There are so many tools available to artists these days that make it easier than ever stay on track and get admin tasks done (so you can get back to the studio quicker) but with so many choices it can be overwhelming to know which ones are worth putting in the time.
When you are your own boss, it can be extremely easy to get lost in the flexibility of an art career. No one else is telling you what needs to be done, after all. Your time is yours to spend!
But, the real question is, how do you fill it wisely?
A calendar, while it seems so simple, is the first step. Not only do you need to keep notes on upcoming shows and events, but creating a content calendar for your social media etc. can save you so much time in the long run.
Instead of deciding on the spot that you are going to work on next, save yourself time by drawing out a daily schedule for yourself. Start by blocking out chunks of time for specific tasks, and use your work preferences to decide the order. Then fill the space around your peak creative times with other to-do’s.
As artists, we may be feel more productive or creative at certain times of the day (or night). Being your own boss means you can choose what type of work you do when, and you can fit these tasks around times when you will get the most out of them.
While that seems simple enough, as artists you know there is way more to keep track of than just your daily schedule. Between submission deadlines, exhibition dates, artwork drop-off and pick-up dates, not mention art marketing, commissions, and staying in touch with clients, the last thing you want is for these deadlines to go unnoticed and have your professionalism called into question.
You need to find a scheduling system that you will actually use, one that’s easy to keep up with and suited for your lifestyle and the unique career demands of an artist.
What digital productivity tools and resources can you use that will connect with or help you keep up with your online calendar?
Here are a few that I recommend:
Asana - Use this website or mobile app to organise and plan out your upcoming projects. You can assign tasks to yourself (or to an assistant or coworker), set priorities and deadlines, share thoughts on important details, and visually map out your progress, so deadlines are hit on time. And, it’s free for individuals or small teams!
Google Calendar - This multifaceted, free calendar app allows you to create calendars for different parts of your life, set important reminders, add event locations, invite other users to events, and much, much more. Plus, it’s all backed up online if you ever lose your phone or computer.
Calendly - Say goodbye to phone and email tag! Calendly can connect with up to six of your calendars to automatically check availability and help you connect with your best contacts, prospects and clients to find the perfect meeting time. A basic plan is free, or you can try all of the features free for 14 days. This is great if you have to schedule a lot of meetings or time with clients.
I use my iPhone calendar for travel and appointed gallery days, then I dedicate a day or morning each week for admin tasks. I try and do this on a Monday as my weeks change depending on what I am doing, but I make this time a non-negotiable, as it is important to my business.