It’s August, a time for me to wrap up summer and organize and prep for my favorite time of the year, AUTUMN and all the colors and temps and events I love the most. It’s generally known that summer is my least favorite season, though August is not my least favorite month [that’s July] – at this point I can see the change of seasons happening, slowly but surely, and I’m excited. I feel like I really can get through the rest of the hot times! Yay!
August is a time of planning for the holidays to come. I’ve got all my upcoming classes all mapped out, and I’m thinking and working on new items to sell at the fiber shows and craft festivals at which I’ll hopefully be vending.
It’s also where I make sure everything’s wrapped up from July – month of Tour de Fleece.
Tour de Fleece 2018 in Summary
First, let me sum up my personal Tdf: I spun nine yarns in total, some plied and some singles. I spun easily over 2000 yards. [a few of my yarns are still in balls so I don’t have an “official” total]
I spun in public; a bar at a science fiction convention, a MARC commuter train, a table at a coffee shop, and at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a favorite place of mine and boyfriend’s. There’s something to be said about spinning in the company of works by Calder and Puryear.
I spun on both drop spindles and my two spinning wheels. I spun fiber from Tiny Owl Yarns, Hanks in the Hood, and Three Ravens Studio. I also did some carding/blending during TdF, creating some of the batts that I spun as well as the official Team Nevermore colorways for those who ordered them and also won them in Team giveaways. I was a busy girl!
Besides doing all my own spinning, I managed the Team Nevermore business of keeping track of prizes, spinning, days in the event, and motivation. I also did regular business and life stuff! It takes keeping organized to a serious level to stay on track with this much going on.
So I thought you might be interested in seeing how I do that! I use a variety of methods to stay organized, including the bullet journal method, a to-do list/reminder app called Keep on my phone, and Trello – an online system that’s visual.
This is what my main workflow board looks like. I used an example board – Trello offers so many to help you get started – and then added and subtracted lists and cards until it looked like how my mind works. I have separate lists for general blog post ideas, Three Ravens, FiberyGoodness Artist In Residency, and Urban Mystics ideas and tasks, what’s coming up in this month and next, and more.
Here’s a close-up of how I stayed organized with awarding prizes during TdF. Because this is the “big payoff” for participating and it’s vital for both businesses and participants to get the attention they deserve, this is what the whole event revolves around. It must be implemented as smoothly as possible!
Using Trello, I enter each prize and the contact person [not business] as offers come in. I have the businesses listed on the big Tour de Fleece page, so I don’t need that info on this Trello card – KISS method is key here. As prizes are awarded, I add the name of the winner and immediately connect them via a comment in the prize post on Facebook. As I get notice of prizes being received, I check off those listing on the card. Easy-peasy!
I love how easy it is to edit and move around cards and lists. There’s also an app, so I can have access to my boards on my tablet or laptop whenever I want. You can have multiple boards, too! I have one for my health and workouts, one for keeping my life organized, and one for my Makers Supporting Makers Facebook group that will eventually be a shared board to submit articles and events. I absolutely love Trello, can you tell?
Another thing I’ve been doing to get more organized – especially with the holidays coming – is using the Bullet Journal method to figure out what I’m doing and keep it all neat and searchable. I started out using it in my daily journal, but recently moved the business stuff to its own Traveler’s Notebook for a number of reasons. I love this system! Inserts are cheap or even DIY, and one of the best revelations I got from learning about bullet journaling is the idea of indexing your pages… game changer.
I will make another post this week about my business journal and how I’m using it to get ready for the holidays, for those who like those sorts of Behind The Scenes posts!
One last thing before I wrap it up here – I almost typed “warp it up” so you know I’m about ready to go play with fiber – you might have noticed that I have been working on the website pretty intensely lately. I actually did a quiet shift of moving most of my products away from the Etsy storefront and over to here. There’s a couple of reasons for that, but the biggest one is that my investment vs. return from Etsy has been dwindling since last year, and that’s a trend worth noting for me as a business person. I think that Etsy is great and I’m not entirely leaving the site, but:
- this is where I control everything, from style to content to reach
- shoppers also get added value from my blog and links
- I already pay for a website and Etsy fees are increasing while perks are decreasing
- it’s just easier in so many ways
So… let me know what you think! You may see some duplicate listings of items for now, but as those fall away I’ll be keeping my listings there to things that are not one of a kind, at least. And everything will be available to purchase from here. Take a swing through and tell me how you like the new shop setup?