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Why Every Artist/Designer/Maker Needs To Learn About Systems

by Jun 23, 2016Get Organised, Make Money From Your Art, Systems0 comments

Why Every Artist/Designer/Maker Needs To Learn About Systems

Ok so those who know me well will know that I’m a tad OCD and have multiple ‘systems’ in place for organising all sorts of everything. Now there have been times in my life when I’ve been laughed at for these – like I organise my stone collection in the colours of the rainbow – well of course, how else would you do it. My mum used to say that when it came to exam times, I was always more enthusiastic about planning my revision timetable than actually doing the work – and to be honest I haven’t really changed. In fact I’ve always said that wouldn’t it be great to have a job where I could go in and organise ‘people’ and their business, because for me these things come naturally and I love a good ‘lets put a system in place challenge’!

So don’t panic, you don’t need to be over-the-top supper organised but you need to start changing your mindset to accepting that introducing ‘organisational traits’ will ultimately make your business easier to navigate.

Now what do I mean by this – well put simply, you need methods in place to record everything that happens on a daily basis in your art/design/craft practice so that you can start thinking with a ‘business head’.

These are some of the systems I use every single day:

  • A diary – to record your day to day appointments so you can see whats happening
  • Planners – maybe a yearly one so you can see whats ahead
  • A notebook or sketchbook – for day-to-day notes and ideas
  • A Customer List  – with contact details, especially emails
  • A Supplier List – with contact details, especially emails
  • A Stockist List – with contact details, especially emails
  • A way to record your money – you need to be able to track whats coming in and going out
  • A Material List – you need to know the value of the goods you have in stock that you use to make your ‘art’
  • A Job List – a way to ‘log in’ the pieces you need to make so you can keep track of them
  • A Job Planner – so you can work out how you are going to schedule what you are making each day
  • Job Sheets – a ‘work-in-progress’ sheet for each piece you work on so you can track time and the materials used to create it: VITAL in order for you to actually cost a piece correctly


Now you don’t have to have all sorts of fancy computerised ways to do this – in fact over the past couple of years I have ditched my electronic diary in favour of a good old fashioned paper one as I found it was clearer to see each week what I had to do and it was too easy to turn your phone off and ignore everything!

This may seem daunting and there’ll be plenty more posts detailing various methods, but for now, just pick one of the items from the list above that you don’t already do and GET IT STARTED!!!

#getorganised #systems #makemoney #changeyourmindset #mentortip

So I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below & if you liked this post then please share it with a friend and spread the love!

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