Someone in the Giftie Etcetera Facebook group asked for tips to plan projects. As Loyal Readers know, I use a Project index for planning projects. But the question raised was more about how I actually plan each project.
I decided to start with a simple tutorial identifying the main parts of most of my project pages. I did this using OneNote, but I do it in my planner the exact same way!
Tricks for planning projects:
I label the project topic (the same one as listed in my project index) in a box (so it is easy to spot) in the upper right hand corner of the page.
Under the box, I put a subtopic. A blog post, as in the example, is a one page project, but for multiple pages, this is really important. For example, for a birthday party, I might have a page for menu and another for the guest list. For a research project for work, I might have an outline page, a research notes page, and a list of tasks.
Next, I put in the date when I create the page (and, sometimes, the due date right under that: "DUE: 06/29/15").
I make two (usually imaginary) columns on each page by indenting the first words that I write slightly to the right.
The first column (left) contains due dates, appointments, and tasks. If the information to the right is not something that needs to be noted in the meat of my planner (my monthly and weekly calendars), the left column stays blank. That creates a simple task list to the left.
The second column (right) contains the information that I need. In the photo above, I write tasks, ideas, outlines, and lists.
Once something is written in my planner from the left column, I highlight it to show that it is scheduled.
Note: In this case, I am not highlighting that the task is done, but that it is either written on my monthly calendar (appointments and really important due dates) or on my weekly task list. If you skip this step, you might not get things done on time, so make sure you do this one!
Boxes, clouds, and doodles help me to keep like information together and visually easy to spot.
In OneNote, I can just use the "Lasso Select" function to move things around and use the "Add Space" function to add items to these lists.
In my planner, I use erasable Frixion pens to add things to the lists or move them.
I really just keep my writing pretty organic, reflecting my thinking processes, but labeling, making two columns, highlighting scheduled items, and using shapes helps make my project easy-to-read and accomplish.