Too many ideas and not enough time? Planning the right way helps with that.
I’m going to tell you a little secret: most paper planners don’t get you.
They’re designed by people who are stuck into thinking about keeping people productive and on schedule from 8am to 5pm.
But you don’t really do that. Your creative mind is always working on something and you don’t need a system that forces your ideas into a regimen; you need a system that helps you harness your creative energy.
You don’t need a system that helps you watch the clock. You need a system that helps you:
- Get your stuff done in the time that you have
- Balance those Big Ideas
- Plan out the small actions required to turn your Big Ideas in reality
That’s why our planners focus on helping you convert vision into action.
Collette Schultz of Savvy Subcontracting says:
These are absolutely the best planners for my subcontracting biz. It keeps me on task with my own projects and multiple clients. Thank you.
But how do you create planners that work for creatives?
Fact: Creative people thrive when they plan how they’ll use their creativity.
I loved the idea of paper planners. I really did. But I never could find one that fit me. I needed planners that would support project management and time management, as well as allow me to schedule creative work during my peak times. So I started making my own planners to meet those needs.
Soon after, I started sharing them with my friends and readers, and along the way I experimented, revised, added, deleted, and finally developed a variety of planners that help creative people focus on doing what matters when it needs to be done instead of merely helping them cross stuff off on a list.
Jen Vaughn says:
“I started following Productive Flourishing years ago and tried out the free planners a time or two. Recently when I became overwhelmed at work, I decided it was time to purchase the Premium Planners. Rather than constantly trying to figure out a structure to keep myself organized, I finally realized that someone has already figured out the structure! Charlie provides the structure for me to be super-effective, organized, creative, and pro-active. All I have to do is show up and do the work.
I’ve found the blog planners incredibly valuable. Now that I’m using the planners, I’m finding and scheduling content much easier. Before using the planners, I was struggling to source and find content. With the planners I feel freer to explore. I expected the planners to help me get more organized. I didn’t expect the planners to help me feel more creative as well.
The planners force me to prioritize and pick what I’m going to focus on. Because I can schedule out for the month, it’s also given my bosses more realistic time-frames on when projects will be delivered. That’s sanity saving for all of us!
If you’re thinking of buying the planners, my advice is to do it. You really can start to think longer-term knowing that you have them all there and ready. You can buy the entire year’s worth of planners for the cost of five cups of coffee. It’s just $2 per month!”
The Core 3 Reasons Why These Planners Work When Others Won’t
Most planners force you into a way of thinking that doesn’t actually lead to better time management or better project management. Creatives and business owners need flexibility in their planning, and these planners are designed and packaged to give you the most flexibility.
1. No More Trying To Sandwich Pages In The Right Order
I’ve gone through and prepared each month for you, so all you have to do is print out the desired month and you get all of the planners in the right order.
You’ll see that the year is broken down into quarters, and the quarters into months. Inside each month is a combined monthly set, as well as the individual components of the month.
For the Action Planners, that means the Monthly Action Planner is followed by a Weekly Action Planner, and that weekly planner is followed by 7 Daily Action Planners. That week is followed by another week prepared the same way, so there’s no more trying to figure out what goes where.
At the beginning of the quarter, you’ll see a Quarterly Objective Planner, too. Finally, you don’t have to remember to do your planning at the right time - you can just follow the prompt!
2. Print What You Need – When You Need It
Let’s say that you go out of town in the first week of March and need to get your groove on when you return. You might come back in the middle of the month, so instead of printing out all of March, you could just print out the weeks you need.
Or perhaps you’ve lost one of the weekly planners and just want to print that one. No problem. Just find the month you’re in, and that solo planner is right there. If you’d like to print out the entire month, you can do that, too.
3. Don’t Worry About Messing Up Your Beautiful Planner
If planners are your thing, you’ve no doubt dealt with the frustration of screwing a page up behind all recognition and usability. Perhaps you wrote in pen but didn’t mean to and couldn’t bear to line or mark through your writing. Or maybe you’ve had coffee mishaps that completely ruined the whole notebook and now you’re frustrated and without your handy planner.
You may have also bought a strategic planner before and had a great time planning during the New Year’s honeymoon, only to find that you totally miscalculated what you’d be able to do. In short, the rigid, pre-printed planners can’t grow with you and handle your changing reality.
You don’t have to bear through a planner you’ve messed up. With the Premium Planners, you can just print out and change what you need.
Life is messy; your plans will change. That’s okay. When reality changes under your feet, don’t fight it: adjust your plan to the current reality and get moving. The point is to get the planner or structure you need right now to focus on where you’re going.
These planners are fantastic for folks who work by project/ task rather than hour by hour. And I love being able to break projects down from the big annual picture down to quarterly, monthly, weekly daily and to the time when I work best. Absolute genius.
So Which Should You Get?
The two different sets represent different approaches to workflow management: the Project Planner series (Formerly the Freelancer Workweek series) focuses more on task and project management, whereas the Action Planners focus more on time management.
Both series help you integrate higher level goals with runway actions, though. They work equally well for creative people who have a hard time translating ideas into action or action-oriented people that sometimes forget to tie their actions into meaningful goals.
Here’s the deal, though: most people need different types of structure at different times. When you’re in your groove, you might not need to worry about time management – you just need to get projects on and off your plate. On particularly busy or stressful days, you might find a time-based structure supportive.
This isn’t really an either/or choice; you can have both. You can mix and match these planners, as they’re all designed to mate reasonably well.
So on that busy week, you can slide in a week of the Action Planners to make sure you get that momentum rolling. The next week, you can swap in the Project Planners. Your objectives won’t change, so all that matters is that you’re getting the right type of support when you need it.
Kim Robson says:
I’ve just downloaded the planners. I plan on printing either the annual or quarterly planners for writing down this year’s surprises to alert me for 2014. I am setting up my life on paper, and your pages are the best to use in conjunction with my digital life.
I am trying to schedule a teacher conference, so I know exactly when I can see her due to the empty slot, instead of trying to mentally fit her in on the calendar. I’ve decided to limit my “busyness” to five items, with one being appointments, one being housework (which NEVER ends), leaving three for all of those loose ends I create tons of lists to remember.
This morning, my boys (11 & 8) dragged their feet, were not prepared for the day, missed the bus, and I had to drive them to school. They know the after school routine, yet, after all my prodding, will not get ready the day before. Now they will start using your weekly action planner to get prepared for school.
Bonus: Hey Bloggers, I Have Planners For You, Too!
After an overwhelming number of requests, I created the Blog Post Planners and Calendars. Now your blogging can support your greater business and creative goals by keeping you just focused enough.
If you’ve ever hit a wall trying to come up with your next blog post idea, you’re going to love these, because you always know when it’s time to write about a given topic again. Stay focused and on track with these Blog Post Planners.
So What Do These Planners Actually Look Like?
These planners are a visual product, so you need to see them to get them.
If you’re interested in how they’re sandwiched together and what you’re getting, go ahead and give these planners a look:
- January 2013 Demo Action Planner
- January 2013 Demo Project Planner
- January 2013 Demo Blog Post Planners
The full year will have all 12 months like this, broken down by quarter. These demos do not include the Annual Strategic Planner, the Quarterly Objective Planner, and the Quick Start Guide.
How Much Do The Planners Cost?
$12. That’s $1 per month.
For the reasonable price of $12, you’ll get a year’s worth of either set. If you buy two sets, you can grab them for
$18 - buy one, get half off the other one. Or you can buy everything for $22 - half off the second, the third for a third. (Craziness, right?)
Even if these planners help you get one more meaningful task done per month, I like to think that’s worth a dollar. Let alone if it helps you get one more project or objective done. If time and creative energy is money, then getting another project out the door means more room for your next Big Idea or increased cash flow for this quarter.
Ready to Grab Your Premium Planners?
Before you grab ‘em, I want to say how much I appreciate your support. Your support helps us share more tools and ideas with the world. Thank you!
The planner sets cover 12 months of the specific calendar year, not 12 months from your date of purchase.
The 2014 planner set covers January 2014 – December 2014. You also get all of 2013′s until the end of the year.
If you’ve never bought a PF product before, you might be interested in the Momentum Kickstarter Kit. It has our most popular products bundled together, including the Premium Planners, and at a discounted price. It’s a great place to start!
Premium Planners for 2014
p.s. If you were able to get just one more project that mattered done, how much would that be worth to you? For less than the cost of dinner with someone you care about, you could get the tools that could change those mundane dinners into dinners that celebrate what you’ve accomplished.