Archive for the 'freelancing' Category

GTD: An Intro for Fashion People

February 22, 2009

My trusty Moleskine has been a great partner in organization for me, however, with my avid interest in technology and GTD principles, I have been playing around with some tools to help me in both my personal and professional life.

Team projects and collaboration

In class, we are doing a group project in product development. I suggested that we use Backpack to share our research and information in a collaborative manner (and this way, we have everything in a handy reference place.) In the context of fashion design, I see this tool cutting down meeting times and simplifying the research and design process. We’ve posted our SKU plans, company information, charts, inspiration images, etc. I see us posting our flat illustrations on there when we get to that stage of the product development process. (Note: At my internship, we tried implementing this as well, but because the company is such an intimate environment where everyone is always in the same vicinity, there wasn’t really a need for it).

Note taking and research

There is so much information on the www for designers to make use of. Most of the time we glaze through it, see things we like, and most often, it gets lost after that moment of “aha!”. I found myself experiencing this all the time, so decided to search for solutions. The catalyst for this was realizing that I was constantly coming across possible research material for my grad collection.

Prior to this, I have been using Notepad (y’know, the one that comes with Windows) to write my to-do lists and notes (it was a weekly mish-mash of to-dos, notes, and dear-diary type thoughts), but that hasn’t really been effective. Google Notebook is my new best friend. Here’s a little how-to to get started.

My categories make sense for my life:

– Inbox (where everything goes before I have the time to sort it)

– Fashion –> Marketing/Promotion, Design

– Technology

– Notes to Self

– Grad Collection

– Personal Finance

– Future Projects

– Etc.

I use it for professional and personal purposes. It is fully integrated into my internet browser, and the simplicity and ease of use is really great. I mastered this in 10 minutes and now use it for everything.

Why?

As a freelancer, I could see this working as well. Basically anything that you would require taking notes for could utilize this very handy application. As designers, we really have to be on top of trends, especially ones that cut down work and makes life easier. One thing I have noticed time and time again is how unorganized most designers are – the basic principle of GTD is through simple organization, work efficiency and productivity go up. Plus, designers are creative people. Use this practical tool and make it work for you. People in the technology industry are ahead of the curb in this aspect, but fashion people can benefit immensely.

Once you find the tools that work for you, take a little time to set it up for what you need it for, and after a little getting used to, I really believe that it makes a profound difference on productivity, which makes a profound difference on creativity and the amount of energy we can expend on this.

The most creative and effective people are not often the hardest working – they are the ones who can identify problems and provide solutions.

This is something I believe is crucial to people who work by themselves, for themselves, own their own businesses, set their own timelines, etc. Again, a lot of time is wasted by not being productive. You could be designing, drawing pretty pictures, daydreaming even!

What  else?

I also use del.icio.us to bookmark articles of interest to me. Its easy, and my bookmarks show up on this blog for my readers. I guess if ever I was really bored, I could go through my delicious account and reread all these.

Gone are the days of using your internet browser’s bookmarks or favorites section (that was useful probably back in 1998 when the internet was not nearly as vast and expansive as it is now).

I also have live RSS feeds of my favorite blogs up in my toolbar. They serve as my headline section basically, customizable to the topics that are of interest to me, and change up every few months. Right now, Zen Habits, Fashion Incubator, Geekologie, The Business of Fashion, Freelance Switch are up there. This forces me to keep up and allows me to learn something new about the fields I am interested in without having to actively spend time searching for it everyday.

Summary

To sum up, get started on GTD. It’ll make a difference in your life, and the sooner you integrate it into your everyday life, the better. Admittedly, it takes a while to weed out the useless tools from the ones that’ll work, but Google usually is a good guarantee. I’m constantly searching and exploring this, and trying to make it applicable to my life as an aspiring fashion professional.

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