Organizing Your Projects Visually

Guest Blogger: Sally J. Smith

After your teleseminar with Carolyn Edlund, I was inspired to map out a system that would help me manage all the details of my very full list of goals.

I sat down and wrote out what my ultimate goal was and then the various opportunities I have to get there. Then under each one of these projects, I described the steps needed to get me to completion for that particular activity.

Artist Sally J. Smith shares how she organizes her projects.

I realized that having this information written down in list form wasn’t enough. I wanted a way to track my progress, so I made this visual organizer.

On a piece foam core, I made trajectory lines for each project. Dots mark specific steps that need to be taken to get to complete that

Attention: Big Thinking Required

Stop going through the motions with days filled only with meaningless tasks. Don’t wait for your big project to find you. Make plans now. Take charge!

Winner of The 200-Word Artist Plan Contest

The winner of a copy of The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau is Alyson Sheldrake, who, I promise, received zero extra points because she has a cool name. I liked Alyson’s plan for the following reasons . . .

Never Forget: Reminders for Your Art Business

It’s easy to get caught up in the latest this or that and lose focus. Slow down and remind yourself of these building blocks for your art career. It’s the annual Memorial Day post.

Is Over-Planning Killing Your Art Business?

Planning has its place in any business, but there is no such thing as a fool-proof plan. I believe in planning a little and then taking a lot of action.

To Goal or Not to Goal

One year ago I had the pleasure of interviewing artist and coach Jennifer Lee as a guest for the Artist Conspiracy. Jennifer and I discussed why artists don’t like to set goals and how you might be able to find your own way of achieving your heart’s desire. I invite you to listen to the interview.

Acknowledge & Celebrate Your 2011 Accomplishments

The end of the year is often accompanied by a tinge of regret. Maybe you didn’t stick to your New Year’s Resolution or accomplish all of your goals. I’ll bet you did more than you think. Take time between now and December 31 to write down all you accomplished in 2011.

Optimize Your Time

Harriete Estel Berman

Stop saying you don’t have enough time.

It’s exhausting to hear that excuse over and over again, and you’re wasting time just thinking or saying those words. They’re unproductive.

Harriete Estel Berman, Winning the Race with Time. Recycled tin, sterling silver, 2.5 x 3.5 x .25 inches. ©The Artist

You have just as much time as everyone else. It’s up to you what you do with that time.

It’s also up to you how you frame the time you have.

You can embrace the important stuff and be happy to participate in life, or you can complain about wanting more.

The choice is yours.

How are you spending your time?

Instead of wading through outdated tweets on Twitter . . .

Pull out your note cards (with your art on them) and a pen, and write a thank-you

Make Room for Success: De-clutter

The fall art season is just around the corner. Imagine how nice it would feel to get your business in order before the rush begins.

Why not spend August clearing out, cleaning up, and making room for your success?

Susan Wells snapped these Before and After pics of her office space for the last Get Organized class.

Clutter gets in your way. It steals your attention away from more important matters.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with information, meeting deadlines, or are feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to de-clutter.

As you’re debating what to save and what to scrap, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you love it? If so, keep it and find a forever place for it. Do you need it for your business or personal use? If you can’t do a quick Web search to

When You Don't Know What You Want from Your Art

If you are in the dark about what you want from your art, perhaps these 9 pieces of advice might help. First . . . Don’t quit your day job! You need money coming in while you’re figuring all of this out. If you don’t have a day job, go get one.