You may not realize it, but your daily life is full of projects to move forward: learning Japanese, moving, changing jobs, repainting the kitchen, creating your website…

Whether it’s in your professional or personal life, you’re bound to make projects, plan them, cut them into small tasks, etc… In fact, without even knowing it, you are already a project manager!

But even if we’re all a little bit project managers, it’s not always easy to organize ourselves well in order to move our projects forward on a daily basis.

Here are a few essential steps to help your projects move forward on a daily basis and to understand the basics of project management.

Managing projects in a bullet journal
1. Make choices

The first step in moving forward with your projects is to set priorities!

Unless you have an unrivalled work force, a magic wand or days that last more than 24 hours, you can’t move your projects forward if you spread yourself too thin.

In fact, any project manager will tell you: everything is always a matter of priority!

I therefore advise you never to have more than 3 projects at the same time, whatever their size. If you add to these projects the daily tasks and the indispensable moments of relaxation, you already have a very full schedule.

So, 3 projects max. is a golden rule.

Now, how do you choose which projects to focus on?

You’ll have to sort them out!

πŸ‘‰πŸ» Start by making a list of everything you would like to achieve in the future, near or far.

Personally, I use a mindmap to do this exercise because it’s very visual, but you can give your wish list any shape you want.

You don’t need to go far to do this exercise, you can use the pages of your PROJO planner (which you can try for free here) or the first double page available in your bullet journal.

Example of a mindmap to choose the projects you’ll focus on in the PROJO planner.

πŸ‘‰πŸ» Now that you have your “wishlist” of all the goals you would like to achieve and all the projects you would like to realize, it’s time to sort them out.

Take the list you made in your PROJECT planner or in your diary and ask yourself:

  • Which project would have the greatest impact on your daily life or on your medium-term goals?
  • Which project would allow you to move towards your ideal of life (even just a little)?
  • Which project are you particularly enthusiastic about? Is there one for which you already feel like you’re growing wings?

By answering these questions, select 1 to 3 projects that will become your priorities for the coming weeks and months.

Circle them, highlight them… Make sure they stand out on the page of your PROJECT planner or your bullet journal.

Managing projects in a bullet journal
2. Break down your projects into small steps

The second essential step to move your projects forward and manage them like a pro: divide each project into small tasks.

The goal here is to make a detailed action plan of what you need to do to move your project forward. Once the action plan is done, all that’s left to do is to take action!

This step is a bit like writing a recipe: you know the result you want to achieve, and you have to imagine all the steps you need to take to get there.

Again, you can use the page dedicated to this exercise in the PROJO planner, or use a blank page from your diary bullet.

Tu peux faire cette Γ©tape sous la forme d’une mindmap.

I’m going to give a very (very) simple example so that you understand how it works: we imagine that your project is to make an apple pie.

To make this pie, you’ll have to do several small tasks:

  • cut the apples
  • cook the dough
  • preheat the oven
  • ecc

Each of these small tasks allows you to move the “apple pie” project forward until you get the final result.

This process of breaking down the project into tasks is applicable to any project. And it’s an essential step in framing the project, assessing how long it will take you to complete it, the resources you will need, etc.

I’ll give you an example that’s a little more complicated than apple pie.

Let’s say you want to create your blog. Your project could be cut out like this:

  • choose a platform to create my blog (Medium, WordPress…)
  • find a name for the blog
  • clarify the editorial line
  • take a picture of me for my “who am I” page.
  • ecc

I’m not going to make an exhaustive list of all the tasks related to this project, I think you’ll have understood the principle: at this stage, you list all the tasks to be carried out in order to move your project forward.

In the end, it’s all these tasks, these small steps, that together will allow you to complete your project.

At this stage, you need to ask yourself:

  • What are the tasks that I have to do to make my project progress?
  • What is the end result I want to achieve? If I start from this final result, what are the actions I need to take to get there?
  • Imagine that you have finished your project and you tell someone all the things you have done to make it happen. What are the steps you would describe to that person?
  • If you had to write a “recipe” for your project, what would be the different steps you would take?

 

Managing projects in a bullet journal
3. Outline an action plan

The last organizational step before taking your projects forward in concrete terms is the creation of an action plan.

What’s the difference with the step of cutting into small tasks?

Here, you don’t just list the steps of the project: you organize them in time in a logical way, and you make a project schedule.

If we take the example of the apple pie, we have to put all the steps in a logical order: I’m not going to bake the dough if I haven’t made it yet.

Same for the blog example. Some tasks need to be done before others.

Action plan page in the PROJO planner.

Go back to the list of tasks you have done in your PROJO planner or in your bullet journal, and organize them in a logical way:

  • Which task needs to be done first? Which task needs to be done first? And last?
  • Can some tasks only be completed if others have already been done? What is the logical order in which these tasks should follow one another?

Now, we plan it all in time:

  • What would be the ideal date when the project would be finished?
  • What actions do you want to take this month to move your project forward?
  • What about next month? And the month after that?

Yes!
You now have an action plan for your project. ✌🏻

If you’re already freaking out about having to do “all this”, take a deep breath! Focus on the first 2 or 3 tasks you have to do. Once you get started, you’ll feel better.

 

Managing projects in a bullet journal
4. Take action

Projects become really concrete when you start taking action!

To move your projects forward, you must therefore be able to carry out the tasks of the action plan.

That’s where the to-do list comes in.

The to-do list helps motivate you to take action, and allows you to track your progress as you go along.

To move your projects forward, I advise you to have at least 2 to-do lists:

πŸ‘‰πŸ» A monthly to-do list, which includes everything you want / need to do during the month.

πŸ‘‰πŸ» A weekly to-do list, which gives you a view of the tasks related to your ongoing projects on a day-to-day basis.

Example of a weekly to do + time blocking in the PROJO planner.

Of course, in order to move your projects forward on a daily basis, the goal is for these to-do lists to systematically include actions related to your projects.

The monthly to-do listΒ 

Whether you create it in your PROJO planner or in your Bullet Journal, ALWAYS start by putting your project tasks in your monthly to-do.

Why should I do that?

Because it allows you to prioritize what’s really important before you complete all the other tasks that need to be done that month.

Finding your niece’s birthday present, picking up your shirts from the dry cleaners, ordering printer cartridges…: these are all necessary tasks that don’t help your projects move forward.

To easily create your monthly to-do list, simply look at the action plan you created for your project. And then transfer the tasks to your to-do of the month.

Once your monthly to-do list is created, simply check it once a week when you prepare your weekly to-do list to see where you’re at and tick the boxes for the tasks you’ve completed.

The weekly to-do list

It’s the to-do list you look at every day.
Again, start by putting the tasks related to your projects before all the others.

Refer to your to-do of the month to choose the tasks you want to complete that week.
Once you’ve put these priority tasks on your list, you can add all the everyday tasks you need to manage that week.

Organizing your project: βœ…
All you have to do is follow your weekly to-do list on a daily basis, and take your projects one small step at a time! Oh, and if you’d like to try the PROJO planner to see how it can help you move your projects forward, download the free version here πŸ‘‡πŸ»

TRY THE PROJO PLANNER FOR FREE!