Last week on Twitter, writer Melissa Taylor asked me to write a post about organizing query submissions. So, Melissa, this one's for you (and anyone else who needs help in this area).
When I started freelancing over a decade ago, it was clear early on that I would need to find a way to track my query submissions. My first plan of attack was a basic, red, spiral, wire-ruled notebook. I would enter the date and what I sent out. This worked okay, but I couldn't sort anything and what if I lost it?
I then came up with a system that I still use today. I have an excel spreadsheet that I keep for anything I send out (queries, articles, proposals...). With excel I can sort my information by date, title, publication... It really makes it easy when I want to see what I have already sent to a certain publication or where I have already sent a particular query.
Here is the spreadsheet and what I put in each of the columns.
Type: query, article, proposal...
Publication/Agency: Where I sent it
Sent To: Specific person I sent it to
Email or address: The email address or snail mail address I sent it to
Date: Date I sent it
Response: The response from the editor. Yes, no, maybe
Follow up: The date I followed up on what I sent
(Optional) Notes: you can add a column with misc. notes to yourself. ie "Comment from editor said I was on the right track--send more"
I am thinking about sometime changing this over to a Google Doc, that way if something happens to my computer, I still have all the info on the Google Doc server.
Well Melissa, I hope that helps. It has helped me stay somewhat sane and not send out duplicates to publications & editors--unless they change their company name, but that is a whole different story.
So Writing Bug readers, do you have any other organizational tips that have worked for you?