There are a gazillion planners out there. So many have flooded the market, it’s hard to find one for a specific purpose. Since I’ve been using a planner for decades, even I have trouble narrowing down my playing field to the planners I need and not all the planners I want.
I’ve been trying different author/writer niche planners. Maybe I am hard to satisfy, but it’s taken me a while to find one that rocks my world.
A planner Facebook group I love kept talking about kanban boards and Sarra Cannon’s planner system. After a few weeks of seeing several writers raving about it, I became curious enough to dig in. Boy, am I glad I did.
The Heartbreathing 90 day planning system has specific writer attributes that helped me get back in the swing of things. I ended last year not having accomplished as much as I had hoped. Nope, I didn’t fall off the wagon. I burned that bitch. And now with a new year staring me in the face, I’ve got a gentle plan and planner to track it in.
You can look at the planner here. It’s a printable. I adore this option. I pick my paper and size and customize this for myself. Mileage may vary. This type of printable can be taken to your local office store where they will print and bind this for you.
Because it's a printable, I can choose the size. My writing planner has always been a b6 travelers notebook. I kept the planner in pdf form and shrunk to a size I wanted. Instructions are included in the download.
My writer planner is decorated with a Harry Potter theme. I dress up my b6 with fancy papers, die cuts, paperclips, stickers, vellum and acetate. I am joyful when I notice it laying on my desk. Please right down to my toes.
Your planner needs to call to you to pick it up. Otherwise, on those days where you can't find any motivation and lack the ability to adult, you will leave your planner, and your career, sitting idle.
I bought the dated format. I don’t want to write the dates in wrong and only realize it a week down the road when I miss an event or a deadline. There is an undated option. Buy it once and use it for as long as it works for you.
The first part of the planner helps you drill down on the goals you want to track. Question's are targeted towards the first quarter of the year. Break that down monthly, weekly then daily. The planner will guide you. I already do some of this, but it's always helpful to see a tweak to an efficient process.
How many days can you work in a month? Count. Study your goals. Can you meet them with the time available to you, or perhaps you need to adjust?
Squeeze the list down to three goals. Goals are not projects. She has fabulous instructions on how to see the difference.
Now you are looking at three goals. Break up the tasks you think you will need to finish them. What tiny steps will help you get there?
None of this is revolutionary, but it is contained in the writer headspace. How long does it take you to plot? Rough draft? Edit? If nothing else, the planner gives you a place to record some of this information to help you be more efficient.
I am using a weekly system. They offer a daily. It’s more than I need right now. But it’s no extra cost. Consider how your brain works and see what you need.
The first thing I fill out in my planner is the calendar for the month. And I put everything on there. Meetings, critique group commitments, doctors and dentist appointments, and anything else that needs to be kept up with. All the things down in one place.
Flip pages and see each week has three columns. One each for the goals you’ve picked. Plug in the tasks you think will help you meet your goals. A summary page next to it gives you a place to list other tasks, top priorities, a spot for tracking social media statistics, record what book you are working on and where you are in the project and a place for blog article ideas and execution. Getting all of this down on paper helps clear the brain space.
The next pages are the weekly set up. There is a spot for writing your book focus. Also, a space for any promo you may have going on. There are a few habit trackers you can fill in with whatever you need to track. Each day has an open space with a checklist below. I use the top space for notes and time tracking. The bottom I fill in with tasks. I love to check boxes. Makes me feel accomplished.
I use stickers in this section. I have a little tracker for making sure I post to social media. Then there are these little typewriter stickers I use to chart in my daily word count.
The weekly pages don’t end there. Flip again page and you get a blank space for any brain dumping you may need to do. Like when you are in line at the grocery store and an idea pops in your head. In case you were wondering, no you won't remember later. You need to write it down.
To end out the week, there are a few questions made to help you study what is working for you and what no longer serves you.
It’s a simple system. Logical. And I get to support a fellow writer. She does a great job of selling her own product. Well worth the view if you are trying to think of a way to track your writing business.
Are you using a planner? Do you stick to weekly layouts or do you dive into the daily? Please leave me a comment below. I love to hear from you.
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