Task management for creative people: organized chaos with Sandglaz
Creative people are not organized. This is surely a cliche and an over-generalization, but there might be some truth to this. It’s not me saying it, it’s creative people themselves. A Sandglaz user in the creative field recently wrote to us, saying:
“Like many a creative person, organization is not my strong point. I have to work at disciplining myself.”
See? Here’s a creative person saying it! But he also says that Sandglaz helps him get organized. So how exactly is Sandglaz helping?
Our creative customer, Paul, told us this:
“Sandglaz is helping me manage a career transition at the moment so I have two different work areas to focus on. Breaking down my extensive “To Do” lists into manageable chunks, keeping things moving forward and not getting left behind and forgotten about are the main advantages. Syncing with my phone is great because I am away from my desk a lot of the time.”
When it comes to task management for creative people (or simply people who are as ‘organized’ as creatives), we’ve prepared some tips that will put the “organized” in your “organized chaos”.
Don’t bite more than you can chew
Our creative person above has it right: he uses Sandglaz to break down his tasks into what he can manage. Many people, creative or non-creative, become overwhelmed because they try to do it all at once. Of course, you should always have the higher goal in mind, but trying to achieve it all in one day is just setting yourself up for failure. Break down your projects into manageable tasks. We suggest that you focus on a small number of tasks (maximum 7) daily. If you get those tasks done, then congratulations! You can get started on tomorrow’s work. Feeling that you can actually get your work done is a great motivator.
Take some time at the beginning or end of your day and log your tasks in My Tasks. Write down the tasks as they’re coming to your mind, quick and dirty. Don’t worry about classifying them, adding explanations or anything of the sort. Just write down your tasks in My Tasks. When you’re done, you can drag those tasks into specific grids and even add notes in the task detail. This will allow you to get things off your head and focus only on the tasks that you need to get done that day.
Use the Later column
You don’t always need to set due dates for your tasks. Sometimes, there are tasks that you know you will complete, but won’t get around to until later. Or, maybe it’s something that’s not urgent and you’re unsure when you’ll get around to it. You can just place those tasks in the Later column, and not feel overwhelmed by all that you need to do. The Later column shows all the tasks in your grid that occur in future milestones. This works well not just for tasks, but also for ideas – and creative people are full of them. Just write your idea for a new project in the later column, and when time comes for it to develop from a seed into a project, make a grid for it.
Create recurring tasks
Of course, everyone has to deal with everyday tasks such as managing finances, doing the groceries and doing housework. Sometimes it can feel that these tasks are rather annoying, because they take your mind off your projects. Annoying they might be, but it’s necessary to get them done. Create recurring tasks in Sandglaz so that you don’t have to spend time remembering when was your last dentist’s appointment, or when you have to pay the internet bill. Recurring tasks can be as simple or detailed as you want them to be. You can create a yearly task for your annual physical examination, or a task for the 4th Wednesday of the month for a monthly meeting.
Use milestones to your advantage
Milestones can be a great tool, because they help you customize your grids to whatever you need. In My Tasks, milestones are set to daily, so that you can have a day by day overview of what tasks you need to complete. But in your grids, you can set the dates of each grid’s milestones individually. You can set a custom milestone, split the milestone into two equal-length milestones or set the milestone and all the following ones to a specific time frame (a certain number of days or weeks). What you choose to set your milestones to depends on your workload, as well as on how you work. Personally, when I have a lot to do, I like to split my milestones into smaller chunks, or at least divide them into week days and weekends, but what you choose is completely up to you and your style of task management.
After you customize your milestones, we’ll take care of the rest. Let’s say you don’t complete a task within that milestone. No worries, we’ll automatically move uncompleted tasks to the next milestone, so you don’t forget about them. Let’s say you create a task in this week’s milestone, but the due date is a month from now. First of all, great job for planning so early! The task will stay in this week’s milestone, and if you don’t complete it by the end of the milestone, Sandglaz will move it for you to the next milestone. Also, if you place a task in a milestone past its due date, we’ll move it to its due date so that it doesn’t get overlooked. So if you have a task due 1 week from now but you moved it to a milestone 2 months from now, Sandglaz will move it back for you.
Take Sandglaz wherever you go
Of course, you need to have access to your tasks wherever you go. This is not only to write down tasks that occur to you on the go, but also to check your daily progress when you’re working out of office. As Paul mentioned above, you can get Sandglaz on your mobile device so that you can work even when you’re away from your desk.
If you’re also a creative person using Sandglaz, we’d love to hear what are your tricks and tips for managing your tasks with Sandglaz. Let us know in the comments below!