Read the following to understand how I arrived at this blog entry (blogs are journals, after all) . . . or skip to the bottom for the chase.
Long ago, after reading several books on the "business of art", I set up this elaborate system, all in one huge 3 ring binder. Way too big for me to ever want to pull it off the shelf and use it. I did, however, use it for a while and it definitely helped. Eventually I broke it down into individual binders, but by then I was floating off to a space of ambiguity and indifference in regard to my business practices. I'd looked around. I seemed to be the only artist I knew who was concerned about all this record keeping and documentation. And, as I'd been accused on occasion of being a little compulsive, I decided "what the hey" and ditched any and all record keeping. (the all-or-nothing attitude)
Several things happened as a result. As my inventory increased and spread throughout, I had trouble remembering where everything was. As my office area became more disorganized, my studio became more disorganized. And the worst thing, I became more disorganized in my personal business. This happened over the course of several years.
The dawning realization for me is that everything is inter-related. Duh! And in the challenging economic times when artists may be impacted more than others (although I believe we, through the profession of art, have tools that may serve us well in these times), it is more important than ever to hone up on our organizational skills. This allows us to be on the top of our game, to notice small nuances, when they appear, that might direct us in our approach to the business of our art. I believe the easiest way to do this is through computer software.
I've done some quick research and the following websites are a few of what I found. These are by no means all that exist. AND I am not advocating any of these. (The last listing is from Art Biz Blog, which I have added to my blog list. It has more listed.) Check them out, draw your own conclusions. I will soon be choosing one and implementing it. I'll keep you posted.
Remember, though, nothing works if you don't work it.
Art Systems - http://www.artsystems.com/index.htm
Working Artist - http://www.workingartist.com/index.html
E Artist - http://www.artscope.net/eArtist/index.html
Archer Artist Business Software - http://www.archerartist.com/
Arawalk - http://www.arawak.com.au/
Art Biz Blog - http://www.artbizblog.com/2007/11/updated-databas.html