I want you to use words and numbers written down somewhere to keep track of your plan, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there unless you have it written into a text. It is there if you know it and if your team knows it.

Don’t get freaked out by the text, or the writing. It’s just for you, and probably your team members, to track your progress. Just type snippets. Stream of consciousness is fine. Pictures, photos, or charts are fine, too. Some of my favorite plans use illustrations or pictures to represent the key concepts for the heart of the plan; they can be as simple as a single slide.

Sometimes it’s as simple as a mantra. Fine dining in Eugene, Oregon. Fresh organic Korean food in lower Manhattan. Your weekend cottage in Cape Cod. Healthy fast foods.

You might be writing bullet points. Whether short text or picture or completely written out discussions, you want to keep track of your plan so you can track or your plan so you can review and revise it and, of course, communicate between different people. But until you need to present it as a document to be read by others, don’t make extra work. Keep it simple.

I do recommend keeping it on a computer, making it accessible to the few key team members who must be able to refer to it, but do only what you need.

Don’t ever get caught worrying about the actual writing. Just type snippets. Steam of consciousness is fine. Pictures or photos or charts are fine.

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.