Organization is critical for success in any profession, and Creative Inkers must use their organizational skills every day to plan their projects, create their designs and deliver the best results for their clients. Below are five tips I’ve compiled that have worked for my other half, Summer Weber, and me during our time in the firm, and we hope they work for you, too.
Keep a planner
This must be a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people do not use planners in their daily lives. No matter what your profession is, a planner of some sort is essential, but find what works best for you. I live on my paper planner. Although I believe that the best planning of day-to-day life comes from writing things down, that might not be the case for you. Studies have shown, though, that your brain more easily remembers the things that you write down. So try it out, even if you just start off with a dry erase calendar.
2. Utilize technology
In our day and age, technology is a necessity for just about everything, and Google offers many useful features to help us stay organized. First, there is the Google Drive, which allows you to create many types of documents that you can share with your teammates and coworkers. It can be accessed in any place that has Internet, and you can even connect your Google Drive to your computer and access your files from your desktop. Using this allows you to keep your files organized.
The best feature of all is the Google Calendar. Google Calendar offers accessibility from your mobile app and allows you to create separate calendars to organize different aspect of your life, as well as add other Google accounts to your calendar event. For example in Creative Ink we have a Meetings calendar that gives us the ability to see the different meetings that are occurring and when the office is in use. It also allows me to add Summer to the meeting so that it shows up on her calendar as well.
Utilize the technology in front of you. We have the ability to balance technology and paper in our organization process, and it is a beautiful thing.
3. Respect the system
When other Creative Ink members and I applied to join the firm, many of us felt scared and nervous. How would we know what to do? How would we balance everything? What if we got overwhelmed?
Now that nearly all of our current firm members have at least one semester’s experience, we can see that we had little reason to worry.
Here’s the thing: just like any firm or business, Creative Ink has a system, and to become successful and stay organized, you have to understand and respect it. Within Creative Ink we have many moving parts. This includes account executives, creative executives, firm and creative directors, a copy editor and a faculty adviser. Each role is important, and we have a system that we follow and a basic outline to create a timeline that keeps us on task. No matter what company you work for in the future, there is going to be a system, and if it’s a good one and you respect the process that your company has developed, you will be just successful.
4. Take moments to yourself
As a planner, I have trouble implementing this one myself. I tell myself that I will stay organized and avoid that overwhelmed feeling if I plan every moment of my day. That is not always possible. If you are thinking of all the things that you have to do, you will never get anything actually completed. So put the planner away sometimes, turn off your phone and have some alone time, hang out with friends, make a dent in your work with no other distractions. It will feel so good to just step away from the chaos.
5. Make To-Do lists
Sounds a little contradictory right? I really am not trying to confuse you. But make a to-do list when you are feeling overwhelmed. There’s something so satisfying about writing down what needs to be done and then crossing it off. Enjoy those moments. Just be careful not to fully rely on the lists, because again you can find yourself overwhelmed. Either write it down on paper or utilize sites and apps like Trello.
There is so much more to be said on each of these points, but I hope you will discover them for yourself.
What are some of the ways that you stay organized? We would love to hear them! Let us know.
Credit for the image of a planner goes to the owner of this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/