You are a freelance writer working from home. It's going to be a wonderful life and you can write about anything you want. But how do you keep track of ideas and information that may be useful for a piece of writing at a later date?
Image by Marie Vonow
Keeping track of flashes of inspiration Some days you will heaps of ideas. Don't think you will just remember them because you won't.
As soon as you think of something, make a record of it. You can use a notebook or use the memo app on your mobile phone.
I have recently found myself using the app on my phone more and it works really well for me. It's easy to add more ideas later on and I can delete ideas I have used if I want to. When I use notebooks I tend to write in different ones and then have trouble locating that great idea I had on the train a few days ago but I can find it if I use my mobile.
Some writers prefer to speak their ideas into a dictating machine of some sort or use the voice recorder on their phone.
Take a photo Sometimes you will see something you will want to describe later. Take a photo of it for later reference. A quote on a chalkboard or a sign can also be photographed more easily than writing down the words.
Some items you photograph could provide inspiration for a piece of writing and, as the saying goes, a picture often is worth a thousand words.
Keeping track of internet resources Find a way to keep track of articles you find on the internet. Sites such as Pinterest and Stumbleupon can be useful.
Bookmarking items and putting them into folders with tags makes retrieval simple. You may need to resist the temptation to save everything you might possibly ever want. It is easy to build up an unmanageable amount of saved material so just save the best.
Keeping track of cuttings If you like to use newspaper and magazine cuttings as resources, you need to find a workable way of storing them. A portable file can be useful.
If you have a large collection of paper resources, consider buying a filing cabinet. Check out Gumtree or the local garage sales for a second hand one to save on costs.
If you don't have too many cuttings, a few labelled cardboard folders may do the trick. You can label them according to the topic or the publication you plan to write for.
Labelled folders can be useful Image by Marie Vonow
It is important to keep a record of your own ideas and save any resources you may want to refer to later. Once you have used an idea, consider if it may be possible to recycle it or use it in another way at a later time. This is usually possible and the same goes for your resources. However, it is important to keep in mind information can go out of date very quickly these days so you may need to update it.