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Organising commission data:

How do you do it?

Lately I've discovered I have a terrible tendency to misplace information, this is undoubtedly not good business practise. I need to reorganise, find everything and set up a better system than my current one.

So how do you organise your commissions in terms of data and work?

Are there any programs available that you can write the information into to keep track of things like deadlines, addresses and other issues.

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( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 29th, 2010 04:11 am (UTC)
If you have google docs I'm pretty sure you can do something similar to an exel sheet. It might be helpful there. I've seen a few artists use it to keep things on track.
Jan. 29th, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)

Thank you for the suggestion, unfortunately google docs hates my pc for some reason, I can't use it. Though when I upgrade my pc I will keep it in mind.
Jan. 29th, 2010 04:13 am (UTC)
Use Exell and a calender.
Jan. 29th, 2010 04:15 am (UTC)
Here's basically how I break it down, it's worked for me for a few years now!

1.) Commissions folder > Inside this folder is a folder called "Done".

2.) When working on a current commission, I make a folder in the root Commission folder using the persons name, so lets say "Lilenth" would be the folder name, if you were to commission me. That folder entails all the process work, wips, data, and an info document with any important info.

3.) When finished with commission, toss the "Lilenth" folder into the "DONE" folder.

Basically the moment a customer pays, I make a folder in the root Commission folder with their name, and make a notepad.file of their info like email, and commission stuff. I also save any refs into their named folder, so it's all in one area. That way when it's done, it's out of the way and I can easily come back to it and look at past commissions and keep them separated via name, so it's easy to find them later.

There's many better ways to do this, but its how it works for me.
Jan. 29th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
This method sounds deliciously better than my method of a private LJ post dated for 1/19/2020. XD
(no subject) - neolucky - Jan. 29th, 2010 04:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Jan. 29th, 2010 07:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - false_prophet - Jan. 29th, 2010 05:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oceandezignz - Jan. 29th, 2010 08:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilenth - Jan. 29th, 2010 04:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - neolucky - Jan. 29th, 2010 05:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilenth - Jan. 29th, 2010 05:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oceandezignz - Jan. 29th, 2010 08:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Jan. 29th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Jan. 29th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 29th, 2010 04:21 am (UTC)
I agree that excel is great for keeping track of all that info.

Plus, if you want something a bit more public, you could use a google site. See beastofoblivion's commission site here:

Google has a really cool to-do list feature avaliable. Plus I've built a google site too, so it really isn't hard (the backgrounds and overall setup are just preset themes that you choose between). You could also just put the info into the google site and set it where only you can see the site.
Jan. 29th, 2010 04:25 am (UTC)
I'll just speak for trades.

I have a folder for finished trades. If I have something to do, I write down the username, what they want, and url of the reference on a post-it and stick it next to or above my computer.
Jan. 29th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
I use notepad, as well as a series of folders of in progress pics for just in case and approving for more complicated projects, and one with references titled to match the entry in the notepad document.
Jan. 29th, 2010 04:49 am (UTC)
Since I only accept about 3 or 4 at a time, I just ask commissioners to email me everything and then archive them under a Commission label in gmail. I find it useful because gmail groups all back and forth messages together, so I can go back and read my conversations with the person.
Jan. 29th, 2010 04:50 am (UTC)
I have a pad of receipt paper I picked up at Wally World. On it I write all the information the commissioner has given me including their addresses, what they requested, cost of item and shipping, and finally how and when they paid. When I send the item the commissioner gets the first copy and the second stays in my little book. I know how many commissions I have to do by seeing how many completed top pages are still in the book.

References I leave directly on my computer desktop. When I'm done with them I dump them in my references folder in case I need them again later. It gets cluttered, but it makes them impossible to ignore or lose since they're all right there.
Jan. 29th, 2010 05:05 am (UTC)
You can do it the old fashioned Luddite way and just get some index cards and an index card box labeled 'commissions'. That way you can bring it to cons where internet connection may or may not exist in the dealer's room and you have a physical tangible record. You can even put mini sketches on them if they want some kind of detail that's easier to draw than describe (like a word in some alien alphabet)

Keep the card box with your art supplies.

Edited at 2010-01-29 05:06 am (UTC)
Jan. 29th, 2010 05:07 am (UTC)
I save all info and ref pics, etc, in individual folders on my computer and only delete them months after I've finished the commissions, when I'm sure I won't need them anymore.
Jan. 29th, 2010 05:18 am (UTC)
Piece of paper and a pencil works pretty well.

Doesn't really matter what you use. The important thing is to care enough to make yourself be organized when it comes to your customers! If that means putting in an accessible excel file on your desktop or just remembering to write down information in a ledger, the point is to make the effort.
Jan. 29th, 2010 05:27 am (UTC)
I made myself a work order sheet that I use for every single job. It has a job number, title, when I accepted it, the contact information of the client, the price of the job, the deadline (if there is one), whether or not they want prints, the date of first billing, when each part is paid, and then a large section on the bottom half of the page to write notes and descriptions about the job.
Jan. 29th, 2010 06:05 am (UTC)
I use an excel spreadsheet, and I keep the emails in a subfolder in gmail, but above all else I keep the email addys of my commissioners so if I should lose the original info I can just ask them.
Jan. 29th, 2010 07:10 am (UTC)
Sticky Notes, on my desktop: http://www.sticky-notes.net/

Plus if there's enough of a lull in my activity that I ever see my desktop, I go "Oh yeah, X project." and work some more :P
Jan. 29th, 2010 10:42 am (UTC)
We've been contemplating adding these kinds of features to FurBuy for a couple years now, but we rarely get any useful feedback or commitment to using them from folks when we've asked about it. Just about everyone says "Yeah that would be cool!" but when it comes to what they'd want to see in such a system or how they'd like it to work, everyone's just question marks. =) If you've got ideas on what would be useful to have, let me know and I'll see about resurrecting the feature set, but then again would you use something like that if it were on FurBuy?
Jan. 29th, 2010 11:40 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't. :/ I prefer to have all my information available offline, if I don't have a 'net connection.

It's a great idea, and kudos to you guys for considering offering it.. I personally would not use it.
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