Time Management for Artists (Make $$ in Illustration After-Class)



  • After watching the "Make Money in Illustration" class yesterday, I thought I'd share the couple of tools that helped me the most with time management since I started running a small art/illustration business. If you struggle with keeping track of things and managing your time, I think you might love these:

    -Nutcache.com It is a project management software with time tracking (they have an app too) I use it for creating my client invoices. Looks professional, user-friendly, you can see when the client has viewed the invoice, you can import the data, make reports of your sales (cool to see what services ex: custom illustration and products ex: art prints sell the most during the year. And a big plus, it makes tax time soooo much easier. And, it's free (they have an upgrade version too)

    • Passionplanner.com - The ultimate planner for creative people. I checked out many other brands and this one is my favorite by far. It was recommended to me by a friend in the film industry. It includes monthly and weekly pages, perso and work to-do list, how to mindmap your dreams and goals, monthly reflection pages on what you learned, quotes, lots of blank space and pages for notes and also have back pocket etc. They go between US$15-$30. They want it to be accessible to everyone though and have a free download version. Just need a printer.

    Not affiliated if you are wondering. Just wanted to share stuff that was a gamechanger for me and hope it can help other artists too.

    @Lee-White Awesome info and presentation. Thank you so much for sharing on the topics of money, brand, customers and business plan for a career in illustration. You rock!

    Anyone has any other time management tools they wanna share?

    Btw it is my first time starting a forum discussion, so please be kind :)



  • Thank you for sharing your tools, I did not know them and these are very interesting! Time management and software that helps get organized without complicating your life - these are some of my pet peeves.

    Yesterday I came across a little piece of software that follows this groove - it´s a Chrome plugin called "Momentum". It pops up a window every time you open a new browser tab, which gives you the time of day, a nice image, a motivational quote and "the one thing" you have to achieve that day. I do tend to fall into endless pits of internet browsing, so this really helps to refocus. Pity it does not exist for Safari and IE too....

    I am a thoroughly digital person - but my organizer is stubbornly on paper. I use one with rings, so I can swap out the agenda section every year and keep everything else (idea dumps, overarching goals, password lists, etc...) unchanged. The little black book lives and breathes with me - I spend some time every Sunday to lay out the to-do lists for the whole week. Passionplanner looks very nice (I also love motivational quotes!), but the fact that it is hard bound would be a no-go for me. It would be awesome if they did a "cartridge" format (maybe printing it out is the solution!)

    As software goes, I am a big fan of Podio. I started using it when I had a team and had to track some 80-120 concurrent projects. It is designed for big creative teams, but it can be used also by single individuals (and then it is free of charge!). It is basically a completely customizeable online database. It starts out as an empty shell and looks like nothing, but when you start shaping it it reveals this great balance of simplicity and focus, so that it can be exactly what you need and nothing more. Now that I am all alone I use it to record contacts and leads, keep track of expenses, and manage all sorts of lists (like "artists I love"). It is not intended for time management (though it has some of that, it is very basic), it is more like an information and action-tracker.



  • Interesting post, I will check the apps and softwares you mentioned.
    I work on PC and use chrome
    For task management, I use producteev. I find it easy to sort out different categories and easy to see what I have to do
    To avoid social media and other distracting sites, I use a chrome app called stayfocused. you can set it to your liking. I allow myself 1 hour of social media sites every day. After that they are blocked
    And the tomato timer for when I need to time myself



  • Hi Karine, Thank you so much for the suggestions. Nutcache seems to be free for only 14 days though. So Ill search for a planner thats totally free. My Time management is not always what it needs to be. Must be a 'thing' for creatives I think. Good luck with your planning, and I am curious to see some of your artwork here!



  • I like this list already :) @audrey-dowling Never thought to use an app for staying focus online before, I will check out your suggestion! @smceccarelli Great info thanks. I understand the "pet peeve thing", I am all for keeping things simple! I do the same on Sundays for list. And you also reminded me I should start a new list of the "artists I love". For the organizer with rings, sounds like you have a good system already there. My favorite notebooks (and another friend swear by it as an organizer) its the Miracle Bind Blueline. Same principle than a binder but smaller. Their online marketing is not super great but an amazing tool as you can really customize it and have a series of them. A better "visual" description here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUEWWq6ivYw @leontine Strange- Did you look at the freelancer, start-up, small biz category? That one is meant to be always free :) Thanks everyone and looking forward to seeing your artwork here



  • These are incredibly helpful! - I was not aware of apps that were available online to keep you focused and clear of distractions.....Definitely am going to make use of these tools. Thank you so much, @Karine-Beaumier , @audrey-dowling , @smceccarelli , for all your suggestions in this post!

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  • @Karine-Beaumier Great thread!

    Email and messaging can be a huge time-suck. Especially if you keep checking it every 15 minutes. Here's a technique I learned a while ago that I'm implementing for email. It's called the 321-Zero system.

    Schedule three times a day to process your email and messages (morning, noon, night), set the timer on your phone for 21 minutes, and try to get to inbox zero in that time.

    21 minutes is intentionally not enough time, but it will keep you focused, ensure that your responses are short, and that your don't start clicking links out onto the wonderful world of internet distractions.



  • @Karine-Beaumier Found the free version! Thanks a lot!



  • Thanks @Jake-Parker This is awesome


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