Action Forms


The book Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky illustrates a method of organizing projects.  This method takes the various piles of information and list of things needing done and separates them into 3 groups:

  1. Action Items – Actual list of work to be done
  2. Reference Materials – Separate batch of notes and information that we need but kept separate so they are easy to find while not getting in the way of our actual work
  3. Backburner Items  – Good ideas that we don’t want to forget about but perhaps too difficult or big in scope that could jeopardize our successful completion of our project.  This is a key part of “agile” methods which says to first do the work that gets you 80% of your desired results.  That last 20% is typically what will eat up your time.  It is better to get most of your success then return to the backburner items as their own project again applying the 80% rule.  (This one also helps the perfectionist in me accept the new definition of the project as I know that I can always come back to these items in the future to make my project “perfect”.)

In early 2012 I started using these methods in a small two section folder with metal binder clips to organize my projects (search “classification folders” with 1 divider at an office supply web site). Beyond keeping my desk very organized, another great effect of this is when I have to pick back up a project that I was pulled off of I can quickly get back to speed on where I left off.  You can download the forms that I made here:  Action Steps Forms  These forms are just tools to support this very effective work method.  I recommend that you read the book to get a great lesson in how to take actions on your ideas.

Categories : Learn, Mind

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