Thursday, July 24, 2014

Writing Productively (6): Organizations Tab

This is the sixth 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.
I use the Organizations tab to keep information about writing markets. This is an essential part of the way I track submissions.

On the Organizations screen above, I usually add new markets by clicking the red New Organization button. It's also possible to import orgs from file, which is a good way to get started if you already have a list of markets that you regularly submit to. You could also upload a large list that you obtain from a third party, but you should consider that you will need to periodically maintain and update this list as contact information changes and markets come and go, and a smaller list may be easier to manage.

On the Add New Organization screen, I enter the name, the main website (as Corporate Website), the submission website address (as Other).

I typically only add email after I have received a notification email about my submission, and I usually do that through different process. I also will add email if they require email submission, and Address only if they require snail mail submission. I'll add Twitter ID if I can find it easily (and will follow them on Twitter as well). 

In the Dates to remember, I will add any deadlines (especially if this market is actually a contest), periods during which the market accepts submissions, etc.

Scrolling down to the bottom of this form, I have three custom fields (I'll discuss creating these in the next post).

Whenever possible, I try to fill in the editor's name and a "salutation" for the editor. The salutation may not be essential, but it is often helpful. Think of it as the value you might populate in a form letter after "Dear ..." You might address the editor by first name, or title and last name, etc. Even if I create a cover letter from scratch, I can use this field as a guide for how I should address the editor. I will often also create a Person record for that editor, when I have more detailed contact information, but these two custom fields allow me to bypass creating a person record when I really don't have any more info.

The third custom field is a ranking to help me remember in what order I want to submit to markets. This may be guided largely by the rate the market pays writers, but is also determined by how well I think the market fits most of the stories I write. Of course, individual stories might be more suited to one market than another, so I only use this field as a general guide, not a rigid protocol.

The last bits of information I add can only be done after saving the record. I always add Tags to identify what kind of market this is. Clicking Save will take you to this screen:

Clicking on Manage Tags will allow you to add tags:

I indicate whether it is an actual Market vs. a Contest. Then I add additional tags to categorize the organization further, indicating what type of stories they take, etc. You may wish to have some different tags based on how you like to categorize markets, and you can add new tags to your list just by typing them into this very form.

With an organization record created, I'm now ready to submit to this market, and I will track the submission on the Opportunities screen. The next post in the series will show how to create the custom fields seen on this form, including helper text that shows a message when you mouse over the field name.

Prior posts in this series:
  1. Tracking Story Ideas with Insightly Projects
  2. Configuring Insightly Projects 
  3. Insightly Tasks & Life-Cycle of a Story
  4. Configuring Tasks in Insightly
  5. The Tasks Tab

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