Tidbits for editors and proofreaders (from CIEP2021)

Tidbits for editors and proofreaders (from CIEP2021)

Random stuff that I and others shared at CIEP2021 that I found useful for editors and proofreaders.

I’m having an amazing time at the CIEP2021 online conference! Apart from the main presentations, I’m picking up some tidbits here and there so I figured I’ll post them in one place.

From my lightning talk on the power of English

Time management tips

  • Track your time. Toggl is one tool used by many (there are others); it lets you keep track of how you spend your time so you can calculate your rates, prepare invoices, etc. I’m a huge fan.
  • Set limits to your work hours.
    • “Stop working when the sun goes down.”
    • Work in set blocks of time, whether it’s 20-25 min. blocks (Pomodoro style) or 40:20 (40 min.work, 20 min. break every hour).
    • Commit to save specific times for work, whether it’s admin, doing courses or reading (e.g., “Friday afternoons are for my course work”).
  • Do it together. Virtual co-working spaces: Regularly meet up online with a few friends and work in 25-min. bursts. (Added benefit if you have kids: they are less likely to disturb you if you say “I’m in a meeting!”)
  • Be more efficient. Use PerfectIt (CIEP members get a discount) and macros to save time.
    • If you find macros daunting, just try one or two simple ones, get used to them, and slowly expand your repertoire.


There is always more to learn about macros but it’s best to just start with one or two simple ones. You can look through Paul Beverley’s macros book to find something that strikes your fancy. Or, if you notice you’re doing something repeatedly in Word, you might try looking for a macro that does it for you.

For what it’s worth:

☑ Macros I use regularly

  • HighlightPlus: Adds highlight to selected text
  • HighlightMinus: Removes highlight (also cycles to add highlight but I prefer to keep this separate from HighlightPlus)
  • TrackSimplifier: This one is a marvel. You can in one click accept all tracked changes in formatting, punctuation, or extra spaces—or a combination of any of these types.
  • GoogleFetch and OUPFetch: Sends highlighted words directly to Google or Oxford dictionary online. There’s also MerriamFetch.
  • CycleMarkup: Cycles through markup displays (Simple > All > None). This one is not Paul’s but by Jay Freeman.

☑ Macros often recommended

  • DocAlyse, ProperNounAlyse


Well…this one is a HUGE topic on everyone’s mind, surprise, surprise. And clearly, Malini Devadas‘s words from her talk on marketing mindset have left a mark on us all. (I was also rather star-struck to end up in the same breakout room as Louise Harnby, a content-marketing guru among editors!)

So just a few bits and pieces I picked up:

  • Explore what your mental blocks are. For example, we can be our own toughest critics; instead, think how a colleague might describe you and your work. Maybe thinking of ourselves in the third person could help make us kinder to ourselves?
  • Take baby steps. No need to plunge into the deep end. It can be small but just start with something; over time, those baby steps will add up. Find where you can gently push against your comfort zone.
  • Be clear what you’re trying to achieve with marketing (e.g., get Google search hits? grow your network of editors?) and whom you’re targeting (e.g. indie authors? traditional publishing firms? others?).
  • There’s no one social media channel that’s “best” for marketing. Where you want to be (and whether you even need to be on social media) will depend on where your target clients are and what you’re trying to achieve. Do your research to find where those clients are hanging out (e.g., authors in certain genres might prefer to congregate on Twitter; there may be author groups on LinkedIn that you can contribute to; or maybe social media doesn’t make sense and you just need to go to academic conferences or chamber of commerce meetings with business cards in hand!).
  • Target your website and social media messages to your ideal clients. Share messages that help them, solve their problems. You can create tons of posts and tweets but if they’re not addressing your target audience’s concerns, that’s not useful marketing.
  • Expand your referral networks. Sometimes clients may come to you looking for services that you don’t offer. If you can refer them to someone else, it can help establish your credibility. And hopefully, you might get reciprocal referrals! Getting to know your local CIEP group members (what kind of services they offer) could be a great place to start.
  • Book recommendation from Louise Harnby: Andy Crestodina. Content Chemistry (Orbit Media Studios, 2018).

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your gems!

Fellow editors, I’d love to connect with you! I’m on Twitter @TheClarityEditr and LinkedIn (and I lurk on EAE spaces on FB).

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