No, I'm not trying to organize the entire Earth. I'm just trying to organize the world building going on in a futuristic series I'm writing.
This is a BIG series. The final 3 books in the series are out (Human Touch, Living Proof and Leap of Faith). Those 3 books take place 400 years after the start of the series -- which is what I'm writing now. In those 3 future books, they allude to things that happened in the past -- the past I'm writing now.
Confused? Nope, I'm not. I'm Organized. Or I'm trying to be organized. I am anticipating at least 7 books to be written for this multi-generational saga. That means I need to keep track of a lot of details. I tried computer organization -- calendar programs, address books, databases, but none of it was quite right and there was the problem of synchronization. I tend to write on many different computers in the course of one day, carrying my current files with me on a memory stick. It got too hard to remember what to update, what was updated, etc.
So I reverted to paper tracking and it's working out very nicely. I went to the local thrift store and found a bunch of old DayRunner organizers. Remember those? They were all The Thing a while ago. You could buy all kinds of nifty stuff to put in the organizers -- the kind of stuff I need to organize a world.
I have calendars (blank ones for the future that I can write in and set up my own dates), an address book (in which I keep track of characters, their names, their traits, their appearance), To Do lists, photo sleeves ... I have one MASTER planner for things like vocabulary, places, timelines, 'facts'. Then I'm keeping another planner for the current book and its details. I have a place to jot down ideas, a place
Some of this I do keep on my computer. My detailed character sketches for the main characters are on my memory stick, for example. I printed out a copy to put in the planner but whenever I update it with a new fact or event that affects that character, I jot a note on paper and then eventually I transfer it to the computer and I print a new version.
I've been doing this for a year now (this is a BIG series and it's going to be written over the course of several years, in between other projects) and I am calling it a success. I put this series aside for about 5 months and just came back to it. My notes made perfect sense to me and I can pick up right where I left off. My jotted notes make sense and I can see where they'll fit.
I think I may finally have this organizing thing figured out (at least for this world). Now if I could just get the socks all to match...