Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Writing Productively (2): Configuring Insightly Projects

This is the second in a series on productivity tools for writers. I use technology to minimize the tasks that I find tedious, or to help me avoid errors, and maximize the time I have to be creative.
[03/31/2014 Edited to update screenshots reflecting latest version of Insightly.]

This is a quick tutorial that shows how I set up the categories and custom fields for Projects. No programming is required.

To get started, you need to find the Settings icon. First you must click the little down-arrow next to your picture in the upper right corner. then look for the cog icon. It is labeled "System Settings."

 You should arrive on the settings page shown below:

 Click on Categories to go to the category screen:

As you can see, this is where all kinds of categories are set up, not just for projects. To add a project category, enter it on the last row. You can click the color block to choose a color, and make sure to check the box to indicate the category is "For Projects" before you click Add Category.

My Project categories are listed below, and you may wish to add some of your own based on the types of writing projects you do
  • Blog
  • Flash Fiction
  • Novel
  • Short Story
Try to chose a variety of colors so that you don't have two categories with the same color coding. If you forget to do one of the settings for a category, or if you just decide to change it,  there is an "Edit Category" link on the right side, and even a trash can to delete it. Note that if a category is in use, it cannot be deleted and the trash can has a red slash across it to indicate this.

Now click on Custom Fields in the settings toolbar.


Go to the Project Fields tab, and click the Add New Custom Field link.

I use these three custom fields:
  • Word Count (Type=Text)
  • Genre (Type=Dropdown)
    • Science Fiction
    • Fantasy
    • Horror
    • Cross-Genre
    • Other
  • Sub-Genre (Type=Text)
The only one where I have added helper text is Genre. The Dropdown field type is very useful for making sure the data you enter has no type-o's:

The next post in the series will discuss using the Tasks tab to schedule and track work.

Prior posts in this series:
Tracking Story Ideas with Insightly Projects

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