project rhythms

I’m in the initial design stage of one project and in the final review/revision cycle of another so I’ve been thinking about project rhythms a lot lately. Here’s what it sounds like in my head: The beginning of a project needs a generous amount of calendar time at the beginning. If you’ve estimated 8 hours [...]

writing effective tasks and milestones

Warning: today’s post is a wee bit geeky, but if you do as I suggest, it will make your project management life so much better. [Like cod liver oil in orange juice – tastes yukky but good for you. At least that’s what my mother used to tell me.] Last week I did a teleclass [...]

a brief history of book printing and binding

The other night in my Print Production Workflow teleclass, some questions came up about terminology and how, exactly, the physical book got put together. Youtube is an invaluable source to help us visualize a process. Here is a curated overview of book printing, from letterpress, the same process that produced the Gutenberg Bible, to the [...]

scanning tips

With good quality scanners available for a few hundred dollars and services advertising pennies per scan, it seems like this is a commodity service. But to get from a faded photograph to a handsome photo printed in a book involves both aesthetic judgment and technical expertise. Here are some tips for making your scanning process [...]

bringing order to digital photo collections

In the 170+ years since Louis Daguerre announced the invention of the daguerreotype process for fixing an image on a silver plate, people around the world have developed a workable system of storing their photographic prints and developed film. That system might involve placing the photos in an album or tossing them in a drawer, [...]

time tracking: what are the numbers telling you

Last week I wrote about the importance of keeping track of all the time you spend on a project: billable and not billable, productive and spinning-your-wheels, brilliantly executed and fatally flawed. This week I want to show you the next step in my process: categorizing and analyzing the time. I used to have much finer [...]

time tracking: are you doin’ it?

I just spent most of a gorgeous Sunday afternoon figuring out how much time a project actually took compared to the proposal estimate. That part was easy: twice as long. Gulp! Now the more difficult question: how much of this was “beyond scope” and can be billed, how much was attributable to poor estimating on [...]

what is workflow? and who cares, anyway?

When you are designing and laying out a 350 page book with 150+ photos [or even a 120 page book with 40 photos], you can easily become confused and be more prone to making errors unless you can go into what I call “factory mode”, where you need only concentrate on execution, not on solving [...]

working with a designer-part two

In working with a designer-part one I offered some suggestions on how to begin to select a book designer. That post ended with arranging a time to talk to them on the phone to find out more. So what is it you want to find out? [No, actually, “What will it cost me to do [...]

working with a designer-part one

Yesterday I had a great time being a Speed Coach at the Association of Personal Historians’ Conference Town Square. I met people who have great work and personal experience and skills that they are now bringing to the field of preserving the stories of individuals, families, businesses, organizations and communities. Because they haven’t worked in [...]