A job bag/job number system with Evernote

Life as a graphic designer was always rather easy for me: I received a job from a client, finished it, sent the invoice and sooner or later another job would appear. As of lately though, I got lots of different jobs from one client, all from various department and various product managers and began slowly losing the plot. Have I invoiced this job? Has this job been approved? What’s with the job that started 3 weeks ago? Searching through long
e-mail threads with attached Word, PDF and PPT documents isn’t that much fun either. Clearly a job number system was needed.

There are, of course, dedicated database systems for ad agencies and graphic design studios available. However, they don’t come cheap and why buy yet some more software when I’ve got Evernote?

With a lot of trial and error I came up with a system that works perfectly well for my purposes. I’m sharing it here because it may as well suit your work flow; a basic knowledge of Evernote is required though – download the manual here.

I created two note templates in Evernote. The first one serves as a job bag.

The note template for the "Job Bag".

The note template for the “Job Bag”.

The note title consists of the job number and description of the job, followed by date, name of product manager, and, just for the sake of it, the job number again.

“Art:” shows, once the job is finished, the attachments – a low resolution PDF and the InDesign document. The space underneath is used for briefs from the client, e-mails and everything else that belongs to this particular job. This way I’ve got all the communication with the client within one easy searchable note and don’t have to browse through gazillions of e-mails.

This is what a “Job Bag” note looks like once a job is finished:

"Job Bag" linked to documents and filled with e-mails and further information etc.

“Job Bag” linked to documents and filled with e-mails and further information etc.

The second note template is used for the creation of a jobs list:

Note template for the creation of a list of jobs for a quick overview.

Note template for the creation of a list of jobs for a quick overview.

This gets copied and pasted into one note every time a new job is created. It’s for a list view of all ongoing jobs. Checkmarks show the status of each job and, most important of all, whether it’s been invoiced and paid. “Links:” points towards the job bag and possible additional documents, like branding guidelines. Depending on the number of jobs per month, I can create a new list either every month or every 3 months or could even keep a list on a yearly basis.

Here’s the list view:

The list gives a quick overview of the status of each job.

The list gives a quick overview of the status of each job.

At present this system works just perfect for my purposes. It can probably be extended or perhaps even simplified, but right now I don’t see any reason for this.

And now back to work.

Free 3D

Lots of free, professional 3D software for free on the DAZ homepage, apparently for a limited time only. Be aware though, if you’re running a Mac with OS X Lion installed, Bryce and Hexagon won’t work as far as I’m aware. But Studio with the included Genesis figure is incredible. Simply incredible.

Daz 3D homepage

Screenshot of https://www.daz3d.com/ - 11.02.2012

Here’s a quick render I did today with Michael 4 (free) and the Anatomy Bundle ($). Took me all in all about 2 hours – the most complicated part was getting the render settings right.

Michael 4 with muscle maps

This was done rather quickly. © Ralf Zeigermann (and probably DAZ 3D)

Many tutorials can be found on YouTube.

What a shame

Looks as if my old Mac Performa 200 has finally died; there are only a few bars showing up on the screen and then nothing else happens, not even the “Sad Mac” icon. Most probably the motherboard ? The hard drive is still running fine. This is terrible.

And this is all Steve Jobs’s fault of course. Why can’t he built things that last longer than 20 years? I think he’s doing this on purpose. Tsk.

Anyway – I used to design books for Cambridge University Press on this machine. Language guides with loads of illustrations and complicated typography. And Mathematics books with many formulas. All done with Quark, version 3. And somehow it just worked.

I wonder if Apple still services those old machines? I’d really like to have it up and running again for some sort of sentimental reasons.

My old Performa 200

My old Performa 200