My Writer Binder. (Photo: Author.)

For whatever reason, I’m on a productivity kick so far in 2021. Not being more productive. Trust me when I tell you that I’m already very productive. If anything, I need to learn to let go a little and be okay with being a little bit less productive.

No. I’ve gotten it in my mind that I want to find productivity peace. I want to find systems that work for me. Systems that not only help me to be more efficient and productive, but that also bring me joy.

It’s an elusive thing, this productivity peace, but I’m confident that I’ll get there.

I’ve found myself going through the systems I already have in place and analyzing them. Do they really work? Are they really the best option for me? Is there something I could do that would be better?

This week, I took a really good look at my Writer Binder. I designed this system myself. It’s a paper planner that I use to organize my writing life. My career.

The Writer Binder is not a daily planner. It’s more like a project planner. I was happy to decide that this system still really works for me.

The Flip-Through

I was going to take a bunch of pictures and write about the binder, but in the end decided to just record a video. It’s too much to try to write out.


It’s only about 10 minutes long. The system itself is very simple. No real bells or whistles. It lets me manage my current work in progress, be accountable to myself for my work, and manage my ideas so that I always know what I’m going to write next.

Here’s one picture of the inside of my Writer Binder.

My Writer Binder. (Photo: Author)

In the front, I have a little printable thing with my motto written on it. (A Ray Bradbury quote: Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens.)

I also have some plastic sleeves with quotes that inspire me inside them. Some pretty things tucked into pockets, because I swear my inner child is five years old and sparkly, colorful, pretty things make her happy.

After that, I have a section for my writing plan. One for writing down possible characters, settings, and situations. One for my current work in progress. One for ideas (where I put those characters, settings, and situations together into stories.) And space for notes.

That’s it.

If you keep a writer’s notebook, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.