Ok, so here we are in 2014. It always surprises me when the year changes because it seems so fast. Is it already the start of another year? Is it really tax time again? Blah… Anyway, with the start of 2014, I thought I would run a series of posts about how I stay organized.
Necessity is a Mother…
So a while ago I started getting busy enough recording voice overs that I needed to really get organized. For me, that is exciting. I’m sure you have been there with something in life, whether it is your personal life, you professional life, your business or your hobby. We all get busy and being organized is the key to being (and staying) productive. An effective system is the answer here. I am all about implementing systems to make life easier and more effective. In fact, when I was in college, one of my favorite classes was Business Systems Analysis. It was a very insightful class for me, and I have applied (on a very small level) some of the principles that are employed by major corporations around the word. BACK ON TRACK!
Everything in its Place
For a while there, I was able to just mark new jobs as “unread” in my mailbox, and then get to them during the day sometime. That becomes difficult when you have jobs that span a week or jobs that need pickups or many jobs that need to be scheduled for the next week…and so on. I started trying to put everything on my calendar, but that wasn’t the most effective way for me to see all of my jobs in one place and then have them organized in a way that I wanted them organized.
Here is what I believe is necessary for effective organization of projects:
Easy to add projects
Easy to view projects (especially by deadline)
Multiple views of the same information (depending on the situation)
Works with your brain well
For me, there is no better way to do this than with Wunderlist. This is an incredibly powerful little app that no only allows you to quickly add to your to-do lists and schedules, it also works on any platform! When I worked in fire alarm installation, I used it to keep track of all of my projects, so that made it easy to start using for voice over.
Based on my personal checklist, Wunderlist is incredible. Here is how I use it! I do quite a few different types of voice over work, so having a “Voice Over” list, doesn’t really help me much. I broke it down into the type of work I was doing. I currently have 6 lists: Scheduled Sessions (this is a list of all of the directed sessions I have scheduled, whether live or via phone patch or Source Connect or ISDN), VO Work (this is for all of my short voice over work), Audiobook – Edit or QC (I edit and QC audiobooks), Audiobooks – Narrator (I narrate audiobooks), Website (all the projects involved with my web presence), Marketing (probably obvious), and Studio Projects (things that I need to do in the studio like build something or set up and figure out new gear or get a mic cleaned).
Each one of those lists has tasks on them. These tasks are scheduled (most of them at least). I can add reminders that will either send me an email or push a notification on my phone to keep me on track. There are two other categories that I use in addition to the lists. Those are: Today and Week. By clicking Today, I can see all projects that I have scheduled for today or that have a deadline of today. By clicking Week, I can see all the projects that are scheduled or have deadlines this week. Adding an item to Wunderlist is as easy as taking a quick note in the app, and finding things is just as easy. I can either look at a specific list, look at today or week or even use the search bar to find specific text if I know I have a task but can’t find it.
All in all, Wunderlist is by far the best list app for me. Everything is one place, organized like my brain, easy to add to and view. You can even send an email to add a task to your list, and did I mention it is all FREE? I’m not dropping anything through the cracks this year!