Here's the thing - I'm good at ideation and brainstorming. Present a problem to me and I'll come up with a hundred and one ideas ranging from downright dumb to amazingly awesome. That's not exactly a bad thing. I believe that a lot of the best ideas come from a haystack of good and bad ideas.
In project planning and implementation, however, you can't just have ideas. You have to take that idea, refine it into a plan, prototype it in order to test, revise then finally, implement the solution. It's a long process and I used to always get deeply attached to the ideation stage.
Over the years, and as technology progress, I've come across a lot of project planning tools and services. There's a slew of online project management software and robust mobile applications but nothing beats pen and paper, at least for me. I will always scribble down my ideas into a blank page, list down preliminary thoughts and ideas and organize them into an actual plan.
Being the Type A person that I am, I made my own set of worksheets where I can go through the stages of project planning.
Ideate. Define. Plan.
I figured, hey, you might be like me who loves pen and paper but wants to approach projects in a more organized way. So, I designed a project planning assistant, derived from my own worksheets, to help you take your ideas into successful projects.
I present to you The (blank) Project!
A quick side-note: I decided to name it this way because I always want my project's name front and center. It sort of reminds me that this specific set of planning pages is dedicated to that project. It helps tune out all other projects that I have at the same time. So make sure you write in your project name at the cover ;)
What's inside, you ask?
- IDEA DUMP - If you've read my post about the Habit of Downloading, you know that I like to dump out all my ideas before I got to bed so I don't think about them all the time. Our brain's got limited space at any one time, similar to how your computer's limited RAM space. So, this area is a perfect place for you to just let it all out. The bad, impractical, good, amazing, hard and kinda crazy ideas you might have about this project.
- BLUEPRINT - After dumping out all your ideas, you have to sift through them and start building the foundations of your project. This page will help you create an overview of the project.
- INSPIRATION - A physical moodboard for you to draw on, stick some photos or write down links that inspires the project you're doing.
- BIG ROCKS - Write down all the big, all-encompassing tasks of the project. These will be your milestones.
- TIMELINE - A general overview of how your project will progress. You can distribute your Big Rocks on the Timeline and set a tentative date to it.
- CLOSE UP - For every Big Rock you have, prepare at least one Close Up page. This page will break down your Big Rock into smaller Pebbles. Start getting specific goals down and done.
- IN A MONTH - For long term projects, it's important to see how it plays out on a bigger timeline. Make sure the tasks are spaced out appropriately and that you give yourself a break. Burnouts don't help you create successful projects ;)
- MONEY MATTERS - For projects that require financial investment, write down all the expenses here and deal with them appropriately to make sure you can price the product right or you're getting the most out of your investment.
You do have to part with a small amount to get your hands on this neat little assistant because I did spend a significant amount of time making this :) To make sure that the amount you paid is worth it, once you purchase it, you will be receiving all future revisions/improvements of this product :)
Let me know how this works out for you! I'm all about the feedback and making sure that all the products I make really does help you improve your daily lives :)