Concrete Detail

Erika Hayes, Author – Write like a reader, read like a writer and edit like a beast!

First, I want to say, planning and organizing are closely related but not the same thing. Planning leads to organization.  Organization leads to completing tasks.  Completing task leads to goal accomplishment.  Goal accomplishment leads to success.

To say I like planning is well, a true understatement.  Throughout my life, my favorite thing to do is to create systems to improve my work environment.  So it comes as no surprise that I would organize (systemize) my writing. I am also an avid crafter/artist.  This means that color coding is a must.

I use a planner made by a company called MAMBI (Me And My Big Ideas, which was one of my favorite sticker companies in my hardcore scrapbooking days).  This company has always produced a high-quality product.  When they came out with planners I jumped on board and started using the planner system which I think is one of the best there is for creative people.

A year ago, I decided to get serious about my writing I created logs to insert into my planner (see photos below) that I have tweaked over the years to perfect what works for me. I loved that the Happy Planner accommodated my trackers (they have a punch that allows me to add anything from my personal designs like the writing tracker, research, photos, anything really.  You can purchase one here or at your local craft store (ie. Michaels, Hobby Lobby or JoAnn’s)

With the addition of blogging, I realized I needed a new planner to help me keep myself organized.  Who knew blogging was so complicated.  Just kidding, I knew that’s why it took me so long to decided to dedicate time to it!  I was able to find a small planner made by the same company, which was a bonus as my writing tracker fits! I picked up the mini-planner the one with gold rings (Find the mini-planners here).  I wanted this planner to be solely for the use of writing.

My classic sized planner (pink rings)  is filled with so many tasks that I felt my focus on writing was a little lost.  Using two planners may seem like a lot of work, but I have found using the mini-planner as a focus planner for writing has really increased my productivity in this area.  I can easily plan what I am working on as well as know what I need to be writing.  I  jot down ideas for a future blog post in the next available slot.   For instance, I block out time in my classic planner for writing.  When I open my writing planner I can quickly get focused because I took time to plan the post I need to write (like this one)  and what on my novel I should be working on.  It also helps me to keep track of research, especially for blogging.  Setting aside research time to go to the sites, read the books to share is easy and I can add links on the day I have the post scheduled.  This makes writing the post and my novel time more focused and I get so much done!

I should mention, The Happy Planner also has many productivity stickers you can use to keep you on track. (Here are some, but like I said, you can get them at a local craft store) I

I have found that using this second planner a great way to get focused and get writing.  I am not saying you need to go buy a Happy Planner (but I am saying it works really well for me.)  But try keeping a focus planner.  A supplement to the normal daily task that you can use to plan out your writing.


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