When you're working by yourself time can very easily get away on you.
After a while you sort out your own processes and adopt certain tools to help you be more organised. Personally I like to get all my emailing, invoicing and admin work out of the way in the morning so the afternoon can be spent on creative work. I enlist the help of systems such as Xero for my accounting, Hootsuite for my social media and Meister Task to help me keep track of what's next. I always use Adobe products, my Ipad Pro and trusty Wacom to help me get things done. Today for 5 Creatives 5 days I ask what tools and processes everyone else uses throughout their day.
Q3. When you run your own business for a long time you are your own PR person, accountant, motivator, creative and emailer. Do you have any special tools or processes to help manage your time?
Ryan Romanes - Graphic Designer www.ryanromanes.com - It feels like I use an overwhelming amount of apps that ultimately contradict the purpose of making my life feel more organised. There is the core range I use every day; Dropbox for file sharing, Intuit QuickBooks for accounting, Behance for inspiration and sharing my work, Checklist+ for daily tasks and Year Planner for scheduling my upcoming workload and travel.
I have used various messaging apps in the past (Slack, Evernote, Skype, Whatsapp) to help organise client communication, but typically find myself coming back to email or iMessage. Day-to-day I generally have Spotify playing in discovery mode in the background, but also enjoy listening to podcasts from Design Observer or videos from Creative Mornings and Ted Talks. Systemising repetitive tasks such as quoting, preparing canned (pre written) email responses and getting an accountant has increased my productivity and allowed me to focus on the work that matters.
Adam Bryce - Photographer www.adamcharliebryce.com - It's something I tend to struggle with myself, the only advice, which is something I've done recently, is to go to the studio everyday - Monday to Friday 9-5 and work whether I'm shooting or not. It forces me to get things done. I force myself to sit down till the 'work day' is over or I just won't get it done. I feel like I'll never actually get it all done, but this way at least I do my best. I also wake up really early and spend a good hour or so checking emails before anyone else in my family wakes up. That tends to help.
Jasmine Dowling - Typographer & Blogger www.jasminedowling.com - My motivator is coffee. Coffee is there at the best & worst of times. In all seriousness though I don’t outsource much. I have an accountant for major things but otherwise I use Xero for my online accounting. This helps me be really organised and know what’s going on but takes the pressure off when it comes to BAS statements and EOFY. When it comes to emails I really try to stick to emailing only in the morning or when I finish up for the day. If I keep it open I will spend all day in and out of emailing which takes up too much time.
Sonny & Biddy - illustrators at We Buy Your Kids , also working at Ludlow Gallery - Not really, we are always trying to find ways to be better organised. I really mean me (Sonny) when I say that, we would’ve gone out of business a long time ago if it wasn’t for Biddy being on top of everything. The tools we use mostly are these huge Maxi Huge calendars that let us look at the next few months of milestones. Whichever app du jour we've trying out at the the, when the calendar becomes overwhelmed with deadlines a massive piece of paper with huge dates you can see across a room and walk up to with a text to cross jobs off with always wins.
Beci Orpin - Illustrator & Art Director www.beciorpin.com - I use social media to promote things - mostly Instagram and sometimes Facebook too. I use Pinterest to keep all my online inspiration in check, Dropbox so that I have most of my files accessible all the time. I also try and have systems in place, like just checking emails in the morning and evening, and writing a lot of lists for the day / week / month so if i’m ever having an off day I can refer to those lists and get back on track. I also have an old school paper diary that I write all my important dates in - I tried digital version of calendar but it didn’t work as I need to physically write something down to remember it!