Organizing My Thoughts

With all the excitement of the idea of pursuing trade shows, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything that has to be done. Even though I have plenty of close up magic material that I’ll be able to use and adapt to trade show work, there are still a lot of things I have to do before I feel like I can even start targeting businesses. I guess the old adage rings true: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

That said, my wife and I sat down to try to get everything out of my head so it could be visualized and organized. What we did was to take index cards, cut them in half, and use them to write separate shouts down on. We took a similar approach when we wrote our Disneyland park tips book a couple years ago and it worked well in helping to organize my thoughts. (By the way, that idea came from Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, only he uses Post-It Notes. Thanks Pat!)

Idea-Organization-Cards.jpg

My (somewhat) organized thoughts

Here are all the things that I emptied out of my head and the order of importance my wife and I agreed upon. These are all a combination of things I need to do, create, or get. Note: Many of the numbers are the same. This means that they hold equal importance or that they depend on each other in order to complete.

1. Create a business plan

2. Start writing practice scripts for my tricks
2. Build website
2. Write sales copy
2. Design business cards
2. Figure out performance table/podium

3. Create branded forms

4. Buy comfortable shoes
4. Create “Magician’s Tool Kit” from Seth Kramer’s book, A Modern Trade Show Handbook, as well as Bud Dietrich’s book, The Trade Show Handbook.
4. Buy a sound system

5. Research companies to target

6. Create laser-targeted videos for select prospects

7. Update & maintain my LinkedIn profile
7. Buy a show clock

8. Figure out carry-on options for flight
8. Get a REAL ID CA Drivers License (as opposed to my current standard drivers license)

9. Get a passport
9. Brainstorm magic giveaway items for trade shows

10. Coordinate photographer for first gig

Sometimes it’s easiest and most effective to do things in “analog.” Once I’d gotten everything out onto paper and then organized, I moved into the digital realm. For this I used Trello. Trello is great because it allows you to organize things into cards, lists, and boards. I had already created a board for my trade show project, so I added a To Do list which would contain all of the items in the list above on individual cards. The great thing about Trello cards is that each one can be “opened up” and you can add details for that will help you track each step. Once you complete a card, you can archive it.

Trello is a great tool for keeping you organized and on track. From here, I now have at a glance everything I need to to in order to progress my journey to trade shows. I can keep track of my progress and take notes on each element.

Next stop, creating a business plan!

In Trello, you have boards that you can create. From there you drill down into lists, and then cards.

In Trello, you have boards that you can create. From there you drill down into lists, and then cards.

When you click on a card in Trello, this is what you get. Here you can drill down even further and really track details, adding comments, images, and even check lists.

When you click on a card in Trello, this is what you get. Here you can drill down even further and really track details, adding comments, images, and even check lists.