Monthly Planning Kit

Planning Tools for Your Creative Biz - Part I

After a bit of a planning hiatus to let things percolate, yesterday was a full on planning day that included looking at things I'd like to do this year, and specific to-dos for the month of February.

It's good to let things percolate, that's how ideas grow and morph into something possible. To make things happen, we also need to get specific. 

In this two-part post I will share a few favourite planning tools that help me get things done. I highlight three tools today in Part I, with another few to come in Part II later this week.



While I love getting down into detailed planning, it's also good to step back and get a bird's eye view of how it all fits together.

This tool started as a scribble on a wayward piece of grid paper; I polished it up a little for you and created a one-page PDF. You can download it here and print it out.

The year-at-a-glance grid is a great place to plot out creative, biz and other personal projects and events to see if, how and where they overlap. Simply write down what major events or projects are happening in any given month. If one of the monthly boxes is too full, it may be a red flag to either shift things around or plan for a busy period that month.

It's an effective, simple visual that allows you to adjust or prepare accordingly.



I created this tool because I needed it. Period.

My brain often works on overdrive with creative sparks flying so fast I can't keep up. On some days it feels like an idea factory that just won't shut down, and it's the best creative high ever. On other days, that high is replaced by an overwhelming "Ack! Where do I start?"

The Monthly Planning Kit helps me gather my scattered ideas into one, monthly process. Using review prompts and the Monthly Planning Quadrant - a visual container for those scattered pieces of work, it helps me identify what I want to get done that month, and capture the rest so it isn't forgotten.

Get the Monthly Planning Kit FREE, along with news, prompts and inspiration, when you sign up for the Creative Living Experiment mailing list.



Breaking down your goals into weekly and/or daily objectives and writing them down keeps them visible and do-able. Oh, and an added benefit? It gets all of those nagging to-dos out of your head.

Right now my daily planner consists of plain ol' index cards. Yours may be electronic, or a favourite paper version. It really doesn't matter as long as your find a format that works for you.

Often, I bring half of my to-do list with me to the next day, or the one after that, or the one after that... Frankly, unless it's something critical (meaning it will delay my project if I don't do it), I'm OK with that. Remember: self-compassion is key.


In Part II, I'll share a few more tools including one I use on a monthly basis with the Monthly Planning Kit, and another to help guide my work for the year. Stay tuned.

Bits & Bobs & A Week Off The Job

Regular Contributor to Scoutie Girl

I'm now a regular contributor at Scoutie Girl (YAY!); watch for my posts every two weeks.

Last Monday's post touches on the need to have it all figured out vs. focusing on the next right action. Read it here.


FREE Monthly Planning Kit

It's a new month and it's still early, so it's not too late to sign up for the Creative Living Experiment mailing list and get your FREE Tried, Tested & True Monthly Planning Kit! Folks are sending me pictures of their Monthly Planning Quadrants and I'm loving it!

Here's what Pauline had to say about it:

"I finally got to your 20 page Monthly Planning Kit! It's fabulous! You did a great job with writing it in a way that made it seem 'do-able.' Especially for people like me. I am SO not a monthly goal kinda gal. ... Just wanted to say thanks for putting this together, and for making it easier for me to tackle such an 'unnatural' thing for me. I'm doing it this time, baby!"

 Get it here.


On Self-Care and Sustainability

One of the perks of doing this work is that I LOVE what I do. When I love what I do I tend to spend long spells intensely working at my PC, head hunched forward, eyes glued to the screen. When I do that, I compact my neck muscles, which, according to my massage therapist,  can in turn entrap my occipital nerve and cause annoying headaches that tend to linger, but get old very quickly. (That was an awfully crafted sentence, but yeah, I'm trying to get this post done and get off the computer!)

Loving what I do enough that I don't notice time passing while I'm crafting my work = very cool.

Pinched nerve and lingering headaches = not so cool.

I sense a full post on self-care and sustainability coming on. Stay tuned...


A Week Off The Job

And speaking of self-care, I'm getting ready for a week's vacation on my beloved east coast! Oh the salty sea air, may it fill my lungs and psyche to last me the year.

In addition to being in at Mom & Dad's in New Brunswick, there may be a side trip to Prince Edward Island or the Bay of Fundy for some new scenery. But the main reason we're going is to celebrate Mom & Dad's 50th anniversary.  Fifty years together, now that's something worth celebrating!

Here's a pic of the two lovebirds, 50 years ago:

So with this happy thought I am signing off for a week of repose and restoration, with a bit of discovery and celebration thrown in.

See y'all on the flip side!