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Tips for Creating Effective Timelines

December 29, 2010

Today’s blog is a continuation of the December 27th blog on timelines. Today I offer three quick procedures on creating effective timelines for women entrepreneurs or their business projects.  After 23 years of planning and managing multiple events with my company Five Star Events, I have a few techniques which have worked well for me.  My event management company’s motto is “Success is in the Details” and you’ll see how I use detailed timelines to make events and business triumphant for myself and my clients. I hope it helps you.

Create Weekly Timelines

  • Start by looking at the next week of business.  Create a blank page on your computer and start filling in all the tasks you have to do until you can’t fill it up any more.
  • Then take a look at the items and move them around in order – the most important rising to the top of the page, the least important to the bottom.
  • Put work or completion dates to each task. Then reorganize them again in order of work or completion dates.
  • Every morning when you start work, view the timeline and start with the most important items of the day. Don’t skip any – try to stick to the prioritized items. Sometimes you can bold or highlight the most important items to give them an even more visual sense of importance.
  • During the day when you accomplish each tasks, erase them from your list.
  • As your day progresses, you might have to add new tasks onto the list that come from completing the original items. That’s okay – it’s part of work and part of staying organized.
  • At the end of every work day, review your timeline, move around priority items, add new ones, and have it ready for the next morning.

Create Project, Client or Event Timelines

For medium to large projects, it is wise to create individual timelines to keep you on track.  Start by “dumping” as much information as you can that needs to be done for the project, event, or client onto a blank page on your computer. Then organize the tasks into days, weeks or month blocks. You can transfer individual project or client timelines onto your master timeline periodically to keep you organized.

As you work on the project, cross off timeline items and add new ones. Update the task dates and completion dates as time progresses.

Consider sharing copies of timelines with clients or staff if you think it would help them manage their side of a project

Create Event or Project Folders or Binders

Create individual event/project folders or binders for each client or major projects so you can keep important communication, contracts, timelines, and other items on file and easily accessible. You can also create a phone and email directory listing with client contact information, important vendors, or other client associates on a page at the front of the folder or binder for easy access.

The folders or binders will make staying organized much easier for you especially when you have multiple projects occurring.

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