Let’s talk about getting organized…

WA_headers - Getting Organized header

Everyone has their own method of how they like to get organized or keep track of what they need to do. Most people refer to these type of organizational lists as just that… a “to do list”. There are also some really fantastic apps or programs out there that can assist you in creating your own “to do” list. Maybe you like Evernote on your phone or you like the convenience of being able to create a Google Doc where ever you go. What you use or how you create your own “to do” list doesn’t really matter as long as you find a method that works for you.

That’s sort of what today’s article is about.

I thought it might be fun or interesting to show you how I create my own “to do” list when things are really on the verge of getting out of control or I just feel like I have a lot on my plate. This is just something that helps me. As I mentioned above, everyone should find something that works uniquely for them, For me, I like being a paper and pen guy. I like being able to write a list in a tablet and post it up on my wall beside my computer since that method forces me to look at it every day. I have also used the same method with a white board as well. Again, whatever works for you.

Credit where credit is due…

I should mention right here that I didn’t invent or create this method. I adopted it from something I saw Brad Guigar post years ago online and thought it was simply genius that I whole heartedly adopted it and started using the same method for myself. Before I saw Brad use squares in his “to do” list, I was simply using blank circles and would fill them up or cross each item off once a project was complete. But by using squares, that gives you the ability to shade in each item by the percentages.

What exactly do I mean by that? Simply put, here is an example:

Check Box Key

 

And here is a breakdown of my “to do” list…

This past weekend, I had two shows at two different locations in Northern Virginia. Because of that, I sold a lot of merchandise and I knew I was going to have to start organizing a list of all the things I was going to have to either re-order or order for the first time. So during my lunch break, I got out a yellow legal pad and started jotting down all the things I thought I was going to have to do in the near future.

This is what I came up with today (click on the image for a larger, detailed view, by the way):

My To Do List

 

Here is a breakdown every of line on that list, starting from the top:

  1. I sold out of all my Volume 1 books this past weekend so I NEED to order more
  2. I only have about 100 of my Batman Minion postcards left so I need to order more.
  3. For every new convention season, I like to design a new promotional postcard so I need to design a new card very soon.
    I have two ideas already… I can either go with a Hulk Minion commission I did last year or go with a Minion Loki based on Tom Hiddleston that I did for a sketch cover. I haven’t decided yet but it will be one of these for sure.
  4. I want to design a bumper sticker in order to have something new on my convention table this year.
    I have already did some preliminary price checking – I just need to design the darn thing.
  5. I want to collect all of the Capes & Babes strips that are suitable for “all ages” so I can offer that book to parents and younger kids who love Roy but are maybe too young some of my regular Capes & Babes strips.
  6. I already have a sketch of the cover. The title will be “G (as in the rating “G”), we never expected THAT!”
  7. I have discovered one or two strips I thought I had completed for the “Back from Hiatus” storyline which means I messed up somewhere so I want to complete those strips and then re-organize all the strips I have posted since January so that the entire storyline reads properly.
  8. I have a commission or two I need to start on soon – this is a reminder for me.
  9. I haven’t uploaded all of my “Back to the Hiatus” color strips to Patreon yet. I need to do that.
  10. I need to kill my self-created store on the Capes & Babes web site as my Storeenvy Online Store is much better and that’s where all of my Employee badges I sell at cons redirects to anyway. This is more or less a “streamline and clean up” process,
  11. I now have enough photos of people buying and wearing my Capes & Babes Employee badges that I need to go through my photos and start collecting all of their pictures to add to my “employee section” on the Capes & Babes web site.
  12. I have recently done a lot of sketch covers. I’m thinking I should add these sketch covers to my “illustration” section of my personal portfolio site: www.csfgraphics.com
  13. I have also done a number of caricature sketch cards since February so I need to go through my sketch card book and figure out how many new sketch cards I need to create and then put stickers on the back of each of those cards.
  14. At the Smudge Expo, some people were interested in ordering a caricature sketch card but had to leave early or I didn’t have enough time to complete the card before the show was to end, so I got all of their contact information and need to contact them again.

As you can see, though, none of those squares are even remotely filled out. That’s because this is an actual TO DO list. I need to start on all of those things listed above. In fact, some of those things I need to start on right away as I have shows coming up very soon and if  I don’t start on them right away, I won’t have any new (or old) products to sell or give away for free.

 So, what’s the next step?

The next step is that I am going to tape this sheet on the wall next to where my computer monitor is. As I start, work or complete each task, those little squares will get filled up as demonstrated in the Organization Key displayed above.

When all those little squares are filled up, I’ll make another list that will look very similar but will have a list of all new things I will need to get done.

What do YOU use to organize YOUR “to do” list?

Okay… so you all have seen what helps me keep track of all the things I either need to do, want to do or have to do. So, what are some of YOUR methods? What do YOU use to create your own “to do” list? How do you keep it organized or make sure each entry is either being worked on or has been completed?

And, is that method working for you? If so, why do you think it is? Or, are there things you would like to change or improve on when it comes to creating your own “to do” list? Or, maybe, you might have your own list of tips and tricks for creating and maintaining your own “to do” list and would like to share them as well. Please, by all means, feel free to share them in the comments section below.

You never know where someone might get inspired and use your own methods.

Just ask Brad.

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me_at_va_comiconChris Flick just figured out how to put his photo and bio information at the end of these Webcomic Alliance articles. When he’s not wracking his brain on how to do that, he’s busy being a full time web and graphic designer working in the Washington DC area. When he’s not doing that, he’s working on his Capes & Babes webcomic which he created back in 2007. When he’s not doing ANY of those things, he’s usually at a convention on the east coast of the United States.

Chris just recently published his 1,000th Capes & Babes strips. You can read them all by going to his website, Capes & Babes. You can also visit his woefully outdated portfolio web site at  CSF Graphics. And if you’re interested in seeing some of the wild Minion Mash-ups Chris has become known for, you should visit his Pinterest Minion Mash-Up Board. You can also find Chris on Facebook and Twitter by doing a search for “Capesnbabes”.

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Posted in Business, Conventions, Featured News, Helpful Hints, Tutorials and tagged , , , , .

6 Comments

  1. I’ve created my own version of a “scrum” board. It’s the first organization method I’ve tried that actually works for me (and I’ve tried ALOT).Scrum is an agile way to manage a project, usually software development, by building a framework to manage every aspect of the project.

    My board is must more general and focuses more on the overall projects rather then specific tasks of each project. i have 3 categories: NOT COMPLETED, PROCESS and DONE. The “not completed” is where i put al of the projects that need to be completed but have not been started yet. The “process” is where i put the projects that I’m currently working on. The “done” is for projects that are completed.

    My board is also color coordinated based on types of projects. I’m a little crazy when it comes to organization 🙂

  2. Rose… in my “day job” as a web designer, we used the Agile Method as well so I’m well aware of that – as I have been designing in an agile environment for over five years now. Using an Agile Scrum is a very interesting way to go as well.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I do something a little different. I write down a task on the top of a note card, and underline it. Then I write each step of doing that task down below the task. As I complete each step, I cross it off. I cannot get rid of the note card until every step of the task has been completed.

    I’ll stick the note cards on a bulletin board right above my desk, so I have to look at them as I work. It’s really helpful.

  4. Thank you, Chris! Great article!

    I’ve been trying to make a habit out of writing down a “to do” list every day. It’s the first thing I do when I start my day and it has helped me a lot in achieving my daily goals, and just feeling good about myself for getting things done.

    Cheers!

  5. I pretty much just have a board where I just post on everything that comes to mind as time goes.

    Then I pull 2-5 items to do for that day and put them on my calender. Anything with specific deadlines are already on the calender taking up a spot and written in different color so that i keep notice of them.

    I find this method better as I work based on my mood and how much time I have to do the task

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