How The Action Method Made Me More Productive

Action Method

During my junior year of university, I found myself in about 9 hours of meetings per week (outside of class lectures). Creative meetings, social service meetings, project meetings, client meetings- and it got to a point where I spent more time meeting than I did doing actual work. I quickly became disorganized. I had a different notebook for each area of responsibility and my notes were organized in chronological order as items were discussed. I needed a way to quickly identify how each meeting impacted me and my to-do list. The meetings had actually made me less productive than ever before. I had to get organized. What I found has profoundly organized my workflow and helped me become far more productive, especially after meetings. I've missed much fewer deadlines and very few details ever slip through the cracks. And the solution was so simple. It's called Action Method.

What is Action Method?

It's a simple process to keep ideas and notes organized. In 2006, the creative guys and gals over at the Behance network began to work on a formulaic process for their own designers to take meeting notes and to get things done. Over the years, Behance has refined their productivity system into what we know today as Action Method. The goal of the Action Method is to come out of every meeting with clear next steps, which function as to-do items. Action Method notebooks provide space to jot detailed notes, possible ideas, and most importantly, to doodle and sketch.

Essentially, it guides you to organize information as you receive it during a meeting.

Ok, so I'll need to make this graphic this week - I'll add it to my Action Steps. 

I wonder how that would look if it was printed on a T-shirt? I'll sketch it out real quick. 

Oh that would be a cool idea, but it's going to have to wait - I'll add it to my Backburner.

I'll put the client info in my notations. 

Many Flavors

I'd recommend Action Method to anyone - but especially to creative professionals. The Ghostly Store sells many variations of Action Method, from simple Action Cards, to Dot-Matrix Journals, to the heavy duty Action Book. It all depends of what you feel would be helpful for you. For me, I've been using the Action Book for 3 months now and I have loved it. It's large enough to accommodate a lot of notes and sketches.