Deelylah Mullin Author

Tips, Tricks, and Tools

· The one where I talk about organization. Muahahah. ·

February 22, 2017 3 Comments

Today, we're talking about tips, tricks and tools we use to organize our writing lives. Lemme tell ya, I'm eager to see what everyone else is using.

Hi. I’m Deelylah and I’m a planner junkie.

Seriously. I’m not kidding.

I loving having organizational tools at my fingertips–no matter where I am. I use a lot of things I can access via my phone as well as good ol’ fashioned paper planners.

I Bullet Journal. I was out of the swing for about a month, but I’m back on track. The BuJo helps me with not only my writing life, but my LIFE life. I log pretty much everything in there–editing projects, appointments, writing word counts, appointments & errands, household tasks, and menu planning. Because I’m working on a ‘healthier me’ in 2017 as well, I have colored circles I mark off when I eat foods from different groups. I also have drawn in glasses of water I can mark off as I drink them. Bullet Journaling can be done as elaborately or as minimally as you want. I was really getting into drawing and coloring on my BuJo pages for a while, but I honestly don’t have the time nor the ability to do that anymore.

I’m also using the Author Life Planner (Amazon–print, Bria Quinlan’s website–digital). I looked really hard at this one before I bought it in December and started working through the workbook section. What I like about my ALP is that I can have big dreams and aspirations. I can see where I am, and where I want to be. Then, I’m guided through steps to make that happen. It helps me parse down what I want to do versus what is actually feasible. And, that vision is ever-changing. Print version= $19; digital version (print it yourself) is under $10.

I also use an app (both desktop and on my phone) called Wunderlist. I cannot even tell you how much this has changed my life. Paige Prince told me about it because she knows my love for checking something off a list as completed. Now, what’s the absolute bomb-dot-com about this is that I can use it via web browser, as an app on my phone, or via an app on my computer. AND THEY ALL SYNC TOGETHER! If I check off a completed task on my phone, the app I have open on my computer chimes!!! I used to use Google Keep to satisfy my check-off needs, but Wunderlist is better. There’s an area for notes and I can organize things into folders. I’ve included a screenshot from my phone to show what it looks like. Honestly? I don’t use the ‘inbox’ for much. I have a folder for editing because inside I have it broken down by month. My Writing is a running list–I just check them off as I get them done. Some have due dates, and others don’t. I also just have lists for book reviews, house projects, and blogging. I don’t even think I’ve completely explored the full functionality of the app, if I’m honest. I’m using the free version. IDK whether there’s a paid one or not.

I use GoogleKeep for notes and things like shopping lists–only short-term lists. Before I found Wunderlist, I used to keep tons of things in the Keep. Now, it’s pretty much for writing-related stuff. I have book summaries so I can pull them up anywhere and add details, work on a list of scenes–or remaining scenes for those times when I really should be writing but have other shit to do. I think the phone app is kinda lame for everyday use now, as I have to scroll to find what note I want to change. I’ve even written scenes in the Keep via phone while I was riding in the car or at a restaurant when I’ve been on deadline or particularly inspired. Then, I can just open up the website and copy/paste it into Scrivener where it’s supposed to go. Bonus: writing flash fiction that fits into a WIP. I write my blog posts in Chrome and copy/paste them later into Keep or Scrivener (depending on whether I know where they go or not…they can sit in Keep until the characters have revealed to me where these scenes go). I’ve got a pic here of my Keep via desktop. I’ve got this shit ALL color-coded! If something has been in the Keep for a month and it’s not accomplished (unless it’s something stupid like my karaoke songs list) I copy/paste into a WORD doc and save it in my writing file. You know, in case Google has a massive failure. That way, I don’t lose everythin
g. Google Keep is FREE–just need to login your Google account.

I use Google Calendar on my phone and desktop for scheduling things. If I have an author takeover or some other event, it goes in my G-Cal.

I write using Scrivener. What sucks is that I can’t use the files on both my laptop and my desktop since my desktop is a Mac and laptop is PC. I organize my writing using Scrivener by listing out the scenes as a pseudo-outline and then sitting down and putting the words on the page. Really, that’s all there is to it. Scriven
er is around $40–but sometimes you can find a NaNoWriMo winner in December with a code they don’t need for half off. Jus’ sayin’.

I am really into tracking my words written. My productivity during November was awesome as hell because I could use the NaNoWriMo word tracking feature and it kept me super motivated. Introducing myWriteClub. I really wish they had a phone app. When I’m writing in the car, or I’m out-n-about writing, I don’t have (or don’t connect to) Wi-Fi so I can be more productive. Tedious to use website on my phone, but I do it 🙂 What’s cool about myWriteClub is that you can friend people (I’m Deelylah if you decide to hop over there–make sure you share YOUR username, too!) and cheer them on as they add to their word count. I also have a spreadsheet Jenny Trout made that I use to track words written. This is my third year using it, and I’m hoping to keep it updated…or at least go through my BuJo once a month and update everything.

I’m just starting to use Hootsuite to schedule social media posts. I can have a social media post go live automatically on Facebook and Twitter. With a few taps, I’m live on Instagram. I’m only using the free version because I really don’t think I need more at this point.

See? I told you I’m a planner junkie. What do you do to stay organized?

Check out what everyone else does:

Bronwyn  |  Gwen  |  Jess  |  Jessica



  1. Reply

    Jessica De La Rosa

    February 22, 2017

    Okay, this bujo thing sounds kind of epic. Jess mentioned it in her blog but you had a link which was really helpful. Thank you for including that. Also, I like Google Keep, I use it almost daily, but I find it glitchy at times between using my phone and using my computer. I started using it for writing ideas and notes. I ended up using Keep mostly for food now. Grocery lists, dinner menu, and recipe archive.

  2. Reply

    Gwen Cease

    February 22, 2017

    You are the organizational queen! I bow before you and am so excited for all the links you mentioned. I am so going to start checking these things out. You da bomb!!

  3. Reply


    February 22, 2017

    @Jessica: I used to have a traditional planner, but I doodled the margins full and used to color code everything. They *never* had enough room. I had to keep separate journals for food/water, and something else for editing/writing. The BuJo has streamlined for me–I now have the left page with my ‘to dos’ and all the planning things I do, and I journal on the right page every day. It’s…working for now–until I find something better. I’ve not had a problem w/ Keep *knock on wood*. BUT…I used to use Evernote, but it’s not quite as convenient as Keep for me, since it plays nice with my android phone and the mac computer (as well as the PC laptop).

    @Gwen: some of it’s been a learning process. With a *super* full schedule, I needed to be able to look at deadlines/to dos on-the-go so I can schedule other things. I actually share my Google Calendar with hubby (so he knows when I have appointments, etc.) and I tried doing some planning there, it wasn’t as effective. So…my organization is still a work-in-progress. I think it will change & evolve as I grow and change as an author. And, as my life changes.

    I probably should’ve mentioned that I use Scrivener to write and store all my writing-related links for each in-process story. When I start working on something, I do the whole imagery thing (I’ve started using Pinterest, too…but that’s more to share my vision with others than to house my own inspiration). And, I search stock photo sites to actually find my ‘people’. That way, I have something that would (in theory) work on a cover if Kris and I decide to go with people.