How To Complete Successful Side Projects | Gemma Curl | Skillshare

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How To Complete Successful Side Projects

teacher avatar Gemma Curl

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. 1 Intro

    • 2. 2 Coming Up With An Idea

    • 3. 3 Project Board Setup

    • 4. 4 Break Down Tasks

    • 5. 5 Project Prioritization

    • 6. 6 Discoveries

    • 7. 7 Project Milestones

    • 8. 8 Recap

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About This Class

This class is about creating a side project and driving it to completion using techniques that will help you with ideation, breaking your project down, prioritizing your work, and deciding when to launch your side project.

Meet Your Teacher

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Gemma Curl


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1. 1 Intro: hello and welcome to how to complete successful side projects. My name is Gemma Curl, and I love working on side projects as a way to pursue new interests and sometimes make additional side money. Outside of my 9 to 5 job, they surface great creative outlets, and over the years I've learned a few tricks that have helped me to stop leaving projects unfinished and drive them to completion. I hope to share some of those tips with you here today. In this course, you will learn how to break down projects, prioritize your work, both momentum, release your projects and deal with surprises. What, working on your side projects? Why should you listen to my advice? Well, I am a mom, wife and creative that loves completing side projects. I worked as a consulting product manager for a living, so my job is to teach large corporations and government agencies how to build successful products. A lot of what I'm going to share with you today is based on things I've learned as a professional product manager but simplified for the purpose of side projects. I've also worked on a variety of side projects in the past, including starting a radio show, building an Amazon fulfillment business, creating a niche site and, most recently, launching a Google voice out The Google Voice App was an extremely rewarding side project that I built for fun. The APP allows you to play hip hop trivia with your friends. And after only one week of creating the APP, it launched and landed in the top 10 on Product Hunt, a site dedicated to showcasing new, interesting products. But enough about me. Let's talk about what we're going to build together in this course. We're going to work together to come up with a side project idea, create a project board to track our work break. I work down into small pieces on our project board to find release markers or project milestones and complete be one of our project. 2. 2 Coming Up With An Idea: All right, let's get started before we can plan on our side project, we need to choose an idea. You already have one in mind. You're free to use that idea throughout this course. If you need help choosing an idea, grab a no cad and four day really pay attention to the details. You see Jack down things that bug you and could be improved brushing up your thoughts by meeting new people are discussing their world. What are their challenges? Take alternate routes home so you can see new things and get new inspiration. As you jot down all these ideas, be kind to yourself and write down everything rather than quickly killing ideas. Your first idea may not be great, but an idea tangential to that one. Maybe share your ideas with others so they can give you feedback. If other people get excited about trade idea and even offered to pay you when it becomes real, that's a great sign. If nobody gets excited about your idea, you might need to keep exploring. That is, unless you're side project. It's just something you really, really want to see in the world. And that's okay, too. You should go for side projects don't have to make money. They just need to be rewarding. If you come up with many ideas and have trouble deciding which one to wear suit, take some time to sleep on it in whichever idea you wake up excited about is the one to pursue. If you don't care about an idea the next day, you won't have enough energy to sustain yourself. Your interest just won't be there about the whole process. If, after a day of taking notes on the details around you, you're still feeling stuck, check out some of these. Resource is product Hunt founder Ryan. Whoever has a great block post about how to come up side projects, which I will link to in the course Resource is Indy. Hackers also has many threads dedicated to coming up with side project ideas and five ideas . A day is a cool sight that will do just that. Give you five ideas a day. Hopefully, these resource is have helped you choose an idea. Now take some time to head to the project section of this course, include the start a project, but there give you a product, a title and write a brief description of your side project idea. This will allow your classmates to give you feedback on your idea for the purpose of this class, my ideas to make a side project tutorial that will teach people how to make successful side projects. Next, we will get started with setting up our project planning tool. 3. 3 Project Board Setup: Let's get started, go to trailer dot com and create an account. We will work together to create a to do in progress and done list to organize our side project. Once you have created a trailer account, you should see a section that shows personal boards. You may not have as many boards, but that's OK. We're going to create one together. Click, create new board and give your board a title. I will come. I will call my board, click create new board and give your board a title. I will call my board side project tutorial. Now we will go ahead and create the three lists I mentioned. Click at a list and type in to do. Then click Save next, type in in progress and click Save again. Lastly, type in done and click save. You can close out the last list because we won't need it. If we scroll to the list, you will see your three lists that you will use to organize your project cards. This is a simple but effective trail early out to manage your side project. If you haven't done so yet, go ahead and create an account and cello. Create your lists and then, well, get ready to start the fun part 4. 4 Break Down Tasks: Let's break our side project down. Think of all of the steps you will need to complete to finish your side project. We were then at all of these steps to trailer for a side project to toil, for example, This click Add a card and the first step might be learning about skill share courses. Click, add and you have your first step. Maybe the next step is creating a project that for our tutorial, we will have to record all of our videos. Maybe we want to add music. What about some credits? It could be helpful to have a video where we're talking in front of the camera and we couldn't see us. Uh, let's see, maybe we want a title card. When we finish our video, we need to upload it to skill share. And I think that's about all that comes to mind. As you go about breaking down your side project, make sure to create really small cards. You want to do this in a way where if you only have a little bit of time, you could pick up a card, knock it out and make some progress on your side project as you work on your cards, go ahead and drag them from to do two in progress and then done. It will feel great to knock things off of your list. Try to only work on one card at a time. That way you can remain focused on getting a task done and progress through your side. Project one step at a time. Go ahead and take some time to break down your side project, then take a screenshot of your board and share it with the rest of the class. 5. 5 Project Prioritization: this prioritize. I work now. We're going to take time to organize our cards based on priority. We want to move the things to the top that are most important to completing our side project. If they're items that aren't necessarily needed to finish a side project but are nice tohave, let's move those to the bottom. We really want to make sure that we can finish our side project because that will help us fill a sense of accomplishment and weaken iterating and improve on it. We don't want to get into a state where we're constantly working on every little thing, trying to get to perfection but not finishing our work. So let's go ahead and take some time to organize thes carts. Maybe we don't need music, for example, that could be dragged to the bottom. Credits also seemed like a nice staff, and a video with ourselves on camera would be hopeful. But maybe it's not needed right away. Title card seem pretty good, and uploading to skill share is definitely critical. Don't worry that your watering down your project, you can definitely go back and do things later on. We're not saying you have to remove the steps. But we do want to ensure that you have prioritised the most important things first so that you can start to get your project into a good state. Not seeing progress is one of the main reasons that people tend to stop working on this side project. So we want to have small little tasks organized in a way that starts to show value to you and other people who may want to enjoy your side project so that you can get some momentum going and drive your project to completion. So go ahead and prioritize your cards yourself. Sort them based on how important they are to your project Success. Hold off on the fluff until later and take another screen shut of the state of your project board. Share it with the class. 6. 6 Discoveries: discoveries will occur. Embrace the new information. Once you have your prioritized cards, you want to begin your work, pick up the card at the top of the list and drag it in progress. Then begin working on the task. As you are working on the task, you may discover new information that causes you to want to do other things. That's okay. Go ahead and add a new card based on the information you learned. For example, we're learning about skill share courses. Maybe you realize there is actually a tutorial you can take to help you learn more about creating an effective skill share course. So go ahead and type in. Take skill share, tutorial and click add, but don't start working on this right away. Remember, we want to optimize around, getting tasks done in remaining focused. So continue to complete this card before picking up any new ones. When you add the new one, you also want to make sure that you prioritise it appropriately. Since this sounds like it could be pretty helpful towards completing our side project course this drug it to the top. Once we finish our current research, we will pick up the new Clark and take the skill share tutorial. As we begin the tutorial. Maybe we'll learn other things. For example, we could realise Oh is hopeful to edit the audio. And maybe we learn that adding a video with ourselves on camera is known as talking head. So we add that we might also realize that their projects we can complete to guide us throughout skill share course creation. So we can add that now that we have several new tasks, let's go ahead and prioritize them. Editing the audio seems pretty important. So let's do that before we upload our video to skill share. And if creating skill share projects helps us to understand how to create in effect. Of course, we should probably do that pretty early as well. One thing you'll notice as you look at this board is I only have one task in progress. Remember, it's important to work on one task at a time so that you can remain focused on getting things done. Having too many tasks in progress causes you to contact shift and could prevent you from getting tasks done. All right, go ahead and take some time to begin working on your tasks. If you learn new information, add new cards to your board. As you start to make some progress, take a screenshot and share what you have with the rest of the class. 7. 7 Project Milestones: Let's create some project milestones, all right, So as we think about when our side project is ready for releasing to the public, let's try to think of a small set of features that we can go ahead put together on. Put out in the world that will allow us to collect feedback fast, learn from it in an injury on our project. This is especially important when building a product. The Lean Startup by Erik Reece, talks about build, measure and learn. You want to build something that's useful, measure the results by sharing it with the world and then learning from the feedback that you get. That way, you can jittery and build upon what you already have without building a huge, bloated product that may have a lot of features that people don't care about. I think this mentality is also useful for side projects. Think about this steps that are most important to complete. Get those done, and when you have something useful, go ahead and put it out there. See what people think about it. Take their feedback, learn from it and an injury. You can always have multiple project milestones. You don't need tohave one point in time where you finished and you're done if it's something that you really care about, so let's go ahead and add some project milestones to our side. Project tutorial Type in milestone Click. Add. And then, if you click the pencil icon and then go to edit labels, you can go ahead and give this milestone label a color, so that stains out. Then click. See? All right, Maybe our first milestone is after we upload our video to skill share. If we've completed all of the tasks above, we have something useful that we can share with other people to get feedback. Sure, it's not polished, but we don't want to have a polished video that isn't useful. So go ahead, upload the unpolished feet video, get some feedback and learn from that feedback to make your video better or, in your case, to make your side project better. Another milestone could be after we add the talking head video, for example, so let's go ahead. Add that blue label again and cook safe. All right, depending on how long your list is, you could have way more milestones, and that's great. Release your project quickly get feedback doing multiple times. All right, Take some time to do this yourself. Go through your side Project board and add milestones at points where you think you have something useful that you could share with others. When you finished, take a screen shot and uploaded to the project class. That way you can go ahead and get some feedback from other people on your mouth. Stones, check out the book. The Lean Startup. If you're interested in learning more about build, measure, learn. There are other great principles about effective product development in this book, so I strongly recommend it. 8. 8 Recap: Let's do a quick recap. Hopefully, at this point you've come up with a side project idea broken down your project into manageable tasks prioritized your tasks. I started working and as you learn new information, created new tasks while not putting your current tasks on the back burner created early frequent milestones and have started to get into a good rhythm. Once you reach your first milestone, go ahead and share your project with the class at a screenshot. A brief right up a photo, something to show what you've been working on. We're excited to see what you've created. Thanks for checking out my side project course. This was my first skill share course and I hope to reiterate on it based on your feedback. So definitely feel free to give me comments and reach out to me. I would love to hear how things are going for you as you work outside projects in the future. Have a great day