Monday, December 21, 2015

End of the Year Scramble

Zoom! Did you see 2015 fly by? The year went incredibly fast and with 2016 less than two weeks away, most of us are evaluating the year that was.

I've said many times that I don't set yearly goals or resolutions at the start of each year. I make plans.
Plan your work and work your plan is a much used piece of wisdom at our house. For many writers, planning has to be done around another full-time job or taking care of children. Plans often fall by wayside. When my children were all at home, I used to say I never made plans more than 12 hours in advance.

Before planning for next year, look back and evaluate 2015. Did you write down your goals last year? Did you check them all off or are many of them still outstanding debt toward your plan for the last twelve months?

I confess to a strange love of planners and journals. I love to write by hand and my planner shows it. The past few years, I've purchased The Old Farmer's Almanac Engagement Calendar style planner. Every inch of space gets filled with jotted notes and reminders. I secretly crave a Moleskin Planner just because it's Moleskin but I've never found one that suits my needs. I like the planner to lie flat on my desk so I always get a spiral bound one. But the point is, this is what works for me to keep track of my plans for my novels writing and everything else.

I don't think I would keep up my blog without my planner. Already in my 2016 model, I have notes jotted in April for the A to Z Challenge. I have marked the days for guest posts, for IWSG, for bloghops, and writers' meetings.

I know lots of my friends have digital calendars on their smart devices to remind them of things. Those things work great and are pretty easy to use. But I prefer writing it down. I always seem to remember if I write it down without even having to look at it. And remember, studies show that writing things by hand stimulates the brain more than using an electronic device.


I'm sure that the first IWSG posts on January 6, 2016, will be filled with goals and plans for the coming year. Go for it! Make 2016 your year!

What works best for you to keep track of goals and your plans? Are you a Moleskin lover or think they're just overpriced name-droppers? Are you already thinking of your goals for next year?

And I'll say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays with this.

"May you have warmth in your igloo, oil in your lamp, and peace in your heart." Eskimo Proverb

23 comments:

Ann Bennett said...

I'm hoping to slow down a bit before the New Year. The focus is on the word "slow down" so I can hurry up and get myself organized. It will never happen but it is nice to think I can. You have to pick what is important. But planning lets you get a few smaller important things in. Have a Good Year. May the next one not go as fast.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm big on goal setting and writing things down. If I can commit it to paper, whether I look at it again or not, I will remember to get it done. I'm ready to start planning for the new year.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I used a planner for many years then I moved to an app on my phone. I like that, but I might go old school for 2016, at least for some things like writing and blogging. Shake things up a bit. :)

L.G. Keltner said...

I love planners! I just love looking at them and feeling like I'm organized. It may be a delusion for me, but it's a delusion I enjoy.

I do have plans for next year. I know what I want to accomplish as far as my writing is concerned, and I hope I can pull it off. My kids will certainly keep me on my toes, though. They always do!

Pat Hatt said...

I just stay ahead and all my plans are met. Posts done until October, 6 kids books and 3 novels done for 2016, so if life gets in the way, I'm good lol.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm a tech guy so all of my plans go into my iPad. Although I do use a real calendar for keeping up with blog stuff.
Guess I need to start planning for the A to Z Challenge...

Jemi Fraser said...

If I ever get a desk space in the house, I think I'll try a planner for tracking my writing. I've only ever used one for school - but it's a great idea!
Merry Christmas!!

Jen Chandler said...

Oh I LOVE getting that new planner for a new year! The blank pages humming with possibility! And I still hang up and use a good old fashioned wall calendar.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Jen

Michelle Wallace said...

I prefer jotting things down by hand...good old-fashioned ink and paper. Actually I spied a nice wall year-planner...they normally go on sale by the middle of Jan.

Robyn Campbell said...

Thanks, Susan. I have a calendar. And Evernote. I LOVE Evernote. Sometimes I do forget to jot stuff down. I love Moleskin too. Merry Christmas.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Planners definitely help. I use a combo of a digital planner via my e-mail and a large desk calendar - but that desk calendar is mainly for family stuff while the digital one is for writing. I'm thinking of going for just paper with my writing goals next year, too.

cleemckenzie said...

I have to say that without my Google calendar popping up to remind me to brush my teeth or take out the garbage, I might miss doing some very important things. We'll in truth I wouldn't miss brushing my teeth or taking out the garbage--but birthdays might flash by and the chicken might not be defrosted in time to cook dinner. Writing and promoting books often take over my life, so I let Google keep track of details for me.

Stay tuned for 2016! It's almost here.

libertyfallsdown said...

I am one of those people who has ten different planners, a diary a calendar app and a to-do app, plus a reporters notebook just to write lists in. I like to experiment with different things to keep my brain on track. Haven't come up with a foolproof system yet, but I'm getting better!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I agree! Writing down anything guarantees my brain may just recall 50% of what I wrote. If I'm lucky, 75%. Now I just need an organized place for all those piles of notes, papers, notepads, and napkins. Feliz Navidad, Susan.

Patricia Lynne said...

I still have to make time this week to look over the goals I set for 2015 and see how I did, then figure out what I want to achieve for 2016. Looking forward to it. =)

Sherry Ellis said...

This is definitely a good time to figure out goals. I need to work on that! Have a very happy new year!

Lexa Cain said...

It's great you keep organized about your goals in your planner. I have a lot of goals but I don't obsess over them or about deadlines. I limit stress and just keep chugging onward at my own pace.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan - lots of good ideas here from you and fellow bloggers ... I must get to grips with Evernote ... I do like to be organised.

Happy Christmas and New Year ... and cheers for your thoughts etc - Hilary

Liza said...

I'm still pretty much a pen and pencil-type planner. But occasionally when I get stuck without one, I'll post notes in my phone. Merry Christmas, Susan! Wishing you joy!

Nadine_Feldman said...

I love planners! Though I've tried several, I like the Franklin Planner best...it helps me with goal-setting and breaking those goals down into manageable pieces. I also use small notebooks, one for each project, to help me stay on track.

2015 was one of my most productive years. I'm hoping to keep it up in 2016.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I use weekly planners (one for family use and one for writing) for myself, and I have a separate paper calendar plus Google calendar for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers blogging schedule. And a big notebook for thoughts, ideas, and ToDos. My 2015 was a bust for writing so I'm now working on a plan to make 2016 a serious year for creativity and productivity.

Merry Christmas to all the ISWG participants.

J.L. Campbell said...

Like you, I prefer paper and ink. Spiral binding works well as it is easier to handle.

Joss said...

I love planners. I started using them at the start of 2015, first my Filofaxes, but I have now switched to a dodo pad, after using some of their inserts in my Filofax last year. I love my dodo pad, it has lots of amusing pages that make me smile and is laid out in a way that really works for me.

I too find it much easier to keep track of what I need to be doing by writing it down. I'd tried electrical planners but they just didn't do it for me. I like to see everything laid out before me on paper and being able to tick it off as I go.

I have not heard of your type of planner before, I will have to check it out. :)