2.16.2015

The Pattern Checklist

Last week I posted this photo on Instagram after releasing Bandwagon and someone asked if I had posted it anywhere. I hadn't - until now. :)
When I was working in the lab, I was the queen of checklists. I had one coworker who could remember everything in his head. Not me. I had a daily checklist of reports to send, bottles to prep, tests to do. But when it came to my design business, there were no checklists. When I would release a new pattern I would try to remember everything I had to do or wanted to do and, of course, things got missed all the time. When I left my lab job last April, I started forming some checklists for the business, but it really came together after reading this post from Tara Swiger. After reading that, the pattern release checklist was formed!

My new pattern checklist has been a total lifesaver. While it's always evolving and I'm finding ways to make it better, it saves me from having to think - which I like. :) Just follow the checklist and everything will get done!

Here's what goes on my checklist:

  • Post Pattern to Ravelry 
  • Import to LoveKnitting
  • Add to Ravelry forum threads
  • Tweets
    • When Pattern is Live
    • 6 hours later
    • 18 hours later
    • 3 days later
    • 7 days later
    • 21 days later
  • Facebook
    • When Pattern is Live
    • 6 weeks later, on a Saturday
  • Blog - post within 5 days of pattern release
    • Tweet blog post
    • Optional (check social media calendar)
      • Tweet  blog post 3 days later
      • Tweet blog post 2 months later, on a Monday
      • Facebook blog post 24-48 hours later
  • Instagram - Post Photo
  • Email list - schedule email blast
  • Coupon Code or Discount?
    • If yes, set up coupon code and add info to Rav pattern page
    • Add to Calendar when to remove coupon code info from pattern page/change price
I allow myself some wiggle room on the social media stuff. Because I have other things going on besides the self-publishing, I might already have something scheduled to post that day, so I just adjust a bit as necessary. I like to have things scheduled, but I don't want too many things on one day.

That's it! Are you a designer? Is there anything else you add to your pattern checklist?

I've printed several copies of my checklist and added them to my arc planner. They are ready for use when I have a new pattern. Laura got me hooked on the arc planner and now I'm getting very addicted to it. Here's mine:
I have a few dividers in there to keep track of stuff:
If you're a designer or blogger who wants a checklist, I hope this helps you develop one of your own.

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. I'm not a knitwear designer but a freelance magazine writer/author, and checklists keep my sanity in check. I like to hear how other professionals keep on top of their routine work. Another tool I use is Daily Success Checklist, which is an Android app. You can use it to attach tasks to goals, and it actually dings when you check off each task (yes, I'm still a schoolgirl at heart). Have you read The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Guwande? It was fascinating to read how helpful checklists are in different situations -- as well as what happens when you don't use them.

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  2. Thanks, Jen! I really appreciate your sharing!

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  3. This is really interesting to see! How did you develop your social media posting frequency? Is it just something you roll with, or did you find advice somewhere about how often to post? I've always been confused about the best way to market through social media.

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    1. I developed in from reading Tara's blog, as well as other some other blogs (I really like the Buffer app blog, even if you don't use Buffer, it has great content). I also talked to some marketing people in the industry and took some of their suggestions! It definitely developed over time!

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  4. Great post. I'm trying to find a organization/ checklist system that works for me. Having 3 notebooks on the go doesn't really work.

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  5. Like the idea of a checklist, I'm always scrambling on pattern release day, trying to remember what I've done and what I haven't done!

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  6. Thank you so much for this. I found you via Tara's podcast and as a fellow knitting pattern designer (and lab worker) I really appreciate the power of the checklist.

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