New year planning tools for creative businesses

New Year planning tools for creative businesses

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the new year ahead and reflecting on 2017. After having my best year in business, I’m jazzed for what’s to come. So I’m filling out workbooks, writing on post-it notes, and mapping out how to make 2018 an even better year than 2017.

Through my planning and preparing, I’ve found a few great tools that I wanted to pass along to you. I hope that the things on this list will help you to plan things out for your own creative business.

  1. Your Best Year 2018 by Lisa Jacobs– this will be my third year to use this workbook by Lisa Jacobs*. The book gets better every single year, and I always anticipate the release of the new workbook in early October. I ordered it this year on the day that it released on Amazon and I’ve been working through it ever since. I love how Lisa asks thought-provoking questions about the current year before having you brainstorm for the year to come. This book is a must-have for any creative business.
  2. Create: One Year Blog & Editorial Planner by Meera Kothandthis workbook* was released this year by one of my mastermind buddies, Meera. I’ve been working through this book since its release, and I’ve enjoyed using it to figure out how to be more strategic with my blog posts for the upcoming year. I love the initial questions and thoughts from Meera.
  3. 2018 Inkwell Press LiveWell Planner– I picked this planner up on a whim. I was deadset that in 2018 I’d continue using my Hobonichi planner to plan out my work days, but I might be using my Hobo to journal and doodle each day and use my Inkwell planner to plan my day-to-day. One of my favorite things about this planner is that you can sign up for videos that help you with different planning tips. I’ve gained quite a bit of insight from watching these videos, and I can’t wait to watch them through again.
  4. Hardcover journal by Inkwell Press– After purchasing my Inkwell planner and watching the free videos, I saw that Inkwell was having a sale on the journals. I bought this notebook because it can be used to journal on a daily basis or as a bullet journal type notebook. I plan on using this journal to write out thoughts on my upcoming projects.
  5. Sizeable yearly wall calendar– my other mastermind buddy, Krista, purchased a calendar like this after listening to a podcast by Amy Porterfield on planning out your promotional calendar for the next 3 to 6 months. Krista shared her calendar in a few of her recent Instagram stories, which convinced me that I must have one for my office. I’m adding all of my promotions for 2018 to this wall calendar so that I can have a broad overview of the entire year. I’m hoping it will keep me on track.
  6. Wet erase markers– I’ll use these markers to write on my yearly wall calendar. I figured these markers would be a little more permanent than dry erase, so I went ahead and purchased them even though they’re a bit more pricey.
  7. Post-it notes– I plan to use colored post-it notes on my yearly wall calendar so that I can focus on different categories for different promotional planning.
  8. A large artist’s sketch pad– I started buying large artist sketch pads three years ago when I read in Lisa Jacob’s Your Best Year that she uses these large sketch pads to brainstorm big projects. I love being able to sprawl out in my living room or office and plan things out from beginning to end. These large pads are cheap, and they also give you lots of room to make lots of scribbles.
  9. 2018 Planning Spreadsheets by Megan Minns– I decided to purchase these planning sheets after my friend Krista mentioned in a recent post that she bought these for her business. I’m excited to use these to plan out my numbers. I like how these planning spreadsheets focus on your number goals, something that I’ve tried to do in the past but had no system to help me plan.
  10. Make Your Journal Pretty (Even if you’re not an artist) course by Amanda Howell– Lastly, I decided to include a cool course on Skillshare by my friend and biz buddy, Amanda Howell. I love how this course focuses on how to have some fun with your journal and your planning, but how she also tells you that you don’t have to be an artist to make it look pretty. In the past, I’ve worried about writing in journals or bullet journaling because I’m not that good at hand lettering or making my spreads look pretty, but Amanda helps you to erase those fears and make planning fun even when you’re not an artist.

These are the tools that I’m using to plan for 2018. What are some of the things that you’re using to do your 2018 planning? Leave a comment below with any fun finds that you’ve found!

*This post contains affiliate links, which simply means that I get a small commission when you purchase the product through my link. I only use affiliate links for products that I LOVE and have used myself.

*AFFILIATE LINKS DISCLAIMER - If you click on a link that I’ve provided on, it may be an affiliate link. That means that I will be paid a percentage of money for the program, product, software, or service of the link you click on (if you click my link). Affiliate links will always be indicated by either a * or with the word affiliate next to the link). I want to be upfront about these links and to let you know that I only promote things that I truly believe in.

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