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In this best practices article, we'll take a closer look at project planning with MeisterNote. Not only can you make an extensive, effective and attractive project plan, but you can also turn your ideas into actionable tasks from directly within the tool. Read on to learn more!
Step 1: Brainstorm
The first step to a successful project plan is to brainstorm your ideas. Brainstorming allows you to think more freely about problems and find innovative solutions.
Check out this article for tips on effective brainstorming.
There are a lot of effective brainstorming tools out there, but we recommend using MindMeister to create mind maps which can be embedded directly into your MeisterNote project plan. Embedding a mind map into your note enhances your project plan considerably because:
- Your ideas are all in one place - you and your team never have to leave the document, and your note will become your project's single source of truth.
- You can refer directly to brainstormed topics from within your notes - you won't get lost switching between tools or overwhelmed trying to find references.
- Your team will understand how you reached your conclusions - they'll be able to see your work process from ideation to proposed solutions.
You can navigate around your mind map - you and your team can interact with ideas and quickly view connections and dependencies.
Let’s consider the workflow for planning a customer outreach campaign. You might start by inviting your team to collaborate on a mind map. Together, you’d brainstorm a wide range of innovative ideas for how to creatively communicate with customers. Once you've reached the planning phase, you can then embed your mind map into MeisterNote and keep both the planning and ideation phases of your project in a single source of truth.
Step 2: Substantiate and Refine
Brainstorming sets you up for a successful project, but now it's time get down to brass tacks. This second step is composed of two parts: in the first, you'll develop many ideas more generally, in the second, you'll choose and refine your favorite idea.
Step One: Substantiate Your Ideas
- Have another look at your embedded mind map and list your favorite ideas as bullet points below your map.
- Take the first bullet point and write it as an H2 heading under the list.
- Pretend you’ve already chosen this idea. Add all the initial information that might be necessary for the idea to become reality. Note any stakeholders, how you might approach them, what channels of communication you’d use, and the steps that would be involved.
- Use different content blocks to present this chunk of information in a more manageable way.
- Do the same for your other ideas - you’ll start to see which idea is actually worth pursuing because its development will come more naturally.
Step Two: Select Your Refine Your Favorite Idea
- Once you’ve expanded on your initial ideas, add a line separator.
- Insert a heading with the solution you feel is strongest. You can also do this for more than one idea if you don't want to commit to only one at this stage. Indeed, some projects are tackled using several methods simultaneously and each method requires further development.
- Now go into more depth - add the who, what, when, why, where, how for the project.
Share the note with your team so they can take a look.
When substantiating ideas, we recommend you use:
Line separators and headings to give your idea development and project planning a strong structure.
Bullet lists for suggestions with many components.
Ordered lists for ideas that require step-by-step development.
Warning boxes to draw attention to things which might be problematic down the line.
To-do lists to make instant progress on your favorite ideas.
Get It Done
Don’t let all your hard work go to waste - assign tasks to your colleagues directly from your project plan. Here's how assigning tasks through MeisterNote can improve your workflow:
It supports collaboration and understanding between team members - your colleagues can see your progress, follow your logic and read exactly how you came to your conclusions.
It promotes transparency - your team can see the external media you embedded and view the resources you used in planning the project.
It clarifies accountability - it is explicit from the planning stage who is responsible for what tasks.
It streamlines communication - your team can comment on your ideas from within MeisterNote and ask for further explanation or feedback.
Read this for more information on the MeisterNote - MeisterTask integration.
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