Staying Organized: Two Techy Services for Writers

Posted on: 9th Aug 2012  /   Categorized: Writing Life

I went on a bit of an office-organization binge last month, and ended up discovering two new tech-related services in the process. Well, new to me, at least.


As I know I’m not the only one to suffer with these two problems, allow me to share…


Problem #1: What on earth am I supposed to do with all these old electronics?!


For years I’ve been making a stockpile in my office closet of all those things that I don’t know what to do with, like old CDs and floppy disks. Finally the pile got to be too much, so I did a little research and discovered that yes, these things can be recycled, but not through my local recycling company.


I ended up sending it all to the CD Recycling Center of America:


Per their web site, they accept CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, related disc packaging and cases, floppy discs, cell phones, inkjet cartridges, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, small electronics, mp3 players, chargers, computer cables, printer cables, extension cords, and even Christmas lights!


Yes, I had to pay for the shipping, but the service is otherwise free (donations accepted), and the cost was well worth my clean conscious of not sending it to a landfill, not to mention having that shelf back in my closet!



Problem #2: If my computer crashes and I lose all my files, I am so dead.


For years and years, I’ve been the email-important-files-to-myself type. For some reason I had it in my head that to subscribe to a back-up service would either A) require some fancy equipment that needed to be plugged into my laptop at all times, B) be really expensive, or C) both.


But then I heard about It’s an online back-up service that costs $5.99/month for one computer and up to 50GB of data.


Pretty much, I purchased a subscription and did one massive back-up of my laptop (which took about 12 hours, but it worked in the background so I didn’t even notice it). And now it automatically backs up any files I add or edit twice a day. Ohmygosh the stress relief is enormous. No more trying to remember if I’ve emailed the latest manuscript to myself, and I was finally able to get rid of all those CDs with images from our vacations on them! (See Problem #1.) I love it!


So that’s what I learned recently. How do you keep your tech-life organized?



  1. Kelley commented on:

    Oh man, I’m so glad you posted this! I’ve been struggling with both of these issues lately also. I can’t wait to make use of these services.

  2. Lo commented on:

    It feels good to have put it some place, like you said, where you’re not filling up the landfills and not taking up space in your office. Whenever I have unfinished projects like leaving these things around, its always like a hum in the background, reminding me I need to get this done haha. Sweet post, thanks!

  3. Natasha M. Heck commented on:

    Those are great services to have! It is too bad that recycling centers don’t take those items. However, it is worth shipping those things if it helps the bigger picture.

    I keep my life organized with Google products. My husband and I realized that we should start backing up our stuff recently. Google Drive gives you 5MB of space for free ( For 100GB you can pay $4.99 a month and have easy access to it anytime online. ( We also use their services such as Picasa and Google Music, too.

    The reason why I mention it is that is also updates instantly! I can make a file on my computer, and it is right there in my Google Drive. If I save, it updates automatically to the web (as long as I’m connected). When I switched laptops recently, it was super easy to make the transition. Scrivener is one of the few non-Google products that I use to keep my writing organized. I can access individual files from Google Drive since they show up as individual .rtf files. It isn’t something that I play with a lot, but if I’m using our Chromebook instead of my laptop, I know I can access them.

    Great post!

  4. Ann commented on:

    Many local school have e-recycling events that help the school and keep older electronics out of land fills. Also there are programs like this one where you can do some real good with that older electronic…

    Glad you found something that works for you that’s the key!

  5. Craig MacLachlan commented on:

    Marissa, well, your first problem I seriously am horrible with and Tina is constantly on me to do something about it. I have 5 boxes in the closet which resides in the computer room (mostly my writing office). Those boxes are filled with hundreds upon hundreds of cd’s, dvd’s, floppy disks both flexible and the smaller hard plastic ones and old pc games that will never run on a new pc no matter how hard I try. I just can’t get rid of them, I’m afraid because I don’t know what’s on them, especially the floppies. It would take me a month or more to go through all the cd’s/dvd’s. Then there are the old hard drives, zip drives, I swear hundreds of coax cables/wires/dsl wires/wires/did I mention wires?

    I like your solution and vow to not let Tina see it!

    Your second dilemma, hmm, backing up stories, I have yet to do that and have lost some in the past and almost recently. I’m lazy! I should at least back up my stories on a removable hard drive stick, or on dvd’s, but then there comes the storage problem. Interesting about online backup. How secure is it and stuff?

    A problem I have that is techi you didn’t mention is glare from my laptop screen or Tina’s monitor on her desktop. About 4 months ago I discovered anti-glare screens for both and they have been absolutely brilliant! I spend so much time looking at a pc screen I wonder sometimes if my retina’s will burst into flames like a Phoenix!

    So wanting to protect our eyesight, we came across these while searching the net and the eye strain and tired eyes and blurry eyes have vanished by at least 90%.

    Great post Marissa!


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