• Ask Anything

I wish I could answer that question in one sentence but there are so many things that come into play when it comes to getting stuff DONE! I think the MAIN tips I have would be to 1. Make time and SCHEDULE time to get big chunks of work done. 2. Be realistic about all that you have to do and when you’re going to get it done. and 3. Have a GREAT system that works for YOU! Don’t download the world’s best “To-do” app if you’re a “pen and paper” kind of gal! I probably spent $50 over the years trying to make those Apps work for me but I quickly learned that those couldn’t be a part of my system! And that’s ok :) So in July 2012,

I blogged about my “Monthly Duty Day” concept. This is how I make sure monthly things don’t slip through the cracks! I quickly mentioned on there that I like to have ONE MASSIVE to-do list and then I pull items from it each day and write them on a sticky post it on top of the list. I call it, “The Big List”. It’s genius… but I’m pretty sure Jasmine or someone else inspired this… it pretty sure this wasn’t my original idea! Whoever it was, thank you!

So anyway, I love this system because it tracks ALL that I’m accomplishing and after each day, I can take my completed “to-do” items from my post it and mark them off on the massive list! This way the BIG list isn’t intimidating! If you have trouble with priorities, I would recommend having a “must get done today” list on your daily post-it and then a “If there’s time” list on your daily post it. :) It sounds so elementary but it works!

So the reason for the new post is that I have found my DREAM product when it comes to to-do list organization! It’s a clipboard/notepad combo that’s TEAL with gold foil polka dots. (From Target!) HEAVEN! I love it!!!! Before, I tried to list out my shoots that were  “In the works” on my Big List but that was confusing. So after seeing my friend Jill’s workflow spreadsheet displayed on a clip board, I quickly adopted that idea! So my post processing production list stays clipped to the outside of my folder and my BIG LIST stays on the inside! I’m in love. I use to have a post processing production chart on my wall but I learned over the years that I just liked it because it was pretty… but it wasn’t practical for me. So everything is on paper now. (Our “client production list” is on a google doc spreadsheet. There’s a difference between charting the WHOLE client experience and the post processing of each shoot). Now I’m tracking the post-processing of each shoot on my clipboard and my steps are as follows:

Import to laptop , cull , LR Edit blog images , blog shoot , edit full shoot , PASS (and then some wedding related to-do items at the end). The reason I edit just blog images first is because blogging DRIVES EVERY PART OF MY BUSINESS! Oh there is so much I could share on that topic but I’ll just have to save that for another day!!

So if you’re not getting stuff DONE… you need to find your own system! Or try mine! It may work for you!!! Thanks to Jill for my spreadsheet inspiration!!!! She gets all the credit for this change!!

See that “Wedding” column… yep, my sister is getting married and so wedding prep deserves it’s own column at this point! :)
xoxo, Katelyn
15 Comments Ask Anything, Education
  1. Laura Matthews reply

    This is awesome, Katelyn! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Wayfaring Wanderer reply

    I attempt to use online systems but I don’t stick with them because I always go back to paper. I suppose that I need to accept this and find a good way to keep up with my clients & projects. Love this clipboard folder! I may give your method a go! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Melissa h. reply

    Katelyn! I have the same notebook at MY work! I love having the 2 different visuals (and a pocket!) to help me get everything I need, done.

  4. Claudia reply

    i have the same folder but pink, oh I love target. :) thanks for the post!!!…

  5. ashley link reply

    yupp! i’m a paper girl! i like having something to hold in my hands and physically mark off. Now I just need an organized sheet to do it with instead of writing it all out by hand haha.

  6. SHalese reply

    I used to try all those apps too, but I’m just a pen & paper to-do list kind of girl, too! When I think about the lists I used to make in college, it feels like a breeze compared to what’s on my lists now!

  7. Sydni Jackson reply

    I love this system! I have a clipfolio from Target that I love… I may have to adopt the concept of having a big list with a daily post-it, and other items on the front :)

  8. Jeanine Rose reply

    Great ideas. I also always go back to paper. I’m not digitally inclined when it comes to organization. Thanks for sharing your methods Katelyn.

  9. Katie reply

    I LOVE seeing how your organizational skills evolve over the years! I tried the wall chart and it is pretty, but not functional. Lately I’ve been “using” the google drive spreadsheet like J&M use and I still forget about it! Pen & Paper is really the only way haha

  10. Kelly Dean reply

    I love this post, but I have to say that the purple sharpie pen is what connected with me. haha. Seriously <3 Sharpie pens!

  11. Cati reply

    I ran into the same issue. When I got my iPad a few years ago, I tried to switch everything over to being electronic. I tried so many planning apps, but it just wasn’t working. I needed to be able to see everything open in front of me without having to open an app, I needed big spaces and places to jot notes, and I needed to be able to cross things off. So, I went back to big calendar. Recently, (like within the last week-ha!) I have developed a binder system to go with my planner which keeps track of project and supply lists, household things, things to buy, stock lists, blogging calendar, etc. This paper method works so much better for me than any app I can find.

  12. elizabeth reply

    Thanks so much for sharing! Love your clipboard, too, btw. =)

  13. Jewel Maree reply

    Katelyn, thanks so much for sharing so much knowledge and inspiration! Is there a place to download an awesome workflow spreadsheet like the one you mentioned?

  14. What Worked & What Didn't in 2014 – MFisherImagery | Tennessee & Destination Wedding Photographer reply

    […] Current Production Spreadsheet – I got this idea from Katelyn James & it has worked wonderfully. This is one of those systems that I tried in many different forms […]

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    […] Virginia wedding photographer Katelyn James blogged about her genius idea to have a once a month Duty Day– to intentionally take care of the small tasks that fall through the cracks in the […]

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