If you’re a seasoned creative, I don’t have to tell you how important it is to keep organized. And if you’re new to the entrepreneurial scene, you should know that it will be your saving grace. Without organizational skills, your whole business can fall apart. And since no one cares about your creative biz as much as you do, if you’re not on top of things, you’re only killing your own buzz.
There are SO many things you have to keep organized as a creative entrepreneur, especially since you’re in the never-ending process of growing your biz. You’re not just a creator, you’re a financial planner, a writer, a social media gal, a schedule-maker, a networker, a personal assistant (to yourself) and a constant idea-churner.
So, yeah there’s a lot of stuff that has to get done. I’ve always been a super organized person (like, had my high school projects done a week before they were due kind of organized), so I’ve definitely brought many of my routines along with me as I’ve ventured into entrepreneurship. If your finding it hard to balance everything, here are my top 7 tips for staying organized as a creative entrepreneur!
1. Keep a list of ideas
If you’re anything like me, you think about new ideas for your creative business when you’re doing just about anything -watching tv, on the way to the grocery store, and even in your sleep. Keeping a list of these ideas will ensure that one, you don’t forget anything and two, you can keep your ideas organized.
I’ll often think of ideas while I’m out and about, so I’ll write them down in the notes section of my phone, but I have one big word document on my laptop where I store all my ideas! I make sure to put the ones from my phone on there at the end of the day. Some I use and some I don’t, but I love having them jotted down.
A lot of creatives (especially bloggers and writers) use Evernote to store their ideas and I’m going to look into it! There’s even an app for your phone so you can keep all your notes in the same place.
2. Use an agenda (and only one)
I would be lost without my Day Designer. I’ve always been one to schedule my work ahead of time so I know how and when I’m going to get everything done.
The Day Designer is so much more than just a planner. Each day has a to-do list and is organized by each hour so you can really plan out your day. It also has a spot for each day’s top 3 (the most important things on your list, notes and daily gratitude (to keep you humble and thankful).
Use the same agenda to schedule your work, appointments, meetings and socials so that you can see all your plans in one place.
Having some things jotted down in your agenda and others in your iCal makes it more likely for you to forget about things.
3. Make a “to do” list
Along with your agenda, keeping a “to do” list each day is also extremely helpful. I like to write my to do list the night before and schedule set times for each of my posts, freelance assignments, social media scheduling, pitching, collaborations, coffee meetings, and anything else I may need to do.
Sometimes I stick to the times, sometimes I’m bombarded by distractions, but having a list that you can check off as you go helps keep you organized and more focused on getting tasks done.
4. Keep an editorial calendar
As a blogger or freelance writer, a big part of your job is thinking about posts you want to share with your readers – if you don’t have content, you don’t have a job! Creating and maintaining an editorial calendar will be key to your success. If you don’t know what an editorial calendar is, don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds! It’s basically a schedule that allows you to plan your blog posts and social media content ahead of time so you’re easily able to stay on track.
I created mine in an excel spread sheet, but you can use any tool you’re comfortable with, even a hand-written calendar. I like to plan out my content at least a few weeks in advance (I try for a month or two) so I always know what I’m going to be writing before I sit down.
And if you write about different topics, you can keep things organized so easily. For instance, if you want to write about beauty on Tuesdays, fashion on Wednesdays and recipes on Fridays, you can at least jot that into the calendar so you know what type of topics you need to come up with.
Keeping an editorial calendar allows you to check ideas off as you go and see how much progress you’re making with your content. This way you can write posts consistently, rather than having to think up posts before you write.
I have (digital) folders inside folders inside folders for my business. For my blog specifically, I have my main blog folder, and inside that there are folders for my blog ideas, my stock photos, and any blog course I’ve taken.
Then of course there are the folders for each of my different blog categories, and inside those are folders for each of my blog posts. Keep separate folders for each blog post that hold your notes, the post itself and any photos you used within the post. This type of organization is crucial when you run a blog or any type of creative business, to keep everything on track and in order.
6. Give yourself deadlines
Over my blogging career, I’ve come to realize that setting deadlines for yourself is crucial! When you work from home it’s easy to laze around, and watch one more episode of The Mindy Project just because you can, but you have to treat it like a full time job if you want to make a full time income. Self-made deadlines are key!
7. Focus on one task at a time
As millennials, we pride ourselves on being multi-taskers, but sometimes trying to get too many things done at once can get a little messy. Focus your attention on one thing at a time by organizing your workload. For example, instead of writing a post while sending out social media posts and emails between sentences (yeah, I totally do that sometimes), set aside a specific time of the day to work on social media, respond to important emails and focus on creating…one at a time.
I’d love to know, what are some of your best tips for keeping organized as a creative entrepreneur? And if you loved this post, don’t forget to pin the image below!