Organizing tips and tools

In today’s Art Marketing Action newsletter, I tell you how I try to stay on top of everything I need and want to accomplish. The key: prioritize. Here are some organizing tools and tips that help you set your priorities.

  • I prefer paper. I have tried everything to get my task list on the computer (since I’m here most of the time), but it doesn’t work for me yet. I use the larger Moleskine notebooks because I can put a whole lot on one page and because they kind of roll up and fit into my large purse.
  • The best computerized task list I’ve used is EasyTask Manager. It’s relatively inexpensive and is a simple list. I found many computerized applications to be too complex for my needs. This runs on both Mac and PC and will sync with my Apple Mail. I may return to it at some point.
  • I rely heavily on my computer notifications (reminders) that I set up through Apple Mail. Note: These only work if you’re on your computer a lot or at regular intervals.
  • I got a lot out of this audio program with Robert Middleton: Get Organized, Get On Track, and Get Unstuck.
  • My Get Organized class is coming up this summer (June 25 to July 31).

Feel free to leave your own organizing tips–especially those that relate to keeping your task list and making sure you don’t forget anything.

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8 comments to Organizing tips and tools

  • OH! I know your newsletter was based on something that everyone already knows… but OH! I NEEDED it. I love this from you, “Think About This . . . Are you prioritizing your schedule in a way that honors your life dreams?” Those dreams slip away every time I let them. Thank you Alyson! ~ Kathy

  • Great newsletter article. With three boys, a child with special needs, a husband, a dog and an art career, I feel like I can’t squeeze another ounce out of my day. After reading your book, I came up with a form that I use that helps me account for each hour in my 14-hour day while helping me stay balanced. I posted it on my blog at http://habets-studio.blogspot.com/2008/04/great-big-balancing-act.html.

  • I’m in the middle of “Getting Things Done” (recommended by you!) and I’m very excited about seeing a light at the end of my over-whelming paper tunnel. I DO spend time making art, I DO spend time marketing it..but I pile anything associated with that or anything else onto my desk which is about 3 feet taller than it should be! I’m getting there…keep reminding us!

  • I also prefer paper. On your last ‘Get Organized’ class I discovered the Plannerpad and it’s perfect! Sounds a lot like your lists – just one at the top of the week, then I filter it down into daily lists. On top of that I now have a “priority” list that I got from ideas on the Accidental Creative and I think Lisa Call? You mention something like this in the newsletter. Mine is my Big Rocks list: the handful of things that must get done that week. The things that my business is based on, the things that without them the rest is pointless, or a single task that will bring in income. So for example, making sure I do paintings! Can’t promote and market paintings if I’m not doing them. :) Todd from Accidental Creative has a ’2 things per day’ list, which yours reminded me of. I tend to have 4-5 things for the week.

  • I, too, prefer paper. For probably the past 15 years I have used a FranklinCovey planner/concept. At the beginning of each week you list (plan) your goals for the week. These goals include professional, personal,family and communtiy life. It is about achieving your goals while maintaining a balanced life.

  • Thanks for this! I like the moleskine in the purse idea! I need to have my list on paper. I LOVE my Dayrunner. I have a small one that consolidates all of my important dates -personal and business. And I use the large Pro planner for my business. I have one page per day and they have Memory pages where I write my -To Do’s, then use their system to prioritize. I , also, use the alphabetized tabbed sections not only for my mailing list but I file important pages like art show entries, vendor info, etc which are also cross-referenced in the index section so that I can find everything easily. Sounds complicated but but works really great.

  • I use many of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” techniques to get organized. They have saved my gobs of time and helped reduce that overwhelmed feeling. I have years of practice in disorganization. So implementing his ideas on sorting information, email and paper have been very effective. I have recommended and even given this book to others. Allen is not big on making priorities, believing that his productivity techniques take care of them. For me, I need priorities, and found that a weakness in his method, but one easily overcome. I commute and an hour a day and listened to his book in audio form. If you have to commute and/or travel, I recommend CD version.

  • Anita Rodriguez

    I spent some years as a high school art teacher and came under the spell of teacher plan books for a time. It helped me to see things in blocks of time that needed attention everyday. The problem was portability. After using this system (7 color-coded areas), I began to pare things down & switched to a little memo pad (I can’t deal with big purses anymore)and a 5×7″ calendar with both months and weeks pages. Also back at the high school, the web guru told us to use only one calendar, probably for the reason you mentioned Alyson: not being by the computer all the time… and it’s just too confusing!