Is the Maker’s Yearbook right for you?

Makers Business Toolkit: Is the Maker's Yearbook Right for you?

Is the Maker’s Yearbook going to work for me if……?

This is the single most common question we get asked about the yearbook, and it’s the single most common question we get asked while the yearbooks are for sale.

But there are a lot of different versions of the question.


— Will the yearbook work for me if I’m just starting out?

— Will the yearbook work for me if I’m not a maker?

— Will the yearbook work for me if I’m a maker but I don’t sell products? And then the most difficult one of all….

— This sounds great but will it work for me if I’m really disorganised?

I’m going to answer all of those questions in this post and hopefully give you a little bit more information than is possible on the sales page about how the yearbook works and the kinds of people it works well for, and doesn’t work well for.

Just to give you a quick spoiler alert, for most people the answer is that it COULD help you, but it may not be the best option for you.

I don’t have any interest in selling the yearbook to people it won’t help or who don’t need it so I’m going to tell you how it’s designed to work and then, if you’re not a maker, you will need to make the decision about whether to give it a try or not.

I made the Maker’s Yearbook to help a specific group of people – makers who are in their first 5 years of business.

But in order to properly serve those people, who often have a lot of other things going on in their lives, I had to make it a really flexible system.

Really easy to start, really quick to follow and really easy to pick up again if you stop using it for any period of time.

That flexibility makes it useful for lots of other people too.

So what is the Maker’s Yearbook?

The Maker’s Yearbook is really a tool for developing the habit of mindful work.

It’s disguised as a planner, and yes, of course you can and should plan your business activities with it.

But its real strength is as a tool to help you develop a practice of thinking about what you’re going to do with a period of time, before that period of time starts.

Okay, that sounded a little complicated so let me explain.

Most people do not decide what they are going to do with their time. And so decisions are made for them, usually by other people.

You might have heard this called “reactive working.” That means that you spend your days reacting to what comes up, rather than doing what you actually want to do.

I could give you a whole speech about how we’re conditioned to be cogs in a system, but let’s just say that for most of us, school and then employment didn’t really encourage us to decide for ourselves what was the best thing to work on today.

But that is why we started our own businesses. To have more freedom to do what we want.

But we’ve still got employee habits, like showing up, switching on the computer, and dealing with the stuff that has appeared overnight. And that stuff leads us down a rabbit hole until it’s getting dark and we don’t know where the day went.

Deciding for ourselves what we want to do today is most definitely outside our comfort zone.

And it takes practice to be able to do it consistently.

The Maker’s Yearbook is going to encourage you to replace your morning routine of reacting to stuff, with a healthier one. Sitting down and deciding on the three most important tasks for the day and then doing those BEFORE anything else steals your attention.

The yearbook also helps you to develop some other habits too, all based around the concept that we need to train ourselves to regularly check in with what we really want.

It’s important so that even with the busyness and overwhelm of everything going on around us, we can stay connected to that thing and recognise if the things we are doing every day aren’t in alignment with what we say we want.

What the Maker’s Yearbook is not

The Maker’s Yearbook is not a time management system. It doesn’t have hourly time slots, so if you like to schedule every moment of your day, and that is working for you, then this is absolutely not the planner for you.

The Maker’s Yearbook is designed for people who aren’t good at fitting all of their tasks into those hourly slots. People whose work always seems to take way longer than they thought, and who always seem to have way less time than they expected.

It’s designed to help them decide on the most important things, knowing that they can still be successful, even without getting anywhere near finishing their to do list.

Will the yearbook work for me if I’m just starting out?

When you are starting a business, you have an enormous list of things that you need to get done.

You need to make some products and test them. You need to find customers to sell to. You need to find ways to build an audience and convert them into buyers.

It could, but you need to make sure you’re using it for the right reasons and for the things it can help you with, not the things that it can’t.

There are hundreds of little tasks that go into each one of those projects and you may feel overwhelmed just thinking about everything that needs doing, and everything you don’t know how to do.

The Maker’s Yearbook can give you a way to keep making progress every day by getting some of those important tasks checked off, before you fall into a social media comparison rabbit hole and just want to lay on the couch eating chocolate.

The monthly reviews will also help you to keep learning from your experiences and your mistakes, which is so important for a new business owner.

But here’s what it can’t do.

It’s not a book about building a business, so it can’t help you decide what you should be spending your time on, or what you should do next for your business.

It can only help you to actually do the things you decide to do.

If you do want some help deciding what to work on, then try taking our Momentum Builder Quiz  instead

Will the Maker’s Yearbook work for me if I’m not a maker?

Working in a more mindful way is something that could be beneficial for many small business owners and whether the Maker’s Yearbook is going to be helpful for you really depends mostly on how you work.

The yearbook is designed for makers, but if you work in the same way as makers do, then it definitely could help you too.

So how do makers work?

Makers have to create all of the structure and routines of the day themselves.

They have a block of time and some tasks to do and that’s pretty much it.

They very rarely have appointments to attend or sessions to book in. They don’t have anyone else deciding on goals or targets for them.

That freedom sounds great, but it can be pretty intimidating to begin with and so makers constantly battle with distraction, procrastination and overwhelm.

The Maker’s Yearbook is designed to help with that, encouraging makers to ask what they should spend their time on today, in order to get what they want later, and giving them a way to keep themselves accountable.

If this sounds like your work and life too, then the Maker’s Yearbook could help you too.

Will the Maker’s Yearbook work for me if I have an art or craft business but I don’t sell products?

This is really the toughest question to answer because there are so many different possibilities but let’s look at a few common examples:

If you sell digital downloads or online courses?

The Maker’s Yearbook can usually help anyone who needs to create large amounts of content with the accountability to show up and do the work, although it isn’t designed to help you plan and organise large amounts of content.

People who make money from their creative talents by selling workshops, courses and digital downloads have many of the same problems as makers selling physical products because the two business models are fairly similar.

Although your products are more scalable, you still need to spend regular time creating new stuff if you want to keep growing.

And distractions and procrastination are just as much of a problem for sellers of digital products as they are for people selling physical products.

If you support yourself with public commissions, artists’ residencies and grant funding

The Maker’s Yearbook can help you prioritise the tasks that need doing, but it really isn’t designed for this business model.

Will the Maker’s Yearbook work for me if I’m really disorganised?

It could. But it’s not designed to help you organise things. It’s designed to help you make better choices about how you’re spending your time.

That could help you to put systems in place that will organise your business, if that’s what you want to be working on.

The bottom line is that you don’t need to be organised already to use the yearbook and get a benefit from it, but it will only help you to become organised if that’s a goal that you set for yourself and work towards.

It can be tough to commit to a new planner system, especially if you have tried and failed to use other planners.

The important things to consider are the particular problems that you’re trying to solve with a new planner.

Are you trying to remember all of the appointments and events you have to get to?

Are you trying to bring structure to your days?

Are you trying to deal with procrastination and overwhelm?

The bottom line is that the planner you buy should fit with the way you want to work and the challenges you’re facing. You shouldn’t have to change yourself or the things that are already working for you in order to use it.

Click here to find out more about the Maker’s Yearbook.

I'm Nicola Taylor

I’m the founder of Maker’s Business Toolkit and I help artists, makers, and handmade business owners to make more money with less stress.

Click here to find out more about me.

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