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Creating & Maintaining Your Workflow

Having a workflow is so important for any working person. But, it is especially important for a creative. In any creative field, you have the world working against you. Your favorite show’s on? That painting can wait. Completely and utterly uninspired? Nothing’s getting done today. Your computer crashed and now you have nothing to present a client? Well, shit. But having a workflow can avoid most of these things and make sure you’re set up to create great and beautiful things. Here are some tips for creating and maintaining your workflow.

1) Get cloud storage

I think this is really important for setting yourself up for success. I learned this one the absolutely worst way ever. I was a good little photographer and backed up all of my pictures from my trip to Ireland and London on an external hard drive – and then proceeded to delete them from my computer in order to make more room because it was being very slow. I’d never had an external hard drive crash on me … until it held all of my precious memories. I now use Carbonite and it amazingly back ups all of my most important files and images. Never losing a memory ever again – or any design files.

2) Set work parameters

This is a tough one for me, as I am currently typing this blog post in bed at midnight while watching Beat Bobby Flay, but usually I only work at my desk, between 10a-6p, with music (no streaming shows, ugh), with both windows wide open, a candle lit and some coffee (because, obviously). It’s like tricking your mind to go into work mode when all of these parameters are met. It sets you up to be 100x more productive.

3) Duplicate everything

Like most things, especially on this list, this was also a lesson learned the hard way. Whether you’re editing a layer in Photoshop or completely overhauling a file, always duplicate it. (or at least don’t save over the original) You never know when you’re going to want to revert back to your original file and start from scratch. Or use the file in another capacity. It’s always better to have extra files then to not have all the assets you want when you need them. You never know what kind of projects or ideas you’re going to have in the future.

4) save everything…a lot

I’m sure everyone has been there: you’ve been up all night working on a paper or project due the next day and all of a sudden – CRASH – your computer/program dies and you haven’t saved. It’s all gone. So now, you save every 5 minutes. Or after every important paragraph. As you should! I would save everything every 30 seconds if it was practical. And if I remembered to… Setting a timer for yourself for every 10 min while you’re working on important documents is a great way to remember to save your file.

My workflow is ever changing and improving, but these are 4 things that I am always doing that really help me. (except right now… I should really go to sleep. whoops.) If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to improve your work and these tips should point you in the right direction. Or at least you won’t lose your family vacation photos like I did.

What does your workflow look like? Leave some tips below!

|| the chaotic creative