(last updated on April 29, 2014)
I’ve been quite busy—or more accurately, pleasantly distracted—by all the cool people I’ve been talking to in the past few weeks. I’ve also been recently booked on some interesting projects that threaten to take up my time up to August 31st. It’s a nice problem to have, though I am finding myself wanting some kind of way of predicting my future time.
Right now, I’m relying on Google Calendar to mark and reserve chunks of time in the future; the built-in reminder system works pretty well, and the printed output from the browser are surprisingly nice. I was reminded, though, of a couple of forms I had given everyone a peek of in Guess the Form last January. I’d basically sat on it until now, so to make up for that (and a slow summer posting schedule), I’m going to just release them and see if people find them useful. A couple of people had asked about them in email, and I’d sent them some drafts. I haven’t heard back though, so I’m assuming the forms didn’t work out that well. Sigh.
Anyway, here’s the two variations I made.
THREE WEEK RESOURCE PLANNING
This is basically a mashup of my compact calendar with the timegrid concepts that you may recognize from the Emergent Task Planner and the Resource Task Tracking. It’s designed to allow you to allocate deliverables (and the amount of time required) to certain days in the future. The addition of the calendar may make this a more useful form, though I’m not sure.
This is the form that I originally showed back in January, so now everyone finally has a chance to try it out. There really isn’t much different from that earlier version, except some updated serial numbers and the marking “DRAFT RELEASE” at the bottom. The design isn’t tweaked to completion either, so colors, proportions, and line weights are still a bit off.
EIGHT WEEK RESOURCE PLANNING
For looking even further out, I had made a variation that uses less detail than the three-week version. To get more rows in, I assumed that half-day allocation was good enough. For me, this time unit probably would work pretty well even if I’m allocating 1 or 2-hour tasks was out in the future. I figure that time will get lost anyway to administrative overhead. Allowing myself some buffer time is a good thing anyway…but not too much.
You’ll notice that there’s a lot of space to write down stuff. I think the information here might be job codes or numbers + the name of the task or client. You can scribble the number into the timegrid directly. You might use colored markers to pre-allocate vacation days and other time.
I really am not sure the best way to use these, which is why I’ve decided to just release them as unlocked PDF files and see if anyone can discover best practices for them. Think of it as a collaborative design exercise.
If you think of something interesting to do with them, or make a modification to share, register on the Wiki and feel free to edit the page to add your take on the design. Registered users should have the ability to upload files too, so let me know if that doesn’t work. This way, I will stop being the bottleneck for people who want to contribute their ideas. Will it work? I guess we’ll find out.
Feel free to play in the Wiki! It’s your space to express your ideas and concepts. If you see anything that looks obviously like abuse, feel free to nuke or re-edit things.
Some random thoughts:
- I would probably want to print these larger than 11×8.5″ so I had more room to write. And since these sheets would theoretically be in use for several weeks, I’d print them on more robust paper stock than usual. Cardstock or lamination might be the way to go.
I’ve thought that using post-it notes as markers (particularly those very tiny tab ones) might be a good way to show utilization. One problem is that this sheet really only works for one resource at a time. You could print multiple ones for each resource.
This is one of those things that probably would be better suited to a software application GUI.