When you finish a creative project, what do you do with all of the physical and digital remnants? Do you get rid of everything and just keep the finished product? Or do you store a few artifacts to remember the process that got you there? Those are the questions that I explore in this episode.
The Doug Neill Show: Episode #26
Recorded on June 19th, 2019
You can browse all episodes here.
0:38 – 4:06
How a trip to clean out my old bedroom in my parent’s house (where Verbal to Visual was born!) prompted the question: what artifacts from the early stages of my creative career are worth keeping?
What I Kept & What I Didn’t
4:06 – 11:32
The specific things that decided to take with me, and the stories behind them.
- Kept: the wall of brainstorming connected to the first course that I built – An Introduction To Visual Note-Taking. I shared the idea of using an entire wall in this recent video: Got a Big Project? Give it a Wall.
- Kept: the original sketches from my first involvement with TEDxMtHood, which I first described in this blog post and then years later in this video.
- Kept: index cards connected to an activity from Renaissance Business by Emilie Wapnick.
- Kept: index cards brainstorming ideas around Revolutionary Learning, which eventually morphed into Learn in Public.
- Kept: index cars with one quote each, with a handful from The Last Lecture, Tuesdays with Morrie, and Good to Great (I explored the ideas of Jim Collins in this episode: Hedgehog Mode & The Flywheel Effect).
- Got rid of: experimental prints of my own sketchnotes of Seth Godin‘s and Natalie Batalha’s interview on the radio program On Being.
- Got rid of: lots of little notes with to-do lists and scribbled ideas that were no longer relevant.
- Got rid of: unused materials that are no longer a part of my toolkit.
Guidelines for Decluttering
11:32 – 18:00
The set of guidelines that I came up with for deciding what to keep and what to get rid of.
- To keep: artifacts from key moments in your life connected to good stories. The TEDx sketches and the set of index cards with one-word interests are examples of this category.
- To keep: artifacts that remind you why you got into your craft in the first place and take you back to your roots. Those same index cards live here too, as do the set of quotes.
- To keep: materials that you might want to excavate for ideas. The brainstormed wall for my first course and the index cards with ideas for Revolutionary Learning fall into this category.
- Get rid of: experiments that you learned from and can move on from (my experimental prints of sketchnotes).
- Get rid of: things that you don’t have an emotional or intellectual connection to (lots of random pieces of paper that weren’t particular interesting or helpful).
- Get rid of: raw files that are very unlikely to be needed (the raw video files from my weekly episodes).
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Thanks for listening, and talk with you again next week!