TextExpander Snippet: Project Management Worksheet

In the show notes of this week's episode of Productive Pastor, Chad Brooks provides a project management worksheet that is that rare combination of brutally simple and incredibly helpful. Answering these questions will help you keep your eye on the ball as you start a project.

Realizing that this would be a big help going forward, I built a TextExpander snippet (see below) so that I could get this preparatory work into Evernote really quickly.

If you are unfamiliar with TextExpander, here's a video of how this snippet works.


Project Title: %filltext:name=Project Title%

1. What is the goal of this project?


2. How will this project be measured?


3. What is at stake?

- If the project is successful?


- If the project isn't successful?


4. What is the timeline for this project?


5. What are the milestones during the project?




I just returned from ten days in hot and humid east Texas. I don’t get as many emails as a lot of people, but there are enough that they can take away from the purpose of vacation (i.e. lots of time with family, fun with the kids, rest, etc.). I don’t want to replicate the myriad of email content available these days, but do want to share three simple things that kept email from killing my vacation:

  1. I scheduled times to check email. Two weeks before I left, I decided two times that I would check email while away and then told the people who needed to know when that would be.
  2. I moved the Mail app on my iPhone. Rather than disabling email on my iPhone, I moved the app to a folder away from my home screen. Sometimes I think we check email just because it’s there. This solved that problem by making me tap at least three buttons to find it.
  3. I setup snooze folders in Sanebox. I’m a big fan of letting Sanebox sort email so that I only see the important stuff. This is especially important on vacation. I setup a Snooze folder that I could use to drop emails into so that they’d disappear until I returned home. This meant that after I checked email on Friday my inbox was empty and anything that didn’t need immediate action got moved to this folder. Then when I checked on Monday these emails didn’t have to be reviewed again. Magically, however, they were all showing as new emails when I opened my laptop this morning. (Sign up here and both of us will get $5 off.).

We had a great vacation and I didn’t miss a thing at the office. Everybody wins!


I spend a lot of time working in Asana at [Seven Mile Road][7MR]. Asana keeps our team on the same page with our projects and meeting agendas, even helping out with accounting items.

The Problem

As much as I like Asana, I noticed a Issue that was keeping it from being even more helpful: Asana, being a web app, was a tab in my browser. This meant that using the “Command + Tab” shortcut to rotate through windows doesn’t work and, even once I get to my web browser, I still have to find the tab Asana was on. Plus, I would periodically navigate away from Asana to another website then have to navigate back to Asana.

These may not seem like problems … unless it’s something you run into dozens of times each week.

A Solution

While listening to a recent Mac Power Users episode, I heard about Fluid, an app that turns web apps into native Mac apps for you.

I tried Fluid out with Asana this week and had great success. It was simple to setup, worked well, and is free. I was going to write up the process, but found this existing blog post that does a great job..

If you like Asana and use a Mac, give it a shot.