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My Secret to Project Planning: Paper

I love to plan. (I think you know that though)

I love to organize. (yep, not a new revelation either)

And I love to create systems that are efficient and deliver results. (sensing a theme here?)

I frequently plan big projects for my clients – speaking tours, podcast launches, program creation. You name, I make ideas come to life.

I’m constantly planning in my business too.

When I do, I turn to my trusted PAPER.

I know, there are lots of digital tools out there for planning and organizing. In fact, there’s one I love very much.

Here’s why my go-to planning tool is paper.

  1. It forces me to slow down.
    I’m able to type fairly fast. My husband likes to joke that he can see smoke coming from my keyboard. But I can’t write as fast as I think or else I just cannot read what I’ve written. So using a notepad forces me to take a step back and ask myself questions, like ‘what is the goal of this next big project?’, ‘who will this project impact?’, and ‘what is the big picture flow of this system?’.
  2. It gets me away from technology.
    Building on #1, I literally step away from the computer, sit at a whole different table in my house, one that looks out over my backyard, to write, draw and list out all the steps involved to bring the project to life. If I’m near my computer, I feel temptation to check my email or do that one thing that popped into my head while planning for that other thing.
  3. It allows the creative juices to flow.
    I love to draw flow charts and diagrams to illustrate the new project I’m planning (as an INTJ – I think in systems) and I just find it so much easier to do that on paper. I can quickly cross out boxes and re-draw arrows and add notes anywhere on the page when a new idea enters the picture. One thing my planning is not though is orderly – no. The pages are usually very messy and filled with scratch outs and many colors of ink. And it makes total sense to me. And then it is at this time that the project and its steps get put into Asana and the implementation starts.

My love of papyrus isn’t new either. It was my go-to for big-picture planning in my corporate days too. I’ve always found it lets my brain expand and tackle what seems so daunting to visualize and plan out.

When you have a BIG project to plan, what’s your go-to method to get it all out of your head and documented? Tell me below. I’d love to hear what works for you. 

 

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