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I may be a wee bit addicted to planning and notebooks…and pens…and paper…and markers…okay, I’m just a big kid who likes to daydream in ink.

But I’ve finally found a way to make it work in my favor.

See, the internet has blown up with this new planning market in the last few years—for real, go check out YouTube or Pinterest or Instagram and drown in the bombardment of it. I love every bit of it, too, and probably consume more of it than I should, but that’s not really the point…is it?

No, seriously, it’s not. Step off my walnut.

So, I’ve been planning for the last year, mixing a multitude of formats and systems to make sure I break down my big plans and don’t forget any of those small steps…you know, the ones that come back and bite you in the ass at the last second.

Without any further side-tracking, hopefully, let me show you.

Here are three examples of my main project tracker, the one that shows me the entire project from start to finish in one page. It reminds me of my important tasks and allows me to track my progress and mark things out.

The simple ability to fill in my word count or how many chapters I’ve edited in a manuscript helps me feel like I’m accomplishing something even though I know I have a long way to go.

And these babies are new to me this year, after months of struggling to balance my tracking, so I’m excited to finally complete one of these. (Hint: the green one, Blood Phoenix: Imprinted should by full by the end of next quarter, to include publishing and promotion and giveaways and a whole lot of jazz. Squee.) You can see I have a whole lot sitting there in one place.

Here’s another way I help track from month to month to be sure I’m completing the tasks from my project list.

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This I took from Lisa Jacobs. I bought her workbook, Your Best Year 2017, and this allows me to take the chunking from my project plans—in conjunction with my marketing and publishing outlines—and implement them into each week of the month so I know when I need that little shit done by to stay on target.

Let me be honest, I don’t always stick to this. Life happens, shit gets shifted around, but now, I know when I’ve missed stuff and can figure out how to finish those things and keep moving forward.

It also lets me know when I have to let some tasks go. I have big dreams and big plans, and I pile a lot onto my own plate. So when I miss something consistently, I know it’s not meant to happen for a particular project. And that’s fine. I’ll try it next time.

Well, that’s it. That’s how I’ve made my tendency to goof off and doodle and journal into a productive and rewarding practice. Best of all, I really love doing it.

What do you do to plan out your creative projects? Do you have creative energy that you channel in your favor? Tell me about it.

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