How I Stay Organized

As the person in charge and the only employee here at Jen Lucas Designs, sometimes it can feel impossible to stay organized. It's funny because when I worked in the lab I was so organized. Everything had it's place, everything was labeled and I had an incredible system of checklists.

In my business, it's, um, a little more....."organic?" That's code for I'm way less organized than I used to be, but it also gives me a little more freedom to create, you know? Or at least that's the story I'm sticking to. :)

I do have a few things I like to use to stay organized, and I thought I'd share them with you today....
  • The new pattern checklist
    I created this a couple years ago to help me keep track of all the things I need to do when I first release a new self-published pattern. It's changed a bit since that original post, but it was one of the best things I did to help myself stay organized during a pattern release. 
  • The planner.
    I'm very much a pen and paper person. In order to not have a million post-it notes with to-do lists on them, I've found that having a planner is key. I've talked about it a little bit on the blog before, and I've switched planners again (!!!!) since then. Right now I'm using A5-sized inserts in a ring binder planner. I'm using the SewMuchCrafting inserts these days. I'm currently enjoying decorating my planner, and these work great for that.
    I'm still toying around with what planner system works best for me. I think a lot of paper planner people will tell you that. You have to try them all to find the one that works best for you. I like having daily to-do lists and reminders, so these inserts are working great. I also have a section where I keep general to-dos and a running list of due dates for projects.  
  • The Spreadsheet
    Oh, the spreadsheet. This is where my lab nerdiness can really shine through. I have a few different spreadsheets I've created that help me keep track of my work and deadlines. The ones I use when I'm writing a book are crucial. There's so many moving parts when working on a knitting book. The spreadsheet is the only thing keeping me sane during book writing time. Here's a peek at my spreadsheet from Cozy Stash-Busting Knits!
    These are the main things that help me stay organized. I have a few reminders set up in Microsoft Outlook to remind me of recurring tasks like sending out emails regarding my trunk shows and when Ravelry ads open up, but I always add those tasks to my paper planner too. 

    If you're a designer, how do you like to stay organized? I'd love to know!

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