How To Create a PDF Project Plan
Ready to create your project plan using PDFs? We thought so! Before we begin, however, we have just one question:
How’s that progress tracker of yours coming along?
If you’re making strides and achieving your goals like never before, good for you! But you’ll still find that a progress tracker isn’t as good as a plan. Hence why we’re following up in the first place.
If you’re not progressing the way you should, don’t fret. Forgive yourself. You’re not failing by any means, you’re able to track your progress (or lack thereof).
What each person, regardless of their success or self-described failure, is lacking comes down to long-term planning. The short game is being able to check off boxes and get your to-do list done.
But what about an actual plan, one in which you’ll be able to not only track your progress but see the purpose of your project from the outset?
Luckily for you, there’s a PDF solution for that!
The Moment I Knew I Needed a Plan
There I was, PDF progress tracker in hand, ready to accomplish my short story goal.
As a refresher, here’s what my progress tracker looked like once it was created:
And here’s my progress tracker after a few weeks of “progress”:
Can you spot the difference? That’s right, none of the (actual) writing has happened yet! Sure I’ve written out my setting and the main character, but where’s the story? Where’s the progress on the plan to finish this short story?
As you can see, I too am one of these people who might be facing failure. And, like you I’m sure, I can be a defeatist and my own worst enemy when it comes to unfinished projects or business.
But that’s the wrong way of looking at things. Believe me: you’re not the problem. You’re trying to achieve your goals, it’s the action plan that
Instead, it’s your progress tracker or list of tasks that is insufficient and needs work. You need an overarching plan of action, much like I soon discovered.
I had a way to keep track of my progress, but the problem was I was losing sight of the goal. It wasn’t this PDF progress tracker’s fault, it was my own for not having a clear-cut plan in the first place.
I realized that all I had, without a plan that is, was just a series of trackers and lists that were just sitting there waiting to be checked off. My issue with progress was due to the fact that I did not have a long-term plan, thus my lists were, well, listless and futile.
Sure, it was easy to track my progress using the tracker. But if you don’t have a map or a destination marked, you’re bound to wander aimlessly and get lost. And you might even start to lose focus on what it actually means to make progress in the first place!
Hence why without a plan, I was quickly losing sight of the goal and purpose of my project altogether.
This was more worrisome than anything, which is why I decided it would be best to create a PDF project plan. This would be another PDF that would ensure I remained focused on my goals and tasks that would lead to my overall long-term project and objective being completed as planned.
Here’s how I went about creating a project plan using the portable document format:
How To Create a PDF Project Plan
First, and as always, equip yourself with a PDF software that can help you modify your pre-existing PDF progress tracker as well as one that will help you create your PDF project plan from scratch. We recommend using Soda PDF.
Much like when building out your PDF progress tracker, use your PDF project plan as your springboard for productivity.
Start with the basics:
- Description: What is the purpose or main goal you’re trying to achieve? Why and what specifically are you project planning for?
- Project Summary: What are the main focal points towards reaching your goal? What are the three most essential objectives that will help you determine if you’ve achieved your goal or not?
- Phases: What are the phases (insert your progress tracker here) in which you have a list of tasks that need to be completed in order to advance and ultimately reach your desired end-result?
Once you’ve written out your project plan in greater detail, you’ll feel even more motivated to see your objectives met. After all, you’ve just plotted the course and have your trusty PDF project plan as the map you’ve been waiting for.
Now, it’s time to set sail and plan ahead!
CreatING Your PDF Progress Plan
Soda PDF allows you to create a PDF from blank, from a scanner, or from another file format such as a Microsoft Office file.
I created my progress plan from blank, then I used the Edit feature to insert text and shape the content that would appear on my page with ease.
I wrote out my description and project summary like so:
Then I added an attachment which is (you guessed it!) my progress tracker, allowing me to easily access the tracker for my overall plan of action with ease.
Next, I built out the phases in which I was going to need to accomplish the tasks from my progress tracker(s) in order for this project to advance.
This is when I began to notice some complexities within my plan…
How to Keep Track of Complexities
The most important step towards planning out your project? Do not let small details derail your train of thought process!
For example, I soon realized that the reason I wasn’t making much progress on a certain phase of the project was simply because:
- I hadn’t done enough research
- I was dealing with writer’s block
And so, rather than just keep these two items as a detractor, I wrote out the problem I was facing for those two specific phases.
Once I saw the problems on paper, I didn’t stop there. I could have, but alas I wouldn’t ever progress which I had no intention of doing. Instead, I pressed on.
I wrote (in green no less for some positivity slash accomplishment look-and-feel) “Solved:” and then began tackling these complexities right then and there.
I searched the web and within two seconds I had the answers I was looking for:
- 50 publishers who would be interested in my short story
- 7 ways in which I could get over my inability to start my story
I was making progress in my plan. Now it was simply a matter of attaching these links within my PDF project planner for safekeeping…
Now that I had found the publishers I could send my short story to, I decided to add the link to the Research phase to remind myself that this problem had been solved:
Links within your PDF project planner are vital, as these will give you one-click references to the solutions for any blocker you might face in the future.
By identifying the problem with my writing, I was able to find some great resources for getting over my writer’s block and added those links to that phase.
Now, this doesn’t mean that those two phases of my project are completed. For that, you’ll have to refer to my progress tracker!
Now that links have been added, I needed to look at the realistic possibilities of completing my phases within the time frames I set.
ADD STICKER NOTES
My preference for establishing any obstacles or complexities that might come in the way of accomplishing each phase of the project is to add reminders.
Sticker notes are a perfect way to identify the issues that you or someone else reviewing your PDF project plan might encounter.
For example, I set my Writing Phase to be from June 17th to June 30th. Excellent. I’ve set a few dates to spend writing. Shouldn’t be any issues, right?
Oops! My uncle’s birthday dinner is on June 18th. Furthermore, a couple of other commitments come to mind. All of a sudden, this time frame is shrinking and I am now starting to realize the limitations I might be facing for accomplishing this phase.
Hence why adding sticker notes can help me plan and understand if and why a certain phase might require more time than others, based on other time commitments or priorities.
Furthermore, if someone else is reviewing this plan of yours, they might be able to provide you with some comments, which can easily be added, drawn or stamped by using Soda PDF’s easy-to-use annotate tools.
Those are just a couple of ways to plan ahead and stay the course when it comes to your goals. But the most important aspect of this PDF is that you constantly update this roadmap based upon the progress of your trackers for each phase.
Embrace Your PDF Project Plan
You did it! You’ve progressed far along enough to finally have your action plan mapped out with each phase of your ultimate goal clearly defined and achievable.
Now comes the most important part: embracing your PDF project plan and updating this document until your goal is met.
Let your PDF project plan be your annoying boss at the office, you know, the one who comes by your desk every day to see the progress you’ve been making.
You have goals. You are capable of achieving them. You are capable of seeing your dreams come true. You can do anything you set your mind (and PDF project planner) to.
You just need to see the big picture to make those small steps really count.
Increase Your Productivity with Soda PDF
Soda PDF isn’t just great for creating PDF progress trackers or project planners.
Our software solution can help you edit, create, convert, merge, split, annotate and compress your files your document needs. Whether for work or personal use, Soda PDF can help you accomplish all of your document goals with our easy-to-use tools, which are available online or offline.
Try Soda PDF with a FREE download of our desktop application, or get a taste for our PDF tools by using one of our online services directly within your web browser!