How I Manage My Reviews & Reading

Hi friends! Today’s post will be one that organizer geeks like me will probably like, and if you’re not an organizer geek… you may find it less interesting. 😉 But I hope it can also be helpful somehow to someone 🙂 Also you will probably notice that this post was written back in November 2019… don’t judge me, guys. ;P

I am a half-organized, half-disorganized, half-procrastinating, half-impulsive person. This will show up in this post! ;P So, let’s get down to it. 

When I first started writing reviews, I stacked them up in an Evernote note. That worked well because I hadn’t many at the time. If I remember correctly, for a while I did the titles in bold if I’d posted them on Amazon. Then I had three notes—“Indie Author Books,” “Indie Author Books posted,” “Reviews #1,” “Reviews Posted #1,” etc. I would often write my review on paper first and then transcribe it, editing or rewriting it as I did so. After a while I started having trouble because I had too many reviews in those notes. I got a notebook and decided I’d write each review in there, with the author last name on the margin & the number of stars. I also kept a running list of books organized by number of stars on the inside cover. After a while, though, I quit writing reviews on paper because it took time. I wanted something faster, easier, and more organized. I toyed with the idea of a spreadsheet and things, but nothing struck me. 

I think it was my mother who gave me the idea. At any rate I got it. Why didn’t I use Evernote? As soon as I got that idea I geeked out. It was perfect! 

So, after this long intro, let’s get down to how I manage my reviews. 😋

First off I went to Evernote and created a notebook. 
Click the little + in a circle to create a notebook.

I personally created three—one for posted reviews, one for to-be-posted reviews, and one for French reviews. Then I took those three notebooks and put them in a stack. 

Click those three dots & the options will come up. 
Click on “notebook settings” & then on “stack.” 

Having made my stack (“Reviews”) I then copied-&-pasted all of my reviews into individual notes. 

I want to be able to organize these by title, so I take all the prefixes & place them at the end of the review’s title—then I know it’s there, but I don’t have the books starting with “The” in the T section when I click “sort by title.” ;P (which, by the way, is the three dots, then “note list options”, then “sort by title.”)

Each time I post a review here, I add tags. I tag my reviews by the year, month, number of stars, whether they’re indie books, whether they need quotes, whether they need to be updated, whether they’ve been posted on Old-Fashioned Book Love, and the number of hearts. Just click on the little ‘i.’
(For my French reviews I used to place an asterisk before the title when I’d posted it on Amazon; but I’m going to go with the tags instead now). 

By using Evernote, I can organize books by title to see if I’ve reviewed a book; I can search for a book or author; and I can search in my tags. (On my phone I can only search in one notebook at a time, but online I can search in the whole Stack–or I used to until recently. I’m forget if I still can.)

All right! Now that I’ve explained how I manage my reviews, let’s see how I manage my reading. 
On my Kindle app I have a collection called “CR & Reviews” for “Current Reads & Reviews.” When I start reading a book, I move it from the “Intimidating TBR” collection to “CR.” 

(Yes, the title was not yet changed in this picture. ;P)

The top line is for current reads, the bottom line is for books I need to review. Though sometimes there’s an odd number so the reviews & current reads are on the same line. ;P Which drives me crazy. 

So when I finish a book, I make sure it’s out of the TBR collection, mark it as read, move it to the bottom of the collection, & then head over to Notes. 

Each month I keep a running list of the books I’ve read that month. (Learn by my experience and keep these lists; you’ll probably want them at some point.) So I write down the name of the book I finished in that list. 

(Yes, I spy the typo…)

Sometimes I have a note for this, sometimes not, depending if I’ve written any reviews lately. But I go to or make my Reviews note & write down the title of the book so I remember to review it. 

Then I head over to Pages. Here I have my Books Read This Year list. This page is organized into two sections: New Reads & Rereads. The books are listed by alphabetical author’s last name, then by alphabetical title, unless it’s a series, in which case they’re listed under the first letter of the series’ name. I also underline the short stories so I know they’re short stories & not full-length books. 

In 2019 I discovered that it is very difficult to go through all your Books Read list & categorize alllll the books, so this year when I write down the book title I also add the genre. 
So I mark down the book here too. Generally I wait at least a day to write a review, though sometimes I write it the same day. Sometimes also I procrastinate reviews until I have a pile-up. ;P I often write reviews when I have a spare moment with nothing to do & I have my phone. When I’ve written the review, I often procrastinate getting the quotes, because since I’m a thorough, conscientious person, it’s a long process. 😏 If I’m smart, I get the quotes first! When I’ve got the quotes for the review, I can remove the book from CR/Review collection, post the review on Amazon if I can, & then put it in Evernote. 🙂

So there you go. A long, detailed description of how I manage my reviews. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed making it! 😉 Tell me your reviewing tips! 🙂

Published by Katja L.

Hello! :) I'm Katja. I'm a Canadian bibliophile, book reviewer, writer, and child of God. I love too many things to name, but among them are chocolate, heirlooms, history, fancy handwriting, grammar & punctuation, laughter, tearjerking books, lists, organized bookshelves, pink roses, flowing skirts, hymns, and pretty much anything old-fashioned, beautiful, & classy.

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