• Wed, Nov 11 2009

More essential organizing tools in design

A couple of days ago, I posted about a sanity saver tool that I use all the time in my life as a designer.

photo by Noreen Crone-Findlay copyright

photo by Noreen Crone-Findlay copyright

Here’s another of my

most favorite tools

of the designer and author’s trade.

What is it?

A spreadsheet.

Why is a spreadsheet

such a big deal?

Believe me…

it’s truly one of

my favorite tools for a lot of reasons!

This is the spreadsheet from my latest book: The Woven Bag (the link is to Amazon, but it’s not one of the payback links…. it’s just the only link that I can find to the book at this point…. )

Anyhow…. when I am creating a book, there is a TON of information that I need to organize. I designed about 37 bags for the book. I needed to keep track of a whole bunch of things for each of the bags….. a million piece of information were flying and whizzing around my head, believe me!

As well as all of the information about each of the bags, I also had all kinds of other things that needed to get into the book- all manner of how to’s and illustrations and charts.

There were different deadlines that had to be met, and because I was zipping stuff off to my editor all the time, I needed to know when I sent what.

So, you can see why I would love spreadsheets so much!

It gives me a chance to break down and organize a mountain of information into an easily accessible, visual format that lets me pinpoint everything I need to keep track of.

There are categories like chapters, projects, which looms are used in which bags, what fibers and embellishments, whether illustrations and charts are done,  the dates when different deadlines are met, as well as text requirements for each piece.

I also like to establish codes that match up on the spreadsheet, to help me with the whole organizing process.

For me, working on  a huge project like writing a book requires that I summon all the organizational skills that I can muster.

A book may look like it’s just a collection of some projects and that the author probably had lots of fun whipping it up, but the truth of the matter is that the creation of a book takes monumental effort that is almost mind boggling.

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  • http://www.saorisaltspring.com Terri

    Nicely done! Way better than bits of paper here and there, in this book and that – or in this pile or that….well, you know…..

    I use a spreadsheet for keeping track of exhibits to enter, proposals for workshops, deadlines, etc. including links to the webpages to find the original information – very helpful. I may not respond to them all, but at least they are in one place!

    I’ve gotten a ~little~ behind on keeping this up – so thanks for the reminder!

    Hugs,
    Terri

  • http://www.hankeringforyarn.com Noreen Crone-Findlay

    Hi Terri
    Ohmigosh…. I hadn’t thought of using it for deadlines like workshop proposals etc…. ROTFLOL…. and doh…. what a good idea!
    For that, ahem… I have scraps of paper drifting around the studio…