PlayBook

Free 2014 Calendar Update for PlayBook

2014 Calendar Screen Shot - click image to download full PDFIf you purchased a Big Idea Toolkit or PlayBook calendar in the past, by now you should have received an updated calendar in your email. In case you did not (we did receive a few bounced emails), you may access it here or click on the calendar image.

If you never purchased a Big Idea Toolkit or PlayBook calendar, but simply would like a 2014 calendar, you are in luck.  You are welcome to download the free calendar. Should you need a larger format version that works with sticky notes, then purchase the PlayBook. If you want to get more clear on what goes into the PlayBook, then purchase the Big Picture.  The Big Idea Toolkit contains these and other visual planning tools, too.

The Big Idea Toolkit helps us to navigate across the 3 psychological zones that we operate in, but are often unaware. To learn more about that read Chapter 12: the Three Psychological Zones in The Experience Design BLUEPRINT: Recipes for Creating Happier Customers and Healthier Organizations.

Another free resource you might find useful is the Delight Flight Plan. Learn more about that here. We hope you are having a fun and productive 2014.

Category : Blog

A Sticky Note Calendar to Feel More in Control of Your Personal and Work Life

the PlayBook wall saver edition from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability LLCThe PlayBook from the Big Idea Toolkit is the place to make work visible and feel in control of your personal and work life. The PlayBook calendar reveals more than a list of dates and events. Sure, you can see the current date, week number, quarter and year on this annual wall planner. But, the PlayBook also tells a story of where you are going and what you have to accomplish to get there.  Best of all, you can use ordinary sticky notes to configure your PlayBook calendar to organize yourself or your team around activities, tasks, and deliverables due by projects, customer, or week number. Simply write a task on a sticky note and affix it to the PlayBook in the week number that it’s DUE. Now you can take step-by-step requirements and calendarize them for execution. The 20 x 30 inch wall saver PlayBook is included with the Big Idea Toolkit.  For those that are sporting more wall space and want to build a bigger plan there is the larger format edition of the PlayBook, 24 x 44 inches, sold separately.

Move beyond your ordinary wall planner. Get the PlayBook calendar and go from “to-do” to “done.”

Category : Blog

A Dozen Reasons you Need a Lightweight Business Planning Tool Like the Big Idea Toolkit

hand with sticky notes and the big idea toolkit logoIt doesn’t matter if you are gainfully employed and need to explore the newest path to revenue,  a solo-preneur forging your way in a terrible economy, or a wanna-preneur that’s contemplating starting a business, you need a way to flesh out and communicate ideas and to build a simple plan. I’m not talking about the dusty templates that litter the Internet and application software by the droves. I’m talking about crafting something that lives beyond your bound document, something more dynamic, that connects to customers, a calendar, your livelihood and purpose. For that, you need something like the Big Idea Toolkit. Sure, I’m biased, after all I created the toolkit. But, I did say something “like.” The point is the world moves quickly and you need to as well. I’ll bet on the pony that running the race as opposed to the one in the stable that’s still working up the race plan.

Remember if you don’t continuously innovate in a sea of change, you could get BlockBuster’d out of business.

 

Here are a dozen reasons to use a Lightweight Business Planning Tool like the Big Idea Toolkit

 

    1. You need to quickly convince yourself and others you’re idea is worth following
    2. Your plan will need to evolve once you get started
    3. You need to continue to show visible progress to stay motivated
    4. You need to capture ideas that will come at times inconvenient and from unlikely sources
    5. You’ll want to explore quickly the opportunities that you can reliably act upon
    6. Your applied actions in the marketplace speak louder than your stagnant words buried in a plan
    7. To stay sane, you’ll need a system to balance delivering value, promotion, operations, and a personal life
    8. Opportunities will pass you by if you take too long to act
    9. You’ll need to observe, listen, and learn from customers
    10. If it’s worth doing, you probably need to enroll others
    11. You’ll need to run experiments to test ideas for value
    12. You need a plan that gives the opportunity to build better habits and practice because practice makes perfect, not training
    13. You’ll need to hold yourself accountability or involve somebody else that will

Oops that’s 13.  Oh yeah, and you can’t be superstitious either because black cats need love too and your biases will ultimately limit your opportunity.  Remember technology will not save you and the timing goddess will ultimately decide your fate. If you don’t believe this talk to those that are graduating from college now as opposed to the lucky grads that carved their way ahead of the dot com bubble burst.

Remember the marketplace will punish paralysis by analysis and the big formal unseen plan more than it will the action junkie that has more conversations and creates sustainable customer value sooner. Find a balance and pray for the timing goddess to cast a shining light upon you.

Category : Blog

Productive living is about project management not time management

The thing about time is it will pass you by, whether you are busy, idle, wholly aware of it, or completely oblivious to the seconds ticking on.

Ultimately, we all suffer from time poverty because the number of hours in the day are fixed. Like the law of conservation of energy – energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only change form, we can’t create more time we can only make it useful by what we do with the time we have.

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”  Benjamin Franklin

We care about time management because we are trying to cram more things done into the little time we all have.

The key to getting more stuff done is to have the right mental models, tools, and processes in place. Highly productive people aren’t necessarily lucky or smarter than you, they simply have built better habits. You’ll need better habits, no matter which system you adopt or invent.

Most people don’t manage complex projects with huge risks that need to be mitigated, involve many stakeholders, or have project life cycles that span years and geographies. Luckily, for most of us life isn’t that complicated. Most of us have to simply juggle between our various personal and professional actions, deliverables, to-dos, and calendar events. The trouble is it isn’t that simple and one tool probably won’t do the trick.

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”  Henry David Thoreau

Here is an assortment of tools and principles that I find useful and how I use them.

Image of Calendars, Planning, and Electronic Organization Tools put in perspective - Delightability LLC

The Distracting Idea

First Principle – Ideas often come at inconvenient times.
Tool I use – I separate ideas from execution using the PlayGround to capture ideas and the PlayBook to document what I’ve committed to. Periodically I review all ideas and then decide if I’ll add them to my PlayBook. I don’t let the “idea du jour” distract me from what I’ve already committed to.

Sight-line to the Future

The PlayBook is where I track the next 90 days or so by week. I show all of my major events, milestones, and the deliverables that I need to create or big actions I’ll need to track. It is fast and uses sticky notes so I can reconfigure it if I change priorities. I have a more granular view on my paper calendar but the PlayBook keeps me tracking to my overall plan and most importantly, makes work visible.

Good old Fashioned Calendar with a Twist

In addition to the PlayBook calendar, I also use an electronic calendar. In my case I use Google calendar on the computer and my phone. Because the electronic calendar is poorly configured, not instantly glance-able and lacks the “doodle” factor I also carry a printed calendar that I can capture notes on or affix a sticky note to. I have a paper calendar for each week and also note the week number. This is a feature you can turn on in Google calendar by the way.

Making Communications Visible is Key

I configure SMS alerts for reminders tied to my electronic calendar. I also use Highrise as a CRM tool to track prospects and assign future f/u tasks which are emailed to me as a reminder. But, for the week I’m in I print a communication/follow-up sheet. This sheet shows the person I need to follow up with, what I need to provide them, and whether the communications will be phone, face-to-face, email, or direct mail. If you meet many people you are likely creating a card graveyard on your desk. I was too, before I adopted this system.

Print or Electronic?

Second Principle – the best answer is usually “It Depends.”
If you use your phone as your calendar and you are talking on your phone then you are blind to your calendar. If you need to add a note, do it directly in your printed calendar, so you don’t have to write it down twice. Also, in the event your phone is in need of a charge, you’ll still have your weekly plan, right there in plain sight.

Spatial Adjacency is Good for your Brain

If you keep your old calendars and communication/follow-up sheets you’ll be able to review them at a glance while eating breakfast or celebrating a job well done. Your brain will likely recognize patterns and see new connections. These insights will spawn additional ideas and you’ll know what to do with them because you read this post and followed the First Principle above.

This may seem like a lot of items but if you build a success system and good habits to reinforce your system, then it will be more natural to use it than to operate randomly, poorly execute, suffer from time poverty, and ultimately didn’t-get-it-done-itis.

Learn more at the Big Idea Toolkit website and blog.

Category : Blog

Pies, Pants, and PlayBooks -Will Your 2012 be any Different?

Seems we arethe PlayBook -Delightability LLC all busy making plans to do something different. You may have plans to work off grandmothers pumpkin pie, get ahead at work, or spend more time volunteering. We purchase calendars, wall planners, and gym memberships – anything to help us reach our goals.

the PlayBook -Delightabiity LLCIf you are looking to get more accomplished in 2012, you may want to start by replacing your planning calendar with the PlayBook. You can keep on doing the same old thing, but you’ll not likely fit into a slimmer pair of pants.

To make a bigger impact you need the courage and conviction to try something different. Get started in the right direction. Take the challenge, compare your calendar to the PlayBook and select the tool that will make your 2012 a success.

Category : Blog

the Big Idea Toolkit – 7 Visual Thinking Tools for Innovative Teams to do their Best Work

the PlayGround from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.The Big Idea Toolkit  include 7 visual thinking tools that leverage the way innovative teams do their best work.  People need a place to capture ideas – that is the PlayGround.   If you are like most people you already have sticky notes chock full of ideas, notes, and reminders.  Well, the PlayGround gives you a space to capture them and share them with others.  Other might even build upon your ideas.  The PlayGround is where ideas live.

Sometimes I feel better just getting my ideas down – even if I don’t do anything with them.

 

the Situation from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.Jumping to execution too soon without understanding the Situation, or being mindful of  the Audience can consume resources, burn cycle time, and create strategic drift.  Not being in tune with your audience can create lackluster products, messages, and experiences that don’t feel connected or live up to their potential to satisfy and delight.

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.  Lewis Carroll

 

the Audience from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.Explicitly identifying your audience can help you to connect with them and make the customer come alive inside the organization.  This taps the natural empathy of your employees, volunteers, and others that interact directly with or influence the experience that customers have with your organization, its products, services, and brand.

My play was a complete success. The audience was a failure.  Ashleigh Brillant

 

the Big Picture from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.We live in a world more connected than at any other time in history, yet we lack tools to have more productive, energizing conversations that are results oriented and free of our biases.   Using the Big Picture calibrates people to the same reality, it helps to communicate the big idea and then tie that idea to the expected impact.  It allows people to participate in building, seeing, and sharing, the big chunky steps of how to get there.  If you find yourself in the trap of having more and more email “conversations” but getting less and less accomplished, you or others around you, might not be seeing the big picture.

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

 

the Game Plan from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.Breaking down the big picture into smaller executable steps is what  the Game Plan is all about.  The chunky steps in the big picture can be broken down into smaller steps that are more easily executed on.  One of the reasons why people don’t move forward is a lack of clarity.  The Game Plan breaks down each big chunky step from the Big Picture into more manageable, own-able, deliverables that can then be discussed and assigned to different team members.  It reduces blind spots and helps you to confront reality.

Our ambitions will always exceed our ability to execute, given the available level of resources.

 

the PlayBook from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.When your ready to commit to doing something you need the PlayBook.  That is where execution lives – it gives you a site line into events and milestones across the year as well as the view into deliverables/actions/owners over a rolling 90 day view.  Turns out that most teams don’t have much clarity beyond 90 days, so why fool yourself with giant, non-dynamic plans.  The calendar is a key component to the PlayBook since everything that you do and will do, happens in time.  It again uses ordinary sticky notes and is easily reconfigurable as weeks expire and deliverables are accomplished.  If you miss a deliverable – it is no longer a surprise.

Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else. Peter F. Drucker

4 blocker exampleWhen each person on the team uses a weekly  4-Square Personal Action plan you’re on your way to building habits that ensure excellence in execution.  Print a 4-Square Personal Action plan each week, fill it out, and take it with you as you go about your personal and professional business.  While the PlayBook may be shared, the 4-Square Personal Action plan is uniquely you.  In fact, using it alone, even without the toolkit will enable you to be more clear about your commitments and get more important stuff done.  It is a free download, so take advantage of that.

I want to make a dent in the universe. Steve Jobs

 

We’ve love to hear what tools you use to capture ideas, get organized, and ensure excellence in execution whether you work alone, as part of a larger team, within a silo or across silos.

 

Category : Blog

You are 30 days from a Better You

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

habit practice sheet from the Big Idea Toolkit - Delightability, LLC.

Pick it!  It doesn’t really matter, weight loss,  more books read, conversations had, blog posts written, friends contacted, miles biked, states traveled.   No matter what your trying to do more of your brain will react favorably to repetition.  Pretty soon, your newly sought habit will be programmed into your brain like your morning cup of coffee.

It turns out it take about 30 days of repeated activity for you brain to establish a new habit.  So what are you waiting for?  Get going on whatever it is you wish to do.  As a starter you might have a daily PlayBook review to make sure you personal and professional affairs are in order.  Download and print the free 30 day practice sheet to help yourself or somebody you care about.

Your emotional brain likes to be rewarded so at day 15 and day 30 reward yourself for staying on track.  At the end of 30 days, it won’t be so hard to continue.    Click here or the the image to download the PDF.

Category : Blog

About Us

Like you we get ideas. We are all idea people. The Big Idea Toolkit was born out of our recognition that people have ideas but get stuck at all stages of bringing those ideas to life. We hope you find this toolkit and site gives you a nudge, a process to follow, and inspiration to make your ideas a reality. Thank you to our clients who told us - "You guys should make this a product available to others." We are Delightability, LLC and we believe if you Delight Customers - Success will Follow. more..

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If you have questions or need some help please email us or call us at (206) 356-8811