If I were to generalize levels of focus based on personality types, I’d say most writers get distracted easily while editors are more likely to stay focused on the job at hand. Most of us work from home these days and run every aspect of our business(es), which adds to the need to multitask and forget nothing. Keeping track takes effort. Here’s what I’ve come up with to help me stay focused.
This gem has been invaluable, and I can’t survive without it anymore. I usually get to use one page for two weeks, and there’s space at the bottom for more random things I need to do — like update a paragraph on my site or mark the time it took me to do a sample edit for a future client.
On top of noting the day and time in my notepad, I also enter appointments and deadlines into Google calendar. There’s a space to the right of the event in which you can enter the email of the person you are meeting with. When you save, it asks if you’d like to send that person an invite, and that way it gives them a reminder as well.
It works with my e-mail servers nicely, and I have it set up to remind me the day before and thirty minutes before each event.
While I’m a big fan of Chrome, I’ve used mostly Outlook for years. I have eight e-mail accounts set up on it from three different servers, and I see new e-mails quickly thanks to the notification bar. The layout is clean and it’s easy to find old and sent messages.
This app is a delight to use. It’s free to download and use for up to five clients, and after that you can upgrade to whatever level of service you need. For any job I just I hit start and can pause it at any time.
At the end of the week, it tells me how many hours and minutes are spent on each project, and it also calculates the amount in decimals, which makes invoicing that much easier.
With all the things I need to remember hour by hour, the digital helps are great, but my go-to is the paper pad. It’s like reading a printed book vs reading on a Kindle — a delightful experience.