Secretary?

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by speeder, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. speeder

    speeder New Member

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    I figured that I need a secretary... even if a software one...

    But I don't have money for that, it is really sad...

    How you people solve problems that you would need a secretary for?

    Example: Currently I got a freelance contract to make a RPG Map editing tool, I need to make my portfolio for university, also I need to deliver to university some promo materials (physical ones :/), a animation, and online tests on human resources admnistration, also I need to arrange to buy what is needed to build my arcade cabinet, because I am expecting that I will need to import the parts, and they may take 60 days to arrive, and all that while suddenly getting busy with conference speaking, I never been on a plane in my life until this month, and now I will have several flights this month... Also one of the conferences don't assigned a hotel to me (meaning that I will have to figure where to stay on my own)

    After all that, I noticed that I am getting lots of missing deadlines, work that I don't started, I never remember when is my flights, it is like becoming a jumbled mess...

    To don't mention all other admnistrative tasks (figure taxes, laws, marketing, print cards and other stuff, etc...) and actual work (design the arcade cabinet, make the game itself that will go on the cabinet, make the university stuff, take it to a printing company...)

    So, how you people manage all that? (and I don't even have a significant other... all my time is my own...)
     
  2. jpoag

    jpoag New Member

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    Google Calendars? (you can have more than one: business, personal, shared...)

    Let your Gmail export appointments to your calendar. Make planning session appointments. Google Calendars can send reminders to your cell phone.

    In fact, get a Droid phone and add the calendar Widget to your home screen. Answer emails, make appointments, write your schedule and buy tickets/reservations using your phone when it's fresh in your mind.

    FedEx Kinkos and the UPS store will print and ship from online. Click, Print, Ship.


    You just need to leverage technology.


    Another idea is to delegate some of the menial stuff to Grad students. They work pretty cheap.
     
    #2 jpoag, Nov 5, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  3. HairyTroll

    Original Member

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    1. Stop watching TV.
    2. Stop wasting time reading websites like IndieGamer/Slashdot etc.
    3. Use Emacs org-mode. Assuming you made it to (3) because of (2).
     
  4. speeder

    speeder New Member

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    It is not even much a procrastination issue...

    I don't watch TV at all (not even news, since some years ago), also I don't visit many sites with exception of here, Gamasutra and Gamepolitics... And even then I am usually skipping Gamasutra.



    And I don't use Emacs... Oo what is org mode?
     
  5. papillon

    Indie Author

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    See, there's the problem! Marry a secretary. Assuming you make enough to support him/her. :)
     
  6. speeder

    speeder New Member

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    Heh :p

    I unfortunately is in the state that I cannot even pay some icecream cone to a girl...


    And you know, I was told that Solomon could only have 1000 wives, because credit cards did not existed.
     
  7. papillon

    Indie Author

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    Now, now, no need to get into that sort of nonsense, especially when you're talking to a woman... :)

    There are a lot of free time management tools out there. If excessive disorganisation is getting to you, apply more structure? Put tasks in categories, and make a point of doing at least a little of the category you hate on a regular basis so it can't slip away from you. There are ALWAYS other things that need doing, but you need to keep an eye on all the various facets of your life.

    IIRC there are a couple of websites that make mini-RPGs out of to-do lists, so that your character levels up when you tell it you've mowed the lawn and so on.

    Not that I'm really one to talk as I'm not terribly organised. Luckily my husband keeps track of most of the household bills for me so I can just worry about making the money. Sadly he's not a real secretary so I can't make him do all my business emails for me. :)
     
  8. vjvj

    Indie Author

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    Welcome to being indie? :)

    I second the smartphone idea. I used to be horrible about getting tedious stuff done because I'd always forget, but now that I have a persistent calendar/email/web/MS Office-enabled phone with me, I not only get more done but I can do it during downtime (when I'm on the train, etc.).

    All that said, I don't think there are many easy ways around doing it yourself. Even the really successful self-publishers here seem to do most of it on their own.

    The fact that you are still in university is a killer, too. Both school and indie dev/publishing are 24/7 jobs IMHO, and you're trying to take on two simultaneously. As long as you are in this situation, one of them will always be on the backburner.
     
  9. speeder

    speeder New Member

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    Yep, I figured that :/


    I had a heated e-mail exchange with a teacher yesterday, that started to demand me to deliver something in person, in a specific day and time, and that specific day and time is exactly when I will be on a plane to a academic convention some thousand kilometers away.

    He was more or less like: "Oh, go hang with those post-graduates, and I will stick a 0 in your graduation."

    And it is already 3 weeks that I don't even touch my own game (not even to play it).


    I wonder how much work I can do in a cheap device that I can use while on the move, to me anything above around 80 USD is too expensive (I actually used a black and white phone until 2 years ago... one guy tried to rob me on a bus, but refused to take such crappy phone and returned it :/ although he did took my wrist clock...).

    I see people doing all sorts of cool stuff with iPhone, Android and Blackberry, but those here are reserved to the outrageously rich (less than 1% of the population).




    I think I need to start writing in the forum when I am in better mood, all my posts are sounding ranty, even when I try to joke (granted, my jokes are always bad, no matter how good is my mood).
     
  10. lightassassin

    lightassassin New Member

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    Umm... this may sound insane... but how about a classic diary that has dated days? I use that, a whiteboard on my fridge and a calendar on the wall.

    It's cheap ($20us?) for all 3 items, and just reqiures a board marker and a pencil. A rubber (eraser for the americans) is a bonus item which can help with mistakes.

    I'm a full computer junky with a smart phone and all, but nothing beats the classics. I have an advantage that my book comes everywhere because it goes in my backpack and I ride a motorbike, so I always have my backpack. But you could always get a smaller diary for on the move, or get use to carrying a bag or sorts.

    Best thing you can do, cheap and effective, and no worries about the batteries!
     
  11. speeder

    speeder New Member

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    The best I could do is use post-its on my monitor (there are lots of them on my monitor now... altough it is a long time that I don't update them, since someone misplaced all my stacks and I cannot find them :/).

    I had a notebook that I used solely for drawing, but it is gone too... (unfortunately, my bedroom is not only my office, but it is the office of everyone in the house, so my stuff is never where I left it... something that really bothers me).

    Also I mentioned smartphones and etc... because like someone said, they are useful for when you are in transit, and currently I take university in another city, so every time I have to go to university I spend around 8 hours doing nothing. (some inside a vehicle, and some waiting for said vehicles...)
     
  12. ionside

    ionside New Member

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    I use a white board that's screwed up on my wall. It's good to have something physical I reckon. I don't need to open up another program to see where I'm at, I just turn my head and there it is!
    Also good because it focuses my eyes off the screen for a moment, which is meant to be good for one's peepers. :D

    But then again, I also heavily rely on my better half. She does all the book keeping and most things administrative.
     
  13. speeder

    speeder New Member

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    I plan on having a white board one day :/

    There was a project once that without a white board would be too annoying to track, I taped some paper to the wall, so I could write on them... Too bad it is not eraseable...


    For now my only idea of using whiteboard is for todo-list sort of stuff, scheduling, etc... I wonder if someone have other uses.
     
  14. Musenik

    Original Member

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    I use a paper calendar and say, "No.", a lot. My whiteboard fills up too quickly. So I stopped using it. Now I just keep a text file with notes/ideas.

    I try to work on the hard stuff first, and relax by working on the easier stuff. If I forget a task, and it isn't in my text file, it'll either come back to me or can be ignored.

    That's my personal organization strategy. It's probably more personal than useful to others, but there it is.
     
  15. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    Same here, I just use a piece of paper and write down notes. And for long-term scheduling I use the great Lightning add-on to Thunderbird.
     
  16. SteveZ

    Indie Author

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    +1, I also get stuff done with paper and pen - mostly weekly stuff. Going from a virtual office to a studio of 12 people, this technique has been working out pretty well.

    For completing immediate projects / goals more effectively, I recommend reading this article about timeboxing: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2004/10/timeboxing/

    For long term projects, I fire up my excel and construct a gantt chart.

    -Steve Z.
     
  17. Michael Flad

    Indie Author

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    You may give David Allens "Getting Things Done" a try. The book is dead cheap ($6.49) at the moment if you can order from Amazon.com

    http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Thing...1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1289218019&sr=8-1-spell

    Just don't get distracted by the "implementation details" in the book (it's organizational part is a bit heavy on the papier side of things) but extract the fundamental ideas - it's all about freeing your mind so you can focus much better on what you're doing at the moment without missing all the things you'd like to do.
     

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