I have a problem.
It’s not the sort of problem that has detrimental effects on my life (depending on who you ask). Far from it. My problem, is that I am organised. I certainly don’t have OCD, but I definitely like things to be in their proper places, all neat and tidy. This can get in the way of some things, for example when I try to tidy a game board while it is being played. But for the most part, people put up with my quirk as it can be quite beneficial.
Part of organisation is routine. I really like routine, it helps me be organised. The trouble is, I don’t have a 9 -5 job. When I was a care worker, this did cause me some issues as I ended up not getting some things done. Now that I am self-employed as an actress and find my own work, it can be very hard to make time to write as well as complete all my chores. Also, a lot of my friends work shifts too so I see them haphazardly during the week. I wanted to make a time table, but when events are so fluid, it can be tough.
However, I had a solution. A movable magnetic whiteboard time table with a certain amount of magnets to ensure I allot time to everything I want to do.
To me, this seemed like a fantastic idea. But others (namely G) had doubts about my sanity.
The first thing I started with, as does every good project, was research. It was possible that the magnet labels I wanted just didn’t exist. However I struck gold in finding Avery printable magnetic sheets! I’ll start by saying these aren’t cheap. But I looked and looked for something else and nothing even compared. I also needed a nice magnetic whiteboard. I was nearly fooled into buying a cheap one which wasn’t magnetic, but I managed to find this stylish one by Rexel. It wasn’t too big and didn’t look too corporate.
Next I moved onto the planning stage.
I took graphic products at GCSE (actually, I got an A in the exam, one of my best exam marks ever). Though I mostly took the subject because I wasn’t allowed to study both Art and Drama (Whaat?!) it actually suited me really well. I am sure that I have forgotten some of the proper techniques. but I can still make a pretty good correctly labeled scale diagram. I do occasionally rush into things without planning (read: every uni essay I did) but this seemed like it needed a lot of care. I really wanted to make this right. As you can see from the picture, I worked out the size of each column and row to find the size of each magnetic tile, and included an allowance for the border and grid marks.
Next I calculated how many tiles I needed. I have mentioned previously about how I colour-code everything in my life and this project utalises this perfectly.
I used indesign to create my tiles. I am not hugely familiar with the software, but I can use it well enough to do this. Though Avery do have templates on their website, I needed a very specific size so I created them myself. Once again, I didn’t want a corporate look to the project so I gave the tiles a pretty font.
The tiles printed out ever so slightly a different colour than appeared on the screen, but I was prepared for this as I did a couple of test pages on regular paper. I certainly wasn’t going to waste some of my expensive magnet paper on testing. The paper is pretty cool as it is really just like normal (but high quality) print paper with a magnetic sheet attached. Avery do have some pre-cut label sheets, but as I said above I needed a very specific size so I had to cut all these out by hand.
To give my aching fingers a rest between cutting out a million tiles, I moved on to measuring the grid for the board. I used a fine Stabilo Write-4-all permanent marker which worked perfectly. At this stage it is important to use the age old technique of measure twice, cut (or draw) once. Somehow, I did mess my measurements up and my last column is slightly too narrow. However I only realised this once I put the tiles.
Fortunately any mistakes you make with the permanent marker can be easily removed by drawing over the top with a dry wipe marker then wiping it off. I don’t really know how this works, but it does. It’s magic. As I fully expect my lines to degrade over time and I’ll need to reapply them in the future I will fix my measurement mistake then. For now, it’s not an issue. As you can see, Timber helped me greatly.
One of the reasons I got this square board was so I could have a space at the bottom for my to do list. This way I can satisfyingly wipe off a task once it is complete.
And there we have it! The finished product. G says I could market these but I am not sure anyone is as organised as me. Besides, I don’t think I could go through the pain of cutting all those tiles out again.
One thing I do love about this system is that if I have events or tasks that aren’t on my tiles I can just write them in and then erase them easily! I can even change things midweek if I remember I have a registration day on Thursday so I won’t be able to get my hair cut after all. I have even managed to include my reward system on the board.
I also love these board markers I got from Tesco for £4. The best price I have seen for a pack dry wipe pens in the perfect array of colours.
Let me know what you think of my project or if you attempt anything similar yourself. I do think that this is a organisational system that pretty much every creative could benefit from, even if they do have a 9-5.
NB: Apologies for picture quality, my nice camera is at my parents!