“I couldn’t find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself.” Ferdinand Porsche
This or a similar thought could very well be the driver for so many people out there to work on their own projects in their spare time. To work on a project not just to distract themselves from every day’s duties, or to have a break for at least one hour or two.
It often is the desire to build something exactly in the way you want it to be. Because you cannot get it that way anywhere. Because buying it would be too expensive. It may not be working the way you want, or it simply doesn’t look the way you desire it.
Individualism is key. You get to express yourself, to have the chance to tell a story and to share an experience with other people.
But make no mistake: nobody sits down and just starts building a sports car. Every project beyond folding paper requires some thinking and a certain amount of planning. And even for folding paper, you might need a plan, look at all those beautiful origami figures out there.
For smaller ideas, we might not even realize when we think about buying ingredients or supplies. We likely don’t plan to sneak into the garage to find something that can be used for our project (like tiiApii did with the bike inner tubes for her tents).
For medium or bigger projects, though, we should at least outline some specifications, get some ideas and have a rough list of actions to take.
A fun and well-working approach is pinning ideas, inspiration and whatever else you find related to your project on a board, and work through that set of ideas. Therefore we created the Ambytion Idea Board: pin inspiring pictures or websites on your board, take notes and use those cards as tasks.
And here is how it works: When an idea is implemented, simply drag it on the Done pane.
This way you maintain an overview of what is still an idea and what has been processed. Many find it pleasant to tick off tasks from a list or drag it out of their way. It helps you reflect on your project and you might very well hit on new ideas.
Collect ideas from websites
Let’s say you have a project in mind you would want to start working on. You browse the internet and you come across a page showing something that you would like to include into your project. It is an idea, and it inspires you.
Now, wouldn’t it be cool to actually relate that page to your project and make sure it doesn’t get lost?
To do that, create an Ambytion for your project and go to the Idea Board by clicking the little lamp icon on the right side. Then hit the ghost card, the one that has a + in the center. A dialog will open where you can paste the URL of the website you just found. It shows you a sneak preview of the website and you can add some notes.
Now click ‘save’ and your new idea card will be added.
Do this with all the inspirations that cross your path. Never again lose an idea.
You can take notes, too. Just click the + card again and add what you need to remember. This can very well be a task, which you can then tick off once you are done with it, or drag it to the Done pane.
In the industry where people work in teams, it is important to visualize the workflow so all team members understand the current status of the project. There are different ways to do that, and one commonly used method is a board-based scheme with 3 or more rows, called Kanban board. Those can be physical boards with sticky notes or sophisticated software solutions such as Jira or Trello.
Each row on the board is used to visualize a state a task of the project can be in. In the simplest case, those columns would be Todo, Ongoing, and Done. There can be more rows to define more states for a better understanding. Additional states can be Plan, Develop, Test, Deploy, etc. Trello, for example,e has many different schemes available.
This is a very effective method and widely used in team working environments.
But how can this help me for my own project?
You might think this would be a bit too much, and we agree! But it is very useful, so we sat down trying to find out how we can improve this approach to be easy to use, fun and not complex at all.
We cut back those 3 rows to just 2: Ideas, Done. It follows the mantra Less Is More and it takes away complexity.
You just add your idea, and later you move it to Done, which gives a pleasant feeling of achievement. Everything else would be most of the time too much for many projects out there.
When you are done with an idea, or you performed a task which you pinned on your Idea Board, simply drag the idea card into the Done pane. This gives you a satisfying visual overview of what is still to do and what you have done already. It gives you a sense of accomplishment.
To use the Idea Board, simply go to your project on Ambytion, click on the Idea tab at the right side and start pinning your ideas.
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