Plan Ahead

via tvblogs.nationalgeographic.com

Just like some people prepping for the end of the world and stockpiling supplies, I stockpile story ideas in the same way. They may not be on shelves underground, but they are in my notebook and on my computer, ready to go when I need them.

Planning ahead, by using agendas or possibly tips, is your best friend.

I try to plan stories out two to three days ahead. It helps me keep myself organized and prepares me for Mondays on Fridays. Just a note, you are going to want to have stories on Mondays. From what I’ve experienced, Mondays are terrible for editors.

It’s beneficial for my editors because they get their two pitched stories a day. They don’t have to worry about me not having anything to write, which makes me look good.

Planning ahead, in general, is a good habit to get into. I know I sound like a broken record, but being organized is something that you cannot take for granted. It makes your life so much easier.

My trick? I write everything down.

During meetings, I write down story ideas as they happen. More specifically, I write the ideas on that meeting’s agenda so that I can’t lose them. The next morning, I finalize that list, figure out what I still need to do for the stories that aren’t “ready” yet and plan out the rest of the week. If I have to make more phone calls, then I write that down, just so I know what I’m doing. It gives me a starting point, so I know what stories to pitch and which ones need more time.

That list gets changed on a daily basis, with each day of the week (Monday through Friday) getting specific stories that are prioritized accordingly. Different stories get thrown in, with others getting pushed aside for rainy days. It’s like a revolving door.

In addition to those stories, I plan out what meetings I’m going to attend based on the agenda. Some meetings may deserve more attention than others, but it doesn’t hurt to follow up with a board chair from time to time just to say hello.

It may sound like controlled chaos, but it’s a “smooth” system that works for me.

I’m not sure how I could simplify that even more for everyday use.

Jonathan

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One Response to Plan Ahead

  1. Pingback: Prioritize Your Story List « Just Starting Out

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