Happy New Year! I hope those of you who celebrate had a wonderful holiday season. I’ve been busy planning for 2018 and am looking forward to developing and sharing more helpful resources and information for designers in the new year!
This month I am going to talk about the importance of using checklists for completing repetitive tasks and I’ll even be sharing the checklist I use when publishing and promoting a new pattern release.
Using Checklists for Repetitive Tasks
Designing knitting patterns is a largely creative process. However, there is still a lot of administrative “grunt work” involved, including many repetitive tasks that have to be executed for each and every pattern you develop and release. This is where checklists come in handy. I have checklists for every process in my business. From developing a design submission to tech editing a pattern, checklists help me stay organized, be productive, and feel confident that I’m not forgetting anything. One example is my Pattern Release Checklist (which you can download by signing up for my mailing list here), containing the steps I follow when publishing and promoting a pattern.
Using my Pattern Release Checklist as an example, here are a few of the benefits of using checklists:
Checklists help ensure you don’t forget anything or skip any steps.For example, Ravelry generates pattern page URLs at the time the patterns are published. This means you won’t have a link to your pattern’s Ravelry page until you actually click “publish” on release day, at which point you’ll need to copy that link to a bunch of different places before you can do any promotion. A checklist will help you make sure you know exactly where to copy and paste that link before you email your mailing list, promote the pattern on social media, publish your blog post, etc.
Checklists can also help you make sure you aren’t doing anything out of order, making things more efficient because you’re not jumping all over the place.For example, the very first tasks on my Pattern Release Checklist involve creating all my promotional images. I like to do these in one batch at the very beginning so that for each subsequent step in my process I know that all the images I need have already been created. By spending a small block of time creating everything I need at the outset, I don’t have to drop everything and mess around creating a new graphic every time I need one. It’s much more efficient to do them all at once, at the beginning. Having this as the first step on my checklist means I always know to do it first.
Checklists enable you to take the decision-making process out of the equation when completing mundane, repetitive tasks. This allows you to just focus on completing the tasks themselves, saving your brain power for more creative things, like new design ideas!For example, having a checklist is especially useful when it comes to completing all the tasks that need to be done before pattern release day. Instead of spending time trying to figure out if you’re ready (did I create all the promo codes I need?) or worrying that you are forgetting something (did I finish writing the email I’m sending to my subscribers?), you can blow through all those repetitive tasks feeling confident that once you have all the items checked off your list, you are ready to click that publish button!
Following a checklist helps ensure you do similar tasks consistently every time, and that your followers and fans know what to expect from you. Consistency gives your brand credibility.For example, if you usually start promoting your pattern in advance of its release, people will get used to seeing this from you. This is especially important if you offer a promotional discount for a period of time after publication, because your followers will be waiting for the pattern to go live so that they can buy it at the promotional price during the promotional window. This is not to say that you can’t ever change your promotional strategy, just that consistency over time will build trust from your followers and fans and differentiate your brand from others.
It’s important to note that your checklists need not be set in stone. My checklists are constantly evolving as I refine my processes, and you will likely find that as you start using them, you’ll make little tweaks and changes along the way that help improve them for the next time.
To download a copy of my Pattern Release Checklist, sign up for my mailing list by clicking here.
(Note: I have tried to make this checklist as general as possible, but it does contain some tasks and workflows that are specific to the way I do things. So while it may not work for you exactly, I hope it will be a good jumping off point for you to develop your own checklist that is tailored to your own pattern release process. The most important thing is to have all your steps written down so you don’t forget anything!)
Tech Editing Availability
I have the following tech editing spaces remaining for January:
January 1st – 7th: 2 spaces remaining!
January 8th – 14th: 4 spaces
January 15th – 21st: 4 spaces
January 22nd – 28th: 5 spaces
January 29th – February 4th: 6 spaces
Get in touch if you’d like to reserve a spot!
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