Getting Organized Helps Your Creative Projects and Keeps You Going

December 30, 2013 — Leave a comment

Get Organized!

by Danny De los Reyes

December is a very busy month when you’re involved in the church. Leading up to Christmas Sunday I had very few free evenings because of all the get togethers, meetings, parties and rehearsals.

It’s to be expected, it’s Christmas time! The load of activities increases. More people are likely to come to church than any other time of the year, with the exception of Easter of course.

At church we decided to make this Christmas season one to remember since it will be our last Christmas in our current facilities. The preparations started in early October. Throughout the process, everyone on staff has been super excited about Christmas since December!

I needed to stay on top of everything that we were doing on the creative side of things. Literally we started shooting videos the day after Halloween! And I loved it. There’s nothing that will get me going like knowing that I’m getting an early head start.

I wanted to avoid being stuck with creative’s block. Creative’s block is the same feeling of being stuck that writers experience (the RESISTANCE) but in this case it is in the sense of coming up with ways to execute ideas (or coming up with the ideas for that matter).

Getting organized has always helped me to feel better about what I’m creating. I love being able to map out the timeline of my project execution.

Organize the project

I start with folders inside folders. I will label the first one whatever the name of the series is. In this case our Christmas series name was Home. Then I divide that into Marketing, Video Projects, Graphics, etc.

Inside video I will label each individual video project. Then inside those folders I will make more folders for video footage, audio files, graphics that only pertains to this video project, etc.

Inside those video projects in Premiere CS6, my non-linear video editor of choice, I will make more folders, for sequences, video, graphics, sound and more.  You get the idea. This helps me a ton!

This may sound funny to point out if you do this regularly, but you would be surprised how messy things can get. I remember a few times when I was starting to edit video that I would have a mess of files from all over the place. I would pull files from one external hard drive or a USB drive (remember I was just starting out) and use them in my projects. When I would unplug those devices I would have a bunch of offline media everywhere!

Oh the good ol’ days! But I’m thankful to have learned from them, that’s is for sure.

Organize your other tasks

When you have a bunch of extra special projects, you have to still work on your other regular weekly projects. Needless to say time is a luxury, so you gotta treasure it. Organize your other tasks for maximum potential.

Answering emails is one of those tasks. You can’t stop every time you get an email, that’s why I like batching them. This requires that I set up time to answer emails.

Make sure you have systems in place to deal with your email. I like using Mailbox for iPhone, because not only does it let you answer emails, you can also manage them in a few different ways. You can organize your email the way that best fits your system.

You can archive, delete and send incoming email to to-do or other folders. You can also delay email, if for whatever reason you don’t have all the information to answer you can delay it to another time when you will likely have the info. I like to use the app as a to-do app in a way.

The app has revolutionized my way of handling incoming email. I used to leave everything on my inbox because I thought it was more efficient. Turns out it was way too cluttered and had to use the search bar anyways. Mailbox app helps me keep my inbox and my piece of mind clean.

I’m sure there are many other ways to get organized, I have but scratched the surface. But when you’re creating pieces of content being organized will help you more than you think. If anything it keeps the pressure of clutter away.

Do you have other ways to stay organized? Please share, I’m always looking for better ways to stay organized and would love your input. If you’re reading this from an RSS aggregator click here.

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[Photo props Unsplash]

Danny De los Reyes

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Media Director at Northplace Church in Sachse, TX. I make stuff up... videos & animations usually. I am a happy husband, a daddy to a beautiful little girl. I'm a fan of coffee, arts, sports, social media, social justice and good times with friends.