Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sticky Note System

I think I’ve finally mastered my Sticky Note System and I thought I should share it. I started it in College so I would remember all the homework I had to do in my 5 or 6 classes. I’ve kept it and evolved it and I think I finally have a good solid system. It helps me get stuff done and add structure to my routine, so maybe it can help you too! This is helpful to artists with lots of projects, or students with homework assignments.

NOTE: not for the stanch conservationist as this uses A LOT of paper, until I can find a computer program to do exactly what I want it to do(If anyone knows of such a program, message me).

First, there are five main boards: What to do for the week, what to do for the day, done for the week, Projects, and the Backburner(also I have a books board, but that’s only if you read a lot).

The Projects board is just an overall list of projects I have, it may or may not be needed. I have it because I have a huge list of ongoing projects. What to do for the week is a list of all your projects that you plan to do for that week. What to do for the day is a list of tasks you plan to do for that day. Done for the week I have split up into the 5 days of the week, and whenever you complete a task or project, you put the sticky on the according day. I find this useful for seeing how productive I was on each day, and I don’t include weekends; that’s my off time. Backburner is a list of tasks or projects you didn’t complete that day or week, although this has turned into my “Things that will never ever get done” board. So if you have a lot of stickeys on here, try to force a couple each week.

Next are the Sticky notes themselves. I use 5 different colors: Yellow, Purple, Green, Pink, and Blue. Also, each has a certain point value(This can be useful if you want to use a rewards system, but you’ll have to figure out what your point average is before setting a goal. On a normal day I clear 20 points, and on a good day I do more than 30, so I made TV a reward for 20 and videogames a reward for 30.).

Yellow is for menial tasks, chores, and little reminders, such as doing the dishes, cleaning your room, taking out the trash, going to the bank, etc. These get 1 point.

Purple are for small tasks that are important but not necessarily huge projects. Theses are things like doing a daily comic, watching a tutorial, reading a chapter in a book, practicing backgrounds, etc. These are worth 3 points.

Green and pink are tasks associated with major projects. When you have a major project like doing an animation, you can’t just put one sticky that says, “do animation”, that’s too vague. You have to break it up into smaller tasks that can be done.

I usually break them down into tasks that can be completed in an hour or two. A breakdown could be something like: write idea, do research, do character designs, do background designs, do storyboards, create animatic, animate keyframes, animate inbetweens, clean up and titles(depending on how big the animation that is). These stickys are worth 5 points.

Blue are reserved for the major projects themselves and are worth 10 points, so when you complete a huge project, you get to see how much you’ve done. Major projects could be homework assignments. Books to read, art projects, etc.

You can see pictures here of how I have it set up. I place the main project sticky at the top with al the task stickys underneath.

(the cards are for something completely different, they represent all the contacts I’ve met.)

I usually have 6 projects or so per week, and I put 12 tasks to do a day(although I rarely do that much). When the week’s over, I discard them all(when you have them all in your hand, you can really see how much you did that week). Since it’s a system you did yourself, it’s hard to cheat yourself. I don’t put anything too easily done or give myself points I didn’t earn. What’s the point? Don’t you want to feel like you’ve accomplished something?

I hope this helps anyone who’s looking for a structured way to get stuff done!

Writing this article gives me 3 points. Go me.

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