I realized that filing my clients information and contracts is a great way to stay organized… but not a great way to see the overall 2012 wedding season at a glance. In order to be organized and STAY organized, your systems have to be readily accessible and EASY to use. Take my kitchen counter for example. I have magnetic file folders on the side of our fridge for filing bills as they come in. Well, our file folders are tucked away in the corner of our “study” that is down the hall. So guess what happens to all of that paperwork? It stays in a huge pile on the kitchen counter because my”system” isn’t the best. I need to re-work that! My information needs to be easy to read, easy to navigate and readily available so that I can easily see my client’s information. So I created the “Production Wall”.
This wall includes a “In the Works” flowchart, an “Albums Guide” and a “Client Production” flowchart as well. All three boards have a different purpose. My “In the Works” chart shows me what I have recently shot and how I’m doing on those specific workflows. My “Client Production” chart shows me ALL the bookings for 2012 and what they have booked and what we have accomplished. So I can easily look and see what we have done and what we have left to do! Last year I ended up shooting a ba-zillion engagement sessions in the fall because I didn’t realize how many 2011 clients still needed to have their sessions booked! I also had a scare this past year because I totally forgot a certain couple had booked a second shooter and it was friday night and I hadn’t contacted anyone! GAH!!!! Katelyn come ON!!! I had to figure out a better system for this!! So my “Client Production” chart shows my 2012 weddings that are booked thus far and everything I need to accomplish within each booking. It’s a little overwhelming but I would rather be informed than BLINDSIDED by something I forgot! Not a great feeling!! The last chart is my “Album Guide”. It Basically lists all the albums that are in progress, ones that need to be designed and albums that will be added to the queue later on in the year.
This wall is right beside my desk and I can easily glance over when I need to check something. I just made a simple chart in Photoshop and then had a 20×18 print made of that file (I use WHCC for my personal prints and business materials and I LOVE them! They have like a 2 day turnaround, it’s crazy!!) If you’re not handy in PS and want a studio organizer like this, you can purchase them at Design Aglow, a great tool for photographers that aren’t graphic designers!! All of the frames were purchased at Target and I don’t think I’ll ever have anything hanging or pinned onto that quilted board…. it’s purely decorative!! I’m so picky like that!!
So hopefully some of you can find this little wall to be an inspiration or some spring organization! It’s already helping me a TON! Be sure to make your “production” area your own…I added a picture of my extremely attractive husband to my wall and there is about to be a fluffy face up there as well!!
****** My Production Charts ****** These were created in Photoshop by making an 11×14 NEW file. I made the graph by creating lines and duplicating the layers. I added my logo at the top and then I added titles of the different steps of my workflow. Everyone’s workflow is different and unique so this is a project that everyone needs to make on their own to ensure that it fits their individual needs. If you’re not skilled in Photoshop, there are GREAT resources like Design Aglow, where you can purchase your own customized chart! My chart is just a printed graph placed inside a frame from Target!:)
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