Thursday, November 17, 2011

Time Management “in the Cloud”

The first time I saw Peggy Duncan, it was at Freelance Forum in Atlanta. She was going on and on about getting organized, touching a piece of paper only once or twice, clearing clutter, yadda, yadda, yadda. Fact is, everything she said was exactly dead-on. When your work area is cleared, your mind is clearer also.

So, when she started getting into the nuts and bolts of time management, I tried hard to pay attention. You see, I’m a pretty organized person with my specific projects. It’s the big, overall picture I have a hard time with… and still have a hard time with.

The second time Peggy came and spoke at Freelance Forum, I now had a much better sense of the benefits of paying attention and implementing her ideas. No, I have not implemented everything she has said, but little bits at a time are making a difference, such as simply keeping a time sheet per project, or using my computer calendar.

This summer, I dove into the wonderful world of an iPhone and in May I purchased a MacBook. Suddenly many of the things Peggy talked about began to take shape in a way I could envision, and manage.

The thought of keeping a calendar, and a notebook, and a call list, and so on, and so on, was a bit overwhelming. I tried it and had a hard time making sure I had the same info in each place. I couldn’t quite get it to work.

Enter “the Cloud”, which Apple switched to just after I’d gotten used to my iPhone.

Suddenly all these things lived in one place. The Cloud. I could access them from my phone or from my laptop. Now I really can put something on the calendar on my phone, tell it to remind me, and have that same reminder pop up on my laptop!

And, I can now take quick notes on my phone, and it automatically emails them to me!

I can update a contact on my MacMail on my phone, or on my laptop, and it automatically updates on the other piece of equipment.

When I picked up Peggy’s book this week (The Time Management Memory Jogger) to catch up on “business reading”, I quickly realized how timeless this information really is. The book was written pre-Cloud, but everything in it can translate to how Clouds work. It almost felt like a techie person must have also heard Peggy’s talks about organization, and heeded the suggestions! I feel like many of the ideas are coming to life now.

I am still not an Outlook user. I do still have an advertiser “call list” built in MSWord that I color code and add notes to the bottom of each list. And I might add, this is actually another idea that came from Peggy in a roundabout way. But my mail program is in better shape now, my address book, my calendar—thanks to Peggy I am finally using all the basic tools in ways they should be used, and I’m reaping the benefits.

I have discovered one tip that keeps me from having lots of paper file folders. When I have an “email conversation” about a project, or multiple emails about it, I copy the text out and compile them all, one after another, into a text doc and save it in the project folder. That has worked wonders in keeping my email down and keeping my projects organized. Again, this is adapting Peggy’s suggestions into something that works better for my setup.

Moral of this story is, get the Time Management Memory Jogger and read it, every page. Then, as Peggy said, “It’s not a novel, you have to work it”. How true! So you’d better get started today!

Check out Peggy Duncan here and make sure you watch a few videos. With the energy Peggy exudes, you soon realize that getting rid of the clutter and disorganization can really free you up for some exciting things!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Freelance Forum Portfolio Show and International Freelancer's Day/Conference

Fall is upon us and that means only one thing—it's time for the Freelance Forum 2010 Portfolio Show! Why would you need to come to a portfolio show? Well, let's see...

If you are a person or company who hires creative talent, The Solarium will have a room FULL of creative talent on October 7 at 6pm.
  • You will have a chance to meet many of Atlanta's top freelance creative talent face-to-face. You won't have to pull them into your office. You won't have to take them to lunch... not yet, at least!
  • As a matter of fact, we'll go one step better—WE ALL will take YOU to dinner because we will provide free [good] food and free [good] drinks!
  • Best of all, in this day of internet, texting, cell phones, skype, you will actually get to know your freelancers apart from their emails and voicemails. AND, they will have their work right there, in front of you.
If you are a freelancer, whether new into this line of business or a veteran...
  • You will get to meet many of your fellow creatives and NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK.
  • You can see the type of work that each of us brings to the table. You just never know when the exact person you need to help you complete a project to perfection is literally right in front of you.
  • ...or, better yet, when YOU might be the right person that one of our freelancers needs on their team to successfully complete a project.
  • You'll catch the enthusiasm and tidbits of wisdom from our members who are exhibiting.
  • You might even make some new friends...
And now, along the lines of FREE and FREELANCING, how about attending this on Friday and Saturday! International Freelancer's Day! Visit this page to see more info and to sign up. And view the video. Pretty exciting! And free!

Celebrate, learn, meet other creatives, become the best at what you already love to do! Now two great FREE ways to make your freelance life better!! Freelance Forum 2010 Portfolio Show AND International Freelancer's Day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How did you spend your winter and spring?

It's been a busy winter and early spring at KFDP. We started off the year doing our first ad for European Reflections with photographer David Schilling to go into an issue of Veranda magazine. Apparently the framed mirror concept was a successful one as they received 15 calls as soon as subscriptions hit the mailboxes, before the newsstand editions arrived.

We've done our usual winter and spring Silver Falcons newsletters for our trusty retired Eastern Air Lines employees. We added a one-time newsletter for Catherine Kelleghan Gallery, InFocus, into the mix. Check out the beautiful work on her site for sale.

A couple of new things have come along this year—a logo for GBPI with Alison Amoroso as they plan to go around the state and do Health Care Symposiums, beginning in September. Also a redesign for Professional Pet Sitter magazine with Steve Milano, and the layout of their spring issue.

We also have had the pleasure of working on the ad series for the upcoming Telluride Blues & Brews Festival with Courtney McClary and Paula Donner. This involves multiple ads, all shapes and sizes, with an ever-growing list of performers to work into the different spaces.

Then we have our spring issue of Charleston Style & Design, made even nicer by having Dickson Dunlap shoot many of our ads this time. Since the ads are our portion of the magazine, we were greatly appreciative of the upgrade in photography! Rob Johnson did the editorial art for this issue. Largest issue yet—definitely an achievement in this economy.

We also have Atlanta ShowGuide, both Dance and Spring issues, with Gregg Daugherty and Chris McMurry of BlueMedia, highlighting live shows in the greater Atlanta area.

And finally we've wrapped up a three issues of CDHC Solutions magazine with Doug Field and Matt Bolch, and an issue of EmployersWeb magazine, helping companies strategize and dovetail their existing health care and benefits programs with the new and changing laws.

Now we understand why taking a couple of days off to run to Memphis was so necessary at this point in the year! After all, one must prepare for late spring and early summer (hopefully downpours) of work!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Newest Projects, Charleston Style & Design, Atlanta ShowGuide, Advance ALIGN Newsletter

2009 is sufficiently wrapped up now and 2010 is well on it's way to being a better year. We recently wrapped up a couple of magazines we'd like to tell you about.

Charleston Style & Design is a quarterly publication, dedicated to displaying the beautiful lifestyle of Charleston as depicted in architecture, interior design, landscape design, fine art, dining... you name it, we give you a taste of it. KFD&P works on ads for this magazine. This issue had approximately 75 ads in it, we designed or made significant changes to 45 of those ads. Needless to say, if you are in Charleston, please look up some of these fine businesses. The work is very high quality and detailed and the people are tremendous. Much of the photography in this issue is done by Dickson Dunlap. Make sure you check out his work. And if you like our features and articles, Rob Johnson at Toprotype is responsible for the design of those pages. The printer for this publication is Publisher's Press, the King of Magazine Printers as far as I'm concerned!

We also finished the Winter issue of Atlanta ShowGuide. This publication is free and is distributed all over Atlanta in areas where you find art and theatre enthusiasts. If you want to impress a client, give a great gift, have a unique night out, this publication is full of good ideas and great shows. We do this one start to finish. Some of the ads are provided, we design the rest. This publication highlights as many areas of art as we can squeeze into each issue. It's also free online to view at Atlanta ShowGuide Issuu.

And finally, we did a special issue of ADVANCE ALIGN, a newsletter written and designed to support the Atlanta Public School System's special education teachers. This publication has a more flexible schedule, approximately five issues a year. Rebecca K. Reeves of Reeves & Associates is the brains behind it. The teachers love it and it makes it a very special project to work on, indeed.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Update on three recently finished projects

It's time to post three of my most recent projects, just recently wrapped up.

In trying to do more work in the music field, I had an opportunity to do a piece of art for a shirt for a local Atlanta band called Soulhound. They use the term "funky, sweaty, soul-grooving music" to describe them, and that is the perfect description. For their shirt, however, they wanted to go a little more organic. So, we worked with the "groovy" side and organic colors. This was the final option they chose.

The next project was a book cover for Ned White. I must give credit to Bobby Hickman, editor, writer, connection and fellow Freelance Forum member for sending this very quick project my way. I worked with this local author and his artist to complete this project. You can purchase this book at Create Space.

And last but not least, I helped a friend and fantastic marketing communicator, David Chesnut, rework his web site. This was a challenge for me to learn a few additional things. David knows what he wants and was not afraid to ask. AND he was very encouraging as I learned to overcome a few technical issues. The site looks simple but it did take more thought and effort to get it there. He wanted clean and simple and we delivered.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Become Visible - For Free (or nearly free)

It's time to share a few thoughts on helping to take your creative thoughts from the invisible sanctuary of your mind and the metal/plastic box of your computer and let them see the light of day.

But how to do this without paying a lot of money? Well, here are a few suggestions.

First, I'd like to push LinkedIn as a great free resource. Someday I'll pay for it, but for the time being I will be sticking with the free side. LI allows you to post your resume/qualifications/interests, practically anything related to your business or work. It has a few limitations, but for the most part it not only is pretty overarching but not hard to use. The best part is, is shows up at the top of most search engines!

Secondly, if you are a member of a trade organization, see if you can submit articles, artwork, anything that can get your name into their publications. I happen to be a member of Freelance Forum in Atlanta, GA and we have a monthly pdf newsletter. If you are in that newsletter, there is a good guarantee that you will hit at the top of a search engine list due to the great SEO work that has been done on our site.

Third, creating a blog, like this one, is very helpful. You can use your blog to assist your clients with useful information, or share information with fellow creatives. It helps on a two-fold level, sometimes you just need to discuss something in writing to work it out, and oftentimes that discussion can help another person/client, etc. in the process.

Fourth, you can use your blog to introduce new work that you've done. It's a chance to explain your project a little more in-depth. Your web site can continue to stay clean while you expand your project explanation on a blog.

Now is definitely not the time to stay invisible to the world. You have excellent ideas. You are creative. You are ready to improve a business, to liven up a book, to create dynamic advertising that promotes a product you believe in... Get out there and make yourself visible!

Monday, November 10, 2008

KFDP = Graphics With Your Goals in Mind = Success For You!

Ah, it's time for me to enter into the wonderful world of blogging. I will try not to throw my opinions down on the screen in front of you. I'll try not to get off on tangents or digress into areas that have nothing to do with the original subject. 

But, after all, this is my blog!

So, that being said, I will try to discuss information here that will actually help you in working with creative folks. Information that will help you understand pricing and the actual cost of getting a project printed, created, etc. Information that will help you improve your own marketing efforts, and, in the long run, make us all more successful.

The tag line for my company is "Graphics With Your Goals in Mind". I didn't just "think that up" one day. It actually means that reaching your specific goal is the ultimate purpose of the work I am doing for you. It's all about you. And your goals. And reaching your goals. If I do my job right, you will succeed. 

So, if you allow me the luxury of posting things here that relate to you reaching your goal, I would be honored to do so. You might have to slug through a tangent every once in awhile, but I'll try to make sure it's a relative tangent!

I'm looking forward to sharing some information with you that will hopefully make your life a little easier and a lot more successful.