Big projects can get complicated. So it’s the individual who steps up and handles the project with efficiency and poise that truly seems impressive. Which projects would those be? The big gnarly ones, of course. That six-month research study. The office move that’s been in the works forever. The careful transition to the new computer management system.
So how do you organize big, complex projects like these? You start with the all-important project binder.
The Best Way to Keep Track of a Project
Large, complex projects always have a myriad of parts and details. A project binder will help organize it all and will be the central place to keep project documents, spreadsheets, records, communications and anything else relating to your project. So everything you need will be right at your fingertips. And as long as you keep it up-to-date, your binder will provide you with a working summary of the project at all times.
What Goes In a Project Binder?
Of course, every project is different, but there are some general items and topics that you should probably plan on including:
- Project Statement—the project objectives, scope and general plan
- Timeline—project tracking and identifying key milestones along the way
- Meetings—agendas, meeting notes and minutes
- Action Items—it’s important to keep track of who’s responsible for what
- Budget—invoices, tracking, proposed and actuals
- Research—any research done for the project and the results
- Data Tracking—there’s always so much information to track
- Change Orders—no big project happens without changes
- Technical Documents—you may not refer to them often, but you don’t want to lose them
- Project Summary—finally, when the project is finished, you’ll want a project summary of the entire endeavor. It should be placed at the front of the binder for quick reference.
Keep It Organized
No matter what information you keep in your project binder, make sure it’s all easy to access. Divide it into as many sections as necessary. Luckily that will be easy using Avery Double-Column Ready Index Dividers. They were specifically created for those really big projects that you want to look organized and professional. It comes with a Table of Contents page that has two columns, giving you more space to print your section titles. And there are two layers of divider tabs that are easy to view and access. Plus, the Quick-Fill template makes it a snap to enter your section titles and even add pictures or graphics to your Table of Contents.
Keep It Well Protected
Your project binder will hold lots of information and, no doubt, get lots of use, so make sure you select a binder large enough to hold all your information and sturdy enough to keep it well protected. Avery Heavy Duty View Binders with One Touch™ EZD™ Rings are a good choice. The rings hold up to 50% more pages than the same size round rings. Plus, the pages always turn smoothly and lay flat, even with lots of usage.
And don’t forget to create a cover page for the front of your project binder and a spine insert for the side. That way, your project binder will always be easy to find and identify, whether it’s lying on your desk or sitting on a shelf. Again, that’s an easy task using free Avery Templates.
Bottom line? Follow these simple tips and you’ll have written the book on great project management.