Project management can be hard. I have a database of projects that I am trying to maintain. I have several novels in the revision stage and recently found two more manuscripts that I wrote years ago that I think I could revise into books people would read. I have more projects than I have time to deal with. that’s one of the reasons I decided to use some project management software to help me manage the projects. I don’t have a lot of money so I looked for free software.
I ran into a problem right away. A lot of the project management software includes budgeting. The projects I’m working on don’t cost anything other than my time. Now I have to decide if my time is worth anything. it is, but I have no way of determining how much my time is worth. So I’m ignoring that part of the process, which could be a mistake, but it is the best I can think of for now.
I finally decided to search the Microsoft site for project management templates in excel and found one in Access. so I have been using that. It isn’t perfect and I sometimes forget to update it. Project management requires that you update your progress daily. That’s the key. Keep an eye on all your projects and mark off the tasks as you complete them. So I am working on using this database/plan to help me manage my tasks.
Management of your writing projects is only a part of the writing life, but it is important. Don’t neglect it and you will do well. If you can figure out a budget of time to do your projects that’s great, but don’t forget to log your progress. It’s rather like an outline to a story. If you don’t have any idea of what you have done and what you need to do, you will not be able to accomplish anything.
You don’t have to use anything fancy to control your project management. You can just keep a list with pen and paper. I use the software because it’s convenient for me. It is also teaching me management skills which is good for me. I could use a few management skills. Once I got the hang of project management, I could use it effectively to juggle my various projects more efficiently and thus, became more productive. That’s why I have moved my blog topic schedule into that database. It now contains nine items that I am juggling, some are in abeyance while I catch up on a couple of others. The blog topic item in the project management database is one that, going forward, I will be updating on a weekly basis. The work I’m doing on the background for a novel I am planning will be updated a little more often.
Once you get a method started, project management is easy. You just have to remember that it is a process, not an event. You can’t set it up and have it take care of itself. It doesn’t work that way. So it’s best to get going on a project management method as soon as you can. Then you won’t face a mountain of projects. Set yourself some deadlines and get to work.