George, Chief Operations Manager at MEI Group, one of the largest excavation and heavy civil contractors in the Portland area, told Session 7 of the Leadership Development Lab (LDL):

“I was doing my weekly LDL reading from Making Moments Matter, Chapter 8 ‘Be Wise-Systemize’ and recognized that the planning system I use works well for me to be systemized with my to-do lists, daily planning, and forward planning. I also know that like me, many of my team members have struggled to find a good functional planning tool and that many are unaware of a tool already on their computer as part of Microsoft’s standard Office applications.

The tool itself is largely a blank canvas and intuitive to navigate for creating a to-do list and re-prioritizing things daily, without the time-consuming work of re-writing a paper to-do list. Since switching to this tool two or three years ago from the paper planning system I used for years, I’ve saved countless hours in writing down and re-prioritizing my tasks as new priorities come up. Especially as a construction manager where much of my list is tracking and following up on what others are doing, it really helps me keep track of what others on my team are doing as well.

“Recognizing that basic awareness of this tool might be the biggest barrier to others finding these benefits, I wanted to share with our team the simple steps to find and give the application a try. Getting started is very easy on most personal computers.

  • Step One – Find the “Windows” icon on your computer and click on it.
  • Step Two: Scroll through the various programs and applications on your computer and click on OneNote.
  • Step Three:  Create a Notebook.

“From there you can just explore around a notebook and quickly figure out how to create a basic to-do list. Tutorials and help features can also help a user learn how to share to-do list with colleagues, connect their planning tool with their e-mail platforms, and use several markup/ highlighting tools to implement many of the practices outlined so you can ‘Be Wise and Systemized.’

“The lesson I learned teaching this application to my team is sometimes we take it for granted everyone on our team knows about all the tools at their disposal.

“The action I call you to take is to find a tool you use well, and think may be underutilized by your team and teach them how to use it at your next team meeting.

“The benefit you’ll gain is increased enthusiasm from your team as they see new ways to achieve better results in more effective and efficient ways.”

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