the project binder

October 12, 2009

Staying organized is a tricky balance when it comes to creative work. It is easy to get consumed in the backend organization of things and lose valuable time when you could be creating. On the other hand, some degree of organization helps me find what I need to quickly move into making things mode when I have a block of time set aside.

This is certainly true when creating websites where there are many details to manage. So, I’m tackling that in this continuation of my webdesign workflow series. I posted a few weeks ago about The Inspiration Archive. This time around, I’ll be talking about the project binder I’ve created to keep all those little details at hand.

The project binder isn’t a task list. Any tasks for a new website get laid out in OmniFocus, of course, from the very beginning. Instead, the project binder is a place to store all of the extra information I have related to a design project. It includes any emails where the client talks about what they want, notes I jot down during phone or face to face meetings, or thoughts or relevant links for the direction I want to take the site. I also have potential clients fill out a questionnaire and I capture that information in the project binder as well.

I used to have this information scattered all over the place. About six months ago, I realized that Curio would be perfect for this. It gives me one place to store all of my projects, the ability to capture different kinds of information, and the means to organize the particulars within each project.

Here’s a peek at how it looks:

Each project is color coded for easy reference. Red is a project where I’m waiting for information from the client. Green means active, orange is a potential project, and grey is complete. This simple color coding helps me take quick stock of my current projects on a grey Monday morning where I’m slow to get going…like today!

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