Time Management Tuesday

week #2

Last week we talked about my 5-section organizer thingies, and they are GREAT….I mean really, really great. They are right up in the top 5 things that I do to manage my time usage, because let’s face it, we cannot manage time literally. It is a theoretical impossibility until and unless we all collectively decree to mark it differently, but even then…time will be what it is, how we measure it is all that will be changed, but I digress…

This week I want to talk to the writers out there who are doing public appearances or direct selling…be it small signings, one day group signings, or big multi-day event convention-style appearances. What do they all have in common? Well, besides us? MONEY. And that my friends…takes some management of resources – including time. Come tax season, you all know what I’m talking about…it takes TIME to get all our shhh…tuff together for the tax man. Right? Right! How can we make that faster so we can be using that time for other things? We get organized for it.

I’m a bit of a nut about some things. In Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – I have the obsessive side of the coin with respect to details and organization. I can lock the front door once and I’m good…but the minutia details  of things will drive me crazy, I have an Obsessive streak a mile wide. It serves me well though. Besides running my house, Eclectic Bard Books, in the corporate world I’ve taught “Time Management & Organization” for the past decade and a half…even though it’s not technically correctly named. (one of those detail things…but I didn’t name the course, only instruct it.) Hopefully, I’ll be able to transition some of the tools without sharing my crazy through this site on my Tuesday visits.

Back to the point – This is a spreadsheet I came up with to use for events, specifically to track my costs, but also to determine event feasibility for when I’m booking the future. Was an event profitable for me? Did I cover my expenses? Can I make changes that will enable to me to cover them at a repeat visit?

More importantly for time conservation come tax season…do I have all of my receipts? Do I know how much I sold and what did those items (BOOKS) cost me to print and have shipped to me to be able to sell them in the first place. What donations did I make to patrons in swag, free copies to bloggers, prizes for the event, promotional fees to be in the program, etc. All of these numbers are easier to recall and record fresh from the event than months later rifling through the calendar and bank pages trying to find things.

Another week I’ll share the roll up spreadsheet I use to coordinate month by month so come tax time I have 12 files to consolidate and prep instead of eleventy-billion. That document includes the other expenses that aren’t event specific, for now…here’s the event one. Obviously you can modify this however you wish…this is what works for me and keeps me on track for the major categories that I have to account for in the Spring.

Til next time, I hope this helps!

EVENT: Date:
Contact Information:
Expenses: Paid date/via Receipt Notes
Table:  denote deposits separately from total if it is multiple receipts  do you have one?
Promotion:  fees for the printed program
Event in Event:  did you pay additionally to do a special event during a convention?
Travel:  air or drive –

ait – remember transportation to the airport too

drive – gas & tolls

Lodging:  was there a security hold and did it get returned?
Meals:  included ones that had a fee and ones outside your event
Misc:  car rental?
Inventory:  cost plus shipping for what you brought to sell  *note if it was inventory purchased previously or if you had to order for this event. Shelved inventory is different from new – you don’t count twice. You’ve already recorded the lost sale for the expense.
Swag:  made prices and piece prices of components for those you make yourself
Prizes: things given that you get no profit from to report    
Donations:  to the event or individuals – sponsored bags, or rafflebaskets, etc
Sales: Books:
 how many & total income  profit after costs to print & ship
 if you sell separately
Evaluation: Threshold: Profit/Loss: Re-book:
 how much did you need to make to cover your costs  BOTTOM LINE
 anything you need to remember about this event that is not financial

well organized – reader following – good network


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