I approach my writing as a group of projects. I have several pieces in various states. I published one, finishing the tasks of writing there. I am revising a sequel to that novel, with another sequel in the rough draft stage. There’s another in the planning stages. I also have another idea that I have in nebulous form that I am beginning to plan. How do I keep them straight? I treat them all as separate projects and use project management techniques. I found free software that lets me control them. It’s called Project Studio. It’s basically a glorified to-do list, but it helps me to keep everything on track. The organization is simple. You create the project and divide it into milestones. Then you add tasks to the milestones. You can ask checklists to the tasks for another layer of division if you need it. I find it helps me to keep the tasks straight and lets me set deadlines for the tasks, milestones and project. It’s a method to keep myself on track. It lets me plan how to accomplish the tasks.
I define the project first. I choose a working title, which becomes the project name. For a novel, I set the milestones first. I set character development, with a task and checklist for each character I plan to use in the novel. World building with tasks to create, depending on the genre, the world, culture and other aspects of world building. Settings, where I make descriptions of the various places where action takes place. The next milestone is the rough draft with just that as the task. Then I have a revision milestone. I do a task for each scene in the novel. I use checklists for each task. The checklist for the revision tasks, includes pacing where I look for issues with my pacing, dialog tags, in which work on those areas. Then I look for adverbs, passive voice, showing vs telling, cliches, redundancies, unnecessary filler words, I also look at how many different sentence structures I used in the work, then I look at generic descriptions, like look, pretty, etc. I also look for repeated words and phrases. That works well enough for me.
It takes some work to set up the project, but it works wonders for keeping me on track and allows me to budget my time efficiently. Now my method works for me but it may not work for everyone. This is just how I maintain control over my various projects. I no longer have a hodgepodge of projects in disarray. I know what I need to do and I have made decisions on how to do it. It’s as simple as that.