Year-End Planning and 2016 Planner Calendar

Year-end planning and a printable monthly calendar for your planner.

A Simple Year-End Planning Routine

Each year at this time, I try to spend at least an hour each day planning, organizing, and tidying. A tidying of my physical space helps to organize my mind and heart for the new year, but I’ve discovered that year-end planning works best when I work on both physical and mental tidying at the same time. Here are the seven steps of my year-end planning routine.

  1. Wrap up the current big project or pause at a logical spot. If I am preparing a book for publication, I try to get it out by the beginning of December so that the rest of the month can be focused on family time and planning the coming year. If I can’t finish the big project, I will try to put it on hold no later than the end of the first week in December.
  2. Look back at the previous year’s vision board and goals to see if I’m close to where I hoped. I usually find that if the goals are aligned with the vision board, things tend go pretty well. On the years when they diverge, results vary. If the vision board is where I can see it all the time, my results will usually be more closely aligned with what I have posted on the board. If it’s out of sight, I may have slogged through a lot of to-do lists to check off a few goals, but sometimes I feel as if I spend the year going in circles. I’m learning . . .
  3. Evaluate the current planner layout and see if it is still meeting my needs. Update as needed and print out new planner inserts. I print a one-page-per-month planner so that I can have a yearly overview, plus the two-pages-per-week spread of my creative entrepreneur planner pages.
  4. Check ongoing project lists in Trello* and archive or add boards and cards as needed. Trello is a free planning app that lets me view and edit virtual bulletin boards with all my projects on my phone or iPad. I use it to maintain a birds-eye view of ideas, plans, and long-term goal steps, as well as to capture ideas if I’m away from my paper planner.
  5. Consider whether daily activities are still aligned with long-term goals and if my long-term goals accurately reflect my life’s calling or mission. Adjust as needed.
  6. Take previous year’s financial files out of the active file drawer; set aside what will be needed for taxes; throw away what can be tossed; and archive the rest in a labeled and dated box.
  7. Write birthdays, conference dates, and other significant events on the wall calendars, and note needed reservations on my planner to-do list.

That’s pretty much it. Over New Year’s weekend, I will take time to create a new vision board, list priority projects for the coming year, and print any remaining planner inserts. Do you have a year-end planning routine? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

Happy New Year! Here’s a free printable calendar for you.

I’ve just finished printing out my planner inserts for the coming months, and thought you might like to have a 2016 monthly calendar for your planner. It is designed to print on three sheets of letter-size paper (8.5 x 11″), and should be printed as a booklet, using both sides of the paper. If you don’t know how to do that, I’ve added screenshots of the settings for a laser printer and an inkjet printer.  Your little preview sketch should show two pages at a time, just as you see below.

I suggest printing the calendar on regular paper first to make sure your settings are correct. When you are ready to print a final copy, user heavier paper so that you can write without show-through. I like to use mixed-media paper or resume paper. It prints on only three sheets, so it’s easy to experiment. When you’ve printed, fold the pages in half, punch if necessary, and insert them into your planner. Enjoy!

Download the monthly calendar PDF: planner-monthly-2016-half-letter

Print settings on a laser printer:

Settings for printing the planner calendar on a laser printer.

Print settings on an inkjet printer:

Printer settings for printing the planner calendar on an inkjet printer.


*The Trello link is a referral link. If you sign up for the free version of Trello with it, I get a free month of Trello Gold, which is the pro edition that allows me to use art or photos for my Trello backgrounds, which makes my planning process much prettier. Thank you!

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