Is Managing Small Projects Right For You?

What this course is. The aim of this course is to help you manage your everyday small projects by combining tools you already have (Outlook and OneNote) and can get for free (Mind mind-mapping) into a single and practical easy-to-use system to plan, communicate, track progress with one or more projects.  You can also collaborate with team members if needed.  The format is online, on-demand self-study with support at the level you select.

What this course is not. It is not a formal course in basic or advanced project management. There is nothing about MS Project, GANTT or PERT Charts, Asana, Slack,, Trello or other apps.  This does not compete with Pince2. You will not be part of a group. There are no course dates.  You can put it on your CV, but this is not an academic qualification.  It’s a practical set of tools to give yourself a better chance of having even more successful projects. and make your everyday life easier.

Use it just for you, or let’s create a facilitated programme  with live workshops for your team or groups in your organisation.  This can be intact work teams or groups like Personal Assistants, Supervisors, Team Leaders…  It can also form part of your onboarding/induction programme – ‘This is how we manage our small projects.’

Questions?  Email Gerrit Cloete for answers.

PS: VAT not included.




On-demand self-study with in-lesson support. 24/7 access for 6 months.


Get Essentials for R957


Essentials PLUS ADDITIONAL SUPPORT : email, phone, WhatsApp, weekly Productivity Pit Stop Open Forum, and two private consultations of 30 minutes each.

Get Advanced for R1997

For your team or groups in your company

Click the button below to send me an email and I will be in touch to set up an initial online conversation.

Email Gerrit
Not sure which option is best for you? Click to email Gerrit and discuss your needs.

Biggest challenges in managing small projects

In our surveys, people tell us all the time that these are some of their major challenges when managing their projects.

  • Keeping track of multiple projects
  • Information is “all over the show” in multiple locations
  • Using multiple systems
  • Poor planning
  • Prioritising
  • Time management
  • Communication.

Maybe you experience these same issues in the projects you manage?

But what exactly is a “small project”? 

Productivity guru David Allen defines a project as, “anything that takes more than one step to complete.”

It can include anything from putting a man on the moon to having a holiday.

We are focused on helping you to successfully manage your small projects.

I am willing to take a bet that you have many more small projects on your plate that you are aware of.  Just make a list of anything you want to get done and will require more than one step.  

Anything in your job that fits this definition is a project. And things like having a successful birthday party. Or a holiday. Or to get an academic qualification. Or becoming a competent speaker. Or your department’s team-building weekend. Or designing a new course. Or buy a new house or car. Or changing your career.

These are all projects that require you to think, plan, communicate, track and complete it.

That’s what this course is about

You will learn how to use MS Outlook, MS OneNote, and the mind mapping software XMind to successfully manage your small-scale projects. 

In this course you will leverage two pieces of software you already have, MS Outlook and OneNote.  You will combine this XMind, one of the most popular mind mapping programmes.

What this course is NOT:

  1. A formal “Basic Project Management” or “Advanced Project Management” Course.
  2. Training in how to use MS Projects.
  3. Training in how to use Asana,, Trello, Slack, MS Teams or any similar tools or combination of tools.
  4. About using advanced software to help you schedule complex projects using GANTT or PERT charts, with resource levelling.
  5. For managing large projects like putting a human on Mars.
  6. A certificated qualification.
  7. A course with live interactive online workshops for groups. In the Advanced option you can interact directly and individually with the course creators. Your organisation may want to arrange a private group for this course and we then have live online workshops.

A single system to manage your small projects

In this course you will leverage two pieces of software you already have, MS Outlook and OneNote.  You will combine this XMind (free download), one of the most popular mind mapping programmes.

MS Outlook

“Tasks” is one of the most under-utilized modules in Outlook.

After this course you will be able to use it expertly to keep information for your projects in one place.


You will be able to have one view with all your projects and then dip into the one you want to work on.


You can even track projects through their phases, e.g. concept, design, stage, finishing, completed.

XMind Mind Mapping

XMind is a full-featured mind mapping and brainstorming app. It helps you think creatively with free-flowing thoughts.


With its unique “markers” it makes it easy to see who is responsible for what and also the status of every activity.


Should you choose to get the paid version of Xmind, you can create Gantt charts, presentations and Word documents directly from your mind map.


Get organized in project notebooks you can divide into sections and pages. With easy navigation and search, you’ll always find your notes right where you left them.

With OneNote across all your devices, you’ll never miss a flash of inspiration.
Share your project notebook and collaborate in OneNote.
We recommend the use of OneNote (part of Office 2019 and Microsoft 365) rather than OneNote for Windows 10.  Read more about the two versions.

Course Content
(Click the dropdown to see details)

  • What is a project?
  • Return On Effort (ROE) – is it worth doing my project?
  • How a pre-mortem can prevent you from embarking on a project that is doomed to fail.
  • Project brainstorming trigger list (From David Allen’s best seller Getting Things Done.
  • Practical topics from our series of micro webinars.
    • 9 Steps to successful project planning
    • Stop poor communication from sinking your next project
    • Finish what you start
    • Defeating 8 demons of distraction
    • How to prioritise when things keep changing all the time.
    • Get more from your online meetings
    • Stop poor communication from sinking your next project
    • Time-saving tips, tricks and techniques for Outlook and Windows 10
    • Can the best be the enemy of the good?
    • Projects slipping into chaos? Prevention is better than cure…
  • Tasks – the basics: project description, timing, priority, reminders, notes
  • Using categories to focus on specific phases of a project
  • Save time by using Quick Parts
  • Use a consistent format for managing project information
  • Keep all project information in one Task – documents, contacts, email, everything
  • Syncing Tasks with OneNote
  • Templates
  • Topics, sub-topics. sub-sub topics, …
  • Using markers:
    • Prioritise
    • Assign actions to people/groups
    • Track progress
    • Flag for attention
  • Link to other mind maps for sub-projects
  • Hyperlink to websites, documents
  • Make notes about any topic
  • Group topics together
  • Use fonts and colours for emphasis
  • OneNote is on all your devices – never be out of touch with your projects
  • Setting up a notebook for each project
  • Create sections with pages and sub-pages
  • Sharing project notebooks with your team
  • Easy collaboration – see who said what
  • Record audio and video 
  • Print PDF and otehr documents to OneNote.
  • Using tags to find info (by person or category) in one project or across multiple projects
  • Use templates:
    • Project overview
    • Prioritised ToDo list
    • Simple ToDo list
    • Checklists
    • and more…
  • Synching with Outlook Tasks
  • Clip relevant web pages directly to your project
  • Annotate pages
Not sure which option is best for you? Click to email Gerrit and discuss your needs.

Service Level and Payment Options

Get the course just for you


Essentials (R957 per person): Buy the course and complete it in an on-demand self-study way.  You can ask questions from a specific lesson and we respond within one business day. You have 24/7 access to the course for 6 months (can be extended on request).

Advanced: Essentials plus support (R1 997 per person): As for Essentials plus:

  • Complete your course in an on-demand self-study way. 
  • You can ask questions from a specific lesson and we respond within one business day.
  • You have 24/7 access to the course for 6 months (can be extended on request).
  • Direct access to us by phone, WhatsApp, and email. 
  • Join the weekly Productivity Pit Stop Open Forum, open to all clients.  It’s a Q&A format plus 10-minute educational slot based on the theme of the month. Get your question answered and leave, or stay to learn from others. Does not expire.
  • You also have TWO 30-minute private consultations available to make sure you are on track (our standard consulting rate is R2 000 per hour).

If you require an invoice prior to making payment, click here, and let us know which option you prefer.

Or you can go ahead and enroll with your bank card. instant EFT or PayPal.

Get Essentials (R957) Get Advanced (R1 997)

Get your team on the same page

(Fee negotiable).

Everything in Advanced with the added value of a live online facilitator-led workshop for implementing this system of small-scale project management. To make sure everyone is on the same page, we all work on the same project you suggest.

After the workshop the team then works on the shared project, practice collaboration, and we meet for a follow-up workshop two weeks later.  All questions and challenges are resolved.

We are happy to do a second follow-up session after four weeks.


This is also a great way to get the team on the same page.  You may even want to do the facilitation yourself.

For this option, in the left column, click on the service you prefer and select the number of licenses you wish to purchase.

Send Gerrit an email
Not sure which option is best for you? Click to email Gerrit and discuss your needs.


No. This course is exclusively designed for PC users. Even if you use “Outlook for Mac”, this will not be of value to you.

The video clips have been shot in Outlook 365. Although the user interface might be different in your version of Outlook, the same tips, tricks and techniques still apply. And if you get stuck, help is just a click away.

We have created a special segment in our Online School of Productivity platform.  You can watch the videos on any of your devices, 24/7.  We will email you your login link within 18 hours of receiving confirmation of your payment.   You have access to the course for 6 months, and longer on request.

Yes, for the Essentials option you can contact us directly from a lesson.

For the Advanced option you have direct access to our phones, WhatsApp, calendars and Inboxes – and the weekly Productivity Pit Stop Open Forum.

. Happy to help!

About Your Course Leaders, Duncan Hattingh and Gerrit Cloete

Duncan is the co-founder of the Online School of Productivity, and the lead facilitator and content creator at Productivity Pit Stop.

“I am a hard-working lazy person and I’m on a constant search to do things more effectively and efficiently. To achieve optimal productivity with minimal effort. Once I have found something that saves me time, effort, and stress, I love sharing it with the rest of the world.”

Gerrit Cloete is the founder of Productivity Pit Stop. 

“My job is to make your life easier. There is no sweeter sound than hearing a “Wow!” when that happens!”