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Well, it’s December, which means we’ve come to the end of 2017!

Finally. It’s over. We did it!

A new year rests just beyond the horizon filled with incredible opportunities for us to chase after, and with that comes the need to get organized. Content creation is hard enough as is, but taking it on without a plan – knee-deep in a mess of gear, wires, gorillapods, boosted boards, tears, fears, and all the clutter and uncertainty from the previous year – is a recipe for absolute failure.

Let’s look at ways we can get organized and get our ideas moving from concept to creation.

Clean your dirty desk, you filthy animal!

This one is really simple but trust me, it’s key. Before you start doing anything, take everything off your desk and give it a good wipe down! Also, go through that drawer – you know the one I’m talking about, with all the pens, receipts, pocket change, and tangled up cables. Instead, put some extra batteries in there, a phone charger, some post-it notes, and a journal for quick ideas, then try your hardest to keep that drawer clean or promise to yourself that you’ll do some monthly maintenance on it if you can’t help but fill it with clutter.

Oh yeah! Don’t forget to scrub that keyboard. Look at all those crumbs and fingerprints. C’mon!

Make a calendar and stick to it

Do you want to post multiple videos each week or take so many photos that you become some kind of Instagram royalty? Good! That’s awesome and you should totally do that – especially with the importance of consistency – but this year, start by taking a little time to map out each project.

Write out everything you want to do for the month and plan that out on a calendar. Color code these projects by type and list when you want to upload them. From there, decide each day when you can shoot and pre-produce these ideas to fit your upload schedule.

Know every step of the process – when to shoot, when to edit, and when to release.

You can go digital or physical with your calendar. You can use your phone or your computer; you can hang one on your wall or carry it in book-form. There’s no reason not to have a calendar. You already have so many ideas and thoughts in your head; don’t waste space trying to remember your schedule.

tl;dr – use a calendar!

Content Avenger: The Incredible Bulk

Now that you’ve mapped out all the projects you want to create for the month, you need to shoot and edit them. Some like to edit in bits and pieces, but I highly recommend that you do this in bulk.

Now, I know at first this seems like a ton of work, but as you get into a rhythm, it’ll become easier and easier and you’ll be thankful that you did it.

Let’s say you have 4 videos that need to go up in the next week and you’ve got a few days off. Well, if the ideas aren’t too crazy then get together everything you need, set up your lights and your camera, and blow through them all in one sitting.

Challenge yourself to shoot multiple videos every time you set up the camera.

Repeat this same idea with editing your videos and you’ll easily stay ahead of schedule.

Don’t be tied to your computer – schedule your uploads & post

Now that you’ve shot and edited (way ahead of schedule!!), it’s time for the final step. Uploading.

Let’s be real. The last thing you want is to have created all this amazing content ahead of schedule only to miss your upload time because you’re stuck in traffic. That’s why you need to schedule your uploads.

Creating a video? Schedule your videos on YouTube or Facebook to match the dates and times in your calendar. If you’re a Fullscreen creator, the Uploader can help you do just that. For your posts, use Buffer or Hootsuite to send out updates and links about your newest creations. What about photos? You can use Planoly to write up and schedule all your Instagram posts beforehand and when the time comes, it’ll send you a notification and copy everything to Instagram for you.

Look at that. There’s no excuse to miss a post ever again.

Also, while you’re at it, schedule a few tweets or Facebook posts to re-share your creations a few days, a week and month later – especially if an event is coming up that covers what you talked about in your video.

Know when to relax – you’re only human

The takeaway from all this is simple: Organize your workflow so you can stay ahead.

You’re not a team of videographers, editors, designers, curators, and copywriters. You’re a single human being. This is going to take a little time and a little extra work, but by staying organized, you’ll slowly build a system that will make you a better creator. You’ll work faster and smarter, and through this, you’ll actually have time to rest and recoup when the time comes.

Challenge yourself to take what you’re doing seriously by making a schedule, get organized, and become the well-oiled, creatively ambitious, content-driven, mega-superstar that you want to be.

You can do this. See you in the future. 2018 baby!