Last but not least, regarding my war of attrition against entropy is my recently improved project tracking and workflow system. It might sound silly that one would need to require a method of keeping track of projects and steps within projects, however since I jump around alot having some kind of method to my madness helps. Not only do I need some kind of system to help me keep track of project statuses, I want a method to keep track of what I’ve done, plan to do, or ideas for the future. The whole process has become increasingly more complex with the addition of the website as well.
Previous Project Software
Before I go into the current system I’m using lets talk about ones I’ve used in the past. Previously I’ve used and tried all kinds of software such as Trello for project statuses. Using software such as Trello is what was most familiar in form and function to systems used in previous jobs so navigation for massive projects was ingrained in me already.
While I enjoy this software a lot and it does have integration to my cell phone and other electronic devices. The system uses a series of boards which can have cards to slide across the boards to track what step pieces of that project are worked on. Each card can have notes, links, attached files, and even be integrated without side programs. This would make it easy when sitting around to add more or less to the Trello board and see project status.
The largest downside to this method is that I struggled having a board for each project and having the projects fit my monitor without scrolling. Having a better global picture of my progress at one easy glace was not easy.
Another downside of this is that I want to keep track of what I accomplished each day or what area of the hobby I was focused in. This aspect is not accomplishable through trello.
To compensate for that I have been using Evernote which is a digital notebook to keep track of different write ups, mental notes, etc. I used both Evernote and Trello in tandem to build a workflow state. But again it became too complicated as I began to grow the number of ideas I had, projects in various states of completion or just things I want to remember. As I wrote more notes they slowly got lost more and more frequently in the depths of my various notebooks defeating the purpose of writing them in the first place. I still sometimes write drafts in Evernote such as a recent post draft: How Do You Magnetize Models Anyways
The New and Improved
I have been using Trello and Evernote together since about December and decided to try something a bit different. After listening to one of the latest episodes of Paint Bravely the Podcast, Brent from Goobertown hobbies mentioned the usage of a bullet journal for the hobby. I have always appreciated the concept of a bullet journal but never considered it for a specific aspect of my life. If you are not familiar with a bullet journal it is essentially a planner that is catered exactly to your needs. The reason for this is that the bullet journal is essentially created by you the writer to fit your needs. There are some people who completely obsess with the visual appearance of their bullet journal and I’m definitely aiming for more function.
There are Pinterest boards, YouTube videos and even a designated subreddit on the subject of bullet journals and various templates for creating each page.
To better understand what I mean how about I share some of my favorite pages so far.
The largest pages that I am currently using regularly are:
1) A main project page
This includes all the steps it takes for each category to get from being printed to having a write up on the blog along with being cataloged in my collection.
This is the same as a trello board with cards mentioned above but there is something extremely satisfying with coloring in each square and being to see the project as a whole more clearly. I use blue as completed and orange as blocked due to some reason or another at this time.
2) An idea bubble.
This is new and is essentially my idea page for a landing website page for the blog. I like to have an idea of what I want to add to the page when designing and planning things I have to come. This can help me scheme global layouts and I can mark them off as they are completed.
You can see in this page I’m hoping to have a series of guides regarding resin printing. It can be a wide and complex category so any time I think of more to add I’ll put it in the bubble with notes to the side of what they would contain.
3) Monthly hobby type wheel.
I absolutely loved seeing the percentage of days I spent doing different aspects of the hobby for my January/ February Retrospectives but I lost track of it in March/April due to the data being hosted on a google spreadsheet. This is a super easy way to summarize a large overview of what I did for that day. I have a key at the bottom to dictate what each color means. Anything blank means I unfortunately did not get anything worth noting done that day.
I do also have a weekly/monthly planner of sorts which I write the info of what I accomplished in more detail.
Overall the system appears to be working for me and it is easy to carry a notebook around the house. The only difficulty is if my small assistant runs off with my pen or colored pencils which he loves to do.
I have noticed that since moving to a physical medium for note keeping my productivity has increased. I am also working through my backlog of data faster and more efficiently.
I don’t think any system is perfect and it is a long work in progress. I’m hoping to include paint recipes and colors in the future to the notebook but I am burning through pages faster than anticipated. I might need another book which stays on my desk at all times.
Do you have a system in place for project management?
Thank you for following along with my short series for storage and organization. I know this was a ton to unpack but has been essentially the last two months of my hobbying experiences.
I am slowly starting to hobby again and finish things up but doubt I will be really ready to dive into something again until after the new addition arrives to our house and a new normal is in place in terms of routine. However I have been putting a lot of work into the Kingdom of Thamarya buildings I’ve printed. I’ve tried several new things that I’m looking forward to sharing with you. Stay tuned for a write up on that!
As always thanks for hanging out and reading. Let me know what you think.