DIY FILM TOOL KIT: Organizing Ideas & Creating Efficiency

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As a self employed, so called “artist type” half of my fight to build a career in the creative arts exists within the realm of self-organization. One of the best things for me to do to remember tasks of course, is to write them down! But with modern society going increasingly paperless these days, I found the easiest way to go paperless and keep the clutter off my desk is to just store things in my head!

Needless to say, just trying to remember wasn’t quite cutting it. Where the clutter was once physical, it became even worse in my brain. ALL BAD! few things make me feel worse than forgetting work appointments.¬†

Considering where technology can help you is helpful for all stages of pre through post production. With the advent of easy iOS and Mac store apps, I began my search a few years ago for the PERFECT organizing apps for my workflow. I’ve been through a few over years, and here’s the few that stuck.

THE APPS

Omnifocus:¬†available for Mac, iPhone and iPad, Omnifocus is where I not only do my brainstorming, but where I organize my tasks. Even while I might not even be tapping into ½ of its potential, the ability to create dynamic lists, turn them into scheduled calendar tasks, and organize them by contexts, helping you to schedule how you go about accomplishing your tasks.¬†

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FantastiCal: I just tell it to type, and it automatically enters the info the correct places. Like a digital secretary!

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Scrivener: The mothership of all writing programs… it just works so well for me. The ultimate writing and thought organizational tool, whether long game or short game, Scrivener can help you. Organize by bullet point/outline, then in each outline point is its own text file/document where you can produce the text for that section. Not only that, you can put it in ISO/focus mode to clear out all the noise and just write!

For documentarians trying to create a film treatment or paper edit from their transcriptions, what I love is that you can have two text views up from the same split-view window… no need to click from program to program or scroll within a huge document. It’s a lifesaver… try it!

*update: also has screenwriting/script templates!

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CopyLess: If you do a lot of copying and pasting, and never used a clipboard manager, I feel sorry for you. I’ve found this especially helpful for the film treatment/paper edit process as mentioned above. You can go through and copy multiple items before you go back to your other document to rearrange that information. Also very helpful for coders as well!

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