Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Plan Book

First, let me say that Jayson is sick, sick, sick.  I think he has gotten out of bed long enough to take more tylenol, then went back up to sleep.  He will get to the Jack posts as soon as he can hold his head up.  (Wow, I should be taking care of him, huh?  Ok, I will… right after I make this post, haha)

The Plan Book…..

I’m a planner, to a fault.  Jayson is a fly by the seat of his pants kinda person.  Sometimes this causes a train wreck when I want to plan something to death, and he doesn’t.   But sometimes it is the best of both worlds because if I forgot to work it out on paper – he knows how to roll with it, and I don’t.  And sometimes he has no clue how to start, but I already have it on paper.  So, we deal with it.

book 010 My plan book for last year was just a simple little spiral notebook that I divided into sections with post-it note tabs.  The sections were:

  1. General guidelines and brainstorming.  This included the main theme, characters, layout of haunt, sounds… basically the who/what/when/where/why.
  2. Calendar – I kept a diary of our work every day from August until Halloween night.  I stopped on 10-31, because I never wanted to look back and be embarrassed by how long it took us to tear it down and put it all away!  But this section really helped us look back and see the reality of how long a specific prop took to make.  You never seem to include drying time in your estimated completion times!
  3. To Do – This was a constantly changing section, where I would just cross stuff off as it got done, and add all the things to do tomorrow as I went.  This kept me from forgetting a million little details.
  4. Projects – This section was the detail for each prop, and a place to put ideas for props we had seen, and wanted to do.  It gave us space to pencil in dimensions and measurements as we took them, estimated cost, and a “grocery list” so we knew exactly what to buy when we went to the Home Improvement store.  (Because I *always* had the book with me at the store!
  5. Bought.  Man, this was a horrific tab, if I do say so myself.  After a shopping trip, I would take the receipt and write all the Halloween items, and total at the bottom of each page.  Remember, I only started this in August last year, and the 3 month total just floored me!  (But also helps me this year, seeing the price of items, and deciding if I really want to do that prop in my head, after totalling up the cost of it!)
  6. Ideas.  Sketches, brainstorms, silly ideas that might not ever work… this section held anything like that.  It was a big section.

book 003qbook 001book 005

So you see why Jayson gets so frustrated with me!  I can over organize anything to…. death!  But, I can tell you this – right now, as we are getting ramped up to start all over again for 2009, I have referred to last years book I don’t know how many times… keeping notes as you go, while building a haunt really records all the little stuff you don’t think about.

I have already started this years book, just on little note pads, since I haven't gotten the official book yet.  I would like to find something a little sturdier than my little spiral, but I don’t want to spend a lot of money on something really cool because it tends to get spray paint on it…. (as you could tell in the shot at the beginning of the post!)

I will hunt around and find something… but I need to hurry… its time for the journaling to begin!  (Sorry, Honey… but I gotta be ME!)

Do you keep any kind of notes, or plan?  (Or am I the only crazy one around here?!?!)


Diane said...

i'm an organize to death kinda girl too. i use a 3 ring binder for organizing stuff. you can use sheet protectors to hold scraps of ideas torn from magazines, paint chips, etc., rearrange whatever you want (since it's a binder), you could even put plans in sheet protectors too to take out and have with you while your working - no worries about the spray paint.

hope jayson gets well soon!

Mr. Macabre said...

I actually bought a sketch book yesterday at the Evil Empire (WalMart) to make sketches of props and prop mechanisms and then you have this post, how coincedental!

I by nature am more like Jayson, who I hope gets to feeling better soon, a make it up as I go along sort of person. I wished that I was more organized; the sketchbook is mainly just so I don't forget any ideas.

suzanne said...

Wow!! I thought I was organized until I read this post :D

I keep a notebook as well but it usually holds lists, reminders and very rough sketches. Yours sounds incredible, not just as an organizational tool but as a daily record of your adventures :)

Chris 'Frog Queen' Davis said...

:) Husbad and I have a journal that goes with us everywhere.....everywhere. We are always planning always!! I also have a file system at the house full of....all sorts of stuff. Welcome to the club! :)

Hope Jayson is better.....

Anonymous said...

I do the same thing, except for the calendar and bought sections (I don't think I could bare a tally of time and cost for the entire display - though I AM that meticulous on roadtrips recording time, distance, gas fillups, food costs, stops, even photographs taken).

Having a notebook is so handy. It helps you keep on track, on schedule, and reminds you of ideas you've come up with.

Websites help with that too ;)


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