High-level project planning

what tools do you suggest to make project planner/outliner? previously i think excel could do the job. not sure if there’s other better options.

Depending on a project, I use either

  • a spreadsheet (goggle sheets if need online access or sharing, Libre Office otherwise because it’s feels faster)
  • a mind mapping app (I use freemind)

I have a file directory where I dump project plans/outlines. Then I link to them from the Everdo project, like this: file:///home/andrei/projects/project1.ods. This lets me easily open the associated file with one click.

There may well be better project planner options, but I’m happy with the power of a spreadsheet so I don’t really seek anything else.

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COOL TIP!! Linking files.

Thanks.

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Hi Andrei (or others),

If you are comfortable, I was wondering if you might be able to share any examples of or suggestions for your high-level project planning spreadsheets.

I am currently starting some big long-term projects that I would like to keep track of, which in turn have different components. I think I have a pretty workable system for the individual project components in Everdo, but I am not sure how to set up the higher-level planning, and this part of the GTD system is something that I’ve never really developed previously.

Thanks much,
Andrew

Hi Andrew,

The benefit of spreadsheets is flexibility. It’s worth remembering that in the end, plans are useless, but the planning process is indispensable. I personally use several techniques for planning as needed.

  1. Dependency graphs where nodes are minor projects / outcomes and they are connected to the dependent nodes. This is useful in cases where multiple sub-projects are on the way to the goal.
  2. Expected value -based prioritization in cases where I need to choose the most valuable next projects out of a large set of equally actionable projects.
  3. Calendar is a spreadsheet where for each week I assign one or two projects per area to focus on. I also put major deadlines on this calendar to help planning

For (1) I often use paper (but it can be done in a spreadsheet just as well), but for (2) and (3) a spreadsheet is best, especially when time comes to adjust the plans.

I could create a shared spreadsheet with some examples, if you are interested, but it’s nothing special really :slight_smile:

Hi Andrei,

Thank you so much for your reply.
I would be interested in seeing any examples (if they’re not too hard to make).

Best, Andrew

Sure, I have created a simple spreadsheet. This is almost exactly how I do these things.

I’m not sure I have explained it well, so please ask questions. Is there are planning use case that is not covered by these methods?

Thank you so much, Andrei!
These are very helpful and I will try to implement them.