My Productivity Stack

The subject of personal productivity has always eluded me. Mostly because I feel like I probably don’t manage my time very well. 

I want that to change. 

Part of that means looking at the tools that I use to manage my work and personal projects. 

In this post, I’m going to talk about some of my favourite tools like I like to use (and will continue to use) to manage my productivity and projects. 

Oh yeah, everything I’m going to talk about are either free or freemium — you can use all of tools I mention at no cost.

Google Apps

I’m a huge Google fanboy. Seriously —  I walked around with a Google-branded backpack, I rant at my friends and family who don’t own a Gmail address, I get mad when people use Microsoft Word over Google Docs. Hell, I even bought a .xyz domain name for my personal website because it was the same domain extension that Alphabet uses. 

The point I’m trying to make is; I really like using Google. Here are some of their tools that I use the most:

G Suite

G Suite is loaded with apps and features for managing pretty much everything in the cloud. In my humble opinion, G Suite contains every tool you’ll need to effectively work in the cloud; email, file storage, time management, documents, presentations — the list goes on. 

Google’s primary purpose to keep you using their products, and that’s why they build the best tools and make them freely available. 

Gmail

Everyone needs to own a Gmail address. Especially students and grads who are applying for jobs; I know hiring managers that will only respond to applicants with Gmail addresses.

Not only is Gmail the cleanest email service provider (even cleaner if you use Inbox), but it’s also loaded with features to avoid getting overwhelmed by your 1000+ unread emails. 

pro-tip: set up filters for unimportant messages and memorize keyboard shortcuts.

Calendar

Calendar is the best way that I’ve found to manage my time. Desktop and mobile push notifications keep me on task and based on my calendar for the day, I can plan out what I’m focusing on. Here’s how I use Google Calendar:

For meetings; I’ll create an event, write out a brief summary of it, invite my participants and make sure that you set a reminder. 

For projects; I’ll block off specific times to complete each task.

For recurring tasks; I’ll create an event, set it recurring and choose a duration.

pro-tip: get a daily agenda email by going to “settings” > “calendars” > “edit notifications” > check the box for “daily agenda”.

Drive

Google Drive stores and manages your files and documents in the cloud. I don’t think I need to wax poetic about the value of cloud storage but Google Drive really does it right. 

Upload, sync and manage and organize all your files. It’s as simple as that. Sharing is also a breeze with various privacy options. 

pro-tip: create folders and check your permissions before sharing files.

Docs, Sheets and Slides

I love working in the cloud and these three apps are what makes G Suite the ultimate productivity suite. You can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations and collaborate on them in real-time. 

Let’s be real here: the autosave is where it’s at. 

Office is dead — there’s no convincing me. These tools aren’t just better, but they’re free yo. 

pro-tip: use templates and add-ons to get a jump start on your documents.

Chrome

Chrome is my favourite web browser ever. It’s clean and customizable with a loftier goal of connecting us closer to the internet. With the Web Store and their giant collection of browser extensions and apps, your web browser has never been more powerful. 

Be sure to check out this awesome video from Noah Kagan for some tips and tricks.

pro-tip: login to a second account (like your work or personal account) at the click of a button by going to “settings” > “add person”.

Keep

A really simple to-do list and note taking app. There are more than enough of these types of apps but Keep is my on-the-go solution for making lists and keeping track of ideas. 

pro-tip: access your Keep notes from Docs by clicking on “tools” > “keep notepad”. 

Slack + Messenger

The way we communicate has changed forever and how we manage our communications is more important than ever. 

Slack is the ideal communication tool for teams. Slack sports a gorgeous UI and uses channels and direct messages for keeping everyone in the loop. With numerous app integrations and a growing Bot library, Slack is a must-have tool in your stack.

Messenger is how I keep in touch with my friends and family. It’s easy to use and everyone already uses it. Yeah, I’ll use SMS, Instagram or Snapchat but Messenger is as easy as it gets. Voice and video calling is beyond solid and who doesn’t like sending random GIFs to their friends at 2:00am?

Asana

Asana is by far the best free project management tool (hands down). Managing your projects and workflows can be a challenge but Asana will make your task management a breeze. I’ve used a bunch of different project management apps but Asana is by far cleanest and easiest to adopt into your daily workflow. 

I like planning my projects in sprints and use the kanban methodology and score tasks using the ICE framework. 

Sprints outline all the work that needs to be done to complete a project. Kanban sorts tasks into three columns (to-do, doing, done) and ICE gives the task a score based on its impact, confidence and ease. 

Asana compliments how I work and gives me the tools to manage those sprints effectively in one single dashboard. 

pro-tip: use “personal projects” to keep track of and manage your side-projects separate from your primary dashboard.

Calendly

Calendly is the easy-to-use scheduling tool for organizing meetings. Another clean interface that integrates with my Google Calendar. Create your meeting type, set your availability, integrate with your calendar and voila! You have a link you can send to anyone you want to set up a meeting with. 

I haven’t Calendly as much as I want to but will be using it a lot more in the future. 

Workflow Automation

I love automation tools — services like Zapier and IFTTT exist to make our lives easier and automate the tasks that bog us down. 

Workflow automation tools connect apps and automatically perform actions based on rules and triggers. When something happens in one app, it will trigger an action in another app.

IFTTT is an easy automation tool to get started with (it’s more targeted towards the hobbyist). The basic concept is that if something happens in one app, it will trigger an action in another app. Using “applets”, you can set up simple automations like date/time reminders and weather notifications. 

Zapier is more complex with a bigger focus on business apps. Workflows, or “zaps”, connect apps and services using triggers and actions. If you’ve ever used an app and hoped that it was integrated with another tool in your stack — chances are, Zapier can connect them. 

Other Automation Tools

Pen + Paper

So far, I’ve just talked about digitals productivity tools. But what about good old pen and paper?

I love my notebooks; I’ve kept moleskins throughout my entire professional career. I can look back at them and see how I’ve changed over the years and how my ideas have evolved. 

If you don’t carry a notebook around with you. Start now. 

I don’t have a set method for how I organize my notebooks but there are few analog systems that I like or have adapted in some way for my own use. 

Bullet Journal: a system for managing notes that uses rapid logging, indexes and logs to organize your notebook 

Strikethrough: a system for managing lists that uses idea dumps, live lists, vaults and a calendar.


How we manage our personal productivity is an essential skill and one that requires constant improvement. I’m no “lifehacker” — I’m just a guy who wants to get shit done. 

What Product Marketing Means To Me

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time now. Mostly because it is like going to determine the direction my life is going to take from here on out.

This post is going to be about product marketing.

Before I start, I have a confession to make: I’m not a Product Marketer — at least, I don’t think I am…

.. Not yet.

Maybe I am, but it’s more likely that I’m just a punk marketer who is really passionate about creating and sharing great products.

I fell down the “product marketing” rabbit hole after reading this amazing post from the team over at Drift. It blew my mind and I’ve used “product marketing” in my search queries more times than I can count.

The dots had finally been connected.

It got me thinking. Not just about my job and career — but my life in general. It forced me to ask myself the question: what am I doing here?

Being a twenty-something with great ambitions, I’m probably not alone in this existential crisis. Adjusting to adulthood and finding your path is serious business yo.

I want to be myself and play to my strengths, skills and passions. To some degree, I think I’ve found myself in product marketing. Mostly because it’s just putting a label on everything I’ve been doing all along.

what is product marketing

Marketers do a lot of shit.

When you say that you’re a marketer, you could mean a hundred different things. There are so many different marketing disciplines, I can hardly keep track of them all.

It’s not just hard to define marketing — but it’s even more difficult to describe what a marketer actually does.

My standard marketing model/framework/funnel/whatever is pretty simple and nothing ground breaking:

  • Attract,
  • Convert,
  • Engage.

For me — that’s marketing. Marketing is the art, science and process of attracting, converting, and engaging with your audience.

A product marketer’s job is to drive growth and bring products to market. It requires a deep understanding of the product, the marketplace and the end-user. They exist to support and scale a brand’s product, marketing and sales activities. They use the customer journey as their framework and find ways to optimize and grow:

  • Product
  • Marketing
  • Sales

The intersection of these three disciplines is key to understanding the role of a product marketer. In a way, you could say that product marketing is user marketing.

Product marketing is focused on the user. That’s what I love about it. There are no boundaries to what a product marketer can do; they are lean and agile, strategic and tactical. They are brand evangelists and product experts and they work with multiple teams and stakeholders to drive growth, promote alignment and build great products.

core themes of product marketing

I see product marketing as being defined under several core themes. These themes (combined with an unwavering focus on the user) are what separates product marketing from other marketing disciplines.

branding + experience

Branding can be often be oversimplified to a logo, some fonts, a color palette, visuals and some guidelines for voice and tone — but branding is much more complicated than that.

Branding is the personality behind your company. It’s the experience that someone has when they encounter your brand. Building brand equity is a continuous process and one that involves constant improvement.

Product marketers are brand evangelists and it’s their job to communicate culture, craft an engaging user experience and ensure consistency across channels.

Branding is about ~a e s t h e t i c ~ and you can’t teach that.

customer development

Customer Development is the process of finding the right audience for your product and supporting them throughout the customer journey. It can be related to product/market fit but is (again) more focused on the user.

It starts with finding the right audience. The type of customer that is going to get the most value out of your product and will make the biggest impact on your growth.

Product marketers do this through surveys, interviews, personas and by digging into business metrics. They measure product success with NPS scores and user engagement and they work to communicate value at every brand touchpoint.

demand generation

Demand Generation is where shit gets real.

As opposed to lead generation or your acquisition strategy — demand generation is the whole sum of all your marketing activities at every brand touchpoint and how they translate into customers in your sales funnel.

Demand generation requires a broad perspective and bridges the gap between marketing and sales — it allows marketing activities to be tied to bottom line revenue and measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Product marketers focus on running intelligent marketing campaigns and acquisition strategies that build brand equity and target the right type of customers.

Through effective positioning, messaging and measurement, product marketers identify, target and nurture prospects and opportunities that will make the biggest impact.

Product marketers use nurturing and lead scoring to provide the sales team with the most qualified prospects engage with.

sales enablement

Sales enablement is all about marketing’s true purpose: to support and scale the sales process.

This means creating sales materials, automating sales activities and seeking continuous feedback from your sales team.

Product marketers are promoters of sales+marketing alignment. Their job is to support the sales team and scale their efforts. They provide tools and resources and run intelligent campaigns that support their efforts.

Simply put, product marketers purpose is to make salespeople’s lives easier.

multimedia production

Multimedia production is more than just “creating content” — it’s a creative process and an artistic expression.

But this is the real world — and if you’re a creative person, you need to find some way of turning that creative passion into something tangible and valuable.

This is how is see the multimedia production process:

  • Plan— figuring what you’re doing.
  • Produce — creating something awesome.
  • Promote — sharing it with the world.

Product marketers are multimedia experts and they direct the production and promotion of brand content.

launch planning and execution

Launch plans are used to direct and guide marketing activities and product launches. Product marketers own the creation and oversee the tasks associated with a successful launch.

In order to launch and measure a successful campaign, product marketers adopt a lean/agile approach to managing their projects. I’m positive this differs from marketer to marketer but I like using a modified version of the Kanban method to managing campaigns and launches while being agile.

Kanban uses boards divided into three columns; to-do, doing, and done to keep track of and manage tasks.

I like to add a bottom row that are used to manage miscellaneous tasks and tactics called “ideas”.

Each task can then be evaluated using the ICE model. ICE measures the impact that you think it make make, the confidence that you have that it will work and the ease of implementation or how difficult it will be to accomplish. This helps you prioritize and focus on the tasks that will be most effective.

Project planning is lot more than what I’ve covered in this section but above all, it’s about managing your time effectively, communicating with your team and launching products that connect with your users.

links + resources

Before I go, here’s a collection of links and resources if you want to learn more about product marketing:

essential reading

further reading

audio

Using Lead Magnets

Getting traffic can be hard  -- and generating leads can be even harder. So how do other marketers do it? 

They use Lead Magnets.

What Are Lead Magnets?

Lead magnets are freebies that you send to a visitor in exchange for their contact information. They usually take the form of free downloads, ebooks, checklists, case studies, etc. 

The purpose of a lead magnet is to get more leads in your funnel and build trust with your audience. 

That means that you shouldn’t slap together a shitty checklist, create an opt-in page and hope for the best. Your lead magnet needs to be exciting -- something that’s worth trading an email address for. 

People hate being marketed and sold to. That’s why your number one priority should be to provide value to your audience. You should be offering them something so valuable that it makes giving away their email address a no-brainer. 

Lead magnets have no set format; they’re whatever is going to get the user to take further action. Some examples include;

  • Guides
  • Checklists
  • Worksheets
  • Case studies
  • Webinars/videos

Once you’ve created your lead magnet, you’ll need to set up your autoresponder sequence. Autoresponders are emails that are automatically sent to your subscribers. 

Here’s how it works. 

  1. User clicks lands on your website and see your lead magnet. 
  2. They give you their email address.
  3. An autoresponder sends them your lead magnet. 

Lead magnets help convert strangers into prospects into customers. Once they’re in your funnel, you have the opportunity to develop your relationship with them. 

Create Your Own Lead Magnet

Here’s a basic framework for running a lead magnet campaign:

  1. Choose a persona
  2. Select a topic and format
  3. Create and lay out content
  4. Setup autoresponder
  5. Promote offer/drive traffic

I’ve created two free templates for creating lead magnets. Feel free to use and adapt them however you see fit! 

Google Docs Template - good for longer content (like ebooks and guides)
Google Slides Template - good for shorter content (like checklists and worksheets)

Just click on "File" > "Make A Copy" and you're good to go!

A Guide To Facebook Ads

I've been wanting to write an in-depth guide on Facebook Ads for a while. As a media buyer and product marketer (especially as someone who is new in their career), I believe that Facebook is a fantastic platform to learn. If there's anyone out there who is thinking about becoming a digital marketer, I would wholeheartedly recommend learning how to use the Facebook Ads platform.

Best of all, it's not all that hard to learn the basics! So that's what this guide is, to introduce you to the basic fundamentals and get you up and running with your first campaign!

 
A guide to Facebook Ads.

Facebook Advertising can be extremely effective for promoting your business, driving traffic and generating leads. With over a billion daily active users, a wide variety of campaign and ad types, and advanced targeting features, knowing how to run advertising campaigns on Facebook is an essential skills for modern digital marketers. 

The folks over at Facebook are constantly improving their ad platform -- which means that advertisers are being given more and more tools to run successful ad campaigns. 

Me personally? I’m really nerdy about this shit and I think that new marketers can learn a lot from running small campaigns on Facebook. If you have a Facebook account, you can buy ads. Best of all, it’s not even that hard to pick up. If you are new to digital advertising or media buying, it’s the platform to learn. 

In this guide, I’m going to introduce you to basic concepts and fundamentals behind Facebook Ads and how to launch your own campaign. 

Why Facebook Ads?

Over the past few years, many pundits have called Facebook “pay-to-play”. What they mean is that in order to get seen on Facebook, you need to shell out some cash. While social media managers cry that “organic reach is dead”, Facebook’s Ad platform is the place to be right now if you are a digital marketer or a media buyer. 

With a massive user base of engaged users and more adtech than you could possibly know what to do with, advertising on Facebook has never made more sense. And if you’re new to digital marketing or media buying, it can be a great platform to learn the ropes of advertising. 

The Facebook Pixel

Before we dig into the nitty-gritty of running an ad campaign, we need to talk about the Facebook Pixel.

The Facebook Pixel is a piece of Javascript code that allows you to measure, optimize and build audiences for your campaigns. 

Now before I lose you, the Pixel is the essential ingredient to running advertising campaigns on Facebook. So don’t get scared by the word “code”. You’ll simply install the Pixel Base Code on your site, confirm it works, and you’re good to go. 

When a user lands on your website, the Pixel will “fire” and information about the visitor and what page they’re on will be recorded and sent to Facebook. Using the Pixel, you can track events, define conversions, optimize your ad delivery, create custom audiences and access audience insights to learn more about the people visiting your website and how they take action. 

The key feature of the Pixel is the ability to retarget your campaigns to people who are already familiar with your brand or have engaged with your content. 

The Pixel gives the ability to make informed decisions and run more effective campaigns. It’s a must-have if you are running campaigns on Facebook.

The Facebook Pixel Infographic

Creating Audiences

The Pixel’s primary feature is the ability to retarget your campaigns to people who are already familiar with your brand. Custom Audiences can be created from Website Traffic -- that means that you can target your ads to people who have already visited your page. 

Audiences are a crucial ingredient to running successful Facebook ads. Using the pixel makes it extremely easy to create razer-target audiences. Running traffic to people already familiar with your brand is extremely cost effective and can result in better conversions than running ads to people who have no idea who you are. 

Using the buyer’s journey to your advantage will do wonders for your conversion rate and help you become a better media buyer. Every person who is exposed to your brand is at a different stage in the buyer’s journey and you need to tailor your advertising to accordingly. 

With the Facebook Pixel, you can segment your audiences based on the different stages of your buyer’s journey/sales funnel. The most basic use case is to target your ads to people who have previously visited your website. The cost-per-impression to reach these users is reduced because there is a smaller pool of advertisers bidding on those impressions. Your ad is then also being shown to someone who already knows who you are. 

Tracking Conversions

The Facebook Pixel gives you the ability to define and track conversions on your website. The Pixel provides two ways to track conversions; Standard Events and Custom Conversions. 

Standard Events are small snippets that you add to the Pixel on conversion pages. When the Pixel fires on those page, they will be tracked as Standard Events. Facebook provides several default events to get you started, but you can always define your own Custom Events. 

Custom Conversions are used to track specific actions. With the Pixel installed on every page, Facebook already has all the data it needs. Using Custom Conversions, you can define the rules that will trigger a conversion.  These custom conversions can then be used in Campaigns to track the effectiveness of a particular ad-set. 

Optimizing Campaigns

In addition to retargeting users and tracking conversions, the pixel will also optimize your ad delivery based on the type campaign you are running. With the Pixel installed, Facebook will optimize ad delivery to show your ads to users who are more likely to convert or take action. 

Installing The Pixel

To install the Facebook Pixel on your site, go to the “Ads Manager” and navigate to “Pixels”. Click on the “Setup Pixel” button and grab your Pixel Base code. You’ll need to install it in the <header> section of every page on your website. When you’re all done, install the “Pixel Helper” extension to ensure the pixel is firing correctly. 

It’s really that easy; there’s no excuse not install the Pixel!

Facebook Ad Campaign Structure

Facebook Ads Campaign Structure Screenshot

The structure of an advertising campaign varies from platform to platform but the overall basics generally stay the same. When you are getting started with media buying and digital advertising, it’s important to understand how these platforms want you to structure your account so you can effectively analyze, optimize and scale your campaigns.

Facebook’s campaign structure uses three tiers; Campaigns, Ad Sets, and Ads.

To create a campaign, you’ll choose the type of ad you want to run (campaign), the budget you want to spend and the audience you want to target (ad set), and finally the creative and copy you want use (ad). 

Facebook Ads Campaign Structure Infographic.

Campaigns

Campaigns are used to define what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it. They are the top-level tier that the rest of your campaign is structured in and are used to define your Marketing Objective and Campaign Type. 

Every campaign starts with an objective. What do you want to achieve with your campaign? Do you want to generate awareness for your brand? Do you want more likes, comments and shares on your posts?  Are you looking to drive traffic to your website and track conversions? 

Knowing the answer to what you want to achieve with Facebook Ads  is your first step to a successful campaign (or any campaign, really). It will help dictate everything else you do; from who you want to target to the copy and creative you’ll use in the ad. 

There are 11 types of campaigns or objectives:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Local Awareness
  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Engagement
  • App Installs
  • Video Views
  • Lead Generation
  • Conversion
  • Product Catalog Sales
  • Store Visits
Types of Campaigns In Facebook Ads Manager

Depending on the type of campaign you want to run (or the objective you want to achieve), Facebook will automatically adjust the campaign’s settings according the objective you want to achieve. For example, if you were to choose “Conversions” as your objective, you will need to select a conversion event to track and measure your campaign against. 

The campaign level is used for setting your objective as well as setting a spending limit. Campaigns hold ad-sets.

Ad Sets

Ad Sets are used to tell your ads how to run. When creating an Ad Set, you’ll define your Audience (who you want your ad to be shown to), Placements (where your ads will appear) and Budget (how much you want to spend). You are allowed to create multiple ad sets in a single campaign; that means that you choose specific audience targeting, budgets and placements for individual ad-sets. 

The ad-set level is used for audience targeting, placement selection, and budgeting. Ad-sets hold ads.

Audience targeting in Facebook Ads

Audiences

There’s no shortage of targeting options on Facebook. It shouldn’t be any surprise that Facebook knows a lot about their users; and they’ve made all that data available to their advertisers.  Audiences are used to define and target who you want to see your ad. 

When creating an audience, you can target locations, demographics, interests, behavior, and Facebook connections. Detailed targeting gives you ability to promote your ad to very specific types of people. 

Audiences are one of the most important part of your ad strategy so put a focus on building specific audiences based on your customer personas (your ideal customer). 

There are three types of Audiences; Saved Audiences, Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences.  

Saved Audiences allow you to save Audiences that you have previously created and use them in future campaigns. This makes testing audiences and honing in on your personas really easy. Creating Saved Audiences allows you to re-use audiences from past campaigns. 

Custom Audiences allow you to create audiences based on a website traffic, customer CSV files, app activity, or engagement on the platform. Creating Custom Audiences opens up a whole new world of advertising strategies known as “retargeting”. Retargeting is the process of showing ads to users who are already familiar with your brand which results is lower cost, increased conversions and brand awareness. 

Lookalike Audiences are users who are similar to your Saved or Custom Audiences. Using Lookalike Audiences, Facebook will use a “source audience” to identify common themes and then create a new audience based on those themes. What you’re left with is a brand new audience of people who are similar to your current users. 

Placements available in Facebook Ads (FB, Instagram, Audience Network)

Placements

Placements define where your ads will be shown. The Ads Manager taps into Facebook’s entire network/suite of applications including; Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network.

For the most basic of campaigns, you will likely choose “Automatic Placements”. Automatic means that Facebook will show your ads on whatever platform or device will perform best. Editing your placements give you more control over where the ad is shown. For example, you could stop your ads from showing on Instagram. 

Budgeting and Scheduling Your Campaign With Facebook Ads

Budgets & Schedule

The ad-set level is also where you set your budget and choose your scheduling and bidding options. In ad-sets you can set daily or lifetime budgets.  Decide if your campaign will run continuously, or if you want the campaign to start and end on a particular date. Ad delivery optimization and bidding strategy can be further customized in ‘advanced options.

If you are testing multiple strategies and campaigns, it's useful to set a spending limit at the campaign-level and then create multiple ad-sets with different budgets, delivery types, and bidding strategies. 

Ads

Ads are used to persuade your audience to take action (and stay within Facebook’s guidelines).  This is where you define the final copy and creative that is seen by your audience. In addition to choosing to format, you can add media, links, and copy. 

The ad level is creative seen by your audience. 

Format

Format is where you select the type of ad unit you want to use. Facebook accepts several types of formats including; 

  • Carousel (an ad with 2 or more scrollable images or videos)
  • Single Image (up to 6 ads with one image each)
  • Single Video (an ad with one video)
  • Slideshow (looping video ad with up to 10 images)
  • Canvas (an immersive story using images and videos)
Ad Units and Formats available in the Facebook Ads Manager
Your Ad Copy, Creative and Links

Media

Media is where you upload your visual creative which will vary from format-to-format and campaign-to-campaign. Depending on which format you’ve chosen, you will be give recommended image specs. 

For Carousel ads, your images must be 1080 x 1080 pixels. For Image ads, your image must be 1200 x 628 pixels

Pages and Links

Pages and Links are the final step to creating a Facebook Ad. This is where you construct the copy, add links, connect pages and choose a CTA. Within the Ads Manager, you can view a preview of your ad. Make sure it’s exactly as you want it before you place your order and run your campaign. 

Launching A Facebook Ads Campaign

(tutorial video coming soon!)

Okay, enough yammering on about the fundamentals. I wanna show you how to actually launch a campaign.  

 

Managing Projects

Project management is at the core of pretty much everything I do. Whether I’m developing a business idea, working on a side-hustle, or creating content; I’m always working one project or another. 

Managing a project is the process of realizing an idea; it’s the what, when, how and why of getting something done. 

I’m by no means a “project manager” but it’s a set of skills that I want to continue to build upon and improve in myself. 

I look at project management as having three distinct phases;

  • Plan,
  • Build,
  • Launch.

Every project should start with a plan. 

A project plan is your first step towards completing a project; it describes and details what you are doing, why you are doing it, what you want to achieve and how you will do it.

The best way that I’ve found to manage my projects is by creating a one-page project plan.

The One-Page Project Plan

Your one-page project plan collects everything you are going to do in a single document. I like using them because they giving me a roadmap to realizing my ideas and launching products. 

My planning phases and project plans differ depending on what I’m working but in general, my one-page project plans consist of 5 main sections: title, description, objective, phases, and resources.

I use these sections as the primary template for creating most of my project plans. 

Title - the name of your project
Description - a brief description or tagline
Goals - what you want to achieve (end results).
Roadmap - breakdown of phases, tasks, and due dates.
Resources - list of required tools and assets.

Your project plan is your guiding compass. It lays out everything you need to do in a single document. It paints the broader picture so you can dig into the details. 

Once you have a plan, you can separate out your tasks and to-do’s into a PM app like Asana, Freedcamp, or Trello (which are all free by the way). I also like to keep running lists and use sticky notes to organize my tasks. 

I love working with these types of tools and creating project plans for my ideas. If you’re thinking of starting a project -- you need to have a plan and some way to manage your project. 

This is especially important if you're working with a team. 

I want to stress that the planning phase doesn’t need to be complicated -- rather, it should simplify and breakdown your project to it’s most essential parts: what you are doing, why you are doing it, how it’s going to get done and when it will be completed. 

Use this free Google Doc template for creating your own one-page project plans!  Just click "File" > "Make A Copy".