JM’s Journal: Reasons Why You Should Keep an Article Topic List

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Reasons Why You Should Keep an Article Topic List

Increase Your Productivity Level as a Content Writer

by J.M. Troppello

“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” – Dale Carnegie

I love that quote from Dale Carnegie. It’s so true. If you feel overwhelmed with projects, there are different ways you can handle them. Maybe doing the easy ones first help you get into the rhythm of getting work done. You might like to do what Carnegie suggested and start with the harder jobs first.

I’ve taken both avenues before, depending on the circumstances and mindset I was in. However, regarding writing, I’ve opted to do the more difficult task first. For me, that hard task is simply getting started.

It can be hard to begin.

Even if you’re not completing a writing project but are trying to get motivated to start another task—simply beginning can be overwhelming. One way that I’ve streamlined the starting process for writing a new article is to keep adding to my topic list.

Consider the following reasons why you should keep an article topic list and how it can increase your productivity level as a writer.

1. Getting Started

I wasted so much time in the past trying to think of topics to write about every time I sat down with my laptop. It was exhausting. By the time I finally thought about an idea that I liked, it was stressful trying to research, write, and edit the article during my allotted writing time each day.

Keeping an ever-evolving topic list has made life so much easier for me. The starting process is simple. I can look through all the topics I’ve written down from the previous days and weeks and find one that resonates with me.

I usually have at least 10-15 topics written down at one time. If I’ve had extra time to spend on brainstorming, I could have up to 25 topics to choose from.

2. Not Wasting Time

Even though I’m still taking about 15-20 minutes each week brainstorming new topics to be added to the list, that’s not a waste of time. I would waste 15-20 minutes per day simply trying to think of a topic to write about for that afternoon or evening.

Now, with my topic list system running smoothly, I can save up to 75-100 minutes each week since I don’t have to waste time thinking of two topics for each of the 5 days that I write weekly. That has made it so much easier to write more prolifically.

3. Writing Better Articles

Now that I have blocked time (15-20 minutes) on the weekends to brainstorm new topics, that has allowed me to write better articles. Previously, I was so frazzled trying to think of a topic to write about that I felt rushed trying to research, write, and edit the article.

Now that I have great topics ready to choose from, I can easily get started on the next article. I feel free to take my time crafting educational content, with a personal twist, that is more likely to resonate with readers.

4. Increasing Productivity

Creating and maintaining an active topic list has significantly increased my productivity as a content writer. Ever since I started this topic list, I can now write two solid articles per day for the magazine and for syndication in my publications on Medium.

I’ve been able to accept more assignments from paying clients from Content companies that I work for as a freelancer. This time freedom has given me the chance to accept opportunities to write more sponsored blog posts for my magazine from clients from Intellifluence.

Start Your Topic List

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” – Tim Ferriss

Getting started writing each day is so much easier with a topic list. It’s nice not having to waste time each day thinking of topics to write about. Having a topic list has enabled me to write better articles that have increased reader engagement. My increased productivity level has enabled me to accept more assignments from paying clients—as well as increased my online portfolio for more sponsored blog posts for my magazine.

If you want to increase your productivity as a writer, I encourage you to create and maintain your own topic list. If you aren’t a writer but want to maximize the time you spend on other projects, consider writing your own lists which could take the form of the following: to-do checklists, goal lists, project action plans, and checklists for discussion with your accountability partner.

Article syndicated by Inspiration Realm on


About the Author

JM Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.

Connect with the author on Twitter. You can find her on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Clouthub.

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