This is a new studio acquisition. A wall planner.
Kirsty was dubious - possibly still is. I am a visual person though, and whilst I already feel like this year is running away from us, having this in the office instantly makes me feel able to be more organised and do better advance planning. We didn't have one last year, and it meant things like key dates (mother's day, easter, halloween, xmas etc.) seemed to creep up on us out of nowhere. In addition, we've been wanting to research trade shows and figure out where we fit best - but last year they came and went and we always decided too late to make it possible to visit. NOT THIS YEAR. NOT WITH OUR WALLPLANNER'O'DOOM.
It may not look particularly full currently - but so far I've only managed to put in definite market days, key trade show dates, and a couple of other things we know will be happening - eg. Kirsty goes to NYC every year around Comicon to help out (and spend time with!) her Brownhills bestie who now lives over there and runs the amazing Clutter!
You'd THINK this has a clever colour coding system, however I just got overexcited by all the colours when I got my sticky notes.. and failed to really plot how to make it even easier to understand at a glance. Consequently, I've bought a whole load more sticky notes and tabs to replace these with a specific colour coded system. Pink for Lee, blue for trade show stuff, green for markets.. etc. I need to create a system and stick to it!!
I don't know if this will be the perfect low-fi way (we also use Google Calendar to easily keep everyone's diaries in sync!) to stay on top of key dates, and busy periods, but it feels like a good start. This week has been spent focusing on everything else BUT Frilly Industries. With our other We are Frilly hats on, we've been heads down working on creative evaluation methods, strategy trees, methodology matrixes, bid writing, and cultural strategies. I'll be picking a colour of sticky label to highlight booked days for those projects, to make sure we don't end up clashing on any major pieces of work.. although sometimes busy periods collide and there's nothing you can do but to just get on with it. Like this week!
So my learning point this week is this: we'd foolishly imagined this time of year to be quiet for Frilly Industries.. but what with the Etsy Resolution programme, being accepted onto the Etsy Team Captain's Summit, resurrecting our Etsy Birmingham Team - and then everything else relating to the business - marketing, social media, fulfilling orders, replenishing stock, researching forthcoming trends, applying for markets, planning for the year ahead - and making time for new ideas and new work... well it's not been very quiet at all! AND we have our other business to run simultaneously!
What tools do you use to keep yourself prepped for the year ahead? If you have more than one business, how do you marry the needs of both together - timewise?