The Plan is Afoot

The plan is afoot, a phrase that’s always attributed to Sherlock Holmes, but which he never actually says anywhere. Planning for the end of the year, and for next year is ongoing. I did my annual business planning seminar last week (and I highly recommend Amber McCue’s Planathon for anyone who is looking for business plan scaffolding. This was my third time, and I learn something new every time. The Planathon is free, and her other courses are pay-to-play.)

I wrote a little last week about my plans for next year, but I never really went into how I plan. And honestly, I plan like it’s my job — I have to. Things of which I am currently keeping track:

  • My writing schedule
  • My publishing schedule
  • the schedule from my publisher (different from the previous)
  • Business plans (show dates and deadlines, mileage, tax dates)
  • My family schedule that comes with being a Mom (doctor appointments, due dates, vacations, that sort of thing)
  • Various due dates that come with senior year (college applications and scholarship information)
  • Personal schedules like my workout schedule.

These inform things like meal planning and grocery shopping. It’s a lot, and I’ve referred to it in the past as juggling chainsaws.

I have three planners. Four, if you count the electronic one. I don’t, usually, because if I put something into the electric calendar, I will never remember it. I have to write it down in order for it to be “real.” So I have one planner that lives in my kitchen, which is the master book that includes EVERYTHING. I have one planner that gets carried around with me, which focuses primarily on business and writing. And I have a small planner that usually lives in my purse. Of the three, the only one that doesn’t get updated weekly is the purse planner, because it’s out of sight and therefore gets falls off my brain on a regular basis. I have other ways of planning, too, I’ve shown pictures of my kanban board, but it’s the paper planners that really help keep me from over-scheduling myself and getting overwhelmed.

For the business, there’s a binder that sits on the shelf over my desk. In that binder are my business plan, my marketing plan, and my financial plan. There are two versions of each — the overall plan, and the annual plan. The annual plan is the one that I’ll be sitting down to review and revise in December, and which is reviewed and revised again mid-year.

(Narrator: She did not, in fact, review and revise midyear in 2023.)

Shush, you. It’s SUPPOSED to be reviewed and revised mid-year, and as needed throughout the rest of the year.

Now, these are the things that work for me, because of the way my brain works. I have a friend who is my exact opposite — they cannot write down their plans, because if they do, those plans will vanish into the ether. Everything must be put into an electronic calendar in order to be “real.”

So this is what works for me. What works for you?

Works in Progress

Balance of Power
Heir to the Firstborn, Book 7

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