Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Online Organizing

In my endless quest to be better organized, I've been looking around at the various online services. I'd like one site to do everything, of course: store my documents, arrange my notes, nudge me to do things and provide backup for those marvelous times when my mainframe goes haywrite, melts down, is blown to Kingdom Come by a hurricane, etc.

Haven't found the exact fit yet, but here are a few sites I think might be useful to others who like to organize:

Backpack offers free accounts, and allows you to store to-do lists, notes, ideas, and your calendar online. This one looks like something you could use as an idea mapper and collaboration tool, too (recommended by Debbie Ridpath Ohi.) is a web-based e-mail service that gives you a free 5GB account for registering; their free online organizer looks pretty nifty, and might work as a virtual whiteboard.

For this who are looking for free file storage, Scribd is a service that allows you to upload an unlimited amount of documents and publish them online, however all of the uploaded documents are open to the internet public. One of my side projects is to transfer all of my free stories and e-books over to Scribd as a mirror site (this service was also raided by over-eager SFWA censors back in September; best not put anything that lists the names Isaac Asimov or Robert Silverberg on it.) *Note 9/3/10: Since instituted an access fee scam to charge people for downloading e-books, including those I have provided for free for the last ten years, I have removed my free library from their site, and no longer use or recommend using their service. My free reads may be read online or downloaded for free from Google Docs; go to my freebies and free reads page for the links. See my post about this scam here.

TiddlyWiki is a free service that provides a reusable non-linear personal web notebook (LJ Cohen did a terrific virtual workshop back in July on how to use TiddlyWiki to organize your novel.)

Does anyone out there use an online organizer service that is free or low cost and that you'd recommend? Leave a link in comments if you would, please.


  1. I never could get TiddlyWiki to work on my laptop. I could edit the pages, but it wouldn't let me save them, and I didn't have time to tinker until I figured it out.

    I use FreeMind a lot as a brainstorm tool, but it's not nearly enough. I also have a private (free) Wordpress blog that I use to gather pictures of my characters and story ideas, kind of like a whiteboard. For some reason, my brain likes the html linking for connecting ideas, but that's obviously not something I want just anybody reading. ;-)

    I'm going to give Backpack a try. I've been looking for a writing/plotting/brainstorm tool, too, but just can't find ONE that works. Liquid Story Binder came close but there were too many things I didn't like.

  2. I use google docs ( to backup my work online. It's free and you can have unlimited files. The only drawback is the formatting. Because google docs is html formatted on the web, it mangles some formats (particularly leading tabs).

    Voo2do ( is an online organizer. You can create a project, assign to-do items to the project, dates, etc.

    Glad you're back!

  3. I've used TiddlyWiki, and it's quite fun. The biggest problem I have with it, though, is figuring out how to print a hard copy of all the data I have there so I can keep it with my world archive.

  4. I've got a ton of stuff up on - notes and such in document form and a spreadsheet to track other writing tasks.

    I also use as a host for my Terra/nova worldbuilding. I chose to make it public but you could also have it private too (and it's downloadable as a pdf so you won't lose everything if they go belly-up some day).