I’m not what you call an organized person.
I forget plans. I forget what day it is. If I don’t write an appointment on the calendar I forget it exists. My desk is always a mess. I literally have a stack of books ‘to read’ in every room of the house. But there are a few things I use in my writing to tame the chaos. We all have our writer habits.
I have a thing for notebooks and stationery in general. But for novels, I like these thin notebooks. One per novel. I buy them at the local bookstore, but apparently, I can also buy them on Amazon.
Large flip notebook
I also have a flip notepad that is thick for ideas that come to me and blog post ideas. It is perfect for jotting down those ideas that come to you while you are doing something else. Spur of the moment.
It looks like this, but it is a few inches thick:
I like the cover on that one there. Mine is Christmas themes because I got it as a Christmas gift. But very similar in design, even the fact it comes with a pen.
The third thing I have for novel organization is Workflowy. It is a free program that is very simple in design. You make a list, click on the topic (Like the name of your novel), and it brings you to another list (Where I put characters, setting and whatnot). Then you click on those, and another list. You could organize anything this way but I find it very effective for my novel notes. Those important to remember details as you go along. So I always have that open while I am writing.
Other than that, I am a pantser with novels, not a planner. So I really do not do a lot of prep before I write. It is most often notes as I write. And often my desk looks like a paper explosion. Yeah, not organized to most but everything I need on hand. Being a pantser is a writer habit I have had since I was a kid.
Anyway, the real answer here isn’t how I stay organized, it is that I am not an organized person. But I am happy with my chaos. But I do use my calendar a lot for freelance work and blogging. And I do keep track of funds in Excel. It is an organized chaos really. Chaotic, yes. But just enough organization to reign it in.