Plan On It

Making plans for tomorrow and beyond.

I am a planner. I like to know what I’m doing today, tomorrow, and the next. Placing checkmarks next to completed tasks or events in my paper planner is euphoric. Yes, I know there are apps and gadgets to help me in this digital world, but I don’t want to use them. Pen has to hit paper for me to feel that true sense of accomplishment. Sometimes, I’ll even write a completed task down just so I can check it off.

What I’m not the best at is looking five, 10, 15 years down the road. I don’t think they make planners that large. 

I’m not sure when my focus on the day-to-day began to outweigh my focus on the long-term. A part of me believes journalism has something to do with it. When I began my career at the Dayton Daily News, the focus was always on the next day. We couldn’t plan the homepage for next year because the news hadn’t happened yet. 

The print industry is similar. Projects usually need to be completed within a short time frame (typically yesterday, if you ask your customers). A client comes to you with a need for 100 shirts in three days for an event occurring this weekend. So, you alter your production schedule to get the job done.

So much of what we do is based on what’s happening right now: Get the magazine out the door. Complete that next print order. But centering solely on the short-term hinders us in the long-term.

After reading columnist Marshall Atkinson’s “20 Goals for 2020” I was inspired to take a look at my own future. It’s still important to plan for upcoming things like turning in a feature on time, but I also need to consider where I see myself in the next decade – and where I see Screen Printing. I’m going to create my own set of 2020 and beyond goals, and I urge you to do the same for your business with the article’s help. And that’s where I really need your support: shaping the future of this magazine. 

We created a reader survey to help us plan for your current and long-term needs. Thank you so much to those who took the time to complete the survey. Your input tells us if we need to make adjustments to the topics we’re covering and how we’re delivering them. Want more “how-to” features? Would you rather watch a three-minute video from an industry expert? Do you prefer live Tweets or a comprehensive post-event write-up? Please, let me know, at any time.

I’m excited to align our goals and implement them in the next five, 10, 15 years. My planner won’t know what hit it.

View more from this Screen Printing issue