The first is the layout or sketch. I read several blogs that have sketch challenges on them. These are a great way to start. Beginning with the sketch allows you to focus on your stamping as your layout is already decided.
The second is choosing the colors you want to use. Choosing colors can help you decide if your card will be fun and whimsical, serious, or formal. The theme of the card you are creating will then determine a lot of the layout. A fun whimsical card will have lots of elements to look at and make you smile when you look at it. A serious card will be very simple with few elements. A formal card will usually include elements that remind you of a prom or wedding (white, organdy ribbon, black, etc.).
The third and final method to planning your cards is choosing the stamp set. Often the look of the stamps in the set will determine the colors and layout. I often choose a set and it suddenly speaks to me to create a specific theme.
There is not right or wrong way to plan a card. Sometimes I choose my colors and at other times I will see a sketch I want to use. At other times (especially when I get new sets) I just have to make a card using those stamps. What do you do when you hit a stamping slump? If you usually use the same method each time, try one of the other ways to plan your card. You may find it solves all your problems and has you stamping in no time flat!
Make sure you check in tomorrow to see the card I created and how I went about planning it. Have great evening and thanks for looking!