Apr 5, 2011

The Dreaded D - Deadlines

Do you despise deadlines? If you're a writer, deadlines are a part of your everyday life. If you freelance, you probably have more leeway with deadlines than some, but even those pitching their own works need to establish deadlines to keep food on the table.

If you have the luxury of working on one or two projects at a time, keeping track of deadlines probably isn't a problem for you. When writing for various clients with due dates on both the short and long term, it can be a little trickier. How do you keep track?

Jotting due dates on a regular wall calendar might suffice, but paper is a bit archaic. Online calendars with pop-up reminders are a bit more in line with the times, but depending on what system you use, they may not serve you well. A reminder that you have an article due tomorrow won't help much if you should have started working on it two days ago.

My needs are served well by Excel. I have an Excel spreadsheet with a separate page for each month where I track projects I'm working on. There's a column for the date the assignment is due and when initially entered, each deadline is in bold-face type with red font used for the next assignment due.  Since I leave that page open as I go about my daily tasks, it's easy to see what looms ahead with a simple click.   Once the article is completed, I remove both bold and red, then highlight the next project due, and so on.

If you have deadlines to meet, it doesn't matter what system you use, as long as you develop a system and use it.

Do you?




I'm taking the A-Z Blogging Challenge, where I will post something from each letter of the alphabet on the corresponding day in April, except for Sunday, on at least one if not all four of my blogs. You can see my other blogs in the sidebar - More of Marie Anne.


22 comments:

  1. You, saved the day Marie...I forget another deadline called payment due date.

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  2. Good post Marie. It can be easy to get things lost in the shuffle and is important to have a system in place to track it all.

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  3. I'm ridiculously organized, which seems like it should be in opposition with my creative side, but they've learned to coexist well. Deadlines may give me a few gray hairs, but so far, they haven't gotten the better of me. :O)

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  4. I do it old school with a huge day planner and colored gel pens. I tried the Google calendar/planner and loved how everything could be color coded and merged, but never thought to look at it.

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  5. Using Excel is such a great way for tracking projects. I have only one writing site with a deadline (now, of course, I have the A-Z challenge), but I try to work ahead, so I'm not frazzled. Good advice.

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  6. I am not the most organised person in the world, and yet somehow I have never missed a deadline! Well, I did miss a Yahoo beat once, but as you don't HAVE to do them, I don't think it counts! :D

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  7. As notorious as I am for making lists, I don't have a system to track deadlines. If it's something really important, I may enter it as task with a defined due date and reminder date in Outlook. Otherwise, I mostly go from memory.

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  8. Amaging, same topic on my blog for the letter D! Funny!

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  9. Of course amazing :))) Too fast!

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  10. I actually love deadlines. Without them, I might not ever get anything done! haha! Great blog post for sure.

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  11. I love the Excel idea. I may have to steal it. Great blog! :)

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  12. Without deadlines I would get nothing done! I use post-it notes. :) That way I can't ignore them.

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  13. working on deadlines right now . . . I can never decide if their are the bane to my existence or just want I need to be successful. I guess it depends on the day :)

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  14. Sometimes deadlines work for me and sometimes they don't but I will work harder to try and meet deadlines.

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  15. I am very deadline driven, they actually motivate me.

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  16. I like the idea of the spreadsheet to keep track, but I'm not that good at planning how to actually record it or have it remind me. I have serious ADD, so without popups and alarms, I forget a lot of things.

    I've got to get working on tomorrow's E assignment, but am not sure yet what E it will be. Sending another note by email.

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  17. Hi, Deadlines are there for every endeavor we undertake, aren't they? I hate deadlines, too, because I am one of the world's worst procrastinators and besides that, I put things off. ha.
    Good post.
    Ruby

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  18. It is so important to keep track of deadlines. I use my Outlook calendar and I have a submission tracker software that I've been using to keep track of projects, due dates, submissions, if I'm still waiting to hear back.

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  19. I'm a new author. It has been fairly easy to keep track of my commitments so far. But i can see that once all my books are in the market it may get tricky. Thanks for the heads up.

    I'm, a new A-z follower. http://educationtipster.blogspot.com

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  20. I dream of a day where I have enough work to do to have deadlines to worry about...

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