As an author and an illustrator, I have to split my time up in order to get my work done. Both tasks can take long hours and organizing the work is pivotal for a good product.
Illustrating is time consuming and I am usually sitting at my computer using my drawing tablet. I will sometimes brainstorm with a pad and pencil, but then I will have to scan the work into my computer and still have to fine-tune it. I use Corel Painter X3 for my illustrating since it has a similar feel to working with the real media. It is also much less expensive than Adobe Illustrator. You can view a quick comparison of Corel Painter to Adobe Illustrator here. I further split my illustrating into my I Otter Be works and my books illustrations. I admit that I probably spend more time on my otters than other work. I get a faster income from them, than the illustrations that go into my books.
Writing entails formulating plots, characters, and scenes. There is the seemingly endless writing and re-writing until I get my final work. I have to keep all of my research organized along with various ideas and modifications. I have been using MS Word for my writing, but I just started using a program called Scrivener by Literature & Latte. According to their website:
Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows [sic] you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.
The program keeps all of your research, whether it is articles, videos, websites, etc., at your fingertips with various drafts, and notes. All of this is kept together with your final written work. I used to have multiple folders in Windows that held all of this information. I would have files open all over my virtual desktop. Scrivener keeps all of this in one spot. I am still working out all of the bells and whistles included in the program but it looks promising. If you are a member of the SCBWI, there is 20% off licensing for the program under Membership Benefits.
Every day I spend some time on my work. This also includes updating websites and writing blog posts such as this. It takes time to keep my files organized on my computer but it is well worth it. Now, if I could just do the same with the stack of papers on my desk.