For the majority of my adult life I was a full time teacher, now as a full time artist I'm learning how to organise, my time, life and business, in away I've never had to do before.
As a teacher, there were a myriad of things to organise and remember, the school calendar was a bible, my teaching planner a tome of great import and before conditionally formatted spreadsheets were fashionable, my mark book too, was a work of art. To be honest, I rather liked it. For me one of the perks of teaching was the endless stationery. I love stationery. The childhood ritual of buying a new pencil case for the start of the academic year, never really left me as an adult!
Now free from all this, with only myself to organise, I had grand romantic schemes of linking my digital calendar, across devices, and thus a new age of efficiency would be be born. My scheduled blog posts, commissioned paintings deadlines, art fairs, meetings, appointments, exhibitions would sync seamlessly and this 21st century artist would embrace it.
After not very long at all, I realised I was resisting the digital calendar. Don't get me wrong, I'm fully Appled up and have devices of varying sizes and power, but I just prefer a nice paper diary.
But then, my nice dairy wasn't coming up with the goods either. Too many post-its bulging out all over. Not happy.
So I went retro. In my university days I had a filofax, the bastion of the London yuppy. I wasn't a yuppy, I was a London Art student, but I still used my filofax all the time, everything was in there, and it worked. I still have my original 1980s filofax, but it's a small one and I fancied investing in new one.
So here's my ultimate list for the best organiser I've ever created.
A purple Malden filofax A5 size. It's gorgeous.
This filofax isn't serving just as a diary. The normal diary pages simply weren't enough for me. I wanted a full on planner (just like I used to have in my teaching days) but my planner needed to be colourful, beautiful even. It had to be flexible, inspire and motivate me and be aimed at fresh entrepreneurs trying to juggle a shed load of things.
I'm delighted that I have discovered the brilliant Life is crafted planners by Arienne Gorlesh. They are beautiful, can help you focus on the big picture whilst also crafting your daily life and help you create actionable and inspiring goals.
I write everything there. All those arty appointments, the workshops I run, my social media strategy, a list of photos to upload each day, ongoing painting projects, commissions...you name it, it's in the filofax, just like it was in the 80s!
In addition I've printed out pages from Jennifer Lee's brilliant Right brain business plan. I have a huge RBBP on my wall, but I have some key pages included in my planner so that I can keep developing and growing my business organically.
Just to make things super pretty I also bought myself some pretty dividers from Atelier Days on Etsy. They are gorgeous, properly laminated and will stay beautiful for a long time.
So what have I learned from all this.
I love technology, but only in its place. I can't shake my stationary habit, I love having paper to write on, flick through and muse over.
Is it really surprising for an artist to be this way?
And if it's working? Then surely it's right.