Year view planner

I’ve been cleaning out my studio; I found a 2004 calendar that I had saved for the pictures. At the back were two pages designed to show the full year, day by day.

2004 Year-view planner

I use a lot of outdated calendars as record books. They show up in the thrift shop stream. If all I need is the shape of the week, or the month, or the dates, I relabel the date-day information, and use the spaces for my purposes.

I tried marking the 2017 weekends in yellow highlighter, but the grey weekend markings of 2004 still showed up. I’m not completely sure I need to know when the weekends are for the purposes of this exercise.

I started making notes. My business would be different if I sent out a newsletter twice a month, so I marked that on the calendar.

The notes on the large yellow sticky, lower left, are about posting from my phone directly into WP, and from there onto social sites using the Jetpack Publicize tool. I have only recently started creating website content live, using pictures uploaded from my phone and dictating directly into WordPress. It’s easy for WordPress sites, but I don’t think I can do it for my Shopify store, yet. I need to look into that.

At this point, it was obvious I had a rough draft, rather than a finished plan, so I started making notes directly on the calendar as well as on stickies.

I don’t need to track individual posts on a year view planner, although I might track marketing activity, so that I meet my goal of running a paid ad every day.

I thought about creating 365 posts, distributed across the various websites I manage. I can do that in my sleep. I’m good at posts.

As I worked with the calendar, and thought about my business, and thought about what needs to happen, I had a nagging feeling that all I was doing was the planning equivalent of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Not to be too severe about it, but I do this already. I have great documentation of what I have done. Looking at my posts over a full year on one page, isn’t really any different than logging them on monthly calendars the way I have been doing for 3 years. Deep in my heart, I knew nothing would change. Deep in my wallet, I know a lot needs to change, quickly.

I also know that there is an entirely new product line waiting to be developed, and it has been waiting for either 20 years, or 6 months, or both, depending on how you look at it. I call it my greeting card line, although it is bigger than that. It’s about incorporating my answers on Quora, with my life philosophy, and perhaps a new body of work I am calling the Illustrated I Ching, and a lot of other new art. It needs to be created, developed, and marketed. It’s not getting done under the current system.

That thought first showed up on the purple sticky, and then I realized how important it was. I moved it to the page in blue Sharpie.

That seemed like a breakthrough, but after a moment’s reflection, I realized I still hadn’t figured out how I was going to get the new work done. Except I do know how to do that. I’ve done it before.

Three years ago, I faced a serious cardiac problem, one that didn’t have a great medical solution. Rather than going home to sit around and get sicker so that I qualified for a pacemaker, I changed my life, one day at a time. In the real world, that looked like showing up to daily exercise (one day off a month), changing my diet, giving up diet drinks, taking new supplements, and incorporating everything that showed up to have a healthier life (not repairing the riding lawn mower when it broke, for example, and instead, moving 1.5 acres with a push mower).

Art is no different. I am an Anne Lamont fan: her readers will recognize both “start with one bird,” (Pirsig fans will remember the same thought as “one brick”), and “write really shitty first drafts.”

In other words, Show. Up. To. The. Work.

I was done for the moment; I turned to email. I had to laugh. I had an offer from the good people at AppSumo, for a $15 large format full year planner for 2017 (special offer good through Jan 17), in exactly the same format. The calendar from Best Self (same calendar, purchased directly) uses a top and bottom layout to fit everything on the page. On one hand it shouldn’t matter, and on the other hand, it always does. I bought the planner and will cut it and glue it together so that I see the whole year at one level. The weekends will be correct for 2017.

Until it arrives, I will keep working on this draft version. I need to put time in my life for new work. It’s harder to schedule; it’s not clearly defined the way client work and teaching prep are. That’s the problem, and that’s why it needs to be planned into the year. If I don’t make the opportunity happen, it won’t, and it will be November and I’ll still be thinking about creating a greeting card line.

Stay tuned.

Vertical version of the image to use for Pinterest.

2004 Year View Planner.

2004 Year View Planner, rotated to make a better Pin.

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