The month of September (especially Labor Day weekend in the US) signals the transition from summer, to hunkering down at school and work. Our goal? Return with renewed energy and to be more productive than ever. THE key to productivity is an organized approach* to getting things done. I have recently discovered one of the simplest systems: The Action Method developed by Behance.
Their tagline says it all…
Make Ideas Happen
Behance breaks it down into three bite-sized chunks:
- Action Steps – the things to do, to get things done,
- Backburner Items – future action steps, or non-urgent things to remember, and
- Reference Items.
Here is how Behance explains the Action Method:
The outcome of every idea or interaction must be captured and transformed into action steps, backburner items, and reference items.
1) Capture Action Steps, Relentlessly
During a brainstorm, meeting, or on the run, ideas arrive in a flurry of other activity and can be lost unless they are captured and transformed into action steps. Action steps point to tasks to be completed. Each action step should start with a verb (i.e.: follow up with x, review y, meet with z).
2) Tend to Your Backburner
Keep a “backburner” to catch ideas that may someday require actions, or just to clear your mind of the little and non-urgent things. Preserve your creative energy and focus on action steps!
3) File Reference Items, Sparingly
Keep only the notes, articles, and sketches that you need. Avoid clutter.
Behance has developed a line of tools to help you be more organized.
Their Action Notebook and Pad has space to capture action steps, backburner notes, space for notes and sketches, and a space to jot preparation and focus items so you can plan for meetings beforehand and be sure to address your focus items.
Behance isn’t only the purveyor of the Action Method and supporting tools, they also foster a network where creative professionals – yes, that including us marketers too – may share creative work, collaborate, exchange tips, and post jobs.
The notebook is spiral bound and the pad has tear-off sheets. Each have 50 pages. (Both fit within a three-ring notebook).
Action Pad Mini
Their Action Pad Mini, in addition to being a clean tool for capturing action steps, is also brilliantly designed to fit the medium sized Moleskine Notebook (5″x7″). A perfect pairing.
3″ x 5″ cards for capturing ideas anytime.
Each removable sticky-back action step can be peeled from the card and placed on magazine covers, drafts of projects, or in traditional notebooks. Action Stickers help bring your action steps to the surface, ultimately catching your attention.
*ALERT: If you don’t have a process – make or get one. The time you’ll invest in learning a system far out-weighs the cost of forgotten ideas, as well as the time and frustration spent trying to recall stuff left to memory alone. If you do have a process, and it works well for you, keep it. No need to cut into your productivity by fiddling with what’s working for you.
Try the Action Method and/or tools mentioned above…
Also, you will find additional methods and tools freshly posted at the Idea Sandbox blog.
Images and copy lifted directly from the Behance website.