shop to write counts as a part of my business. If you want to try Quickbooks out, you can 50% off your first six months with this link.
Three tools might seem like a lot to use to manage an author career, but each tool has its strengths and weaknesses, so using all of these programs allows me to cover all the basics of my business as it grows.
What tools do you use to manage your author career?