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Tracking an Art Challenge like ICAD in Notion

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Track ICAD in Notion

Do You Track Your Daily Art? How Do You Keep Track of Which ICAD Cards You’ve Made and What you Did?

Not everyone likes to track, feels the need to track, or derives value from tracking. It’s best to start there because I often think that “most” people I interact with do appreciate some form of tracking (even if it’s limited to habit tracking). But I was reminded this week that in some circles, being someone who likes to track stands out a bit. I was left awkwardly standing alone when I realized this. I’d asked a question thinking that most everydone does some form of this and, ultimately, that’s not the case.

You have to find your peeps. And I’m not sure I’ve found mine. If you are one, leave a comment on the video so I know!

Some people just don’t track.

And some people have very different ideas about what tracking means.

For those of you who do like to track, you might track on paper, in a bullet journal or composition book, or even on an index card (which has great meta sensibilities for the Index-Card-a-Day challenge). Or maybe you’ve used Trello, or Asana, or an Excel spreadsheet, or a Google sheet. There’s something beautiful and orderly in making a digital list.

When you shift over to a database mentality, things get extra fuel, extra flexibility, and extra beautiful in that data-beauty way that just “sings.”

I Always Track (or have intentions to track)

I have always tried to track ICAD in some way. This is different than just writing on the back of the card what I did each day. I do that, too. But “tracking” (to me) means keeping an overarching set of documentation and data that pulls the whole challenge together. This kind of data helps me feel more in touch with what I’ve created, lets me go back later and see the big picture.

I track all challenges, not just ICAD.

It can be as easy as just a checkbox for each day of the challenge (or each 1-61 card). There are even productivity methods out there that totally and only revolve around using checkboxes.

When I add ICAD to a paper-based habit tracker, a checkbos is always there. But I like to track lots of fields…. who or what did I draw? What category was it (e.g., portrait? coffee cup? dog?)? What medium(s) did I use? Was it in color? Was there a word? What was the word? And on and on and on.

What categories of data you track are very specific to you and your own art.

When I started using Notion this year, I found a perfect way to start tracking my daily drawing as part of my daily habit tracking and personal data documentaiton. It has made a big difference for me in feeling more on top of this and has also given me easy ways to look at my daily art.

I tracked the 100 Day Project using Notion.

And, yes, I’m tracking ICAD in Notion.

I have connected (relational) databases set up within my overall daily dashboard and productivity tracking. The drawing database is one of these, and I have offshoots for separate challenges like ICAD. That can get complicated, but starting from scratch and setting up a database to track your ICAD doesn’t have to be complicated at all. It can be as simple as a list of the days and prompts and a checkbox you check off each day to show you “did it.” You’ll see, at a glance, where you are in the challenge and how it unfolds.

In this video, I walk you through how to think about doing this and how to set up your own simple database using Notion (which is free).

Using Notion to Track a Daily Art Challenge Like ICAD

Habits, Habit Tracking, and Personal Documentation?

All the way. All the time. And yes, please!

Some of my favorite books for thinking about things like this:

Tools I Am Using for My Summer Series

(Links below are affiliate links that help support the Creativity Matters Podcast at no additional cost to you.)

Learning Video Editing and Making YouTube Videos After 50

Note: in terms of video creation and my YouTube After 50 series, this video went relatively smoothly. Because most of it was a walk-through, the recording is handled differently, and I really love how easy it is to do this. I did record the small “sketchnote” style section separately. Because I did the audio first, however, putting the video together with the voiceover during editing wasn’t seamless. (It would have been best to do all of that at the same time. But when I recorded the walkthrough, for some reason I thought it made sense to go ahead and record the “intro” all at once and then film that later. I did LOVE doing the sketchnote form though….. that’s something I want to continue to explore.)

The problem I ran into this time was with the software. I installed a new daily build of the video editor I have been using, hoping it might solve some of the weird (buggy) problems I had experienced last time. However, some of the features I really like about the software are different now in the latest build, and that made it more difficult to really tweak some of the timings. Even worse, at the end, when I was done, there were errors trying to export the file. It simply wouldn’t. I finally had to revert and reinstall the official build in order to save my file. (There was some minor panic when I thought I wasn’t going to be able to save after all of the work, but reinstalling the earlier version did work.)

I did much less cutting and fast-forwarding this time, so some of the problems that plagued the last video don’t show up here.

I really love doing walkthroughs.

Still learning.

Face on the screen? Nah. Not really necessary!


Note: links provided to books, tools, and other resources on the Creativity Matters Podcast website may be affiliate links for which the podcast would make a (very) small amount of money if the item was purchased. The Creativity Matters Podcast is an affiliate. Links are provided for convenience to help you find/see/explore the books, tools, and resources I talk about. Using the library, when possible, is always my first recommendation for reviewing books firsthand.

Links are Amazon affiliate links and help support the Creativity Matters Podcast at no additional cost to you.