My Top 3 Project Planning Tips

I bet you’re up to your ears in project planning tips and tools. Well, here’s another to add to your plate.

You’re welcome.

I’m a big planner and marketing runs through my veins. Here are the top 3 things I’ve learned over the years about planning for the next year.


1. Be clear on what your future looks like.

Everything that you plan to work on next year should be moving your towards the bigger picture.

In 2-3 years, what do you want to be doing? Who do you want to be working with? How many hours do you want to be working? What does your work day look like? What are you teaching?

When you are planning for next year, make sure that everything relates back to your larger umbrella of WHY. Make sure it’s solving a major problem for your readers/clients/customers.


2. Don’t underestimate how much you can get done, but don’t put too much on your plate. 

I like to stick to 1 big launch and 2-3 small launches each year. At the end of the year, I brainstorm all of my ‘could-be’ program launches. From there, I choose which project is going to be my biggest priority. With the rest of the list, I decide which 2-3 will be my smaller launches.


3. Have a plan

Once I’ve decided my major launches for the year, I put these on my calendar for when I want them to launch, so that I know how far in advance I need to start working on it. From there, I create my full task list for each project and decide which items are a priority, which need to be hired out and which are the ongoing/at-my-own-pace task items.

I like to do this initial brainstorming away from my computer, maybe in a coffee shop. Somewhere where I can think and eliminate all chances that I’ll become distracted. Once I’ve jotted everything down, I turn to the computer.

I create a master task list for each project in a google doc. I live in google docs (or at least my business does). From there, you can go on to create your weekly and daily task lists. Seeing everything down in writing puts you into a better perspective of how long it will take you to accomplish something. Just be sure to start when you need to. If you’re new to something (like writing a book), make sure you give yourself some extra time to get all of your eggs in place.


To help you out, I’ve put together a Project Planner worksheet for you to use to map out each of your projects. This is the exact template that I use for my own program launches, but I understand that not everyone is a crazy-excessive planner like me. If it fits your work style, enjoy! I hope it helps.


Download the Project Planner worksheet

This worksheet is just a small part of my PowerPlan workbook that I use with my clients (and a little gift for all PowerPlay members) and I’ve gotten great feedback and how clearly they can envision their year ahead after jotting everything down.


Okay, your turn!

Tell me in the comments below what you struggle with most when planning for next year. Do you get stuck in the idea creation process or get overwhelmed looking at everything that still needs to be done?

I’m planning a set of FREE webinars for 2013 and I want to take your biggest struggles/problems/fears and show you a new way of looking at the planning process.




PS – As a little thank you to my email list for going through the hassle of re-confirming their email address after I made the switch to Aweber, I’ve decided to give my entire email list a FREE copy of the full PowerPlan workbook. You can sign up below this post or on the sidebar. I’ll be sending to both my email list and PowerPlay members next week!

6 thoughts on “My Top 3 Project Planning Tips”

  1. I love this, great idea. My last big launch, I didn’t build up any expectations, and it ended up being lackluster. This year I want to do a better job at engaging clients, other vendors, friends, etc, to make it a big, fun thing.

    My biggest fear for next year is raising my pricing. I have an increase planned for January 1st, and it’s scary to think my booking rate might slow way down, especially since it’s my first year full time.

    1. Hi Anni! That’s a great idea! Make it a party! Get people excited!

      Something that most people don’t expect after raising their prices is that they actually get MORE business and inquiries. The value of your services is perceived as higher in your client’s eyes, which makes them want to work with you even more!

  2. i launched a floral subscription service last year and a creative popUPshop. the subscription service fell flat i think because I did not personally call each potentially interested party and I also think I did not fully have my teammate express the real value of what they were receiving, (they thought it was too expensive). Regarding the popUPshop; it was a success for everyone, I felt fulfilled in supporting the creative community, they vendors made a lucrative return…problem being that I did not charge a dime to the vendors since it was my first time, (I wanted to be sure that i could get people there) and the items that I had for sell again were on the high end….I was a success at promoting others, it is easy for me to do this…not so easy is SELF promotion…..

  3. This is why I love clipboards! I have sheets of project planners that I’ve created with sharpie and continue to copy and reuse! Instead of them being stuck in one sketchbook or notebook when I’m done I can scan them in and file them away with the rest of the project documents in evernote. Love it!!

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