Capturing Brilliant Ideas

The Value of a Project Planner

By Flickr user Satoru Kikuchi http://www.flickr.com/photos/satoru_kikuchi/4461605065/

I can’t tell you how many times I have thought of a great thing to do, only to have lost the idea hours later.  Being organized is not just about being intentional, but also about capturing and processing thoughts.  This process reclaims time, energy and creativity that has been otherwise lost.  The Simply Planned Homeschool Planner has a project section were unsuspected brilliant ideas can be stored, organized and reclaimed.  Part of the organization was inspired by David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done.  The project is broken down into chronological steps called “tasks.”  These are really the actions to complete the project.  The most important action is the “next task,” because it is the next action that you can take to move your project closer to completion.

At the front of the project planner pages, is a list of all the projects that you have captured and their current status (use a pencil).  Each project planner page is broken up into four major sections.

  1.  Visualize:  This is an area to draw or glue a picture of the project.
  2. Description:  This is an area to write a description of the end project’s function and characteristics.  These two should be completed first.
  3. Next Task:  This is an orderly list of actions that must be taken to complete the project.  This just means that while your project is fresh in your mind, you should plot out the steps to complete it (as best you can).  This list captures your initial thoughts so that you can place your next actions on your “Daily to-do List” when time allows.  *Your next task should always start with a verb.
  4. Shopping List:  This is a list of items that are needed to complete the task.  Theses are particularly the items that you may need to buy.  They can be moved to the buying plan as necessary.

These lists help capture the steps and resources needed to make your vision a reality.  The planner just gives you a frame work to properly store and implement your ideas.

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