Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Staying Creatively Organized....

It's no secret that I'm not the most organized person in the world, but as I prepare to exhibit at BeadFest, my first bead show, I've been researching different technologies and methods for helping reign in all of my creative ideas in one central place.

I've always kept sketchbooks and notebooks. Generally, I have 2-3 going on at any time for different purposes. Some are more art related, some are filled with all manner of lists and sub-lists, and still yet, I keep a calendar to help keep me on track with deadlines and dates. Being the extremely organized person I am, dragging around three separate little books to stay organized is overwhelming to say the least.

I've been using a smartphone for over 2 years and while I use it for keeping on top of my email, blog, and business, I've yet to jump on board and use it as a central place for idea-keeping. Something about the physical act of jotting or sketching things down helps activate them in my brain where typing them into a tiny screen does not.

Nevertheless, I've embarked on researching and planning for myself a central place to try to keep myself organized and thought I would share some great apps, tools, and even old fashioned things to keep you creatively organized.

1) Google. I increasingly rely on Google's variety of apps and tools to stay on top of my email and documents. It's calendar options can be set up with reminders to alert you when events and deadlines are approaching, the contacts and mail options make it easy to keep track of my address and email and sync them to my phone and categorize and file them by project. Google docs is also a great way to organize things like, proposals, submissions, and other important files so you have access to them remotely. You can share them with other email addresses or keep them private!

2) Evernote. Evernote is both a smartphone app as well as a web based program that is a virtual notebook. You can organize your ideas into different notebooks based on project and clip photos, notes, and even audio files into your notebooks to help keep you organized!

3) Pinterest. Pinterest is a great visual tool for keeping track of inspiring ideas you find around the internet. By installing their pin marklet in your web browser, you can pin ideas to different idea boards. This is a great way to remember ideas for displays, etc.

4) Dropbox. Dropbox is a great desktop app for sharing files. If you're collaborating long distance on a project, blog, or show, Dropbox helps everyone have central access to files without having to email large photos, documents, etc. to everyone in your project.

Not into the virtual stuff? Here are some other great creative ways to stay on top of things.

1) Moleskine. If you're a fan of the delicious sketchbooks and notebooks by Moleskine, then you're sure to love their planners. Combining the details that we all love about Moleskine with a planner? Genius. Pockets, large spaces for planning and the convenience of a calendar all in one place.

2) Make your own! I've recently decided the best way for me is to make my own planner, sketch/notebook, all in one place. It's still in the being built phase, but will combine all of my ideas in one place. Buy 3 ring binders or loose leaf rings, print calendars from the internet, or cut out from existing ones, use blank notebook and drawing paper, punch and insert! Voila! All your ideas in one place!

What ideas or apps keep you organized?


stacilouise said...

Pockets are a must for planners! I have pockets in my planner, on my family wall calendar, and I add post its to the pages so I can transfer the note when it doesn't get done that day;)

Can't wait to see you at beadfest!!!!!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

I've heard of most of these. I'm not exactly the most organized either. I tried adding events to my phone calendar and found that one reminder wasn't cutting it! I'm a work in progress. I'll have to check out the online ones since I do spend lots of time on the computer.

mairedodd said...

i fall into the majority of non-organizeds... i do make lists in my journal which can be helpful... but i am a heavily reliant on google as well... i love that i can get into it anywhere from anything with a connection...

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