Writers, how do you organize writing files and papers?

It’s late, so very late and I am once again desperate for something to publish thanks to the #back2blog challenge.

As I crawl through all the unsorted text files on my computer and through more than forty drafts in WordPress, I say to myself: «That’s crap. That’s not ready. Ah, that’s just a funny title and no more. Oh, I can never publish this». I begin to question the sanity of my process — and my own. Writing is bound to be messy. Some of that will show in the writer’s file organisation, I know. However, there has to be better systems out there.

So, I would like to seize this opportunity to ask you #back2blog participants and other writers how you keep your writing organized.

Many years ago, I’d print out and keep every version of every piece of teenage-angst poetry in a single giant binder. This binder’s subdivisions matched with the folders and subfolders in my computer. The system blew up when puberty hit, I think. I started writing pages upon pages of prose and couldn’t afford all that paper anymore.

In adopting Getting Things Done, I banned grey binders for yellow Manilla folders. Altough my reference material, my financial and other administrative documents are better organized than ever, my writing’s a mess.

If you would be so kind, please, tell me how you do it. In the comments, on your blog, in a private e-mail. Just tell me. If your writing’s messy, how do you cope? And if you have a system to keep your writing under control in your computer and out, how does it work?