Post by Lady Stardust ★ on Jun 22, 2017 19:06:21 GMT -8
One of the most important, and yet challenging, business-related skills of being a voice actor is keeping organized---be it staying on top of your emails, keeping track of sessions being moved around, and due dates for auditions and projects. I'm hoping to start sort of a resource thread so we can all help each other when it comes to staying on track.
For me, my lifesaver is Google Calendar. I had a busy voice actor friend recommend I start using it after I accidentally mixed up the date for a session (!) and I'm finding it super helpful. I can access it from my phone or my computer, and it sends an alert to my phone 30 minutes before each event to be sure I'm ready for it.
I also really like the fact that I can look at it visually, as sort of a spreadsheet with blocks of time organized out. That way, when different studios ask for my availability on a given week, I can easily view the times where I'm already booked out---whether it's for other sessions, or for personal stuff like hair appointments, podcast interviews, conventions, etc.
My current challenge is keeping track of emails that need attention. I've tried the "star" system, but would always forget about them or they'd get buried. So now I do "mark as unread" if it's something I need to audition for, send, or reply to when I have more time, but sometimes they STILL get buried! Maybe I need to use a reminder app to keep track of what I need to take care of e-mail wise, or put it on the Google Calendar as if it were an event...
I also have been sort of trying the bullet journal system as a physical supplement to my online/app calendar, after a friend with ADD (...which I've long since suspected I have, tbh) suggested it would help for organizing to-do lists and deadlines in order to feel less overwhelmed during busy weeks. I actually enjoy physically writing things down, but it's too bulky to really take with me. (I got a cute journal with a character I voice on the cover...ha.)
Post by Rebekah Amber Clark on Jun 22, 2017 19:28:15 GMT -8
I have a folder on my computer desktop for auditions. In that folder, I make a folder for every project I audition for, naming the folder with a MM-DD-YY date at the front to keep auditions organized by when they end. In those folders, I keep copies of my audition files and any notes or related files for the audition I need. In the event I get cast for a project, the whole audition folder gets moved to *another* folder on the desktop, but instead of for auditions, it's for current projects. Once in the current projects folder, projects are sorted by date again, based on when the next set of lines is due from me for that project, so the most urgent projects are always at the top, while things that I'm waiting for scripts, the next episode, etc. are all just rattling around at the bottom.
In my internet favorites, I have a folder marked 'PAID AUDITIONS' with links to the projects I'm planning to audition for sorted by deadline. Just under that is a folder marked 'UNPAID AUDITIONS' for any unpaid projects that I'd like to audition for as well if I have the time. When I submit an audition, I rename the project link in favorites to say "SUBMITTED" at the beginning.
For e-mail, I use a combination of the star system for "I don't want to totally lose this, but it's okay if I forget it for a while", and folders in my inbox to store anything that needs to be kept where I can access it at any time, and the final thing -- responding to e-mails as promptly as possible whenever possible, even if just to say "Sorry I can't write a longer e-mail right now, but I got your message and you can expect X from me by Y time/date." (X = A longer response, recorded lines, etc.)
Most importantly of all, though -- I keep track of transactions by ALWAYS sending out a PayPal invoice EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Even if the client has already paid, I'll send one for their records and mine already marked as paid just as a receipt. This means at tax time I have a paper trail for every single project I was paid for, when it was paid, who it was paid by, what project it was for, and how much it was -- and so do the clients, if they need it for filing *their* taxes. (And yes, the tax preparer I went to vehemently encouraged me to continue this because he's seen the consequences of self-employed people having problems filing their taxes when they *didn't* have invoices for their clients.)
I'm the kind of guy who over-organizes stuff (wasting time organizing for almost zero benefit) so I've never really had a problem keeping track of things, but what also helps is if it's not a task that needs to be done on a specific date at a specific time, I just do it as soon as possible (like the second I'm asked to send in audio or I see something worth auditioning for, I do immediately or do it as soon as I get home). I keep a google doc for daily notes and important stuff I need to do or want to do in the near or distant future. I also use google's calendar feature and have it synced with Gmail to send me reminders the day of. Haven't had any issues yet missing stuff.
My short term memory is terrible, but my long term is phenomenal so my strategy is to write down the dates and times as soon as I get them and look at it again in the morning after waking up. I'm mainly a film actor so I mostly sort out all the casting notices I get first and work on voice next while I look over scripts when needing to rest. So far, so good.
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