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Monday, September 14, 2009

...How Do I Keep Up?

I have often been asked how I keep up with all of the challenges that are out there, and my answer is easy...I have a "Challenge Calendar" {seen below}! I purchased this Mead At-A-Glance Planner at Office Depot, and they usually run between $12-$20 depending on the size you want to get. The one I use is a little bigger than 8-1/2 X 11, but I needed a larger one for the way that I organize each challenge. Below is a picture of my planner for this week, September 14-September 20. The very first time slot on each day is designated for the Splitcoast challenges, then I add other challenges starting at the 10:00 a.m. slot and skipping to the next hour if there are multiple challenges for that day. For instance, Monday is a busy day...I have the Technique Lovers' Challenge, Mojo Monday sketch, Clean & Simple Challenge, Little Paper Shop sketch, and Card Positioning System sketch. I find that having a vertical planning area is the best solution for me {being OCD and all}, but you can use any configuration that works best for you.

Once I have completed a challenge/sketch I highlight it in yellow. Most of the time I post the challenge on my blog the same day I complete it, so I also add a note in red stating the date that the challenge was posted {as seen below}. Note the reminder about the Verve Project Parade in the lower right-hand corner...I can also use my planner to remind me what is due the next day.

As far as sketches are concerned, I am a stickler when it comes to following the layout exactly. So I always save a picture of the sketch in my documents on my laptop, open it up in Adobe Photoshop Elements, crop it, resize it to actual size, print it off, then measure each layer {as seen below}. I warned you that I was OCD! LOL! I also add the date above the sketch so I can keep them in order.

Some times you might find a piece of paper clipped into my planner. This would indicate my "urgent to-do list"...I have to get these things finished before I can start on anything else. For example, below I have a list of what I have to do for the next Verve Release...WHICH IS THIS WEEK! As you can see I have five uploads due before Thursday, and then four more are due before October 11th. I also have a Project Parade post to get ready for the September Release, so I have noted it below the uploads that are due. I also have to make a Mojo card, and Viva La Verve card, an MTSC card, and a Crazy 4 Challenges card. I will be out of town on a stamping retreat starting Friday, so I have to get everything that is due this weekend completed and posted to my blog before I leave.

That's it for me today! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope this sheds some light on the sickness that is my way of organizing! LOL! As I mentioned before it is Release Week for the new September Verve Stamps! Be sure to stop by the Verve Forum to check out the Release Week Challenges , and for your chance to win some FREE STAMPS. The next release is this Friday, September 18 @ 9:00 p.m. Eastern. Verve will be releasing 6 new sets and a scripture Plain Jane immediately following the Release Party. The Divas will begin sharing sneak peeks starting Wednesday morning on the Verve Blog, and also on their individual blogs...me included! I will see you back here tomorrow for this week's Tuesday Sketch Challenge, so until then...

16 comments:

Dawn Easton said...

LOL I'm like you, I NEED to be organized but admit that there are times when I know something is due in a day and I'm still scrambling! That would be my own fault of course...haha!
Great calender idea!

Amy's Stocking Stuffers said...

This is a good idea. I don't do card challenges yet, but I've done a lot of artist trading card swaps by mail, and I sometimes got caught when a deadline sneaks up on me! I use Google Calendar, which lets you create different calendars and only shows the ones you want to see at any given time. I keep one of me, one for my husband, one for work-related events, and so on.

So I wouldn't call it a sickness! Being organized is a gift! ;-)

Basement Stamper said...

Wow! You are OCD but what a great idea to put those to scale to know the exact measurements. I struggle with that!

June Houck said...

Oh, Mercy! I have a challenge list by day of the week (same idea) with dates AND I too measure out a sketch exactly. I do not know how to do it your way, but I measure the pic on screen with my ruler then I use proportions (I'm a former math teacher!) to figure the size for an A2 card or 5x7 or whatever.

I am OCD proud; I call it being "efficient". Wanna start our own support group ? LOL

Jackie Pedro said...

Wow!! Wish I was that organized!! Awesome, Mercy!!

queen-of-nostalgia said...

That is awesome! I make a little table for each one in Microsoft word... then I can copy and paste the sketches. I print off the challenges for each day, then clip them together and cross them off as I go :)

I am soooo relieved I am not the only one out here who gets all OCD about challenges :)

Pam Varnell said...

Since I've seen this in action I KNOW that you have organization down to a science. LOL. You are the QUEEN of organization and I'm so appreciative of all the tips you have given me and made me a better organizer. You are still and will always be my hero!! Love ya.

Michelle (sf9erfan) said...

Dude! I bow to you oh Queen of Organization!!

Hugs,

Suzy Tyler said...

Nicely done, Mercy! Wanna come organize me?

Peggy said...

Ok....
I am going to contact you prior to implementing my ideas as you seem to have everything down to a science! I am trading in my huge white board and post it notes! Your planner would be a whole lot easier to carry around! :)
I am always down to the last minute with most challenges as I work outside the home at a FT job. So if you have any suggestions for staying ahead ( like way ahead)... I am all ears! TFS your OCD. I am right there with you!

Julee (Vervegirl) said...

Thanks for a little look into your sickness (er, I mean organization)! LOL That's so cool - I wish I was that organized - sadly I buy new planners faithfully every year and they sit untouched on the desk while I pull out my hair trying to remember everything!

Erin K said...

I am deeply in love with this idea. I'm NOT terribly organized. I sort of just float around and things, mostly, get done.

This is very inspiring.

I might be getting a planner today.

Or tomorrow. Whenever I'm near a Target next. And remember to get a planner. If only there was someway to keep track of the things I want to do...

Also I blogged about you and this idea here:
http://erinkcreations.blogspot.com/2009/09/four-sheets.html

Christi said...

OMG I WISH I could get this organized. I can't ever seem to catch up to get organized. Thank you SO much for sharing. It has definitely inspired me.

Marisa said...

Love to see an organized lady! Reminds me of my Exec. Asst. days! Great tips - thanks for sharing them. :D

Stephanie said...

I'm very organized but I don't make my sketch the exact size - that is "tres" OCD indeed!!! You are wonderful to share these ideas; now I need to absorb some of how you keep so inspired!!!

jo said...

Wow I just found your blog and I must say it's fabulous! I really like your sketches and I'm going to try to participate as much as I can!

Thanks so much for this post! I'm originally a scrapbooker and I've recently ventured into the world of cardmaking and rubberstamping - I've always wondered how every kept up with challenges! *lol*

Have a great day!