Get into your Creative Workflow in five easy steps!
The creative workflow is a fun card system to help you organise and celebrate your creative journey. Whether you are a creative with a day job wanting to turn your passion into a paid job or a full on creative entrepreneur, the Creative Workflow helps you reach your goals, while enjoying the path towards it.
Where with a to-do list you only get to cross things off when they are done (which just makes my list longer i/o shorter because things keep adding), with these cards you celebrate what themes you have given attention to. For example ‘finances’ on my to do list scares the hell outta me. With this flow I would plan 4 times ‘time for finances’. After every time I worked on it, I will celebrate just that: I WORKED ON MY FINANCES!!! The old me would have been pissed off at myself for not having them finished yet, even if it was an impossible task in a day. Now I celebrate every step towards actually finishing them. This creates a positive flow to get things done!
So let me elaborate and show you how the creative workflow works in 5 easy steps.
1. Choose the digital download or ready made box!
The Creative Workflow is available as a digital version or as the Creative Workflow Box. With the digital download you print it yourself, have it printed by a print shop or order the cards at moo. You can simply follow the step-by-step print guide that comes with the download. The Creative Workflow box has, besides the theme cards, all kinds of cool extra’s: the box is a fun filing system and it comes with note cards, reward cards and happy cards (affirmation cards).
Name the themes that are part of your creative workflow. (I like to think in themes i/o tasks, themes are part of something bigger, while tasks feel obligatory). I made a little chart to help you out, you can find it in our special Creative Workflow newsletter, subscribe here. It really helps me to keep focus and slowly grow. Start with your values as a maker/business/creative entrepreneur. For us that is sustainable, generous, inspire. From there on name all the themes you have. To make it easy I start with the themes I love to do (make, social media, client care, blog) then themes that simply have to be done (finances, order stock, pack orders). I have some themes I tend to forget (cleaning, plant care, post every day), themes I want to develop (right now they are write more, a new secret product I am working on, etc) a habit you want to develop (make every day) and a crazy plan (new big space with a mini skate ramp). I try to look at this chart every 3 months or so and fill it in again. This gives me an idea of what themes are important for me, what I want to focus on for the next couple of weeks/months. Also, I like to set small and big goals to help Bobbinhood grow. I use the reward cards of the box, where we fill in a goal and the award if we achieve it, some will take a little bit of time and some are quicker as long as it helps us grow.
3. Set up
Your setup depends on your space (do you have a studio or do you work from your living room) and how much time can you spend on your Creative Workflow? For Bobbinhood I use it from Monday to Friday, every workday. But maybe you use it next to your day job a couple of evenings a week, then you’ll need less space. We wrote a blog on how to set it up and also showed other creatives using our Creative Workflow in their space. Find it here. We also share some more fun ideas in our blog on the Family Flow you can find here.
4. GIVE ATTENTION and TAKE TIME
Now it is time to plan a week. Start with naming your focus for that week, what themes are extra important (no more than 3!) and from there on plan the week. What do you want to do on what day, do you want to work full days on one thing or a little bit on a lot of themes every day. The picture above has Marieke (our accomplice) and my board next to each other. Marieke likes to plan 2, sometimes 3 themes a day. She likes to dive straight into stuff. I love variation and rather work 20 minutes at something every day, touching all kinds of themes. Just trying to say here: there is no right or wrong, whatever suits you. Whenever you paid attention to a theme you can turn the card over and celebrate with confetti! For example when I have my make card out and I want to print something, but in the heat of the day I don’t have enough time to print the whole thing. No worries! See what you can do, maybe you can mix the colors, iron the t-shirt or set everything up so you can get right at it the next day. It doesn’t mean you have to finish the entire project, just working on it is enough. When you are done, celebrate! The old me would have been so disappointed in myself there wasn’t enough time and most probably even quit the whole thing, now I celebrate what I can do and actually get things done! BOOM!
Live and learn. Always. There is no failing, only learning. See what works for you. Try something different if it helps you. When I feel restless and seeing the entire week up on the board it can make me feel overwhelmed. I sometimes like to shuffle all the cards and just pull one out. Do whatever comes up! It feels like a little game and sometimes I just need that. I guess I am trying to say: Do what suits you! If you have the box, use the award cards to set small and big goals and don’t forget your happy cards to file your memories, you can use them as your mini dairy to help you enjoy the process!
We also made a series of 5 short videos where I explain how to set up your Creative Workflow. Get them in your inbox by subscribing to our special Creative Workflow newsletter here!