Planning and Organizing for the Creative Entrepreneur

When I get asked how I keep it all together I usually reply, ” I don’t but my calendar does!” That is simply the truth. I try my best to write down everything possible at the beginning of every month. Planning out anything further than that gives me anxiety. So, at the beginning of the month, I sit down, think of all the things that need to be done or that I want to accomplish over the next 30 days. Then every Sunday, I check back into my calendar to see what’s coming for the week or to make adjustments and add things that have come up.

Organization is so necessary in life and especially in business. The main thing it provides is clarity where there will certainly be confusion. The Erin Condren Planner, has so much built into it that a simple calendar from a big box store just doesn’t compare anymore. It’s perfect for you if you’re the girl who loves pockets on a dress or even compartments in a new purse! (I love those things so if you’re that girl, I’m hugging you!) It provides a simplicity to organization that you didn’t know you needed.

With customizations in covers, colors, tabs, stickers and additional note pages, this planner morphs into a notebook that you rely on throughout the entire year. And, who doesn’t love stickers? Like when we were in middle school? Remember that? Getting a notebook and putting stickers everywhere just because you wanted to and you loved them… yeah, it’s that all over again but now you’re an adult with serious obligations to remember and events to attend. If you have to remember something in life or in business, you need to write it down. My grandmother used to say, “the faintest ink is stronger than the sharpest mind…” which literally means, write it down!

The way I use my Deluxe Monthly Planner is a threefold use. It holds family, business and budgets all in one space. How is this important for a creative? Well, I’m forgetful and I don’t know about you but if it isn’t written on a sticky note or stashed in a text somewhere on my phone then I can’t commit. I won’t remember. To combat that, I just take a few moments and destress by planning everything I want to happen (even if it never does) and writing down all the events for the month. I could talk forever on why I need a planner but this planner specifically has all the bells and whistles. I literally get excited when it’s time to buy a new one so that I can plan the year ahead in a fun and organized way!

My family’s events are in a certain color for that month, as well as the business notes. Then, on the back of the actual calendar page, I set a budget for the month and write down everyone we have to pay. It has to be done this way because we don’t have a consistent income being that both of us are entrepreneurs and we basically eat what we kill. So, bills still need to be paid and if I don’t write it down, again, I will forget. All the companies we owe and a potential income is set and written down for every month. Most of our expenses are pretty consistent so I have a good idea of the amount we need every month. But, I still write it down just because my anxiety about paying bills won’t let me not write it down.

With my business, the main thing I write down are the social media themes for the month and for each week. This helps me go from the computer to my desk without having to switch screens or hunt down what I’m supposed to say for that post. I write down every day’s themed message and even the quotes that we use. Essentially it works as a content calendar but also as an accountability calendar. With budgets, social, events and deadlines written at a glance in my planner, I can then go even deeper for the work calendar when creating events and taking time off of my calendar to work on specific projects. For example, I may need to work on blogs for the week but also have client calls scheduled at the same time. After a day or two has passed and the calls were completed, I still want the reminder to kick out blogs that are under the theme for the week. Client calls are scheduled on a calendar on my phone in iCal but for work that’s just for me to do, I have it in both places. My business partner knows what I’m doing and my notebook/calendar is right next to me while I work just so I can stay on track.

I love to write as many of you know but I love to physically write things also. Were you a doodler in school? I was, but I would doodle poetry instead of characters. I would write down different ways to spell things or sign my name… Was that you? I’m still that way and so I always like to have a notebook and calendar that I can write in everyday.

All three branches of my planning life are held in my Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly Planner. I would highly recommend it even if you don’t have a business. But, if you’re much like me with a thousand things going on at once, then you need to set a plan and stick to it. Get the planner that is fun, feminine and oh so perfect for a creative whose love of organizing is simplified all for under $60! Can’t beat that!

To your continued success,

Niché + Shameka

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