Throughout my life, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with planning. I’d try to plan my future, and it’s not an exaggeration when I say that nothing turned out how I thought it would… To be fair, attempting to plan something that’s ever-changing – like your LIFE – it’s just not always going to happen how you’d originally intended.
But that’s just the thing – everything and anything that you plan, you have to go into it realizing that it may not go how you’d prepared it to. So, to plan or not to plan… It’s almost always necessary to have some sort of plan. It’s just better to understand what’s realistic, what’s not and to be adaptable.
“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail”Benjamin Franklin
When creating a content-based project, planning is a thousand percent necessary. This is the controlled variable to which knowing what you’re going to do, and putting manageable action items into account will only help you to succeed.
It’s week two of developing my content creation project, Ladapaw Letters, and this means it’s time to organize my to-do’s in a way that makes my goals achievable. Trello, like any PM system, works wonders by visually guiding your project with effective organization tools. This is a very easy-to-use application where you can create boards, lists, cards, checklists, and more!
Using a Trello board, I laid my lists out as such: research, pre-production, production, and post-production. Within each list, there are specific cards, then within each card, there are specific tasks on a checklist. Then, for each of these tasks, I’ve made a deadline for when I’ll have them completed.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I’ve started this project with extensive research. My sources and bibliography are going to remain living throughout this entire project. This week, I broadened my bibliography with sources like motion graphics tutorials, and I began annotating citations that I gathered last week. Annotations aren’t a quick task, so to ensure that I break these all up into smaller doses, I will continue to build my bibliography with more annotations each week.
In addition to the living bibliography, I also have a survey on my to-do list. This is meant to both broaden my understanding of what people would like to see covered in the newsletters, and start as my base audience by collecting email addresses from those who are interested.
My pre-production plans include all of the artifacts that I’ll need to produce the actual newsletters. Through the next five weeks, I will create three newsletters – each newsletter card on my Trello board includes the same action tasks.
I’ve planned to do all of these artifacts during week 3 so that I know what to expect with production in the following weeks, as this will be the most time-consuming, and major task. I need to set myself up for success with my production tasks weeks in advance to allow for the most smooth transition.
During pre-production, I will also create my account and set up the email distribution service with MailChimp.
Following a similar layout that I’ve used previously with motion graphics projects, I think it makes the most sense for me to do the production in weeks 4-6. Week four, I’ll create the first of the three newsletters, week 5 I’ll create the second, and in week six I’ll finish the third. This will allow me to have enough wiggle room and editing as needed for week seven, the final week.
Again, each newsletter card has the same tasks as the process will be the same for all.
Post-production is simply to export and import the finished newsletter – first, export it as a looping GIF for the email, then import it to MailChimp to prepare for sending. Maybe I shouldn’t say “simply” as these are a big group of tasks, but it seems much more simple than the previous steps like production – which is the biggest hurdle. Post-production is exciting because it’s here where I will see my completed newsletters and have the satisfaction of scheduling them to send to the audience members!
While this is a lot to accomplish in only five weeks’ time, I’m excited to build each newsletter! Next week, I’ll have a complete understanding of what each newsletter will cover as a topic and visual layout. See you next week!