The Business of Art: Getting Organized

One of the most daunting tasks in running a small business has to be keeping track of everything.  Personally, I kind of love getting things organized and I've found that for me, simplicity is always the best choice.  

So here are a few things I use to stay organized on a daily basis:  

I use magazine holders, like this one from Paper Source, to keep my sketchbooks, notebooks and other miscellaneous papers organized and out of the way. I keep three of these on my desk:  one for various sketchbooks, one for my idea journals and notebooks and one for keeping track of current projects.  

Which brings me to the next thing I use every day to keep up with my work, pretty file folders:

These are by Greenroom for Target.  I use pretty file folders like this to keep track of my ongoing freelance projects as well as personal projects that I'm working on.  When I start a project, I grab a file folder and label it with the project or client name then use it to keep track of everything I might need for the assignment:  art direction, notes, inspiration, color palettes, sketches, etc.  Since I'm usually working on several things at once, I love being able to find everything I need for a project in one place so it's right at hand when I need it and it's easy to put everything away when I need to move on to the next project.  

When I'm finished with a project, the whole file folder getting stored in my filing cabinet for future reference.

My  handwriting isn't the greatest, so I use my little Epson Labelworks printer most of the time to label my file folders, notebooks, etc.  I love this little thing, it's quick, easy and prints lovely labels too.

The last and most important piece of my organization method:  my Moleskine planner and notebooks.

I've tried different apps and programs on my phone, my iPad and my computer but in the end, I still love a regular old paper daily planner.  I use the large size Moleskine daily planner because it's relatively small at 5.5 x 8.5 inches and it gives me a full page for each day, so I've got plenty of room for my to do lists and daily notes.  I keep track of everything for my life and business in this little book:  appointments, bills, workout schedules, blog postings, deadlines, daily sketch prompts and daily to-dos.  I'd probably lose my mind if I lost my daily planner!

I also keep a few regular Moleskine journals for various purposes:  an idea journal, a business journal and a marketing/promo journal.  

And I keep them all tucked into my handy magazine holders so they are within easy reach but still out of my way.  

So that's it for me.  What are your favorite tools and tips to stay organized?