I’m a university student, streamer and blogger and life can become quite hectic. It’s something I’ve noticed over the last three years and I wanted to get better at improving that work-life balance as well as my overall workflow, which is why I tried a lot of things. Planning was never my strong suit and especially my time management can be quite rough at times. I mean, I have my priorities: University > Blogging > Streaming – And if I need more time for my studies, I’ll skip some streams and maybe even pause the blogging streak… but I got a pretty quick handle on things now and it’s partly thanks to ClickUp.
Quick Disclaimer here:
While ClickUp is quite great, I personally am not affiliated with them or sponsored with them in any way. I just wanted to talk about I worked with it and how it helped me. I don’t earn any money or benefits through this post here and I’ll obviously also talk about the downsides of ClickUp in private use.
ClickUp is a cloud-based collaboration and project management tool that supposedly saves you one day every week if you use it correctly. It has a lot of different plans from the free plan to the business plan and I wanted to try out the free model and see if it helps me with my workflow. Now, the actual site is quite hard to use initially. Frankly, it can be really overwhelming at first but once you watched the tutorial… it still is quite overwhelming. I think the hardest part is getting started and with ClickUp things can get quite fidgety and difficult at times, frankly because there are so many options and features to go through.
Before I explain how ClickUp works, let me tell you what my reviews need to be completed in the blog and how I tried approaching them. Usually, I’d end up writing them up, linking to different posts or trailers, adding the pictures, fixing grammar, editing the post, and then I’d post it/share it on my socials. Now, that could be optimised obviously, by having an editor or whatever but I’m no company and this is what I love doing, so let’s try optimising it with ClickUp.
First up, I created a space named “Indiecator” for my blog. I also have a space for my University-related stuff but I won’t get into that to not bore you to death. Then, I selected features I wanted, though I can always add or remove them later. Then, I select the task statuses I wanna use. Think of these as stages that a task is at from “still needs writing” to “need to add pictures” to “just gotta hit publish/tag the devs etc.” – Again, all flexible (Can be changed later)! Then you add ClickApps (see what they did there?): These are functions like a priority flag or tags and other things you may need. You can track the time you needed to complete it or set up a deadline, too, but worry about it later if you wanna worry. You can also turn it all off and add some later. At last, add what views you get when you click on the space and confirm everything – and you’re ready to go!
Now, spaces are just the different sections of your account essentially. My Indiecator Space features everything regarding the blog. If this was a company, there’d be a space for HR, Marketing, and Programming, maybe. I selected the List, Board and Table view. There are a lot of different ones but I personally enjoy using the board view the most as it helps me organise and drag & drop tasks around. Over here you can see the tasks I created and where they are at. My review on Backbone still needs screenshots while my The Longing review is already done and published. My Sundered review requires more editing while my reviews on Grim Nights and SNKRX are waiting to be written (partly because I’m busy and because SNKRX keeps getting updated every week…). You’ll see all of that below. There are also open tasks that I haven’t even begun working on it but they are “ideas” for the next possible reviews. No hurry there.
The other lists I’m using are for First Impressions videos and The Gaming Journal content. The lists share the same statuses, so if I were to create a task for YouTube, I’d have to use the “Writing” or “Editing” statuses, too, for this one, which is suboptimal. Technically, I’d need to use a different space for that entirely but it kinda works here in the sense of Writing = Recording, Editing = Editing, Links = Description, Publish = Uploading/Promoting, and so on… and I’m lazy so I’ll just use the First Impressions List for YouTube and the Blog at the same time. As you can see over here it works quite well btw for the Blog content and you can quickly see at what step each review is at currently.
ClickUp is super practical and if you have a good idea of how you want to organise it, this tool can open a lot of doors for you,… but that brings us to an issue. You have to keep at it and keep using it for the best results. It’s not actually an issue. It’s super helpful as a product but I personally found it overwhelming at first and when I procrastinated or was depressed, the tasks that were overdue would be displayed in ClickUp making me hesitant to pick it up again. This is not ClickUp’s fault but actually my bad. “Der Innere Schweinehund” and so on.
In terms of productivity, I’d imagine that this works insanely well for businesses and moderately well for adults that want to keep track of what they need to do still. You can create a task for “grocery shopping” and frankly add the groceries you need as subtasks if you wanted to. You can create a list for the blog posts you wanna write and add subtasks for ideas you have for that specific post. This space that I have here doesn’t actually show it because my original Indiecator space was a lot more chaotic but I had this one huge review task for Ape Out and did a lot of research as to colours and free jazz and ideas about meanings and whatever that didn’t make it into the final post but I added it all into the task as subtasks to keep track of them and try to implement them.
I find ClickUp to be really helpful and I would recommend trying it out to improve your workflow. Initially, I tried out splitting up the work for each post into three different days meaning that I would work on three posts each day but I’d only finish one and start a new one each time. This worked well at first but eventually, I realised that it didn’t make sense at all and that I did more work than previously. Then I wrote up a post on the same day and stressed out about the daily posts and the prompts and stuff… Nowadays, I actually write a post for the next day and then have one in the bank at all times. Today’s Saturday but my post here goes live on Sunday, a day after my Q-Force post. I used ClickUp to stock up on posts for last weekend as I was visiting my parents and it worked really well. I even had a post for Monday in case I was too tired after the long drive on Sunday evening… and then on Monday, I wrote a post for Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Tuesday, I wrote one for Thursday, and on Wednesday, I was lazy but on Thursday I wrote one for yesterday, and so on. Having one post as a buffer-room was nice and I can essentially schedule the posts for the morning and not worry about them at all during the day, giving me plenty of time to study, eat, do chores, stream, and think about a new writing prompt or what to write for my review. In the evenings, I’d then write it, edit it, and schedule it for the next day. And then I’d go stress-free to bed.
ClickUp worked really well for me the last few days and since my original set-up was still in the learning-how-to phase, I created this new space for this post, deleted the old one, and I’m now willing to try out new features. See how fast I’m typing/writing up posts, etc. Add timers, deadlines, priorities and tags. All of that organising goodness, essentially.
And well, when I’m done with a post and still have time or energy, I can work on one of the unfinished ones in the Indietail-List like my review on Backbone or Sundered. It’s working out really nicely and it’s satisfying for me to see the posts go from Blue to Red to Purple to Yellow to Green in the board view.
Hope you enjoyed this post! ClickUp is cool and I’m not sponsored but wouldn’t mind being sponsored (affiliate links? pls? :D) All jokes aside, it’s a cool thing and more people gotta try it out.
This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.
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