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How often does this happen to you..............??

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Gino, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    We do all kinds of things around the shop, we're constantly interrupted and we can usually blame a phone call or a customer stopping in or delivery guy or..... and the list goes on for...... misplacing something.

    I spend more time looking for a slip of paper with someone's contact information on it or notes to quote a job then I think anything else. The last one was, a customer last week gave me a sample of some inserts they need for their stores. It's about 1" wide and 24" long with the layout, copy and everything exactly how they want it. They need 12,000 of these. I got most of the information together on Friday and put the insert in a 'SAFE' place for keeping, til Monday.... today.

    Well, I looked all over the place and retraced my steps on Friday and now I've been looking all over the shop asking everybody, not once or twice, but 32 times, are you sure you didn't see it ??

    I started looking around 9:30 this morning.

    A few minutes ago, I was talking on the phone and was gazing out the window while talking..... and then saw this sample pinned to the wall, where I had forget I put it for 'Safe Keeping' on Friday. Jeremy came in and said, that's right, you told me you were gonna put it there. I showed Larry I found it and he just said, we're all getting old, huh ?? Candace just said... way to go 'Boss'. :rolleyes:

    I know this kinda stuff happens, but I think I'm gonna have to start writing this sh!t down, but then I'll probably lose that list and really be up that famous creek without a paddle.

    So, what do y'all lose without batting an eyelash and take a day or two to find and then hit yourself in the head, just to do it all over again with something else ?? :ROFLMAO:

    SIGNTIME Active Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    everything .. from scissors, squeegees, tape measures, those zippy cutters, but probably the most lost is the damn clear rulers we get.... at my desk I am constantly looking for "lost" work orders or notes .... it's a good thing the printer, plotter, and computers are not very portable :banghead:
  3. John Butto

    John Butto Very Active Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    Saint Anthony is the guy to help you find things.
  4. Suz

    Suz Very Active Member

    Apr 9, 2010
    The Great Northwest
    Where was Saint Anthony when my hubby stuck the ice cream in the cupboard a few weeks ago? Well, I guess we did find it, but by then it was no longer ice. LOL! I think maybe Saint Anthony is PO'd at me since I'm no longer Catholic. :)
  5. gabagoo

    gabagoo Major Contributor

    Oct 10, 2006
    Vaughan, Ontario
    I have done this on more than one occassion.... I am working on a sign and something happens and a letter gets ruined. I come back upstairs and load more vinyl, find the letter or graphic and cut it. I then take it out head back downstairs and put it on the work table...then the multi tasking starts...someone comes in or the phone rings and I have to go back upstairs. While I am up stairs I see the vinyl in the machine and the graphic on screen. Oh yea I have to cut that again, and i do...and then take it downstairs to see I did it already 20 minutes ago......that is definately old age setting in. :smile:
  6. Richard G

    Richard G Member

    I never have that issue myself, I am so organized, just ask my wife. Of coarse I do have a leaf blower at the ready for those really feisty files that like to hide somewhere there done on the bottom of the piles.:ROFLMAO:

    Attached Files:

  7. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

    Sep 10, 2010
    I email all notes to myself, then just add it into sign vox when it turns into a job.
    but this is my desk on a typical Monday. This is actually clean.

    Attached Files:

  8. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    That's a very good idea. I also scan a PDF of the customer's paperwork just for safety.

    To help tame the "paper monster" that quickly appears on my desk and in the shop, I've color coded all my paperwork so I can quickly narrow my search when looking for something. Quotes are orange, work orders are green, purchase orders are pink, invoices are white, expense reports are blue...and the list goes on. It costs a little extra to keep that many colors on hand, but it sure speeds things up when looking for the right document. I'd never switch back to all white paper.

  9. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

    Dec 27, 2005
    Guam USA
    I've made several action plans & to-do lists to help me get organized.
    Once I figure out where I put them I'm going to get right on it.

    wayne k
    guam usa
  10. TammieH

    TammieH Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2011
    Pacific NW
    The worst thing is when you forget where your glasses are, and of course they are on your head...but I never do that :noway:

  11. xxtoni

    xxtoni Member

    Jan 14, 2012
    This happens to everyone in our company except for me.

    The reason it doesn't happen to me is because I have a system.

    First of all I religiously avoid putting any notes down on paper. Why ? Well first of all paper is very easily lost but more importantly to look for something physical takes time cause you have to examine every thing with your eyes and actually read it and look around...computer systems don't have this problem, computers can display thousands of results in a split-second.

    As far as notes are concerned I note everything down in Evernote (here's their sign by the way phil_roof.jpg )

    The difference between Evernote and other note taking apps is that as long as you follow a few very simple guidelines and actually stick to those you will never lose anything again. Here's an example of what happens when I have to remember or note something. I'll elaborate on this a bit later.

    The other thing is you absolutely must know where you keep your stuff and it must be one place only. The higher problem here is that most people have either no specific place where they keep stuff or they have 10 places where they keep stuff. When you have to look for stuff all the time it drains mental energy and if you can't find something you are just generating tension and stress. To avoid having to look for **** all the time you need to first get all of the stuff from all the different places you tend to keep it and centralize it all into one place, from no on anything you need to look up later on or reference should be located here, nowhere else, not on the wall, or your desk or anywhere, just here. PERIOD.

    So next time someone gives you a sample or whatever, you place it here, every once in a while or even better perhaps once a week you clear out the stuff that you don't need anymore, if you can throw it away, if you can't throw it away find another centralized location where you will keep the long-term samples and stuff, but not 2 or 5 locations, just

    As an example of what I do, at the end of each week I check: My inboxes and clear all by moving all the mails to their corresponding folders. The full inbox is a distraction and only seeing the clutter can drain away on your mental energy. I clear my desk so that no junk is lying around on it and I clean my keyboard/mouse/screen. I go through my tasks, notes (evernote) and bookmarks as well and clear away the ones I don't need anymore. You don't really have to do this with evernote cause if it's advanced search capabilities but I like doing so because I am allergic to clutter. I also clear away all the icons from my desktop so it doesn't have a single icon on it, clicking on icons is slow, most modern OS' have very good search so on Windows you just hit the windows key and start typing the name of what you're looking for, way faster that looking for an icon, then double clicking on it...

    To return to my earlier point about digital organization. When I have to note down something, if I can I'll either start tying it directly in Evernote on my desktop, if that isn't a possibility I'll try using Evernote on my smartphone. If I can't do that fast enough either I'll just note it down on a postit. But as soon as I have the opportunity I'll transfer it over to Evernote. If it is a task that needs to be done I'll note it down in Wunderlist instead (my to-do list of choice) under the correct list and set the due date and reminder (if any) right away as well. Here are a few examples of what you can do with Evernote and what I use it for:

    Business Cards - When someone gives me a business card I snap a picture of it with my smartphone in the Evernote app. Evernote has OCR and will scan the text on the business card and it will automatically search the text in the image when you search in Evernote. The problem with this however is that the human brain doesn't store information like computers do. It's quite the opposite actually, the computer is excellent at remembering exact information while the human brain makes descriptions of certain things but doesn't store the exact info well. So now you're probably thinking "what's the big deal". The big deal is that if a potential client comes into your company and gives you his business card for example, or a sample or whatever and you scan the business card. When you want to look it up later on you may not remember the name of his company, his name or anything else.

    Now if you used Evernote like me you would have put the business car image into a Business Cards notebook (notebooks are basically categories in Evernote) and then you could just look up all the notes in that notebook until you find that card. The problem with this once again is that you're wasting valuable mental energy and time looking for stuff and we're looking to avoid that. Instead when creating the note you will put down tags of things that you do remember about this guy. Something that has made an impression on you, like you could create a tag called "guy driving a Volvo" or whatever, doesn't really matter as long as it's something you will remember and be able to connect in your mind.

    Most people prefer to use Evernote as a kind of bin. Because of the advanced search it has you can basically throw anything in there, tag it and then just search for it. I don't like this but it's probably the most common way people use Evernote.

    Web Clipper - I have a very organization bookmarks system, as you might guess. The problem is that when I'm looking up a bookmark I don't remember the exact site title or how I saved it or the URL of the site. I remember some part and since there are no notes in bookmarks, or tags it's very difficult to find them. By using Evernote as a web clipper you can basically clip a part of any page online, or the whole page for that matter and store that in Evernote as well. You can then make tags and highlight **** for notes or whatever.


    A lot of people seem to be proud that they keep all their tasks and what they need get done in their head. That may work for some but for me personally it just weighs me down and I jus think that I'm forgetting something all the time. I don't use Wunderlist to manage all our company tasks but I do use it for what I have to remember. IF I need to get something done I'll just note it down in Evernote, set the due date, notes, if any and set it under the right list. Then when I have the time/opportunity I'll just transfer it to our company's task system and assign it to who has to do it. I also use Wunderlist as my shopping list, my personal to-do list, reading list and so on.

    If anyone has anyone questions about this stuff, feel free to ask.
  12. johnnysigns

    johnnysigns Very Active Member

    Nov 3, 2004
    East Coast
    Just pulled down Evernote, thanks for the link. I want my desk back under control.
  13. xxtoni

    xxtoni Member

    Jan 14, 2012
    Quite Welcome.

    If you want to know anything or have trouble with sticking to it, let me know.
  14. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    This time it happened to be artwork in the form of the actual sign needed from a customer. Kinda hard to file that in there and like others said, what about keys, cell phones, glasses. I have a very messy desk and a messy shop for the most part, but we're so busy, it's hard to do any major cleaning. Our 4 cu yd dumpster gets dumped about twice a month, but we recycle quite a bit, so it's mostly trash going in there. Anyway, we have about 10,000 sq ft of shop and it's not unusual to be doing something like woring on a vehicle, playing with a printer, laminating or just being on the phone and you need another hand, so you put whatever it is in your hand down, get sidetracked with another phone call or someone asking you a question and then something else happens and before you know it..... outta sight.... outta mind and it's an article of forgetfulness.

    Yeah, I'm not the most organized person, but I know my piles and the time-frame in which things happen so it's a matter of looking down through the stratum to eventually find what I need :Big Laugh
  15. binki

    binki Premium Subscriber

    Jul 23, 2007
    The PRC
    Happens almost every day. Set it down, walk away, can't find it.
  16. xxtoni

    xxtoni Member

    Jan 14, 2012
    Sure, my guys tell me that every time I bring up the organization effort. They're like - e65.gif

    but, and that's very important to note, if you never get the time to straighten those things out, including the phone calls and all, it's only gonna pile up more and you're gonna lose more things...ad infinitum.

    Funny, you used almost the exact same words that my guys tell me when I bring it up. Our shop is a bit smaller than your at 7000 sqf but the situation is very similar. Nobody cleans **** up, nobody knows where anything is, nobody knows where tools are.

    I can only say...change is hard.
  17. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    If you can't make the leap to all digital files yet, a very simple solution lets me find jobs/quotes easily from all of the paperwork we have here. Just print your quote/order form on a different color of paper. I got that hint off of here on signs101 btw!
  18. xxtoni

    xxtoni Member

    Jan 14, 2012
    Oh and regarding the point about signs as samples and such...I never said that you had to tuck it all in a filling cabinet :) As far as I'm concerned you can find a corner and just dump it all there, as long as it's all in one place.
  19. round man

    round man Active Member

    Oct 16, 2005
    as an apprentice back in the days when a computer had it's own building and a guard to go with it I was taught one day while cleaning my brushes of the fabled and notorious "Sign Shop Bandit",....My mentor told me of a mischievous invisible creature that abides in each and every sign shop moving untold number of items usually just far enough to make them difficult to locate....His actions are usually dictated by the urgency or importance of the particular item he steals then hides,...his primary motivation is the joy he receives from watching his victims waste time and effort on useless wild goose chases and frantic fiascoes to meet deadlines and such,...his arch enemy is organization,...his ultimate pleasure is frustration,...beware he is invincible and next to near impossible to eradicate,....he will still be here among us another 50 years from now harassing our prodigy in this trade,...
  20. deegrafix

    deegrafix Member

    Jul 9, 2006
    Montrose, MI
    The kiss of death is to say, (or even think too loud), "I will put this in a SAFE place." Everyone who knows me knows what it means when I claim to have put it in a safe place. We will be lucky to EVER find it. Yet somehow I fail to learn....... Good thing I've been in the same place a long time and found most of the safe places at one time or other. lol.

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