What are some efficient design strategies when working with a constant flow of clients?

Hi I am working as the main graphic designer / printer in a sign shop. We have a constant flow of work which is non stop. The pressure fluctuates but is pretty constant.

I would like to hear if anyone has any advice or systems I could implement to help manage and feel under control within the design management and process.

I currently date work the day I receive it and order the pile from the shortest to longest time frame. My director requests that I aim to get the work out within 2 days, but I’m just not keeping up.

A huge part is not only am I juggling the printing duties of projects but also allowing time for urgent jobs that keep pushing ahead of the pile.

Any advice or ways that others have handled there work load? This is my first design job which I have been at for 3 1/2 years and I just feel there could be some smarter ways out there to make my days less stressful!

Easy answer would be getting another designer in but it’s not really up to me 🙂

Answer

Have you ever tried anything like Trello?

Trello is a nice tool for organizing tasks within projects and is incredibly user-friendly. And it’s free for basic use. It was designed for companies who practice Agile Development, but it’s great for anyone who wants to keep track of what’s happening at any point in a project’s development (I use it at my day job and for my own personal projects).

An example of how you could set things up:

  1. Create a new Board for each client.
  2. On that Board, create Columns to track progress steps.
  3. In the Columns live Cards for each project/assignment.

An example of how you could track progress on a given project (bold items are column names):

  • Projects Received: This is where a project begins. When a new assignment is received, someone makes a card for it, and adds the designer(s) to it who will be working on it. You can also add special labels or even due dates to the cards that change color as the date approaches.
  • Brainstorming: When someone is ready to work on the assignment, move the card to this column, then do some brainstorming and add any photos from your white boarding seshes or sketches you might have.
  • Mock-ups: Move the card here, and once you have some low-fidelity comps you can attach them.
  • Revisions: Move the card to this column to show that the designer is in the process of incorporating feedback from the client or peers. You might add comments about what was discussed in meetings or over the phone. Comments are time-stamped, very handy if you need to go back to them later.
  • Pre-Press: If your project is being printed, move the card here to show that changes are no longer being made, and files are being made ready for press.
  • Finished: The best column! When the card moves here, there is a comprehensive history of everything that has happened through the life of the project. And if you’ve created a board for each client, you have an organized one-stop shop to go back and see everything you’ve done for them.

That’s just an example. You could also just have one massive board and use a new card for each client+project. Whatever fits your needs best. I’d suggest playing around with it (since it’s free) to see if it’s a good fit for your workflow and style.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Holly Harré , Answer Author : Vicki

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