If you are looking to clarify your creative plans and commitments for the year, this free Year Planner could be just what you need.
I’ve been trying to get my head around my creative targets for the year and I felt like I really needed some way to get an overview. What I wanted was a year planner on my iPad but the apps I liked were expensive and the free ones not very good.
Then a lightbulb thing happened and I thought I could just as well use a spreadsheet. Rather than aggravate my RSI by spending hours on the computer designing one, I went in search of the product of someone else’s brilliance.
Productivity as a Route to Creative Independence
I should have known I would find it at DavidSeah.com. I’ve been a long-time fan of David Seah, although I’ve lost track of him a bit over the last couple of years since my planning systems have shifted heavily away from paper and towards my iPhone and iPad.
Dave is a productivity geek who likes to design paper systems which also look nice and who is extremely generous in the sharing of his creations. Seah's manifesto is the search for 'creative independence', which he sees as being comprised of: 'Productivity - Identifying and overcoming the barriers that keep (us) from moving forward; Creativity - Getting past the fears, uncertainties, and doubts that block creative flow and Autonomy - How to make a living, not sell out, and decide what is really essential.' Clearly still a man after my own heart!
On Dave's site, I found not only a great free year planner spreadsheet, but also a video on how to tweak it as well as a discussion page on the topic. Say the word tweak and you’ve got my middle name, so inevitably I set about adapting the year planner for my creative needs - including categories such as exhibition/publication targets, newsletter schedule etc. Now that it is finished I can import it onto Numbers on my iPad and consult it on a weekly basis to see where I am up to with my plans.
How to Get Your Free Creative Year Planner
In the spirit of David Seah’s generosity, the very least I can do is to share the Creative Year Planner with you. You can download the Creative Year Planner in both .XLSX and .XLS formats but if you don’t use Microsoft Excel, it should work ok importing it into other spreadsheet programs.*
I’ve included David’s original instructions in the file as well. You can, of course change the category titles and generally tweak to your heart's content.
*It does lose the grey shading to indicate weekends when imported into Numbers - but that’s rather a minor detail.