I Done This: A Filmmaker’s Productivity Tool

Picture this! You’re in the flow. Everything is going smoothly with your film project.

And then BOOM! It’s not.

Life just got in the way. As a result, you blew yet another self-imposed deadline. Blowing deadlines in filmmaking can make you feel like crap.

The good news is you’re not alone. We’ve all been there, grappling with the ever-elusive quest for productivity in the film industry, from scriptwriting to contacting investors and handling shoots.

In the chaos, it’s easy to forget the progress you’re making each day.

idonethis productivity tool for filmmakers
Movie Producer Overwhelm

“I Done This” In Filmmaking

I don’t know when, how, or when this happened to me. But somewhere along the way, I just stopped using a traditional “to-do” list as the primary way to keep track of my productivity. And I shifted my focus to using “done lists.”

This single shift in philosophy has been a game-changer.

Using a “done list” is about recognizing what you’ve done rather than getting overwhelmed by what you haven’t done. This slight shift in thinking can make a big difference in how you approach your work in the film industry.

As I began to think this way, I started a new daily routine. At the end of each day, I took a few minutes to list everything I had done. And I included little things like “made my bed.”

After a few days of this, I noticed I was beginning to procrastinate on writing things down. And that’s when I came across a simple but powerful productivity tool called IDoneThis. The significant selling feature was the daily email…

Small Wins Become BIG

Every day, the app sends me one email with a straightforward question:

“What did you do today?”

I then reply to the email with a bullet list of stuff I did and go on with my day.

Behind the scenes, IDoneThis receives my emails and logs my “dones.” I can log in to the platform to see what I’ve done. But even if I forget, the app is so powerful that after a couple of weeks, I’ll receive an email reminding me of everything I’ve achieved.

It’s like a satisfying boost of motivation.

Here are the other benefits of focusing on a “Done List” over a “To-Do List.”

  1. Get More Done: With the “I Done This” approach, you shift focus from a long to-do list to celebrating “done.” This feels good and boosts your motivation.
  2. Reduce Stress: By paying attention to what you’ve already completed, not just what’s left to do, you’ll feel less overwhelmed.
  3. Stay Realistic: Filmmaking is a long journey. Recognizing your daily progress helps you stay grounded so you see each step as part of the process.
  4. Use Your Favorite Tools: You can easily use “I Done This” alongside your preferred productivity tools (as I’ll share below.)
  5. Improve Yourself: Reflecting on your daily accomplishments helps you identify areas for personal growth and decide what you need to do differently.

This is important because producing a movie can take a long time. And it’s easy to forget the progress you make each day.

Using “IDoneThis,” you begin recognizing that every step you make is progress.

Filmmaker Productivity Tools

While IDoneThis is great, I still find it helpful to combine it with other traditional tools to create a comprehensive productivity system to stay on top of everything.

Here’s what I use:

Dry Erase Board: The Visual Reminder

I love adding long-term goals to my dry-erase board. This serves as a constant reminder of things I want to accomplish.

I set it up so I can stare at it daily.

Dry Erase Board

With this said, I only add ONE BIG GOAL per week. Then, I break the goal into smaller, daily tasks.

Using a board and your “IDoneThis” reflections can give you a good view of your progress.

Daily Planner: Old School Yet Effective

While tools like “IDoneThis” offer digital reflections, I still love writing in a tangible, physical daily planner.

Moleskine Planner

A daily planner helps me break down my smaller tasks into half-hour steps. I love the feeling of adding my tasks into a time block.

If your budget allows, grab a Moleskine Planner.

Half-hour Glass: Time Management Reinvented

If you thought my daily planner was old school, wait until you start using a half-hour glass!

Half-hour Glass

Using this has helped me break my tasks into half-hour chunks and serves as an animated accountability partner, consistently reminding me the time keeps ticking…

Use this with “IDoneThis” to ensure you make the most of every moment.


In the fast-paced world of filmmaking, you must be realistic about the deadlines you set for yourself. Instead of stressing about the big picture, break your goals into smaller, manageable pieces of work.

Focus on what you get done each day rather than worrying about what’s left unfinished. Whether you add one word to one page of your screenplay, practice your pitch, or reach out to potential investors…

Every small win creates significant progress over time.

I Done This” is not just about getting things done. It’s a reminder that success comes from making daily progress, celebrating small wins, and staying determined to move forward on your movie projects even when things suck.


Quick Recap: ‘IDoneThis’ in Filmmaking

IDoneThis is a productivity tool emphasizing daily achievements over pending tasks. It’s a game-changer for filmmakers, helping them stay motivated and on track. By integrating “IDoneThis” into their workflow, filmmakers can navigate the challenges of the movie industry more effectively.

Embracing the philosophy of “done is better than none.”

  1. What is IDoneThis?

    It’s a productivity tool focusing on daily accomplishments rather than pending tasks.

  2. How can IDoneThis benefit filmmakers?

    It helps filmmakers stay motivated by emphasizing daily achievements, reducing the stress of what’s left undone.

  3. How does IDoneThis integrate with other tools?

    IDoneThis integrates with tools like Slack and Trello, ensuring smooth team collaboration.

  4. Why is daily reflection critical in filmmaking?

    Daily reflection allows filmmakers to acknowledge their progress, fostering a sense of accomplishment and motivation.

  5. How can filmmakers stay on track with their projects?

    By focusing on daily achievements and integrating tools like IDoneThis, filmmakers can navigate challenges and stay aligned with their goals.

  6. What’s the main philosophy behind IDoneThis?

    The main philosophy is to shift focus from what needs to be done to what has been accomplished.

  7. How does IDoneThis reduce stress in filmmaking?

    Emphasizing what’s been achieved reduces the stress of pending tasks and fosters a sense of accomplishment.


Here are some of the key terms covered in this article.

IDoneThis: A tool that helps you track and celebrate what you’ve accomplished each day so you get more stuff done.

Daily Reflections: Take a moment to recognize your achievements during the day.

Team Collaboration: Working with your film crew and sharing your accomplishments to build a sense of togetherness.

Dry Erase Board: A board where you can write your long-term goals and tasks and erase them when you finish them so you always see what’s left to do.

Daily Planner: A digital or paper tool where you plan your day and break tasks into smaller time slots.

Half-hour Glass: A timer that runs for 30 minutes, helping you stay on track and manage your time better.

Deadline Management: Setting and tracking when tasks or projects must be finished.

Tangible Reminder: A real, physical object that reminds you to stay focused, motivated, and organized.

Productivity Tools: Software or tools that make you work more efficiently and get things done.

Milestones: Important achievements or events that show you’re making progress toward a big goal.

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ARTICLE BY Jason Brubaker

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