During 2013 and 2014, I used a typical weekly planner to organize all I wanted to do with my writing ventures. At the beginning of each months section, there was a two page spread for the monthly calendar, then each week had its own two page spread. There were pages for notes at the front and back of the planner, and an address section.
Important things were put on the calendar for each month, then recorded on the corresponding day. Next, the months and weeks were filled in with holidays I might decide to write blog posts about, as well as notes on what I wanted to do that week.
The planner kept everything together, so I wasn’t searching for the inevitable post-it notes I needed to take action on every day. Those post-it notes had been taking over my space and my life, after all. I had needed a change.
A simple, cheap planner will work great. Do not bother spending $20.00 or more on one. Doing so would be unnecessary. Saving money helps especially when you are starting out.
What information might you put in a planner such as this?
- Schedule holiday items to be written for your own blogs.
- The titles and a couple of brief notes about articles you will be writing each day or week.
- Business contact information in the address section.
- Notes on what things each client is generally interested in. These notes can go in either the front or the back of the planner.
- The other notes section might hold information on things you wish to learn about that year. Choose a topic for each page and write it at the top. Then, as you come across useful information for each topic, make notes in the planner. Or at least write down the source so you can refer back. Some examples of things to learn about include, self-publish, acquiring digital book covers, and tips for marketing on Pinterest.
- Dates of local social and professional networking events you wish to attend, as well as the dates of when payment is due if in advance.
- Dates of teleseminars and online workshops, as well as other online events.
- Plan when you will work on upcoming projects, as well as the intended finish date. Then when you will sell it.
- Marketing and promotional time. (Yes, some of us really do have to remind ourselves of this.)
The type of freelance business you have will determine what information you will add to your planner, but the above ideas will get you started.
I kept my planner with me almost all the time, so I was able to refer to it at a moments notice and add to it when needed.
Having the a planner that works for you will organize your commitments and your time. It will also aid in organizing your space, as you will need not a hundred notes hanging around.
What does your planner look like? What do you record in it?
Shannon L. Buck
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