Do you keep records for your writing? If you do any writing other than your own blog, it’s important to keep good records.
Benefits of Keeping Good Records
- Easy to find articles you’ve written for future reference
- Easy to keep up with payment for paid jobs
- Keep track of rights sold for paid jobs (exclusive/non-exclusive)
- Keep track of material you may want to rewrite for future submissions
One of the best ways to keep track of your work is to use an Excel Workbook (spreadsheet). By default, Excel opens with 3 blank pages. You can title a sinlge page for each place you submit work to. Each page is then readily available in the main Excel file.
The columns in Excel make it easy to create headings like: Title, Date, Word Count, Payment, Payment Date, etc. They can also be printed out if you want to keep a hard copy in a 3-ring binder.
A simple way to keep up with your submissions is to create folders. Create a main folder titled, “Writing” and create sub-folders within it for all the places you submit work to. If you use Microsoft Word you can add comments to the file to help keep track of notes, dates, etc.
This method is a little more cumbersome and not as efficient as keeping an Excel or written file. Excel files give you the ability to have all the information in one central location, whereas using the folder method may cause you to search through numerous files to find the information you need.
The best way to keep records is to use both methods. In Excel you can create a heading column for the file path, making it easy to have the information available and an easy reference to the location of the submission.
Over time, if you do a lot of writing you can easily forget which articles you’ve submitted where. Keeping good records will help you keep this information easily accessible and manageable.
Plus if you decide to write for print publications it will be absolutely necessary to keep good written records.
Does anyone have another method that is easy to use and efficient? We’d love to hear from you.