If you know me, then you know that I’m very much into planning. It helps me to focus on what’s important, stay organized, and maximize my time. I’ll admit, sometimes I over plan and end up with a pretty tight to-do list that leaves me stressed out and unfulfilled. So, I tend to seek balance between improvisation and well-thought out plans. I’m a creative so I need flexibility in my life. Otherwise, there would be no room for inspiration in my life. But, on the other hand, if I don’t intentionally create focused plans, there’s no way for my creative ideas to become reality.
Planning makes room for me to use my creative talents
It calms my thought filled mind by organizing the many ideas that go through my head in a given moment. I currently use a planner I found at Anthropologie for my personal life. I’ve also been using it to plan my creative pursuits, including this blog, my Etsy shop, and my photography. It’s been great but I’ve been wanting it to take it to a more focused level.
Then, I heard about Kat Gaskin and The Content Planner (I actually first found out about her on a podcast I listened to!). She’s a woman with a passionate, creative heart, like me and you. In 2012, she took the leap and left her 9 to 5 to pursue her freelance business full time. She attributes her success to consistent and intentional planning. That’s why she created The Content Planner to help other creatives who might be interested in following a similar path as the one she did.
As a woman passionate about glorifying God with my gifts and talents, I really connected with Kat’s story.
When an opportunity came up to try The Content Planner, I took it. I joined the Women With a Plan initiative and received a complimentary content planner to try out for myself. I’ve just started using it to plan for April, but I wanted to share my first impressions and a few of the things that stand out to me about it so far.
First, I like that it provides enough guidance but not too much. I mentioned earlier that I like a good balance between a flexible schedule and a well-planned out one. The Content Planner isn’t at all overwhelming, and I appreciate that so much. I’ve had planners that I really wanted to keep up with but couldn’t because all of their pages and various spreads were way too intimidating. Instead, they ended up on my shelf and I ended up disappointed because I wasted my money on a planner that I could never use again.
This leads me to my next point. The Content Planner includes 15 fillable monthly spreads. Simply add one of the included monthly stickers to the blank space designated for that month. Then fill in each date and repeat for the next month. It’s very easy to customize to fit your specific needs.
It encourages me to celebrate my wins.
Next, The Content Planner encourages me to celebrate small (and big) victories. It’s so easy to get caught up in comparison in this digital age. Sometimes I notice myself comparing where I am to where someone else is and instead of being proud of my victories, I’m disappointed because I think I should be further along. I love that The Content Planner’s monthly spreads include a column where you can write down your current business statistics at the beginning of the month and then compare them to where you are at the end of the month. Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we’re encouraged to focus on our own progress, and personally, I love that.
Finally, I love that The Content Planner leaves room for me to dream.
It’s good to have actionable plans, those are necessary. But, without making room for spontaneous, limitless dreams, we can’t create meaningful plans. The Content Planner has a blank space right in front of each monthly spread that you can use to write (or draw) out your biggest dreams. There are absolutely no limitations. You can let your mind wander and think of anything you want. Then, on the next page, you can select some of your dreams and turn them into actionable goals that you want to work on achieving for the month.
If you’re interested in trying out The Content Planner for your creative pursuits, I’d recommend trying one of Kat’s monthly printables to get started. If you like it, then consider getting the entire planner.
I’ll end by saying this, you don’t have to fear planning as a creative woman. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you can start when you’re comfortable and go at your own pace. There’s no pressure.
Disclosure: The Content Planner mentioned in this posted was gifted to me to try. All of my thoughts and opinions are completely my own.