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An Efficient Workflow for Writing

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If you’ve read our blog before, you know we’re interested in employee productivity. A great example of this is our workflow for writing these blog posts.

This is a question people ask me all the time. How do you write so much content and still have time for speaking, consulting, travel, and sleep? The answer is simple: we’ve got a process, and we stick to it. For The Methodology Blog here at AccelaWork, our workflow has seven steps:

Pitch → Draft → In Progress → Ready for Editing → Ready for Scheduling → Scheduled → Published

Every blog post we want to write goes through each of those phases. Since we have multiple authors on this blog (and since we’re always busy managing multiple projects) it’s important that we have a unified process that involves everyone. And most importantly, no one person manages all the steps. Someone else besides me is going to review this post before it gets launched, which helps avoid the risk of a typo.

Efficient Workflow for Writing

© Flickr user Bright Meadow

Of course, we’re not the only organization to have developed a specific process for writing. Linda Formichelli, a freelance writer and author, describes her workflow for creating articles. This workflow is highly efficient and goes into much more detail. Here’s a summary of her major steps:

  1. Enter the assignment due date into my calendar.
  2. Create a folder on my hard drive called NameofMagazine-NameofArticle, and move it to my “Articles in Progress” folder.
  3. Create a Word file called NameofMagazine-NameOfArticle-NOTES and store it in the project folder I just created on my hard drive.
  4. Create a folder with the name of the magazine and article in my email so I have a place to store e-mails related to the article.
  5. Start finding sources and trying to set interviews right away. Save any information I find into the NOTES file I created.
  6. Enter interviews into my calendar. I include the name of the interviewee, the name of the magazine, and the source’s phone number so I don’t have to look it up come interview time.
  7. When I do an interview, name the sound file NameofSource-Interview-Date and save it to the article project folder.
  8. Write the article! I name the article NameofMagazine-NameofArticle-Formichelli and save it to the project folder.
  9. Send the article (attached and in the body of the e-mail)
  10. Move the article project folder from the Articles in Progress folder to a folder titled Articles Completed.

I love the steps that Ms. Formichelli shares. I especially appreciate her tips for selecting file names. That’s such a powerful part of defining a computer-based workflow that so many people forget.

How about you? What’s your workflow for writing? Share in the comments!

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Robby Slaughter
Robby Slaughter is a workflow and productivity expert. He is a nationally known speaker on topics related to personal productivity, corporate efficiency and employee engagement. Robby is the founder of AccelaWork, a company which provides speakers and consultants to a wide variety of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, regional non-profits, small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. Robby has written numerous articles for national magazines and has over one hundred published pieces. He is also the author of several books, including Failure: The Secret to Success. He has also been interviewed by international news outlets including the Wall Street Journal. Robby’s newest book is The Battle For Your Email Inbox.
Robby Slaughter


Troublemaker and productivity/workflow expert. Slightly more complex than 140 characters will permit.
@Mar_E_ Yes, but not as much as you probably need to know. - 9 hours ago
Robby Slaughter
Robby Slaughter

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