In years past, I was always on the hunt for the “best planner for freelancers.” I’ve been known to spend 45 bucks on a single planner. But nine times out of ten, I only used it a handful of times before I guiltily recycled it in March.
There is a better way!
Instead of spending a ton of money on a premade planner, head to the dollar store and grab a notebook. (If aesthetics are important to you, find a slightly fancier journal at a bookstore.) You can DIY the best planner for freelancers in a couple of steps.
Step 1: Big picture goals
Write the following questions on the very first page of your planner:
- What is my most important career goal for the year?
- What do I need to accomplish during each quarter to achieve that goal?
- What do I have to get done each month to achieve the quarter goals?
You may be ready to answer these questions right now. But if you aren’t, then simply give yourself some time to think and reflect.
Step 2: Milestones & Tasks
On the other pages (using both front and back—this is a green planner for frugal freelancers), write the date and day of the week for the month of January on the top of the page.
To begin each week, write this prompt:
- What do I need to accomplish this week to move toward my big goal?
And for each day, write the prompt:
- What is the ONE thing I need to complete today to stay on track for my goal?
Step 3: Use it! It’s that simple
The heart of an effective planner is really just being clear on your goals and what you need to do each day to accomplish them. You’ll be able to track your milestones and understand where you are in relation to the finish line.
If the other bells and whistles are important to you—the gratitude lists and fun stickers—you can incorporate them as well. But for most of us, the extraneous things only serve as distractions.
The element that really makes a difference is intentionally deciding on a top priority and acting on it.
Do you want to make real difference in your career? Let me know if you’re up for taking the cheap-o (but actually effective) 2022 planner challenge in the comments below!
Last Updated on December 21, 2022 by Craig Galo