Einstein famously said, “If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to say of an empty desk?”  

The problem with a cluttered desk (or desktop) is not that it is cluttered. The problem is that the more cluttered it gets, the easier it becomes to lose important documents and files and to lose track of projects that need to be finished.

As creatives, we tend to work on ten different things at the same time: writing an article, shipping paintings to your gallery, posting your social media and not to forget, administrative tasks. With so much going on, it is easy to get lost in these mundane tasks that are part and parcel of running an artist practice.

This is why you need a system.
 
Systems are helpful, but as with everything, common sense has to prevail. You don’t need to write yourself a ten-page manifesto on how you are going to organize your studio. This will just add to the confusion and ultimately your workload.

Start by asking yourself: what do I have to do repeatedly (i.e. every week or every month) that I tend to forget about or push to the side? Create a list of these tasks. For example, I often hear from clients that they are not sure how often to post to social media or that they forget about it.

Check out these tips on how to best run your social media campaigns this year.  

Another example is to photograph your art before it leaves the studio and to add new works to your studio inventory. All important but easily (and understandably) overlooked in favor of creating or selling art. 

Don't let the details of getting a perfect shot prevent you from documenting your work before it goes out the door. Learn how to great a great photograph, every time. 

If you don’t have the luxury of a studio assistant who can take care of all of this for you, start by allocating one hour a week to each of the tasks on your list. Then, add them to your calendar as a repeated event so that they pop up on your calendar at 8 am on Mondays (posting to social media) or 4 pm on Fridays (cleaning out your inbox).

Creating a marketing calendar for your art business can help keep your organized and let you create all of your content ahead of time so you can concentrate on your artwork while at the studio.

Allocating time to these tasks in a structured way will remove a lot of the stress of re-inventing the wheel every week or getting seriously behind on important tasks. Simple systems like this will allow you the freedom to focus your mind on creating and selling your art.

Artwork Archive is one of those systems that helps artists get organized, save time and run their careers professionally and with ease. Try it free for a month here to start tracking your galleries, sales, clients and more. 

Annelien Bruins has worked within the international art world for almost 20 years and she currently lives and works in New York. After honing her expertise managing two well-known, extensive private collections of art, antiques and collectibles, she set up London-based Bruins Private Collections Consultancy in 2007, providing portfolio management to both private and corporate clients from Europe, the United States, and Asia. Five years later, Annelien hopped the Atlantic and joined Tang Art Advisory where she serves as COO and senior art advisor.

In 2012 she founded Katapult Art Management in order to help artists, artist foundations, and estates manage their business, marketing, and logistical challenges so that they can focus on the creation and sale of art. Katapult works with artists to develop their identity, an effective marketing and pricing strategy and an efficiently-run studio operation, for their long-term success.