I got a query yesterday about getting some tips and techniques on using the 2018 Project Planners. 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. My advice, just use them, and worry about how they look after you really get in the swing of it.
2018 Project Planners are available for download. You can get a coupon code to get them at no cost if you sign up for the Jill Wolcott Knits Newsletter. If you already get the newsletter, the coupon code is available in the December 14 and December 28 issues! Have comments? Let me know.
Today, I’ll discuss the Project Planning Sheet. I’m using them too, and I have things I might change in the future. I’d love to know what your experience is.
The Project Planning Sheet
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.
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 that 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.
Other 2018 Project Planning Sheet Thoughts
I keep sitting down thinking I’ll make a 2018 Project Planning Sheet for every project. It takes a bit of thought, and I often get distracted by the detailed lists, so don’t be surprised if it takes a while to get to evert Project Planning sheet! Each one made is a victory. Each one used, a major victory!
Here’s an edited version of my reply to Thursday’s query.
Tip #1 Getting Started
- 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.