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Getting Organized

COW Blogs : Mike Cohen's Blog : Getting Organized

And so my Spring travel season comes to a close. Like the annual monsoons in India, my Spring travel takes me to conferences and various shooting locations, as recounted in previous posts. The only problem with so much travel, is one needs to get into the swing of things to actually cut the videos and move toward project milestones and eventual completion.

I have blogged before about project management, workflow and organization, but I feel it necessary, especially for independent contractors and some of the younger folks who read these blogs to reiterate the importance of being organized.

Getting organized can be easier than staying organized. I tend to change up my methods periodically. Whatever method I use, I follow one maxim: use paper.

Here you can see my current incarnation of brain management - the linear calendar.

I'm not a big fan of the GANTT chart. Perhaps it was the late 90's MS Project experiment that had me spending more time managing the MS Project file than actually completing the tasks which ruined it for me.

So I call this a linear calendar. Rather than using a standard blocky calendar, or any of the online google-type calendars, I like a simple linear representation of about 2 months, all on one sheet of lined paper, with plenty of room to estimate time to dedicate to tasks.

This is an alternative to my usual sticky note lists of tasks to do. Simple lists of tasks are ok unless you have some specific deadlines. The linear method is flexible and shows me where I will have some free time, breathing room or bottlenecks. We will see how this works anyway. Actually getting the work done, regardless of the method, is of course the key goal. Write your tasks on toilet paper if it works for you.

After days and weeks of travelling, collecting spent tapes in my satchel, I am always faced with a week of digitizing. Technically it is capturing, since DV tapes are already digital, but digitizing is the word everyone seems to use.

Here is the importance of having 2 workstations - one for digitizing and one for working in the meantime. For this particular project, I will take a deck home for the weekend, and once every 83 minutes or so I will look up from my latest issue of Creative COW Magazine and change tapes.

Other workflow improvements....

Another workflow improvement I use is pre-labelled blank CD and DVD discs. As pictured here, I use a generic label, making the added Sharpie text look much nicer than it would on a completely blank disc.

Once the editing actually begins, workflow is ever important. In the case of medical topics, we often shoot with 2 or 3 cameras. Setting up my Premiere sequence with the video synced up but visible like so helps expedite the initial edit.

Sometimes multiple PIP setups like this remain in the final edit.

Now, if I could just organize my receipts...


Thanks for reading.


Posted by: Mike Cohen on Jul 23, 2008 at 8:01:55 am workflow

I have a passion for my job, which entails training for medical professionals such as surgeons, nurses and administrators, not to mention various industries.

Technology is great, but how you apply your skills is what pays the bills.

Years ago I canceled my Media 100 support contract upon discovering what a treasure trove of helpful advice can be found on the Creative COW website. I am proud to be a part of this fantastic community.

In my blog I talk a little about media production, a lot about travel and workflow, and occasionally about cooking, nature and my four-legged friends.

Follow me on Twitter: med_ed_mike

I'm also on LinkedIn if you can't get enough of me!


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