- Do Today to Make Time is a new course on Teachable. This is an update to a post I wrote in January of 2018. It responded to a request for tips on using the Project Planning Sheets.
If you are like me, doing it right, and making it pretty sometimes get in the way of the use, which is why I just made it a download, instead of something printed. My advice, just use them, and worry about how they look after you really get in the swing of it.
I’ll discuss the Project Planning Sheet. I’d love to know what your experience is.
The Project Planning Sheet
This is one of several sheets in the packet available through Do Today to Make Time. They are all built on the same concept.
A couple of items that might not be immediately obvious.
- Use a project name that you will remember if you have to hunt this down.
- Put in the current date when you are filling out the sheet (you could end up doing an update).
- Put in a deadline, even if you don’t really have one. It focuses the mind. I am the queen of fake deadlines.
- Keep these with your project or in a central location where you can find them.
Why Is There A Description?
You can put whatever you like in there, but I think of a project as being something that I have an intention around. Put your intention in here and then when you are doing a project review you know what you were thinking. The Project Planning sheet is to help you focus.
I only have 10 actions because if you have more than that it might be more than one project. That’s okay, just split it up! I do a project planning sheet, but then might also have a knitting sheet. These Actions are the big steps.
This may not be at all relevant to you. But if you have parts of any project you are relying on another person for, you can note it here. If you don’t need it, just write across it when filling out the action. I do a bit of both.
Why A Start and a Finish Column?
I like to check things off. I can either write a date or just make a check mark to indicate that I’ve started something. So many of my tasks/actions end up having more steps than I anticipated, so being able to check off that I started is rewarding. Often checking off the finish column is a big sweep at the end.
This is seemingly redundant, but you can add things like
- There’s a Knitting Planning Sheet too.
- Be sure to weigh leftover yarn when complete.
- Will those antique buttons work on this?
- You need another US size 2[2.75mm] circular!
- Check notes on page 6.
Why a Detailed Project List Too?
I included a detailed list Planning Sheet so you can have a list of all the sub-action for the Actions on the other page! If your first item is “find yarn for XXXX” it probably has some sub-actions. Are you going to buy online or go to the LYS. Do you have yarns you want to find in your stash? Add to your list because you have to have that yarn to start. Maybe the next is “swatch for XXXX”. That seems like a single action, but you need to find needles, get the stitch pattern, locate markers, and maybe find a project container. All of those things are things you do, but if they are on the list you can see that they need to be done and then you can set aside time to do them and when you are ready to swatch, you’ll be prepared.
You could also use it to relate it to the action on the other sheet. Write in the number of the Action, then when everything on the detailed list that relates to that number is done, that Action is complete. Sometimes I have things that I finish, but aren’t really done–I make a swatch, so that is finished, but I still need to take and record unblocked gauge, wet block, steam block, take and record blocked gauge. You could also use it to give priority status: A=top priority, etc.
Just write everything you can think of. You will forget things, but you will start to get a better idea of the scope if you make a detailed list. Honestly, I usually have a separate sheet, and this is just a continuation of that detailed list. You can add things that you forgot in later.
Start and Finish
You can use these to check off, or to record time, or to put dates in. You know what works for you—or if you don’t, try different things to see what you like.
Do Today & Project Planning Sheet Thoughts
In the Do Today to Make Time course I talk about routines and how key they are to making time. Make creating a project sheet the first step in any project process. If you have to grab a planning sheet, it might make you stop and consider the efficacy, need, goal, etc. before you start another project.
Tip #1 Getting Started
Pick one project to plan.
- Sit down with your project planning sheets (whichever ones you choose to use for that project). Let’s say you are going to work on planning and knitting a project.
- Start with the Project Planning Sheet.
- Write in the project, today’s date, and when you want to finish it.
- Under Action: Make a list of the big steps and just go as far as you can. You can fill in the rest later, or you may decide you need another Project Planning sheet later on.
- You may only get that far, then decide that you need the Knitting Planner too.