Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Writer's Life: Planners Not Quite to Plan (Kimberly)

Hey everyone! Last year I wrote my first post on the two planners I was intending to use. This year... Let's talk about what happens when even a specialized planner doesn't quite work for your organization style.

Last year started off with grand plans to use two specialized for the working author planners to get my organized chaos approach to something a little more structured. I had the super detailed, everything under the business sun planner from Audrey Hughey and the more streamlined planner by my friend and now fellow blog contributor, Rachel Rossano. I tried to use both of them instead of my fill in a day planner only approach. I learned something very important - the everything under the sun super detailed in minute breakdowns including things I would never think about being in a planner approach in Hughey's author planner is great and efficient...IF you compartmentalize your schedules and to do lists to that extent without feeling stressed.

I also learned that I do not fit the above description. Being TOO structured in my to do lists doesn't work well for me due to both personality and the unpredictability of having a chronic illness. Chronic illnesses don't tend to respect the planner. So I wound up setting that planner aside and not getting another one for this year because it didn't gel with my process.

I did better with Rossano's streamlined planner especially since the weeks were undated so I could work around flare days without feeling like I was wasting chunks of a dated calendar (one of the other reasons dated planners don't fit well with my needs). That's a good thing to know as I move forward and work on streamlining my method for tracking my schedule and to do lists. The benefit of experimenting with planners is you find out what does and doesn't mesh with your style and personality.

So when super organized planners don't quite work as planned, that is okay. Like the variance in plotters, pantsers, and everyone in between, your planner approach doesn't have to match that of other authors. If you're like me and super planners are overwhelming or too structured for the more fluid approach you need, then I recommend getting an undated streamlined planner. Going the undated route allows you to work around non-writing days (or weeks) without feeling like you've wasted a schedule or overly pressured to do SOMETHING writing related when your day isn't allowing for writing moments. A streamlined writing planner will not have all the bells and whistles associated with the business side (like accounting or weekly reviews) but includes space for basics such as blog post scheduling and newsletter dates or swaps. It's a simplified balance between the writing and the business side of an author's schedule, which is something I personally prefer. Especially when my schedules tend to be very fluid unless I put a book up on preorder.

If your planners aren't working quite to plan, be flexible! Pivot to adjust and accommodate a more forgiving schedule. For me, that means undated planners and plenty of buffer included for scheduling deadlines. How about you?

Until next time!

Kimberly

1 comment:

  1. I’m a buy-a-planner-with-the-best-intentions-then-forget-about-it-a-month-later sort of person. After I remember about them (usually a year later), I tend to use the unused portions as calendars for my story timelines . 🤣

    I’m curious about your streamlined planner. Can you post a link?

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