19 February 2007

Let's organize.

Now that Prairie Fever is out I have resolved to turn over a new leaf re: organizing my submissions. I'm ashamed to admit that I--spreadsheet enthusiast in every other aspect of life--do not log my submissions or rejections in Excel, or anything similar.

Until recently I was really proud of myself for typing lists into Word and saving them, since for years I just kept a folder full of sticky notes. Sometimes they were stapled sticky notes. But then I saw Sara's tour de force of a spreadsheet, and now I feel downright shabby.

What's your system for keeping track of submissions? Please share. Please make me feel bad enough to get organized. This is the perfect opportunity, now that I have fewer poems in the pipeline.


Sara said...

I didn't mean to make you feel shabby! Besides, organizing is my favorite way to procrastinate, so imagine how many poems I haven't written because I was too busy updating my spreadsheet.

marybid said...

Sara, I WANT to feel shabby. ;) This is how I motivate myself.

I like to procrastinate too.

The spreadsheet is sounding better and better...

Gary L. McDowell said...

I keep a lined notebook instead of an Excel Spreadsheet. This way I can keep track of things by hand, write in notes when editors request to see more work in the future, etc. I feel like the notebook allows for more room to write things. Plus I don't have to worry about losing the electronic file (my PC eats things).

Kelli Russell Agodon - Book of Kells said...

I keep my info two ways. When I send something out I hand write it in a journal so it's in chronological order. I do this just so I remember what I've sent out and to who (It lists Journal, date, and the title of the peoms).

Then (hopefully on the same day, but sometimes later, which can cause for accidential sim-subs, so I try not to put it off too long), I enter the information on an Excel spreadsheet that has all my poems organized by title. I'll put a little note that says: SE Review 2-07--if the poem is accepted I highlight the title blue so I know not to submit it again and then put the date it was accepted. If it's rejected, I just write in the rejection date and highlight my notes red.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it's not. I just haven't found a system that works better for me. I use a daytimer and not a PalmPilot, so I'm much more ink & paper, but this allows me to quickly print out a list of my poems to see what is out and what I have to submit.

I'm interested in hearing what others do. Thanks for posting this.


John Gallaher said...

I'm quite happy with my Word document. It's turning ten years old this year. We've been through some hard times, but we're closer than ever.

I keep track of everything, and it's now at 20 pages.

Jeff Newberry said...

I write by hand onto a piece of paper that I tack onto a bulletin board right by my desk.

Efficienty & easy.

Anonymous said...

I keep a spreadsheet too, but I find duotrope.com to be extra handy, especially when I'm in a hurry. They have a free submission record feature that works pretty well for the basics.

Leslie said...

If you have filemaker pro, I built a slick filemaker database that can track individual poems, groups, manuscripts, yada yada yada. It can be searched by title, status, history, or pretty much anything including what the poem had for breakfast.

Problem: I keep forgetting it exists, reverting to submissions journal.

Steven D. Schroeder said...

Works database with fields for Poems Submitted, Journal, Date Sent, Date Returned, Response Time (yay for formulas!), Result, and Notes (ink, had to query, etc.)

WS Poetry said...

set up your own spreadsheet online at http://www.duotrope.com/

Cheers, Nic

Neil Aitken said...

My system's a little weird, but it works for me.

I use a WordPress blog at WordPress.com and make a separate entry for each poem (entry header is the poem title). In each entry, I have 3 headings: Published, Submitted, and Rejected.

Every time I submit something, I edit the entry to include a line in the Submitted section which lists the journal and the date of the submission.

Every time a poem is rejected, I edit its entry and move the journal line down to Rejected and note the date of the rejection.

Every time a poem is accepted, I edit the entry and move the journal line to Published and note when it is forthcoming.

Because it's a blog, I can tag each entry. I use one tag for the manuscript it belongs to, another tag to mark that it is currently submitted somewhere, and another tag if it is published. (Once it's published, I remove the Submitted tag.)

This combination of using tags and editable entries, plus the search functions of the blog, make it easy to keep track of my submissions. It also means that I can access my submission information from anywhere.

Of course, I did all this before I discovered that Duotrope offers a nice online spreadsheet as well. Oh well.

marybid said...

Wow--this is fascinating!

Thanks for your thoughts, folks.

Justin Evans said...

I keep record with Jeffery Bahr's page. I save all my letters, but I really don't need to, as I usually am submitting the same 5-6 poems at a time, and just assume everything is simultaneously submitted. Other tan that, I just keep track of what's been published, where, and when.

kristy bowen said...

E-mail submissions are simplest for me, I just keep a file with copies of the messages, one for stuff that's out, one for rejections, one for acceptances.
I used to try to keep a spreadsheet, but it was only on one computer, and I work on like three in any given day, so I need something more portable. Now, even the stuff I send through snail mail, I send myself a message detailing, who what, when, and file it like the others, which at last keeps me from accidently sending stuff out more than once.And keping a copy of every rejection keeps me from sending a given pub the same poems they previously rejected (well, most of the time..)

John Gallaher said...

Reading through this, I feel like a trog.

Oh well, if the loin cloth fits.

marybid said...

John, you're not the only one with a mere Word document.

Off to gather,

Mary B.

cornshake said...

i do an old school Word document like john, too. just a simple table, really. no fuss, no muss. :)

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