In addition to working on an article or two, I've been immersed in my database project: matching story/article ideas with submission guidelines from print and online publications.
My girlfriend figures it's a waste of time -- that I should "just write". But I'm finding it useful to create an organizational system from which to pitch or submit stories.
Since selling an idea means knowing your readership, understanding the publication and convincing the editor you're the one to write on your topic, here are some categories I've found useful to catalog:
Type of Publication:
-- magazine/newspaper/literary journal
-- independent/budget/business travelers
-- destinations/road trip
-- personal essay
-- freelance/break in
-- query or send manuscript
-- email or snail mail
-- accept/require photos?
-- accept reprints?
-- simultaneous submissions?
-- word count
-- response time
What systems have you found useful for pitching stories or sending submissions? (How do you research publications? Do you archive guidelines online, on the computer or in print?) Do you randomly pitch ideas or have a select few editors you work with?