Unfinished Projects

Anyone that ever visited my workplace will know I am a post-it person. You know the sticky note kind of  paper that people use for all kind of creative projects from post-it art (external pintrest link) to simple shopping lists alike.

I use them for everything:

  • urgent action items with deadlines (the ones sticking on my computer)
  • big kanban boards on my window to manage the weeks workload (to do, doing, done)
  • jotting down great ideas or just smaller reminders for a few weeks and months down the line.
  • and yes, I use them also for shopping list items like buying art paper for the Hamburg prints I need to print this week.

I use them for almost everything and it is actually interesting to see I did not use them that explicitly inside my photography yet (I just jotted that down on a post it as yet another great idea). I tried electronic alternatives like trello and notes alike, but for me nothing beats a simple Letraset Promarker and a pack of post-it notes to jot down some great ideas and to do’s alike.

And that is one of the key challenges of all these great ideas floating around on little sticky notes.  Ideas needs to be executed upon, turned into projects with clear deliverables (the first step to move from todo to doing) and then execute towards a creative end state that allows a sticky note to move from doing to done.

And this is where I am currently slightly struggling in my creative workflow. I have to many creative ideas that made it into the unfinished project stage. They are not just ideas, but projects that have started and needs some closure or be packed up and sent back to the ideation phase in my little black book where I keep the post-its that are good ideas, but have not yet started.

An unfinished project
RoboWash – An unfinished project on the Nexo Knights

Here are some of the unfinished projects my plastic Kanban board is showing me:

  • Chez Albert
  • Finish the LEGO factory interview series
  • The Nexo Knight Project
  • Das Auto – Part II (Scale Right)
  • Project Blue (or whatever name I end up with)
  • The Attic Project

All of them are in process and have some kind of creative end state defined and range in time to complete from a few hours to weeks to say the least.

There is one special little post-it that will be getting some extra TLC (read Tender Love and Care) in the next few days. A post-it with just one letter H on it. The letter H. stands for project Hamburg and it slowly starts to sink in we will be meeting this weekend in Hamburg with a bunch of fantastic toy photographers, old and new friends alike. Our host of the weekend will be taking good care of us, and has selected a fine set of locations for capturing the city from all it angles.

I started to pack all the gear for our upcoming meet up, and since we will be travelling by road the amount of plastic that made it to the shortlist is well, lets say pretty extensive (done). I got a new package of Canson Infinity Papers – Etching Rag Edition (done) and still need to print my prints for the print exchange (to do). I finally got a new set of hubcaps for Das Auto (done) and I will for sure try to make a headstart on Das Auto – Part II in Hamburg. Not sure I will complete that little project, though. So here I am 4 nights before we meet in Hamburg and the focus on me getting ready for project Hamburg is getting more traction, with smaller “little tasks” post-it notes making it to the todo list of Project H.

The one thing I cannot capture on a post-it is the experience these three days in Hamburg will give. The experience of meeting new and old friends and toy photographers alike.  The experience of capturing plastic together …

How do you manage your creative ideas and projects ? Do you also use kanban boards and post-its to manage your creative flow ? Are you completely digital or you more the analogue paper type ? And last but not least, how many creative projects do you run in parallel ? Curious to see how you manage the creative overload of ideas we all experience once in a while ….

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Sacha
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Sometimes I use post-it’s, but I prefer notebooks (yes books) and a pen and I use that for all my creative ideas: LEGO, food, blogging, etc. etc.

In a notebook I can see how my ideas grow and the opposite, it helps me keeping track and I can return to an idea when it has matured.

Post-its on the other hand, they tend to disappear, but are great for ideas where I have to take action ASAP.

Shelly
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I keep lists, analog lists. I have them for the weekly to do list of things I want to accomplish as well as photo ideas and blog post ideas. I’m currently managing three major projects, not particularly well and I look forward to one or tow getting done so I can get back to the main project. But i also think the three projects are feeding off of each other. I have more ideas than time so Im realistic when my weeks goals don’t get finished. I like Sacha’s idea of a notebook. I might move to this idea, I… Read more »

Dave Pickett
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I have been using Asana to manage my projects. I find it helpful for creating recurring to do items and for being able to assign things a date far in the future so I can seal with them when I actually have time for them. Since my hobby has become my day job I tend to have a few different creative projects go at once. Any given week I will have 2-3 small projects I am completing that week or the following, one mid-term project that might finish up in a month and one long-term project that might be years… Read more »