Start the New Year off Right by Being Ultra Organized with Behance’s Action Runner and Action Pad!

I am always looking for new ways to stay on top of information. And these days, it’s tough – emails, attachments, phone calls, texts, mail, brochures, files, business cards – it’s a wonder anyone gets any work done.

And now we spend more time at the office, or if we go home at a decent hour, we’ve got a briefcase full of work that we’ll do, hovering over our laptop after dinner.

And being a writer? Well, it’s kind of like dwelling in a cave of towering papers that you have to read, act on and get through.

So I went in search of something that would help me stay on top of things. I’ve always made lists but lately even those haven’t been helping much.

That’s when I found Behance.

Their philosophy is called Produce Creativity: Action Method. It’s that you should come away from a meeting or reading an article with 3 things:

1. action steps
2. backburner items
3. reference items

You then keep these along with others that come along and then go through them one by one and act on them – throw them out even, but do something with them.

Behance knows what their talking about. Although their products look beautiful and deceivingly simple, a lot of thought has gone into the design of them to make you more productive.

As they say, “The Action Method helps to push projects forward by organizing our ideas and focusing on action steps.”

And what I find really vital to getting things done is having a system in place that works, that doesn’t get in your way, but helps you to stay on top of what’s going on in your life.

The Action Runner is just one of those systems. It is designed to fit into your hand, like a paper PDA of sorts, to help you capture ideas on the go. Relentlessly, as Behance says. I like that. Because you do have to be relentless and disciplined to stay on top of it all, balls in the air, deadlines moving and changing.

And the dot grid on the back of each page allows you to make notes or sketches to accompany your thoughts. Me? I’m doing a new floor plan of the apartment and my office.

The black cover has a suede feel to it, but it’s tough enough to handle going in and out of pockets and sleeves all day long.

And the paper? Absolutely sumptuous. Being designers, Behance made their products not only beautiful to look at, but beautiful to handle as well. The pages are 80lb Premium Blend paper, are perforated so you can take a page with you when you need to, and is so thick that you don’t have to worry about your fineliner sinking through to the next page.

The lines in which you capture your ideas come in three Pantone Colours – a warm orange, soft grey and Tiffany blue. I got the grey one, which makes me feel very business like, which is just the feeling I needed to get things done.

To the left of each line (there’s 8 to a page) there’s a little white box that you can check when you’ve completed your action. A check box helps you feel accomplished. A check box says, “All right. Good job, Dickison. Now let’s move onto the next thing!”

And like I said, you need something that won’t get in your way and works for you and how you think. 8 lines are just enough to keep me on my game without leaving me feeling overwhelmed. And the dotted back page allows me the room to scrawl thoughts and notes that don’t have a place yet, but need to be captured the moment they are revealed.

The pad is comfortable to hold in your hand while you write (can you say that about your steno pad or DayRunner 3 ring-binder system that weighs 6 lbs?), so you really can capture every idea that you need, no matter where you are.

That’s the kind of security and dependability you want in a system, isn’t it?

The Action Pad works in much the same way, but it can be put into a binder or on your desk for while you’re working or in a meeting.

There are the lines at the right (with their sweet ol’ check boxes) to keep track of your Action Steps (This time I got them in orange! What fun!) and a small bottom portion for Backburner ideas. The left half of the page has a Prep/Focus section at the top to allow you to gather yourself before meetings or really focus in on what’s your main goal today. The bottom half are those soft dots to allow you a little breathing room to let loose and just write what comes.

The pages are 8.75” x 10.5 “and are also perforated. They are 3-hole punched as well, so you can use them in whatever way works best for you.

The bigger areas allow you to write a little more and it’s nice to have something big right at your side that you can jot into throughout the work day.

There are other products as well. Have a look around and see what will fit into your life and work.

You won’t believe what a difference it’ll make.

Behance has designed these products so well that you don’t really have to do anything but follow the steps – write it down, follow up, complete action.

Finally. A method that I can sink my teeth into.

A method that actually works.

Stephanie Dickison

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