Category Archives: Using Plans

Getting the best from Plans

Review and amend

Producing a plan is an iterative process. When you have an initial plan, review it (rotating your phone to see the schedule view is invaluable here), add any missing tasks, amend your existing structure and if required update your dates.

Everything in Plans can be changed – this is because producing a plan is an on-going process. Don’t worry about changing… your plan will change right up until the time you finish executing it!

Next> Set auto schedule and reminders

Add notes and budgets

At this point you may find it worthwhile to add cost estimates and notes if you haven’t already. Notes are intended to act as help while carrying out a task – not every task requires a note but for complex tasks they can be invaluable.

Costs and notes are created from the task details screen. Estimates can be negative (a cost) or positive (income). When notes are selected the notes screen appears, any text can be added. The system will pick up web addresses and phone numbers and automatically make them clickable.

Next> Review and amend

Add initial dates

Having structured your tasks, you need to add your first thoughts on start and end dates for each.

Note that you don’t do this for high level tasks with subtasks. When you made a task a sub-task, the task above (typically a high level task) became a parent. As such it is no longer a task you need to carry out, it is just a container for sub-tasks.

At this point, if you haven’t already, you should rotate your phone to view the graphical schedule. This will enable you to see what your plan actually looks like and – if you need to – to drag tasks to amend dates.

Next> Add notes and budgets

Structure the tasks

At this point you should start to order them. To order a task, select the Edit menu item from the task page. You will see three lines appearing to the right of each task. by pressing on these lines you can move the task.

First order the high level tasks. In most cases the ordering will be apparent. If not, or if things need to be done at the same time, simply put them in order of importance or time of entry.

Once the high level tasks are ordered, move the detailed tasks beneath their high level task. Press Edit again to leave edit mode.

Finally you should make the detailed tasks sub-tasks of the high level tasks

Next> Add initial dates

Create more detailed tasks

Once you have an initial set of tasks, you can start to add more detailed tasks which are about what needs to be done to achieve each. Its often best to think of this as going from the What to the How – the high level tasks are what you need to do, the more detailed tasks are how you will do it.

Note that you still have an list of tasks in no particular order.

Next> Structure the tasks

Create high level tasks

Once you have a plan, start creating some tasks. The best thing to do is often to start with high level tasks, but if you do know specific things you must do, then get them down. What’s really important at this level is to get the things that need to be done rather then how to do them. Often a good starting point is to simply list the things you must produce prefixed by Create or Generate. Otherwise (or as well), you can brainstorm ideas if there is more than one of you or indeed search the web to see if there are example lists already available.

The key point here is not to worry about structure or whether you have got it all right – you can (and will) add, delete and change things later as you become clearer on what is needed.

Next> Create more detailed tasks