Question about project task lists...

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Forum topic by RobH posted 01-12-2011 12:59 AM 1671 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4902 days

01-12-2011 12:59 AM

Hello all,

I am getting back to woodworking after a well-needed little bit of time off. I have several projects from the wife stacked up and one in progress. Every project I do, I go through and make a task list so I can identify and make use of efficiencies such as table saw and router setups. I will admit that I over-plan my projects.

Question for everyone is, do you make task lists for your projects, and how do you keep up with them?

Thanks in advance,
Rob Hix

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

13 replies so far

View ajosephg's profile


1887 posts in 4414 days

#1 posted 01-12-2011 01:14 AM

Not often, but once in a while if there are many operations and if sequence is critical. It’s a real bummer to get something glued together and find out that you forgot something.

-- Joe

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3836 days

#2 posted 01-12-2011 01:36 AM

I have a terrible memory so I have a 30” x 30” wet erase sheet that I use to write things down so I don’t forget something.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Cliff De Witt 's profile

Cliff De Witt

130 posts in 3545 days

#3 posted 01-12-2011 07:54 PM

I use a spreadsheet that I keep on my iPod Touch. Change the cell color as I go along, make necessary changes and then save the sheet to dropbox so I will ALWAYS have a copy if I ever get back there again….....What too much??

-- Trying to find an answer to my son’s question: “…and forming organic cellulose by spinning it on its axis is interesting, why?”

View lew's profile


13178 posts in 4608 days

#4 posted 01-12-2011 09:34 PM


Nice to see you are back and heading into the shop!

I wish I was organized enough to even think of planning ahead!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Napaman's profile


5533 posts in 4930 days

#5 posted 01-17-2011 02:32 AM

1st things 1st…YAY on the shop time…

Lists? yes…sometimes on longer projects…like on my sail boat I find myself making smaller lists for the stages I am on especially since I am going off a book of detailed plans…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View MrDan's profile


209 posts in 4141 days

#6 posted 01-17-2011 02:42 AM

I usually make a procedure list before I start cutting anything, but once I start, I usually find that I overlooked a step here or there and have to add that step back into my list. I use pencil and notebook with lots of space between steps for notes or forgotten steps. Then after the project is completed I save the list so in case I want to make another one in the future, I don’t have to “re-invent the wheel”.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4027 days

#7 posted 01-17-2011 03:09 AM

Right now, the first and only thing on my Project List is “Make a Project List” ;-)

For those who get buy without notes … more power to ‘em !

I’m a big fan of notes. The more I think about a project before I dig in … the smoother the project goes. Odd, huh ?

And … another round of applause for more shop time !

-- -- Neil

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4576 days

#8 posted 01-17-2011 03:21 AM

Task list? I happy enough just to pick up where I left off and who knows maybe I’ll go a different direction than I originally planed.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3695 days

#9 posted 01-17-2011 04:21 AM

The only “step” I have on any project is to put on the coffee and pick out the tunes every day that I go into the shop. After both the coffee pot and the stereo is going, I just go with the flow from there. No lists. No plans. When all the saw dust is cleared, sometimes I’m as surprised as anyone else is.


View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4027 days

#10 posted 01-17-2011 05:49 PM

If I had to guess, I’d guess that newer woodworkers are probably more likely to use lists (or written plans—in effect, the same thing) than seasoned, experienced Jocks.

I could be wrong, of course, but … that would be my guess.

I think it’s probably pretty comparable to cooking—at first, you follow recipes. Then, you learn—over time—what works well, together, and start winging it.

May I live long enough to get to THAT phase :-)

-- -- Neil

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4858 days

#11 posted 01-17-2011 05:53 PM

I make running list of what not to forget when i go to the %$#@^& Home Depot. Lol

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 3541 days

#12 posted 01-17-2011 06:57 PM

My wife says that I need a new memory card as I keep forgetting.
So yes I do plan, list and execute otherwise I’ll forget something that will prevent me to continue what I do unless I go and pick it up. Also always have my laptop with me when I’m working to follow or even make slight changes as I go with my plan.
A good idea will be to have a big writing board in the shop so that you can write down notes and things to do.

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View DebsWorkshop's profile


1 post in 2949 days

#13 posted 08-30-2012 01:14 AM

As a matter of fact I use a task list and a flow chart for bigger projects. The list serves the purpose of allowing me to calculate the amount of lumber needed up front and keeps me on track as I go. I use a flow chart to itemize my tasks for bigger projects. I was taught to do this by a professional cabinetmaker who used these tools in his day to day work. I figured if it was good enough for him, maybe I should adopt it.

-- Deb's Workshop,

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