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Pace Yourself

Information Management

Your publishing career will create and require all kinds of information.  You’ll need to:

  • Record information about promising journals on your Journal Profile forms
  • Monitor trends in scholarly publishing
  • File ideas for papers, stimulating resources, and miscellaneous notes
  • Enter tasks for researching and writing manuscripts on a calendar
  • Track submissions of queries and manuscripts
  • Note deadlines for revisions, copyediting and proofreading

The tools you use to manage this data can be high-tech or positively primitive – as long as they work for you.

Old Fashioned IT

Index cards

Yep, they still work. In fact, index cards can be one of the most adaptable forms of managing information. Each one can contain information on a single journal, idea, submission, or work-in-progress. View sample card.

Paper notebooks

Many writers swear by notebooks as their data management system. Keep a notebook for research about journals, another for paper ideas, and a third for tracking submissions. Get tips for setting up a notebook system on writers’ websites such as Absolute Write's instructions for bullet journaling. Although designed more for creative or freelance writers than scholarly authors, such tips apply to all types of publishing.

Going for Technology

As easy and flexible as low-tech solutions can be, they do have drawbacks. Copying and sharing information can be challenging, and finding a specific piece of information can be difficult once your collection grows to any size.

You might combine low-tech options with computer tools and software, or manage all of your data on your computer. Just be sure to back up your files regularly!

High Tech Solutions

  • Much of the data you capture can be organized in tables. A spreadsheet program can be a relatively easy way to organize the information digitally so you can search, copy, share and store it securely. View a sample tracking spreadsheet.


  • If you have time and skill for database design, you can create a system for managing all your publishing data. Database programs allow you to create separate tables to capture your research on journals, track submissions, and manage the process of production.