The Power of 9-Grids

There are 27 days left in 2016 (counting today). 27 days left for me to accomplish what I set out to do in 2016. Beyond New Year’s resolutions, every year I have a list of commitments and goals I make to myself and my business. It’s time to check in with my goals… and time to start planning for 2017.

The best tool I have found to help my thinking, my planning, my strategizing, are 9-Grids, a paper notebook created by Qnity Inc as a tool for stylists to work on their business.

What is a 9-Grid and should one use it?

The simplest answer is that the 9 grid is a pad of paper. Each sheet has 9 blank squares. You write / doodle / draw in (and sometimes around) these squares. You can even stick stickers on these squares.

This video explains it way better than I ever could.

How do I use my 9-Grids?

I am addicted to my 9-Grids. Here is how I use them:

  • I have them with me at all times – the 9-Grids I have filled out, and a pad of blank ones.
  • I keep past 9-Grids – I still have my 9-Grids from 2015 (when I started using this tool). There is power in tracking the evolution of my ideas and priorities.
  • I look at them often, at least weekly. There is power to visualization; looking at my 9-Grids helps calibrate my thinking and serves as a reminder about what I should be spending my time and energy on.
  • I usually have six to ten 9-Grids per year.
    • A personal one – as I start planning for 2017, I write “2017 Ada” in the middle square, and then fill out the surrounding squares with my personal goals. These usually involve my weight, my relationships, my money, my writing. For 2017, my “Ada” 9-Grid also involves Brigadoon… a super exciting conference I have been invited to present at.
    • An overall Alchimie one – I was just reviewing my “Alchimie 2016 initiatives” 9-Grid. I filled this out a year ago, with some high level projects I committed to working on for Alchimie. I have checks, and crosses – I didn’t do them all – and that’s ok.
    • Specific Alchimie ones. I usually have one 9-Grid per key partner, one for our website and online strategy, one for branding and press / social, one for new product development ideas, one for my team.
    • In writing this I realize that I should probably have a 9-Grid for this blog, Adamant About Beauty, with some blog goals. And that I should have one for family, with family members in each of the boxes – helping to remind myself that I should be contributing to each family member’s well being and development.
    • In December, I usually consolidate my annual 9-Grids into one. For this month, I have my “December 2016” 9-Grid – with the key 2016 goals I have not yet achieved that are an absolute priority before the New Year.
    • I also use them for brainstorms when I am stuck on a project. This is a slightly different way of using 9-Grids. It does not have to do with goals, but more with getting “unstuck” in my head.
  • I love to work on these on my own, and I also love to work on these with the people closest to me – my husband and my accountability partners for example. Sharing these goals out loud, in addition to in writing, helps my thinking, and their input is invaluable.

I love 9-Grids so much I have been gifting them – to my accountability partners, to my team, to my sisters. Let me know if you want one! Or email Qnity ( to purchase your own. And may your December be productive and intentional.

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