Planning tools

Planning Tools for Your Creative Biz - Part II

This is the second of a two-part post in which I share five favourite planning tools that have helped me move forward in my creative projects and business. Part I included tools #1 to #3; today's post offers #4 and #5.


Heed the Warning

This was my first time using any of Leonie's yearly planners. I used the Business Edition, and I would use it again.

I wouldn't consider myself a prime target market for the "Goddess-y" flavour of Leonie's planning products, but I am a big fan of her content. It's solid, it's practical, and it covers a lot of ground. Her guidance is gentle, yet firm enough to give me the kick in the a-- I sometimes need.

In addition to the business planner she published this year, she offers a Life Edition. I haven't tried that one yet, but if business isn't your focus, it may be more up your alley.


In conjunction with the Tried, Tested & True Monthly Planning Kit I mentioned in Part I of this post, I use Leonie's Magic Money Making Kit to help with my monthly planning. They work well together.

The Magic Money Making Kit is part of Leonie's Business Goddess e-course. I like it because in addition to addressing specific financial and business goals for the month, it prompts me to think about how I want to live while I'm going about achieving them.

It reminds me that while yes, I have many business goals I want to achieve, I also want to get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, and have a date or two with D. while I'm at it.

I highly recommend Leonie's Business Goddess e-course. Like her yearly business planner, there's a lot of practical information in there. Just her Magic Money Making Kit, alone, has been tremendously useful to me and has become a staple used at the beginning of each month and throughout to see how I'm faring.

* Full disclosure: I am an affiliate for Leonie Dawson's products and will receive payment if you purchase a product of hers through one of my links. I only recommend products I have used myself. Her products have helped me move forward, and continue to do so, which is why I've chosen to share them here.


Et voilà, five of my favourite planning tools! Together they've helped me gather my scattered thoughts, lay them out, stay focused and move forward, one small, next right action at a time.

Without them I don't think I could have achieved all that I did last year.

What about YOU? Do you have any favourite tools that help you move forward in your creative projects or business?

I'm always keen on learning about what works for different people; I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

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.