2016 Prep – Part Three

Part One

Part Two

If you’re following along you have three important things already:

  • Whiteboard of possible and impossible items
  • An index card with your deciding factors
  • All the possible and impossible items that move forward based on your deciding factors

But, these aren’t goals.

Nope. Still no goals.

I bet you’re feeling pretty good about that, right? 😉

After this, I build a Warboard.

This comes from my days as a strategic HR Director. In those days the board had things like company goals, succession planning, staffing, training, HPEs, etc.

But with us it’s going to be all of our business’s opportunities. You already have those. You wrote them out on index cards in Part Two (didn’t do that? Go do it before moving on.)

The quickest way to make this make sense is to show you mine and move on. You’ll notice some of the cards are flipped. I’m a writer and that means spoilers and potentially confidental agreements, so I’ll explain as much as I can with the cards facing where they’re facing.


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This is super easy to make. A corkboard, cut up box, school project display stand. Whatever. I threw a pretty shelf-liner over mine bc cardboard is ugly.

Starting with the column on the left. That’s the next four weeks. No matter where you are in the month, that’s the next four weeks.

This isn’t about a calendar. It’s about what you’re doing right now.

The square section in the top middle is everything else for the year.

The smaller section below this is ideas that come up. Those impossible things or the if something magical happens or maybe if the stars align, or maybe they’re just things you’ll do next year.

Then the final section is the column down the right side.

I have my Brew Ha Ha sticker to remind myself of my readers and what they love.

Under that is my Guiding Principles card to make sure that when I’m making decisions, the important guidelines are right there—hard to miss.

Under that is cards that are completed already.

Finally, the last group of cards is just a tickler system so I don’t do things like forget to ask people if they want signed copies of books for the holidays next year.

With that in mind, looking at my cards (that aren’t turned around) let’s see where things are and how they’re working on the board.

Looking at the first column, the next four weeks:

  • There’s the Lonely Owl book on Voice I’m co-writing with Jeannie Lin currently at #1 bc it’s my focus
  • Then a fiction project that’s flipped for spoilers. (If you follow me on facebook, that’s the one Asus deleted for no reason when they looked at my CORD of my computer)
  • My project on Tools for Pantsers which is morphing into another Owl book & talk
  • My Newsletter – I got feedback from my readers they’d like to hear from me more often than just new release time
  • Finally, the Owl Mailer – it goes out every month, so it will always be in that column, just where it’s placement is will change.

Looking at the big section with the cards for this year — those are in a rough order (yes, I know someone will call me on it. I did color coordinated them). But, what gets moved to the 4 week column next? Well, that will depend on which things are the most timely AND are the current best match for my deciding factors card when I take something off the column.

I bet you’re wondering why I organize myself this way.


We’ll talk about why I do and why it works for me in Part Four.


  1. […] We’ll look at those index cards in Part Three! […]

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