Step 3. Craft Your Best Plan | Simplify Your New Year

by | Productivity Advice, Simple Living | 12 comments

The Simplify Your New Year free mini course from Simple Scrapper offers a guided path towards memory keeping that feels joyful and easy.

I don’t agree with Benjamin Franklin.

The great inventor and statesman is attributed with the quote “If you fail to plan, then you’re planning to fail.” However, I don’t think that’s true.

I believe that success is possible whether or not you plan anything, but that it’s a heck of a lot easier (and more fun) if you do!

In today’s post, I’ll explain why crafting a plan for scrapbooking should be at the top of your list and what a simple and effective plan looks like.

Get a head start on 2015 with the Simplify Your New Year free mini class at Simple Scrapper

How many times each week do you think “There are just not enough hours in the day!” If you’re like me, then it’s pretty often. The list of things we need to do is often so long it can feel hard to get to the things we want to do.

That’s where planning can help. It’s not about squeezing more minutes from the day with efficiency, but about understanding what matters most to you – and doing that stuff first.

When you have priorities (instead of everything being important and urgent), decisions about where to spend your time are easier. Sometimes that means stealing 3 hours on Friday night just for you and other times that means choosing a simpler project so you can have more memory-making time with your family.

Thoughtful planning in scrapbooking and in everyday life helps to ensure there is always time for what you need and want to do.

Now that you’re convinced (and maybe you already were), how do you do this planning thing well? The secret is to make it as simple and uncomplicated as possible.

One of the big reasons planners get abandoned by February 1st is our natural tendency to build up unrealistic expectations around using them. Instead of grounding yourself in what’s authentic and real, you pair your loftiest dreams with the loftiest of assumptions about your daily habits.

(That’s actually where you’re planning to fail.)

A good plan is doable and flexible, easing you towards those big goals. A good planning tool works with your own unique habits, not against them, and includes an invitation to check in throughout the year. It lets you be you and craft your best year yet.

Leave a comment sharing one way planning has helped you to accomplish your goals, in scrapbooking or in life.

Get a head start on 2015 with the Simplify Your New Year free mini class at Simple Scrapper

P.S. Would you like to work together to craft your 2015 plan? This week I’m laying the foundation for a simplified new year, but in January I’d love to help you make it happen. Start Fresh is a five-day annual event where I will help you launch into a joyfully accomplished year of memory keeping. Registration is now open.

Did you find this post helpful?

We believe simple is not how your page looks, but how your scrapbooking hobby works. We have a free workshop called SPARKED and it is the best way to learn more about Simple Scrapper and start creating consistently.


  1. Kathleen S

    I am sure I’ve read this concept in some of your other materials, but today I really paid attention! Knowing in my brain what I need to do is not the same as planning what I need to do. There’s no internal chatter on a page with writing on it. The writing doesn’t jump from thought to thought.

    December isn’t exactly the month for revelations of this sort, but I have a date with my brain after Christmas — hmm, maybe after the decorations are put away. See, I need that page, and I know where to get it thanks to you!

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Yes, it’s just fine to take this idea in and pause until after Christmas.

  2. Alissa W

    Planning helps me stay focused on what I wanted to accomplish – I’m big on checking things off a list. That way what small time I do have to craft I know what I should be working on.

    Planning also helps me evaluate other opportunities (projects I want to do, classes to take) and prevents me from being overwhelmed and trying to do ALL THE THINGS. ALL AT ONCE!

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Bingo… doing all the things is recipe for overwhelm. Sounds like you have it all figured out!

  3. Cheryl

    Jennifer, This may not be in keeping with what you are talking about, but it works for me. I have taken all the photographs and divided them into 17 categories. I have prioritized the 17 photo boxes (trust me, most of the boxes are not full) and my plan is to work in order of my prorities.
    I began with my trip to China. I have those photos in an archive safe album that I set up based on each day of the trip and some journalling so I wouldn’t forget what the photo was about, what I thought about etc. Then I have an archive box that I have added anything and everything China to it. All my fancy papers, plain but color matched papers, embellishments, die cuts, chip board etc. From there I took what I call planning page holders (a 12.5 X 12.5) archive safe plastic holder (sort of looksw like a page prtector but with more space). I do 2 page lay outs so I take my photo album and pick and label how ever many photos I want on a two page LO. I then go through my China stash and find the paper, embellishments, etc that I think I want to use for this 2 page LO. My first 2 pages are now planned in the sense that if I get invited to a crop or if I set up some scrapping time, I have my planer pages ready and in order. I don’t have to go back through all the photos over and over and I have chosen papers, embellishments etc. Some times I want to use the same embellishments on the next 2 page LO so I divide them, if I can and add a sticky note to the second page LO that the embellishments are in planner page one. I continue dividing the photos up into 2 page LOs with the trimmings I want to use. This did not and doesn’t happen over night. It took me a long time to set up all the planner pages for China. But now that they are set up, it is easier to begin working on the LOs in the order I have chosen. Since I had so many photos from that China trip, I have made it my first priority. Then I have chosen a second box of photos, for example photos of all my pets past and present. Did the same thing with planner pages for them. I have only done the two boxes as I don’t want to get any more planner ages since I will reuse them one the LO is done. That way I recycle the page planners, bluse, I don’t get overwhelmed by all the photos I want to scrap. Like I said, this works for me. It may not work for anyone else and I do want to learn more about what you are going to teach us but so far I am able to use my time efficiently (even though I misspell a lot!) and have some nice LO to show for my efforts. In the past, I have relied on my own self to come up with the page design but the page LOs that you have shared with us have helped me quite a lot. Thanks, hope this isn’t too long. –Cheryl

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Never too long. I’m sure many will benefit from your details! Thanks so much for sharing and I’m so glad you’re enjoying the sketches.

  4. HelenH

    You have found a good way to separate decision making from creative activity, Cheryl. I hope you will share some layouts!

  5. Catherine

    I know when I am planning I used to feel obligated to create this huge, big picture overview that was comprehensive and covered every little step. What I’ve realized is that I enjoy planning that way but I don’t respond at all to the plan when it’s done. I feel overwhelmed and even a little alienated from something I originally wanted to do.

    What works instead is to make a straight list of ten or twelve tasks that are a combination of:

    – little quirky fun things that inspire me
    – easy steps that I can do quickly
    – a couple of things that are difficult but I know really need to get done

    So then depending on my energy and interest during a particular week, I have a choice of what feels right. I also find that other tasks for the project naturally get done because I’m consistently engaging with the project.

    • Jennifer Wilson

      What a terrific insight Catherine!

  6. Catherine

    This sounds awesome, when you sit down to scrap you can just go for it!

    • Catherine

      Oops, Cheryl, my comment above was for you!

  7. Susan Mealiea

    The planning I have practiced for the last two (or more years) here on SS has supported my hobby in many ways. I am more focused in my purchases (paper, digi, and classes) and have been more productive than in the previous years. I strayed from my planning and prioritizing in late 2014 as work and family life has been more mentally exhausting. But as 2015 approaches, my mental energy is higher and I am ready to start fresh. 🙂



  1. Step 4. Choose Simple | Simplify Your New Year - Simple Scrapper - […] Simple Scrapper, it’s my mission to help you figure out what that looks like and craft a plan to…

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