Clear, Creative & Done. 6 tools + tips for inspired action

Ever lose track of why and how you’re doing things, and find yourself ardently #procrastisomething rather than doing what is actually important right now?

Or perhaps chasing every shiny thing, questioning each step you’re taking, getting lost, finding yourself then realising you’ve stepped away from your purpose. Without clarity, too often your time and creative flow get lost to indecision, distractions and overwhelm.

Strategy your way

I’ve so been there. Geez, still do and all too often. And many people I work with face similar challenges. You are not alone.

Success starts with solid strategy, but this doesn't have to be difficult or bound up into a ginormous document that props up your laptop. Your strategy can be an elegant roadmap that helps guide each step towards your goals, and becomes even easier with great tools and support.

Here are six of my fave tools and tips to help you to gain clarity, amplify your creativity, and get things done.

Rather than share an exhaustive list or review all the latest wizbang things out there (there are miles of those handy resources out there waiting for you to Google), I’m here sharing some of my fave platforms and how I use them. If you’d like more behind-the-scenes insights let me know or we can easily have a chat about your ideas, queries or challenges getting strategy in action!

1. Mapping out what's important to you

If you’re feeling foggy or fearful about your next steps, I encourage you to carve out some time to reflect and write about your purpose, measures of success, as well as strengths, fears and opportunities you recognise now. Journaling, voicing and sharing these reflections is tremendously powerful in beginning to actualise your vision. For instance, ask yourself:

  • Why? Understand your sense of purpose and what is driving you to create this business.

  • Where is my ideal destination? Define what success means to you, your business, and who you work with. Embrace audacity towards your big-picture goals! Fears or doubts may emerge when you are clear about what you want, but you will also start to unlock solutions and support to help you get there.

  • What is at stake? Clarify where you are at now, and what may be risked and gained with your success. Observe where you might face external challenges or notice resistance within yourself, with compassionate awareness and willingness to seek support. Your vision is so important to realise!

Your answers act like compass to help you in setting goals and taking inspired action towards your vision. Jump to the end of this post if you’re keen for support in mapping out your strategy and getting it in motion.

The next tools and tips I recommend to help you make things easier and to optimise your creative flow along the way...

2. Asana

This is a handy tool to map out your strategy and organise those key moving parts of your plan.

I value the Asana platform for strategic project and workflow management, collaboration and outsourcing. It has great free functionality for mapping out what's to do, in process and done, or you can organise your tasks via lists and timelines. Particularly appealing for folks who appreciate visualisation (or shudder at spreadsheets), and for simple  integration with your other tools, task automation, and delegation to your team.  I’ve just upgraded to the premium version but love everything you can do with Asana for free.

Here’s one way I work with clients with Asana for a Strategy Roadmap. I will soon create a little screen-share video introducing the Roadmap via this platform too :)

Here’s one way I work with clients with Asana for a Strategy Roadmap. I will soon create a little screen-share video introducing the Roadmap via this platform too :)

3. Google Sheets, Docs, Slides & Drive

Strategic mapping is super easy and free with Sheets, and your planning and implementation are complemented by all Google's integrated options for getting things done.

I love the intuitive live collaboration Google offers with these platforms, and the option to trace way back in a document’s history if something has been deleted somehow. While I’m happy to collaborate elsewhere if others prefer via Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox or other platforms, Google is still first choice for all my business and personal priorities.

Here’s an insight into how I work with clients with Google Sheets for Strategy and Storytelling roadmaps. I will soon create a little screen-share video introducing the Roadmap via this platform too :)

Here’s an insight into how I work with clients with Google Sheets for Strategy and Storytelling roadmaps. I will soon create a little screen-share video introducing the Roadmap via this platform too :)

4. Zoom

Working regionally and mostly online, I value videoconferencing for efficiently connecting and collaborating with you all. The free version of Zoom is reliable for unlimited 1:1 meetings, or for group videoconferencing of up to 40 minutes with up to 100 people. Zoom is also super handy for recording your meetings and screenshares.

I also use Zoom as a creative tool. You can also use it to simply record videos at a reasonable quality for online content (Quicktime is another free option, along with your smartphone camera). For creating stories, vlogs and simply getting ideas in motion, I always recommend you start by simply recording yourself speak. Your practice videos are often invaluable to capture illusive ideas in your voice, which you can swiftly get transcripted to help you write your copy, and to get feedback if you seek support for creative development and confidence for the sharing.

5. Timeboxing

Your time is precious and your energies fluctuate, so it's powerful to manage what you do when. Creativity is well nurtured when you plan well and batch similar tasks, which helps you streamline routine or dreary tasks, and devote more time and energy to doing what you love.

Timeboxing is a nifty for working briefly on one task for a fixed amount of time, then taking a short break before the next task. It can help you get efficient and in creative flow, and to avoid all the #distractiwhatnow. You may have heard of Pomodoro for managing your time via 25 minutes tasks with 5 minute breaks. You can use your phone, kitchen timer or one of many free apps to get your poms done. I confess being a timeboxing geek with Vitamin-R (free trial & paid) as it gives options for tracking my motivation, focus and outcomes.

6. Support

We are all in this together! Reach out to share your ideas and queries, gain feedback and help, and make the most of accountability and collaboration towards your goals. There’s so much to gain in talking to your trusted biz besties or networks, and with like-minded social media groups and allies. Invest in your growth with the right coach, mentor or mastermind, as well as hiring experts who can help you strategically, creatively, and/or with tackling your least-favourite priorities.

This is not about listening to all advice or pleasing everyone, otherwise you’d never be making decisions. Rather, I recommend building great relationships with folks who inspire, motivate and support you.

With our powers combined, we expand to play big, learn and grow with failure, and to build success on our own terms!

You Got This

I am so grateful for the incredible support I have for my business and personal growth, and honoured to support many others towards their vision.

As a creative strategist, I would love to help you get crystal clear and on purpose. So you know you’re doing the right things at the right time, and enjoy confidence and creative bandwidth to focus on what is important.

These Strategic Roadmap, Storytelling and other fantabulous tools are all designed to be customised for you, in alignment with your vision and how you work best.

If you seek clarity and support, to help you succeed with creativity, purpose and lean business strategy, line up a time for us to speak. Looking forward to connecting with you, and to support your clarity, creativity and achievement for success.

Here’s to you inspiring, growing and making good great with your business!

 

Kathryn Gray