How to Manage Your Creative Workflow with the Greatest of Ease
“I am a creative type. I let my mind wander freely! So…
…Why Do I Need That Anyway?”
As lovely as it is to release your full passion during a creative project, there still needs to be some organization within the process. Even great artists have individual systems for creating a painting or sculpture. But if you’re working at an ad agency, it can become a bit more complicated.
Many creative geniuses are scatterbrained, but if you want to be successful, you’ll have to establish some sort of order if you want to get started. Specifically, creative agencies have their own project managers who are assigned to organize tasks throughout the stages of the project. They answer these questions: Who’s supposed to do what? And when?
This is where the term “workflow” becomes important. Imagine everyone doing their own thing without any communication or knowledge about the priorities of certain tasks. It would end up in total chaos!
To get some background information on how other creative workflow experts get along with their projects and organization, we asked Hannah Ross to let us know about her thoughts:
“The biggest barrier to entry for any workflow would be adoption by everyone. Once a platform is picked, it’s critical that all team members are active on the system. The next crucial step would be to set up a process for adding new tasks, what the taxonomy and hierarchy is.
Project management can easily become unwilling without taking the time to define how task organization is managed; and how to add new items within that process.”
Hannah Ross, Senior Producer
The Long and Winding Road to the Perfect Workflow
There are many ways to establish a workflow. Some people get employed by a big agency and just need to follow steps in a given order. That’s good for you, since your company has already established their own workflow and their way of doing things.
At our startup Filestage, we have developed our own workflows for the creation of creative content, for the developing process, and much more…
But before we came up with a stable process for getting things done, we also had to try out different methods and tools first. That’s always how it is in the beginning: You just have to try things out and see if they work. Then if they don’t, you can find out why and learn from them.
One of the most important things to remember is that you should always document the current process once it’s established. For us, this tactic always comes in handy, especially when there are new coworkers joining the Filestage crew who need to be onboarded.
Nevertheless, having a functioning workflow doesn’t mean that everything will proceed optimally. Sometimes, there can be problems in your way of working that can range from tiny annoyances to huge time killers. Imagine that you’re about to create a new ad campaign with videos and several designs.
You need to get these media assets reviewed—one way or another.
Usually, this process works via email, which is fine as long as there are only one or two reviewers who have just a few tiny change requests. But if you have more files to review and more coworkers are involved, the feedback you have to consider will soon become unmanageable. And with more change requests to take care of, there will definitely be more than just two versions of a file.
This will sooner rather than later end up in a huge, chaotic pile of emails. You’ll need to find out who had which request, or when a certain email has been sent or received. Therefore, it’s unavoidable to dive into your inbox to pick out the right mails.
How We Do It at (and with!) Filestage
Especially in our marketing team, we create many different types of creative content, including videos, blog articles, eBooks, and designs for our website. To make sure that each media asset we share with our audience, feedback and reviews are crucial for us.
In general, we always create a brief concept, including our goals and what message we want to convey to our audience. This can be a rough draft scribbled down on a piece of paper or a short table of content in a Google Doc.
The most important thing is that you make it clear what your content is about and who your target group is. If you are working for an individual client rather than your own company, you need a creative brief to find that out. We have compiled a nice template to help you with that: Creative Brief Template.
Once this is done, we discuss with our product manager Maël whether or not the concept fits with the target group, our company language, and design philosophy, as well as what needs to be added or changed.
I guess you could say that we’re quite the feedback company, so everything, our process-building as well as our product are all about review and approval.
After we’ve finished our first draft, we upload it to Filestage and invite our product manager—and anyone else who’s involved in the project—to review it.
We usually organize this process by creating an Asana task for each team member and putting the Filestage review link into the task description. That way, everyone has immediate access to the file without dumpster-diving through all the emails in your trash folder.
Unlock Your Creative Workflow
With the help of the traffic light system on Filestage, you’ll always get updates about the review status of a file. Also, since every comment is immediately put into a to-do list, you’ll know the next task to do right away. After implementing the change requests, just upload the new version to Filestage again, and everyone who has been invited will be notified that there’s a new version ready to review.
With all your comments on the same page and a clear versioning system, you and your team members are always up-to-date, so there’s no need for confusion anymore.
Filestage links are easy to integrate (copy-paste-galore!) when using tools such as Asana and other common task or project management tools.
I hope that this article has shed more light on how creative workflows can be managed through Filestage. However, if you have any further questions, just message our support team, and we’ll answer ASAP. 😉