Outlook is a marvelous piece of software that not only takes care of emails and contacts, but also manages to-do lists and various appointments and tasks.
However, if you don't do some basic maintenance on your personal folders files (*.pst), you'll experience a significant degradation in performance even if you don't have virus or other issues on your computer.
In order to keep your Outlook running optimally, you should do the following regularly:
Hope this helps!
Some people have asked me what my rating on Goodreads mean, so here's a quick cheat sheet. (This applies to fiction only.) I also put the baseball analogy in brackets.
1 star -- Goodreads interprets this as "didn't like it". I give 1 star to books that had mechanical, character, plot and/or craft issues to a degree serious enough that that I couldn't overlook them. They're obviously DNFs (did not finish). [Out]
2 stars -- Goodreads interprets this as "it was okay". I give 2 stars to books that were just okay. Many books that get 2 stars from me end up being DNFs as well. But others may enjoy the stories I rated 2 stars as they don't have any glaring issues the way 1-star rated books do. [Got on base, but may or may not come home.]
3 stars -- Goodreads interprets this as "liked it". I give 3 stars to books that were enjoyable enough, but that didn't have anything that would've elevated them to something better / more impactful. Basically they're the kind of books that did the job, but didn't do much beyond that. [Got on base, then made it all the way around to come home.]
4 stars -- Goodreads interprets this as "really liked it". I give 4 stars to books that were not only enjoyable but had that special something that elevated them -- beautiful prose / style, clever plot twists and/or some other elements that made me go "wow". [Wooo...some exciting plays, possibly a 1- or 2-run homer.]
5 stars -- Goodreads interprets this as "it was amazing". I give 5 stars to books with stories so well told that they shut off my internal editor. They're virtually flawless. [Grand slam, baby!]
Please note that individual tastes differ, and my 2-star books could be somebody else's 5-star rated titles.
How do you rate the books you read?
I've seen so many writers who got into difficult situations with their webmasters. It could be anything from the webmaster going MIA, doing shoddy work, whatever. In the eventuality that you want to break up with your designer / webmaster, you should always ensure that your website design (including CSS, graphics, header, buttons, everything) is yours to take with you, and that you don't have to continue hiring the designer / webmaster you no longer find "professional" in order to be able to use the template, etc. you've paid for.
BTW -- don't let your designers register your domain for you. Domain registration is easy. A few clicks of the mouse and you're done. If your designers / webmasters did it for you, make sure to get it transferred to you as soon as possible. Transferring a domain name when your tech people go missing can be very time-consuming and stressful. Go to a place like 1and1.com and register it yourself. It's not that expensive, and 1and1 gives you free private registration.
P.S. In case you're interested, the ever-amazing Frauke from CrocoDesigns is doing a free author website workshop right here.
I'm in the middle of revision right now. Though my process is different for each project, I'll share the revision method for my current WIP.
Step One: I print out the whole thing in whatever font strikes my fancy, but it's always double-spaced so I have enough room to scribble notes. Then I read it through in 3-5 days and make notes. They're not extensive, mind you. It's mostly for big things like:
- Yawn. This lags.
- This doesn't belong here.
- I have no idea what this sentence is trying to say.
- Oops. Misplaced punctuation / words.
- Who's saying this?
- Action choreography doesn't make sense here.
- This point deserves emotional depth upgrade.
- Whoa. Emo much?
Step Two: I consult my Maass notes and go through the hard copy draft again, this time marking places that could be changed / improved per my notes. If I run out of space on the actual manuscript page, I use a notebook designated for revision.
Step Three: I finally make all the changes on my computer.
Step Four: I spend about 2 weeks doing nothing but reading other people's books and/or working on some other projects, but I do not revise anything I've written, even if it's not my WIP. (I might beta for other people who I may ping later for Steps Seven and Eight below.) This helps me "reset" my eyes and brain, so to speak.
Step Five: I print out the WIP again. Repeat Step One. Then go through it again with ECE and EDITS.
Step Six: Make changes to my soft copy. Send to the 1st set of betas.
Step Seven: Make any changes as needed per the 1st set of betas.
Step Eight: Send it to the 2nd set of betas. (By this point, the manuscript should be more or less in shape.) Make final changes as needed.
Step Nine: Send to Agent. Give myself a week of detox time from revision so I can "reset" again as I know Agent usually has her own set of revision comments, etc.
How do you revise? What tools / books have you found helpful?
At the end of every year, I feel like I got nothing done with my life, though Hero Material tells me that isn't so. He says I have a very warped idea about what I'm doing most of the time. Obviously our perceptions and reality don't always mesh, but surely there are better / easier ways to keep track.
But annual journals seem inconvenient. I just don't want to read through tons of journal pages to learn what I did...say, three years ago.
Recently, I listened to a workshop tape on organization, in which Robin Lee Hatcher recommended that we use a daily journal called Journal 10+ to keep track. It's designed to keep ten years' worth of information. She said it's not that pricey, and you can see how you did each year as you make your daily notations.
According to the product description:
Our Daily Page is the heart of Journal 10+. Record your activities, thoughts, feelings & memories. Each Daily Page covers a single date. The page is divided into 11 sections, one for each year, with four lines for each individual daily entry. Enough room to record the day's events without the burden of creating a lengthy entry. Each year you will record your entry for that date on the same page, and so you get to look back and relive all your wonderful memories from past years.
You can order directly from the manufacturer's site, but despite what the ordering page says, they do not ship overseas. (I had to email and ask when they didn't send me the shipment information.) You must order from Amazon using this page.
I'll post more later about what I think. But right now, I think the product will be worth the money.