Productivity: Strategic Planning vs NOT Planning (or Flying By The Seat Of Your Burning Pants!)

Inner Guide Planner     Action Day Notepad

Some people over-plan, which is often just a fancy form of procrastination - giving you some false sense of accomplishment by wasting tons of time planning something out to the very last detail... instead of actually implementing the plan.

Another issue with over-planning is that it gives you too much time for doubts and fears to rise up. The more time you spend planning, the more you may start second guessing yourself - or the plan.

Not planning, or under-planning, can have it's drawbacks as well. I tend to fall on this end of the spectrum, often "flying by the seat of my pants" (which I prefer to call: "going with the flow" or "following creative inspiration" lol).

This results in a lot of editing and/or clean-up work of course, but it also means I'm actually getting stuff out there (implementing, not just planning!).

Somewhere in the middle, you have... Strategic Planning.

Which is a well thought out plan, executed.

A strategic plan includes defining your strategy, outlining your direction, noting the actions needed to achieve that goal, and making specific plans to execute the strategy.

Strategic Planning Defined:

A systematic process of envisioning a desired future, and translating this vision into broadly defined goals or objectives and a sequence of steps to achieve them.

In contrast to long-term planning (which begins with the current status and lays down a path to meet estimated future needs), strategic planning begins with the desired-end and works backward to the current status.

* At every stage of long-range planning the planner asks, "What must be done here to reach the next (higher) stage?"

* At every stage of strategic-planning the planner asks, "What must be done at the previous (lower) stage to reach here?"

Also, in contrast to tactical planning (which focuses at achieving narrowly defined interim objectives with predetermined means), strategic planning looks at the wider picture and is flexible in choice of its means. -source

I like the distinction above between strategic planning, long-term planning and tactical planning. With that definition, I can see that I'm much more of a "tactical planner" - with a long term view, always working toward the desired end result.

Knowing exactly what kind of planner you are, and how you could improve in your planning, is the key to making improvements.

Lately I have been working on becoming much more of a "strategic planner" - and I'm putting the tools & resources in place to do just that.

I'd love to hear where you fall into the spectrum, and I would also love your thoughts on The InnerGuide Life Planner and Action Day Decisions & Actions Pad I mentioned in the video above. πŸ™‚ I shared quite a few tips too, so if you have any questions on those - let me know!

What kind of planner or "planning system" do you use?





About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreΒ»


  1. Thanks for sharing - I added these to my wishlist on my amazon account and "plan" to get these tools as I can see the importance and value they can add to my life.

    I have often talked about strategic planning and recently I made some huge changes in my online life and am now trying to figure out my next part I have figured out a few things but have a way to go.

    These tools will be helpful in motivating to the next step. Thanks again Lynn. πŸ™‚

    • I think you'll really love them, Carl. I was skeptical, given I've been "paperless" for years - but as you saw in my (um, chatty!) video -lol... I really love them. And you nailed it: the value is definitely there! They were both very inexpensive, and I really love the "fill in the blank style" to prompt you to make smart choices and fast decisions. πŸ™‚ *cheers*

  2. Hi Lynn,

    You have some great books waiting for you to read them. I have quite a few that I am anxious to read too.

    I'm crazy about planners, journals, notebooks, etc. I have them all over the place. I tried to go completely paperless, but I also end up back to my regular Day Planner with my own changes I've made for myself.

    It is tempting to order the Inner Guide but I am afraid it would be one of those "procrastination excuses" for me. Maybe next year starting over. I am making myself stay with what I am using now.

    Thanks for showing us your "fun stuff" from Amazon.

    • Smart, Monna! I say "stick with what works". Right now, Evernote is not working as well as usual for me - because I've made a mess of it. I aim to get it all reorganized, along with the rest of my office lol, but in the interim... I need everything right in front of me to accomplish all of the BIG goals I have for the last few months of this year!

      I'm really loving the InnerGuide Planner so far. It's VERY well done. I love that they have all different types. This one focuses on personal fulfillment, but they have different versions depending on what YOUR focus is.

  3. Lynn,
    After following your link to VideoMotionPro, in a more recent mailing, I came back to this site to look at some of your videos.

    Aside from the content in this one, I am impressed with the extra images you have coming in... Some are probably transition ones that you mentioned in the Traffic Masters BlogTalk Radio interview... where you said you pause when you fumble with your words, so you can edit that out and replace with transitions.

    On the other hand some do not seem to be transitions. So my Bottom Line questions... did you do the full video editing... What program or programs are you using?

    TIA for your response.

  4. This productivity series has really inspired me to massive action in many area of my life. Many thanks for that. Somehow the visuals were really stirring, which is nice because I am more a word person than a picture person. I really like the idea of Evernote, but I have always been a note taker,and writing things down seems to help remember them. I just need to do it in one place, and so I ordered the planner and have some new strategies now. Many thanks, Pam Salem

  5. I also just took advantage of your generous offer to become a lifetime Elite Forum member for only $497. FOLKS that is a DEAL. That figures out to $41 and change for 12 months to have a lifetime membership, making it chump change for a LIFETIME membership~! Don't miss this one~!!!

  6. Do you take pictures of business cards and put them in Evernote?

    • I hope you enjoy the planner as much as I have so far, Pam. πŸ™‚ I really love Evernote for SO many reasons - especially cross compatibility and "always at my fingertips" no matter where I am - but there's something powerful about Life Planning... on paper!

      I don't keep business cards in Evernote, but I don't tend to keep business cards at all. I try to follow up with them immediately, make a real connection (friend them on Facebook for example) and then toss the card. Otherwise I just end up with a dust-collecting stack of cards and can't remember where I met them or why I wanted to stay in touch. πŸ˜› lol.

      I'm glad you joined us in the Private Brainstorming Group. I look forward to brainstorming with you and working with you on your goals! *cheers*

  7. Roy Harris says:


    Have you always used a paper planner? Were you more
    successful when you used a paper planner? Could you
    really tell a difference.


    • Hi Roy πŸ™‚ No. I started out with paper, but "went digital" and pretty much exclusively used Evernote and Google Calendar as I shared in the video - until I found these Inner Guide Planners... which are really great for overall life goals, everything from business to personal / fitness goals.

      I find it really helps me a lot to get totally offline for planning and brainstorming sometimes, and love the prompts and the structure of these planners specifically (vs a blank page!).

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