How The Idea For Actionplanr Was Born



There are as many expert opinions on how to get stuff done as there is sand on the ocean beaches.

No matter how you slice it — from productivity coaches, to time management consultants, to goal-setting gurus — everyone seems to have an opinion about how to get stuff done more efficiently and effectively.

At the end of the day, I believe it boils down to using the  methods that work best for you and your team.

Here’s an example using spiritual gurus.

The best spiritual gurus always lead you back to yourself. They guide you to find your own answers. They empower you to listen to your inner voice and embrace it to create a life of meaning and fulfillment.

The bad ones tell you to follow them blindly and not question anything.

Like spiritual gurus, there are many productivity apps to choose from.  Some good, some not so good.

As with a spiritual guru, you need to choose the ones that resonate with you and empower you to be and do your best.

Personally, I like to tweak my processes for getting things done. I am always fine-tuning my methods for improving my workflow.

I actually do this in all areas of my life where I am conscious about it. Whether it is in enhancing how I communicate to move a negotiation forward, or how I develop better habits for living, I am always exploring ways to refine and sharpen my performance.

That’s actually how the idea for Actionplanr came to be.

A True Story On The Idea For Actionplanr

A few years ago I came up with an idea for a fundraising event for a children’s non-profit. My goal was to raise $100K.  I then proceeded to organize a live and silent auction offering gourmet food and wine tasting.

My vision for the epicurean event was to not only bring awareness and raise funds for kids living in the foster care system, but to help them find permanent homes.

It was a daunting task (especially since I had never done anything like it in my life) with over one hundred volunteers, forty restaurants and wineries and over six hundred guests. I had to build my team of co-leaders, solicit donation packages to be auctioned off on the day of the event, hire vendors, and recruit sponsors and donors.

My Rude Awakening

Once I began to roll up my sleeves and get to work, I immediately realized there were no useful project management or project planning software tools to organize the fundraiser. Most of the available tools were designed for professional project managers, which were much too complex for our needs.

We were just a small team of volunteers from various professional backgrounds eager to put on a fundraiser for kids in the foster care system.  But instead, what we found were limited choices that did little to empower us to implement our plan of action.

Back then, Google docs was still in its infancy and no one on my fundraising team really understood how to use it, including me.

In addition, many of the online productivity tools were just not powerful enough to collaborate and track our progress. I was flabbergasted at how many of the so-called task management tools were useless.

The Business Partner

During that time, my business partner, Chuck Horton had previously built a successful career as a business management and technology consultant. From his experience, he too saw there was a lot of room for improvement in project management, project planning, and task management tools.

His consulting work had given him many opportunities to go deep with his clients helping them create plans for their companies. From Fortune 500 corporations, to nonprofits, to small businesses, he had coached, mentored, and advised many different types of organizations on strategic and business planning, and technology.

He recognized that company plans were often fragmented and disorganized.

For example; business, strategic, marketing, or in my case, fundraising plans are often stored in folders, files, and documents that, until Dropbox came along, were not easy to share. Or they are kept in Google docs where neither system integrates with project management or project planning software tools.

Now let’s just take a step back and let that sink in for a moment.

Imagine spending a lot of time — days and sometimes weeks working on a business plan for your company.  The next step is to implement that plan, right? But how do you get everyone on board and on the same page to execute that plan if you don’t have the tools to get organized and collaborate?

Do you see the problem?

Projects, goals, and action plans are often derived from business, strategic, or marketing planning sessions.  However, many of the project planning and project management tools do not integrate at all with the plans created from these planning sessions.

Enter Actionplanr.

Actionplanr Web & Mobile Version

 Actionplanr Web and Mobile version is where plans meet projects all in one place. Accessible anywhere, anytime.

I had a vision to fundraise $100K for those kids in foster care.  And while I had no useful system to empower me and my team to make it happen, we were nevertheless able to fundraise $350K with our fundraising event, which we organized and executed twice over a couple of years.

I believe systems separate the amateurs from the professionals. Amateurs don’t have systems in place. They are the bottleneck to their business. Professionals use systems to help them improve their business and life.

Actionplanr Web & Mobile version is a system to help you take your vision and turn it into a reality by turning your plans into projects.

My team and I had to brute force the implementation of our plan for the fundraising event.  It was a painful, yet worthwhile experience. It no longer has to be that way.

Our mission is to pave a better way for you to get things done, a better system.

We are excited about the upcoming release of the next version of Actionplanr —-Web, Mobile, and Team.

Get your beta invitation here.

In the meantime, we’d love to learn what your favorite productivity apps are to help you get things done.