The planning process & why I love it…

Planning wall 2Planning wallI spent the last few nights totally obsessed with planning for 2012. In specific, I came up with a whole new list of goals, ideas and plans for this blog. I couldn't be more excited! I know it's a little geeky, but I wrote a couple hundred ideas (mostly from old journals filling my bedside table) on flashcards and hung them up by category to get a visual for the coming months. What you can see in these photos are wearable DIY projects, beauty and photography. There are more, but I ran out of wall space. Needless to say, I can't wait for 2012! I love looking ahead to the future. The older I get the more I feel like I live for goals. I love that the new year encourages goal making. It's so healthy and refreshing! If you have any fun planning or organizing tips, I'd love to hear them. 

Elsie larsonIn other news, I got a brand new camera this week! I had my previous camera for four years. Since I used it pretty much every single day it was pretty worn out. There's nothing like a new camera to make me super excited about photography. Now I want to take photos of E V E R Y T H I N G. Beware…. xo. elsie

  • I was just thinking about the pic you posted of this on Instagram last night. My kids are about to go down for a nap, and I am getting ready to do some planning of my own. I feel like my thoughts and ideas get jumbled around in my head and my brain is always running. Getting them out on paper, and organized like you have is sure to be helpful and inspiring. Thanks!!

  • What type of camera did you buy?
    I really love this idea, by the way. I have post-its all over the wall of my dorm of things I’m looking forward to trying, tasting, baking, creating, etc. I may just branch out into goals as well!

  • Great idea! I´ve been thinking about trying to jot at least a couple of ideas down for my blog – I often just blogs away. Now, that may have it´s charm – but sometimes I forget what I really wanted to blog about..! 😀

  • i can’t wait to see everything you do in 2012! not to mention, all your pretty photos with your fun new camera! i love the idea of putting goals on little cards and hanging them up! perfect!

  • Amazing!! I have tons of lists in my diaries and sketch books for 2012, but making it visual like this … WOW.

    – Kathrine

  • yay! how fun! what kind of camera did you get? that’s so exciting! congrats! i can feel the excitements!

    party planning, making goals, meal planning. planning process is so much fun! my little book is so colorful and full of little drawings, i love planning!

    i have two goals, i want to scrapbook more, not the traditional scrapbooking, but how i used to scrapbook… and i want to take more home videos 🙂 i loved your little wedding one, so cute!

  • I am so excited for all of your new ideas!! I am glad you you got a new camera! I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!

  • You are so organised, I need to get on top of the goals for 2012! I plan to use my blog to hold myself accountable and monitor my progress for a lot of my goals.

  • That’s just superb! All the little drawings.. 🙂
    You always inspire me so much. I am still stuck at the things I have to do to finish college projects and move on to next semester, so I really don’t know what will be in 2012, but I am so looking forward to making my own plans.

    For now, I can enjoy yours 🙂

  • this is completely amazing, elsie! & i totally understand about being more goal-oriented with age. i’m at a place where i feel like i don’t have time for BS. haha. anyway, super inspiring. wow!

  • You are so inspiring! I love that you wrote down all of the things you want to do. I write down outfits and different things for my blog as well. I can’t wait to see what your blog has in store for 2012!

  • Did you purchase the Canon EOS 5D Mark II ? Also, I love your wide angle lens self captures!

  • My new camera is a Canon 60D. It’s the perfect one for me and a great upgrade from the 30D, I’ll blog about it in the near future! XO.

  • Wow this is so inspiring! I just started a blog for the first time and I’ll definitely be taking a leaf out of your book over the holidays and planning some new ideas and posts for the new year.
    I noticed you mentioned bedside journals but I was wondering, do you keep a journal of ideas all the time? I think it might be time for me to buy a small note book to carry around everywhere with me…

  • Daaaaaang! That is quite the impressive wall! I’ve been thinking the same thing–I need to get some goals in order for my blog. I’m hoping to do some fun things with it this year!


  • Sarah, yes! I have a journal in my purse and by my bed. They never leave my side. They aren’t very organized, but at least all the ideas go somewhere that I can look back on later!

  • Wow, absolutely love everything about this post! If I had my own space like that, I would do the same. I love making goals! Personally, I’m an obsessive list maker. I can’t get enough of them…

  • I totally agree! Goals are the best, I get so excited for new years every year, its a great holiday (plus you can wear sparkly things!)

    I’m always writing down goals too, but I love how visual you made your goals. Every time you accomplish one, you should replace it with a polaroid picture of what you made, haha.

    Ok, lastly, you should take the “Strengths Finder” test, I think your number 1 strength would be futuristic!

    Ok, sorry so long! xo, Brittan

  • Oh, how I wish I were as organised as you are!!! But since I’m not, well, I’m pretty excited for this blog’s content, so I can’t wait for 2012 to begin 🙂

    PS Which camera did you get?

  • I just love how positive and uplifting you and your blog are. It’s really inspiring. Thank you for being you!

  • Wow, so many ideas! You’re such an inspiration!

    I love to make goal lists and fill up journals with ideas. Somehow I find that if I write something down, it often happens! I’m not sure if that is because I’m more motivated, or because it is magic ;p

    One of the best things I did last year was a birthday goal list (26 before 27). I’m expecting a baby in April next year, so I’m thinking my goal list for 2012 will be a little simpler than usual, hehe…

  • I’m excited to see what the new year brings! That sure is a lot of flash cards. I’ve been writing down my goals as well, there is nothing more refreshing.

    Kindness is the best accessory,

  • Favorite post ever? Possibly… And that’s a real compliment in my book 🙂 It’s just truly inspiring and so refreshing!! Makes me think…
    Thank you so much, Elsie!!

  • when i saw your wall @ instagram, the first thought that came to my mind was, “this girl has got it goin’ on!” you have a wealth of ideas — that alone is impressive. but even more admirable is your eagerness to share them with us. well, i for one, can hardly wait! 😀

    cheers to new cameras. you can never have enough… right? 😉

    have a beautiful sunday evening.

  • Wow indeed. I started writing a list of ideas for 2012 for my blog too and was pretty proud of the twenty I wrote down last night. 🙂 Your endless creativity is inspiring and I can’t wait to see what you come up with for the new year!

  • I am a total goal-er and list-er too! I am so excited too since we just moved and now I have space for a studio and a ton more space to decorate too – I can’t wait for the new year – and I’m ALWAYS super excited to see what you come up with lovely lady!

  • Have at it Girl….Snap Away we love your photos!

    If I could have an ounce of your “Already Brilliant Organization Skills” I would be in a much better place with my goals. I keep everything in my head, and get so overwhelmed with ideas and rarely accomplish them, well simply because I forget them. So here is to a new New Years Resolution….. Write things down!!!!!! Love you Elsie and keep up the Great Work!!!!!! 🙂

  • Wonderful!!
    I like setting goals, too. I wonder if having them in front of me, like on a wall, will motivate me to complete them faster. It can be visual progress and making the wall clear can be a goal itself! hmmmmm thanks for the inspiration!

    I have had my camera for 3 years already. I’m saving for a new one, but this guy’s my baby and so I’m not being THAT strict or fast to get the funds. 😉

  • Wowza! Thats a lot of ideas! Your mind must be a beautiful, creative wonderland! I look forward to seeing each of your ideas develop! 🙂

  • I love the visual way of organizing ideas. 🙂
    For this year, I came up with ‘2012. 12 Months. 12 Projects’. Rather than go insane always trying to work on a million different projects I want to do, I’m going to focus on one thing for each month.
    In January, I’m making the Super Mario Felt mural I’ve been planning for ages. I’m also going to learn to play the banjo, learn French (as much as I can in a month) and make a short film this year.
    I’m looking forward to another year of A Beautiful Mess! 🙂
    Thanks for the daily inspiration, Elsie. <3

  • Oh my…gahhhh! This is a whole new level of geeky and I completely love it. Goals are a massive part of my life; I’m so inspired by your inspiration/goal wall!

  • love your enthusiasm! i should set some blogging goals too! mind sharing them? great new camera by the way!

  • Oooh! So inspirational!!!

    I’m a huge fan of goal making as well and have already been filling my journal with so many goals, thoughts and happiness for 2012. I can’t wait until the New Year. Can’t. Wait.

    BTW: are you selling/giving away your old camera…? Mine’s a dinosaur, has a cracked screen and… yeah. Just… Yeah… Haha!

  • Your blog is so fabulous and I’m super excited to see what 2012 brings. I love the idea of putting up all your ideas so they are clearly in view. It helps to keep motivated I would asume.

  • I love how you have it all visually put up on your wall! That is a great idea and very inspiring.

    One of my goals for the new year is to get a few bulletin boards up in my home office. I love having several places in my home dedicated to getting what’s in my head out there in a tangible way.

  • i’m super excited for 2012 to get here!! september i am getting married so it’s really exciting to make goals for 2012 and to plan everything out! i want to know what your new camera is!

  • that’s so awesome, i had to pin it as an idea to do myself. i find it easier to follow through/remember with things when i’m forced to stare at them each day! also what kind of camera did you get??

  • Wow! Just looking at that wall is inspiring in itself! Can’t wait to see what Red Velvet has in store for 2012 🙂

  • I love your blog. I read it all the time and end up putting a few pictures in my inspiration photo albums on my computer. My boyfriend and I actually tried the 12 dates of Christmas! One of my favorite parts of your blog is the pug. I adore pugs and can’t wait to get one. Thank you for the inspiration and good luck!

  • Ohmygoodness Elsie, I need to do this! I have journals of ideas and thoughts and this would be the greatest way to do it. I always feel like they are still “trapped” in there (in the journals).

    One idea I have is I have this INDEX CARD BINDER. It’s like a 3 RING BINDER but Index card size, and I keep ideas, or specific binders for different topics. You could buy like 5 or however many, and then make each one have a specific title and keep or ideas organized that way.


    Anyway, that’s one thing that’s worked really well for me. I have all sorts of them floating around, and there are different colors too, so that helps!

    excited for the new year on A Beautiful Mess too!

  • I agree with you that setting goals can sometimes be SO important. I’ve always grown the most when I set goals for myself, and when I put a lot of my focus and energy into those goals.

    P.S. What eyeshadow are you wearing in these photos? It’s lovely!

  • The ideas look great, and I can’t wait to see what you pull out of your sleeve?

    What type of camera did you get? Do tell! 🙂

    Aya ♥ Strawberry Koi

  • Hi Elsie,

    I love to plan too! However, I’ve been really inspired recently by your ’28 things to do before you are 29′ etc and see that lots of people plan 30 things to do before 30. I’ve just missed out on that sadly but I’m planning a goals list for 2012 instead of making New Year resolutions. So much more fun to think about things you want to accomplish rather than things you think you ought to do but know you probably won’t stick to!


  • what model is your new camera? 🙂

    Haha i gotta laugh at that wall, its EPIC, its amazing! Will it ever overwhelm you? or will the goals growing and getting smaller inspire you?

    love the red lippy, have you used a liner with that?

  • i’m so excited too for 2012, can’t wait! i have a lot of ideas too but i am afraid of to have no time for all my lovely plans because it’s my last year on university (oh goosh sounds so terrifying) and i have to work too. meh 🙁

  • Random! But, what’s your luscious red lip gloss in these photos?

    Would you share?


  • im loving all the pictures of your little pug lately! she is so so so cute! i can’t wait to see what you have in store for the coming year!

  • Ha! Love this! Your wall looks exactly like how my brain feels right now! 2012 is going to be a fabulous year 🙂

    BTW – how am I just now finding your blog?!

    Love it.

    XO – Marion

  • how very bizarre… just been sitting here writing a few of my own reminders / goals / inspirations for 2012 myself when your blog post popped up on fb… mine aren’t nearly as cool looking as yours though… now where’s my sticky note pad! 😉

  • I seriously need to do this. I feel like this year was just kind of off the cuff but I would like next year to be more deliberate and purposeful. Thanks for sharing!

  • I saw this in my inbox after reading your post:

    It’s a neat idea for list-making that can be modified and actually planned out in your schedule.

    Love your idea too. I keep a journal with me at all times, but when the ideas aren’t right in front of me, I forget about them. And a visual always helps, like your little sketches.

  • I am crushing on this ultra planning wall!

    I started my very first project book for 2012–it’s amazing once it was all out of my head I was able to tackle things to push ideas along 🙂

  • I love resolutions, so I am totally doing this to my wall!! What a great visual!! I’ll have to get some colored cards b/c my walls are white.

    I am so excited to see where A Beautiful Mess goes this next year. Your positive energy and creativity are truly contagious. Keep creating and inspiring!=)

    P.S.- Visited Flashback Vintage when I vacationed in Memphis a few weeks ago. Thanks for that post. It was so helpful =)

  • This is insane! I cant even believe how organized you are. I wish I could plan ahead like this!

    <3 Sarah

  • Love this!!! For 2012 my husband and I are planning to start a family. Here’s to 2012 may it be a year filled with love and creativity! 🙂

  • Yeah, I know how you feel. My boyfriend is giving me a camera for christmas and it just makes me so excited to capture everything and everything. 🙂


  • What a wonderful idea! I’m so READY for 2012 and I too have so many ideas for my blog (which is still relatively new)…this is fantastic — and decorative. Plus I love it’ll be awesome to rip them down as you accomplish the task (and add new ones!)

    I’m definitely going to do this! Thanks for the inspiration, lady!

  • every time I take a trip, I make a little book to write and draw and put pictures in, I always cover the outside of the notebook in all different kinds of maps of the place I’m going to. Old maps and new ones. I just look them up on line and pick a few I really like. It’s a lot of fun! and now I have a little collection of the books on display. i love going back to them and reading everything all over again!

  • I love how you have about a million colors in your room! It’s so much fun. I’m defiantly taking you up on your wall of ideas! Love it!!!

  • What a great idea, Elsie. Having a wall of ideas that you look at every day. I usually keep my ideas in a notebook that I look at weekly.

  • A visual filer to the enth degree. I have used a bulletin board with 3 x 5 note carts to manage projects. Next up, planning for 2012. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • OMG!!! you have a lot in mind for 2012!!!! where do you get the inspiration and ideas for all your projects from???

  • wow that’s alot of post its…
    really good idea to plan! i’m planning on buying a planner to map out all of my ideas for 2012 soon. and a new calender!

  • Way to go! I’ve made a similar system and I couldn’t be happier about it. I get things done and I have a lot more time to come up with new ideas 😉
    ..and by the way, my pug sends his regards to your pug 😉

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  • Elsie! I have a couple of questions for you..
    1) What would be your advice on a new summer color of nail-polish to buy?
    2) What would be a good camera to buy in the future.. (for me :3)
    3) Where would you recommend to go shopping for vintage clothing? 😀

    If you can answer those questions for me.. I would be extremely HAPPY! :3

  • I would love to be this organized! this business and goal oriented! actually it might be just the hting i need to kickstart my blog!

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