How are you planning your next creative project? Are you assembling research and comparing information for a proposal or future blog post? Perhaps you are considering rebranding or redesigning your website and need to find inspiration from relevant companies you admire.
If so, how are you collating all this information or imagery? How are you organizing it? Are you sharing it with your team members or the partners you are collaborating with?
There are many different ways to help us achieve these tasks as technology is evolving, and people do things in a variety of ways depending on their industry and experience. We thought we would share the resources we use and work well for our marketing and creative service company, in relation to the types of projects we are working on.
Gathering Visual Inspiration – Pinterest Secret Boards
Here at Prim’d Marketing, Jenni and I are streamlining our service and product offerings to make it easier to understand how to work with us. The fun side of that is planning how we present what we do and how we work is a visual way on our website, sales deck and other promotional material. We are currently organizing a photo shoot and before we get in front of the camera, we need to gather visual inspiration to help us form a plan of what we want to capture and how.
If you are planning a creative project that requires you to tell a story from your own or a client’s perspective, it helps to take a look at how others tell their stories well. Collating visual and written examples of authentic, stylish and engaging storytellers helps the brainstorming process begin.
Our personal favorite way to do this is using secret boards on Pinterest. Pinterest allows you to search a variety of topics from existing pins on Pinterest and things you find online and save them into specific secrets boards that you create. For example, "Photo Shoot", "Blog Post Inspiration","Ideas Notebook" etc. One of the great things about secret boards is the ease in which you can invite a colleague or partner that you are collaborating with to view and contribute to your secret boards. You just have to be sure that you follow them on Pinterest and they follow you back to enable you to invite them to a secret board.
Pinterest secret boards are particular useful when you want to keep a project under wraps such as designing a new space that you want to show your interior designer, or planning a event that you want to just share with your events organizer. For us, its sharing our upcoming photo shoot ideas with our photographer so they can not only see the pictures but read our notes in the captions about what we like about the picture such as the composition, the location, the props used, the lighting, the person’s energy etc.
We also share marketing tips, our latest blog posts, entrepreneurship and design inspiration, and the fashion, books, blogs and magazine that inspired us on our Pinterest boards.
Project Management - Basecamp
We manage a number of creative projects at the same time such as website design with various clients. Each client is at a different stage in our creative process so having a project management program that makes it easy for us, and our clients, to have full transparency about what tasks have been achieved and what needs to happen next, is imperative for us.
Basecamp is a great web-based project management app and collaboration tool that allows us to assign different roles and schedule a number of tasks involved in a large creative project with lots of moving parts. We can create various to do lists, with deadlines and assign specific people to the tasks. Manage project schedules in a calendar, and set project milestones with deadlines to help everyone assess how far along we are in the common goal.
What we love about Basecamp is how you can set up templates for projects that have similar procedures and timelines to save time. We enjoy the clear and easy to use interface, and efficient it is. Everyone involved (especially the client) can view the project’s progress and knows what is coming next through emailed updates, by logging into the project or status reports. Which cuts down on email chains and paperwork – everything is saved in the one place.
Updating Shared Documents - Google Docs
In terms of sharing large files like pictures with our clients we use Dropbox for our cloud storage system. But for sharing documents like spreadsheets that needs to be constantly updated we prefer the ease and convenience of Google Docs. It avoids the constant uploading procedure of editing and resaving documents on Dropbox, making it ideal for those who work remotely. One thing that Jenni and I do often is both work in documents at the same time, which can do from Google Docs (but not with Dropbox or other file sharing services). It is awesome for our weekly to-do lists consisting of tasks that need to be scrubbed out and new tasks added on a regular basis.
We find Google Docs particularly useful for creating shared editorial calendars for the clients we work with to organize their content plans for their blog and social media platforms. As these types of spreadsheets are subject to change and offer transparency for everyone involved - so everyone is on the same page in terms of what is going out via the blog or specific social platform and when.
There are plenty of great resources at our fingers tips to help us get organized or motivated about a creative project. What apps or services do you use to make your working life easier and help get you inspired?
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