by Lauren Warnecke
- I consider myself to be an organized person. I mean, I guess I know I’m an organized person because I usually end up where I need to end up on time. I usually pay my bills on time. People hire me to organize performance projects, and, as far as I can tell, they all turn out ok. I’m organized, but I’m also a dancemaker. Like most other working artists I can’t survive unless I have multiple jobs. Last fall I think my brain got to capacity. I had taken on more than any organized person – or rather any person – should, and it got to the point that some things were starting to slip… like remembering to brush my teeth and pay the cable bill.
- Things float in and out of my brain. It’s the curse of being a creative person. We’re not linear thinkers. I am often simultaneously thinking about the role of the American housewife, the importance of the right index finger, the best way to engage new audience members, if I have any clean pants, and what to have for dinner. One thought leads to the next in a stream of consciousness that, heard by another person, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. This is an awesome problem to have, but can also be frustrating when you are 1) trying to communicate with people who AREN’T non-linear thinkers (and yes, I realize I just used a double negative there), or 2) trying to communicate with someone who is also creative, but not your kind of creative. That’s pretty much everyone.
- But it all makes sense to me. I just don’t have room for it in my brain. Enter 2012. Even before the confetti was falling on a new year, I had resolved that I needed a new way to organize my thoughts. I love paper planners, and though I completely embrace technology I’ve never found a techie tool for storing a to-do list effectively. You either have to categorize things, rank things, or otherwise pigeon hole your thoughts into a few characters. By some sort of divine intervention (that is, the “freshly pressed” feed on WordPress.com), I came across a post about a newfangled organizational tool: WorkFlowy.
- I’m in love with workflowy. It is new(ish? I think?), but its brilliance is in its stark simplicity. WorkFlowy is a big, fat, unlimited capacity, bullet-pointed typepad, that you don’t have to save, can open up wherever you have the interwebs, and share with whomever you please. No categories. No muss, no fuss. No pigeon holes. Today on my WorkFlowy, I brainstormed marketing ideas for an event I’m managing, added bananas to my shopping list, and wrote this article.
- Apart from shameless promotion for a new thing I found that I love, the point is this: in order to keep ourselves surviving and making work we have to keep seven jobs. In order to keep seven jobs, we’ve got to be organized. In order to be organized, you don’t necessarily need WorkFlowy, but you need some sort of interface that works the way YOUR brain works. That could be a paper planner, an iPad or a sheet of loose leaf paper. For me, I think it might be this. Until, of course, the internet goes away… but I’ll cross that bridge if I come to it.
Contributor Lauren Warnecke is a Chicago-based dance artist, educator and writer. She trained at Judith Svalander School of Ballet and Barat Conservatory of Dance before earning a BA in Dance at Columbia College Chicago. In 2009, Lauren completed her MS in Kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an adjunct instructor for the Department of Kinesiology at UIC, the Performing Arts Coordinator at the Menomonee Club for Boys and Girls, a member of the Cecchetti Council of America, and Neurotransmitter to Synapse Arts Collective (read: too many jobs).
Lauren created and maintains Art Intercepts as a platform for dance that is informed, inventive, and evidence-based. In addition to writing at 4dancers, Lauren is a columnist at Dance Advantage, specializing in dance injuries and prevention, dancer wellness, and evidence-based teaching practices. She also enjoys her freelance work as a grant writer and production manager and likes to grow strawberries, bake scones, and dig in the dirt.