file rack

When I worked as a graphic designer at a printing company, I took over two positions. A graphic designer and a receptionist. They said answering phones would be a group thing. But, they only answered the phones when I was away from the desk.

A print shop is quick turn-around times. Sometimes I would be changing a name on a business card. Sometimes I would be creating whole brochures from scratch. I usually had about 10 projects going at once in different stages of development. Each year things got busier and busier.

This is when I started looking at simplifying and systems. I was completely stressed at this job.

What I loved having for my projects was a stepped wire file rack.

I also had a simple sheet of paper with the projects, deadlines, next steps and where I was at with each project. It made organizing my day much easier. I would look at this sheet of paper and organize the projects on the file rack for which I wanted to do first.

I would work on the first one until I had enough time on it or I had moved to a part that I needed something from the client. I’d post where I stopped and the next actions on my sheet before moving on to the next project.

In the middle of projects I would need to answer the phones, talk to a walk in client or get stuff from the fax machine. I would put post it notes on the file so I knew what I was in the middle of doing when interrupted. This made it easier to get right back into the projects.

I still work this way now that I work from home. I post the next step for my project after working on the project and before moving on to the next. This keeps projects moving.

Need some more help with your projects? Join the Pleasant Projects class.

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3 comments

  • Rosemarie

    How do you keep it all on one sheet Beth? Do you have a sheet for each project or is it more of a spreadsheet? I am always looking to improve my systems and know I have a tendency to make things more complicated when trying to simplify!

  • Beth Dargis

    Hi Rosemarie,

    If it is a simple project, I just post the next step to take on the to do list. When I finish that one, I put the next step.

    For longer or more complex projects they either have their own file folder if it’s mainly paper and/or I have the project in Evernote: https://www.evernote.com. I can put dates, next steps, links to web sites, contact people, etc. right in one Evernote note.

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