Organisational Tips from 19th Century Authors

Organisational Tips from 19th Century Authors

If it’s good enough for Jane Austen, it’s good enough for me.

Is anyone else obsessed with learning about how their favourite authors got things done? It’s no secret that I’m a productivity junkie, but there’s something extra special about learning a tip from a 19th century pro.

Organisational Tips from 19th Century Authors

Organisational Tips from 19th Century Authors

Schedule a typical day like the Alcott Family 

When I visited the Orchard House in Concord as a child, I chose as a souvenir this print of the Alcott family’s Order of Indoor Duties for Children. I was in awe of its orderliness: scripted in a table is a typical daily time table, divided into Morning, Forenoon, Noon, Afternoon, and Evening. (Note to self to start using “forenoon” in life)

I have always loved writing out a schedule for myself, and this one, dated 1846, was reassurance that it was the right thing to do. It’s not dissimilar to my Ideal Week template in my Passion Planner today!

Organisational Tips from 19th Century Authors

Index notebooks like George Eliot

In The Road to Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead I learned that George Eliot indexed her notebooks. Ingenious! I always keep a thin notebook for hand-writing drafts, and many a minute is spent flipping through it trying to find a certain article I started. Now I number each page and keep a log of what I’ve written where.

Organisational Tips from 19th Century Authors

Make do with a tiny desk like Jane Austen

I’ve already written about Jane Austen as a minimalist hero. When I’m getting as squirmy and cranky as Rory Gilmore when someone takes her study tree, I remind myself that if Jane Austen can write novels at this minuscule table, I can manage in my parents’ dining room, at an airplane tray table, or at the train station Starbucks with patchy wifi. Time to stop being a study diva.

Do you steal tips from favourite authors? Let me know what practices you’ve picked up!

P.S. Taylor Swift Songs that are Actually about Jane Austen Heroines

Sunday Sampling / 056

Sunday Sampling / 056

Last week we finally moved into our new flat and began to find home for the things we had packed up over a month ago. When I’m moving or traveling I am most conscious of minimalism, and my desire to live light. This particular journey was marked by getting published on Miss Minimalist – years ago, I would scour Francine’s site for tips on how to be a minimalist, thinking that *one day* I would submit an article for her Real Life Minimalists series. Well, I’m finally part of the collection, and what a kind, supportive community she has built!


🚀 The Hardest Disney Pixar Quiz Ever: In my defense, I got all the Monsters, Inc. and Incredibles questions right and isn’t that what matters?

🌟 How to build your community of movers and shakers: “Sometimes the connections you want to make begin with you stepping out and creating the thing you want to see.” Yes yes yes!

🎬 This article about female-centric films and what La La Land has in common with All About Eve, and Titanic (and how it’s different) is FASCINATING.

⚡️ I absolutely adore this piece on Newt Scamander, Toxic Masculinity, and the Power of Hufflepuff Heroes. More Hufflepuff leads please!

💕 It’s not too late to set an alternative New Year’s resolution, as illustrated (literally) in this lovely guide

🍹 I can’t wait to try these super colourful and summery DIY spruced-up soft drinks!

💖 For anyone frustrated with the overlooked complexities of “just being yourself”

👑 Plus on Heroine Training: How I use the Pomodoro Technique to get things done & why we call things overrated and why we need to stop.

Be Your Own Sorting Hat: A Wizarding Webinar

Lumos Webinar

Let’s talk Potter. I’m hosting a free wizarding webinar and you’re invited!

Be Your Own Sorting Hat: Seize the Power of the Hogwarts Houses + Build your Best Life

Friday 19 August + Tuesday 23 August @ 5pm BST, 12pm EST, 9am PST

No more post-Pottermore quiz identity crisis! Join me to learn how to live by ALL of the Hogwarts houses.
* Put a dent in your perpetual list of projects
* Learn to set achievable goals, and be inspired to follow them
* Transfigure your personal dreams into a magical mission

Hope to see you there!