Planning is a tool makers can use to become more productive, stay motivated and feel less stressed. This new action plan for knitters & crocheters has helped me organize what needs to be done and how to do it.
My love for planning began in middle school. I had this cute little calendar from the Hallmark store and I wrote in it every single day. Without fail, I detailed all my important appointments like getting on the school bus and making friendship bracelets with my best friend, Katie. I even began documenting my crushes and the outfits I wore each day.
As I matured I continued using a planner throughout high school, college and into life as a wife and momma. I found that planning made my tasks seem less overwhelming and a little more manageable.
Reasons Makers Plan
Makers plan for lots of reasons. In different seasons of my crocheting and knitting journey I have had different goals and needed to adjust my expectations. But one thing has remained the same, my need for a plan.
As anyone who has spent time with yarn in hand knows, making anything handmade takes time, usually lots and lots of time. Last year I decided that I wanted to give all of my family and close friends handmade toys for Christmas. That took planning, a lot of planning. You can read more about that here.
Even when you are crocheting and knitting just for yourself it helps to have a plan. It can be tempting to let personal projects languish in project purgatory. We think these projects aren’t as important because they are “only for me”.
Breaking up projects into detailed plans or just a general outline helps move projects along and get stuff done. When I decided to become a Certified Crochet Instructor through the Craft Yarn Council I needed a plan. It was a massive undertaking “only for me” at the time and creating a realistic schedule helped me achieve my goal. You can read more about becoming a CCI here.
If I’m being honest, I don’t do a lot of big projects. I like to work on things that don’t take more than a week or two to complete…most of the time. I do have a weakness for granny squares. There is just something so gorgeous and sentimental for me about a colorful, soft afghan. My grandmother was a crocheter and made beautiful, laaaaarrrrrrge blankets for all her family and friends.
I am in the middle of the Harmony Square Blanket from Attic 24. The gorgeous colors speak to me and I wish I had more time to work on it. I find that when I get a little burnt out on knitting toys my go-to is always granny squares. Someday I will get that blanket finished. Maybe I need a plan…
Selling anything handmade takes time and attention to detail. I recently reopened my Etsy shop (which you can read more about here) and I knew I needed a new plan. The one I had been using for quite some time just wasn’t working for me anymore.
The real beauty in planning is that it is easily changeable when you need to pivot. And that’s exactly what I did earlier this month.
Old Planning System
When I originally began taking my hobby at a more serious level I bought myself a little calendar. It was pretty and had little flowers on the front. I could add my blog posts, toy deadlines and anything else I needed to do for Le Petit Saint Crochet.
But what I failed to realize was that by separating it from my personal planner was a big fat mistake. I would plan it all out only to realize that right in the middle of that perfectly crafted day we had dentist appointments, a mandatory meeting at church or my husband wouldn’t be home until late.
With my frustration mounting I decided I needed a new strategy. It was time to pivot. Hindsight is 20/20 and now I realize that separating my maker life from my personal life was an epic failure. They aren’t independent of one another so why should they be on paper.
New Two-System Planing
I had a lightbulb moment while browsing at Hobby Lobby earlier this month. There were racks of beautiful planners, calendars and bullet journals. I was immediately drawn to them like a moth to a flame. An idea began to push itself to forefront of my mind…
Standing in that brightly lit store the vision of my perfectly planned life began to emerge. I needed one calendar for my personal life and Le Petit Saint Crochet. Keeping them separate was causing unneeded frustration.
Now I have a hub for everything. Not only do I add all the family appointments, household needs, meal plans, but also my filming schedule, deadlines for Etsy shop orders, and blog posts. I have combined my personal and Le Petit Saint Crochet lives together. It is a much more sensible plan and I can’t believe I never thought to do it before.
Combining my calendars solved most, but not all of my issues. I still needed a place to keep my notes, ideas, and random inspirations. I found this adorable notebook/bullet journal and knew in an instant it would be the perfect compliment.
Now I have the detailed calendar I need and a creative notebook to organize all the crazy ideas I have swirling around in my noggin. They need to be separate because organized and crazy need a little room to breathe. It’s a very split personality system that works perfectly for me.
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What I have found most surprising is how my planning has become a creative process in and of itself. Before it was just a system to help me not forget something. Now it is inspires my creativity and gets my creative juices flowing.
Using these colored markers has made planning soooooo much fun. I seriously can’t get over how something so simple has made such a difference. Opening up my calendar and idea book now brings me so much joy instead of dread and annoyance.
Because of my love for all things knitting, crocheting and amigurumi I needed to find a system to keep all the ideas running around in my head organized. I hope you found some value in this post and can take away a little nugget of information. I would love to read your thoughts about planning and organizing for creative folks.