I love Excel. Yes, I said it. I use it for everything. Organizing tasks for a project, budgeting, my grocery list for the upcoming week’s menu, and to make a year-long plan of attack. I thought I’d share the flowchart I put together of activities/products, tasks and monthly occurrences over a 12-month period. I created a simple layout that allowed me to organize my thoughts and gain a high-level view of the activities/posts I had in mind for 2013. And the beauty of thinking ahead is I can now better prioritize my time and efforts towards projects I think will be the most powerful in building my brand. The flowchart also helped me identify reoccurring annual deadlines for article and pattern submissions as well as help me determine my busiest months.
Above is a snapshot of how I broke out my planning for the Triangle Yarn Crawl events. Here’s how it works:
- In the first column, I outlined the main bucket of activity/product under the Product column.
- Column two is a list of smaller buckets or Tasks that ladder up to the Product column.
- Next, I created a column for each month of the year and divided the quarters with a solid line.
- For a given task I highlighted the cell in gray and added a “1” so that I could create a count if formula at the bottom of the sheet to calculate the number of tasks per month, which allowed me to determine my busiest months and level things a bit.
A simple flowchart like the one above can be created using a Word template, scrap piece of paper or with Excel – as I mentioned earlier, my preferred format for everything. Taking the time to organize your goals and thoughts will help in managing upcoming projects, deadlines and hold you accountable to yourself and others.
For all you fiber and craft artists out there, I’m curious to learn how you organize your plan of attack for the upcoming year. What do you find works the best for you?