I've been reading other hikers' journals. It feels like everybody takes a year or more to plan their hike. I decided at the end of February to do this and am leaving mid-May. I'm planning my hike in the amount of time that most people are finalizing everything and finishing up their drop boxes.
So far everything has gone very smoothly. I have a few different to-do lists and am crossing things off regularly. I'm trying to get as many of the quick things done soon...they are easy to put off, but it seems to make more sense to do them now and then only have to worry about the bigger things.
I did start planning my itinerary. Who knows how well I will follow it, but I wanted some sort of plan to start with. It took me 2 hours to figure out 200 miles of trail! I've got to start figuring out food soon too...I have ideas but nothing actually planned yet.
I'm mailing off my the order for my pack today...a Moonbow Gearskin. I've got most of my "big" gear items and need to start filling in all of the smaller things that I will need! I should go buy a scale and start a gear inventory so I can keep track of it all better. I do have a spreadsheet with two tabs dedicated to gear, but I'm not 100% happy with either method yet.