Wicked Plan Reviewer's Guide
We appreciate your interest in Wicked Plan, the deepest and most powerful collaborative planning app. This guide will identify the key parts of the app and point out special features that are certain to be of interest to users. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Wicked Plan is available through the iOS App Store.
This page describes the rationale behind Wicked Plan's features. The page linked below describes how to use key features.
- Determining what's being planned
- Working with documents
- Working with the outline
- Working with columns
- Viewing the plan as a canvas
- Working with views and the table of contents
- Sharing the plan and working collaboratively
- Adding components to the plan effortlessly
The Benefits of Wicked Buckets
The goal of planning is to know where you're headed and the steps you're taking to get there. Collaborative planning changes "you" to "we," so that we know the steps we are taking. Wicked Plan can be used equally well as an individual or with a group. It provides you (and your team) a place to gather, organize, and use all the elements of your plan so that everyone knows where you are going and how you intend to get there.
Collaborative Planning Uses
If you think of a time you worked with another person on something that was going to happen in the future, collaborative planning was likely involved. Here's a scenario pulled from real life:
Three friends are starting a business and need to plan all elements of the business. Instead of fragmenting the plan, with each person working separately on different parts, or having one person work on it all in isolation, Wicked Plan lets all three collaborate on all parts of the plan live and simultaneously, whether they're in the same room or half a world away.
One can be working on the business's UVP while another is fleshing out the management team's credentials and the third is developing the go-to-market details. Each can interact live with the others to ensure the whole plan, represented and stored in a single Wicked Plan document, is complete and cohesive.
The three friends – and now business partners – are building the business together and use Wicked Plan to give them one place for the entirety of their plan where they can develop it and evolve it collaboratively as a team.
Separately, a small business is launching a new product. The launch plan includes activities for the product team, marketing team, and sales team. Instead of planning their parts separately, they work collaboratively, with the Wicked Plan capturing all the planning actions for the departments and allowing the launch team to work on it separately as a whole.
By working on the plan collaboratively, each team member can make changes that are automatically seen by the others, and will automatically see changes made by the others. This is not like emailing a document back and forth and hoping to not miss something important; this is collaboration with live updating as users are working on the plan, and while they are working at any time and from any location.
What's being planned?
Wicked Plan adapts to the things that you're planning, and the key to that is being specific. Instead of just planning a "product launch," plan "the launch of our new product line and the roles of product, marketing, and sales in creating a successful launch." Instead of "business plan," something like "all the factors and elements of product, customer, competitors, management team, finance, and marketing we need to consider as we build our new business."
The point is to have a specific plan goal defined as you start a new document. What things can be planned with Wicked Plan? There are no restrictions. In general, if it has elements of who, what, where, when, why, and how something is going to happen, it's a good candidate. And now in iOS 11, if that thing also involves other people collaborating on the plan, it's an even better candidate, because Wicked Plan is all about collaborative planning.
Working with documents
Wicked Plan uses the iOS 11 document browser, which works just like the Files app. From it, the user can open documents, create new documents, rename them, delete them, share them, and more, and all in a familiar interface.
Working with the outline
Wicked Plan is built around the most powerful and data-rich outliner available. It includes all the standard features for adding rows at any level, expanding and collapsing, dragging, promoting and demoting, and then adds a ton of unique extras. Rows can be marked by limitless symbols. The row numbering system has infinite flexibility. The user can limit their focus to just a particular portion of the outline. Rows can be dragged to other apps. Rows can have limitless attached data, including other text, dates, and numbers. Taken all together, it means that the Wicked Plan outline is able to represent just about any planning situation.
Working with columns
The most effective plans are usually supported by good detail. Wicked Plan supports this detail by matching columns to the outline for limitless flexibility to represent any planning requirements. Technically, they can be thought of as fields in a hierarchical database.
A new document starts with three columns, and users can add whatever columns they need. Columns can be added, rearranged, deleted, shown, hidden, resized, and modified to accommodate different data types (text, images, dates, numbers, lists). One of the most powerful but understated features is being able to show the data from the columns in the outline and canvas, which are views that don't otherwise show the columns. It's an extremely powerful way to display a plan's detail wherever it's needed.
Since you don't want to show or hide, drag to rearrange, or resize a column every time you look at a different aspect of the plan, Wicked Plan lets you save different arrangements of columns into views in the table of contents.
Viewing the plan as a canvas
A plan can be viewed as an outline, a table, or a canvas. A canvas is a diagram that repackages all the rows and select data from columns in a more visual layout. A canvas can show a popular diagram such as a SWOT analysis or a Business Model Canvas™. It can display charts such as a bullseye chart or a scatter plot. And it can display an arbitrary layout that shows the elements of the plan in unique ways.
The magic of a canvas is that it's the very same data, but just drawn in a different way. It's not a copy of the data that has to be kept synchronized. In this way it's more efficient than other types of app. For example, you can create a SWOT analysis (or any other canvas) as an outline, and then the canvas is just a tap away. You can go back and forth and edit at will, add new rows, drag and drop into the outline or canvas, and the data in the canvas will always match the data in the outline, because it's the very same data just displayed in two different ways.
Working with views and the table of contents
With all the varied looks of a Wicked Plan, it would drive users crazy to have to adjust every setting each time they wanted to look at the plan in a different way. The table of contents saves a particular arrangement of rows, columns, colors, views, symbols, and more so that the user can reenact all of them instantly and automatically with a single tap. Saving useful table of contents entries is the key to building an effective document.
Sharing the plan and working collaboratively
An effective plan will likely include other people and other apps. Wicked Plan works with both. One of its slickest features is using data that originated in its companion apps, Wicked Brainstorm and Wicked Buckets. Users can use Wicked Brainstorm for an amazingly efficient group brainstorming session and then either share or drag and drop the results into Wicked Plan. Similarly, a plan can start in Wicked Buckets and then share or drag and drop into Wicked Plan. The same applies to sharing data with other apps like Notes, Pages, and Numbers.
Even more significant is sharing a plan with other people, and particularly with the others on the same team. With version 2.0 and its support of iOS 11, Wicked Plan adds the ability for a user to share a document with other people, and each can view and edit the document and see live updates of changes made by the others. Wicked Plan takes it a step further by allowing any user to display who changed what data most recently and in a time span ranging from today to this month to this year.
Adding components to the plan effortlessly
With so many attributes comprising a plan – a collection of rows, columns, colors, views, symbols, and more – adding new elements to a plan could be tiresome. To avoid this, Wicked Plan is shipped with dozens of pre-configured components (called "Wizards") that let a user add to their plan with a tap. So instead of a SWOT analysis taking fifteen minutes for an expert to create, it's added in a few seconds, complete with the outline and canvas.
Wizards are available for basic lists and outlines, for business plan components, for projects, for publishing, and much more.
Wicked Plan makes it easy to construct a whole plan from parts. Using a business plan as an example, a user – or even better, the team of business founders – can start in pieces by adding descriptions of the problem and it's solution, and then the target market and competitors. In time they can add the UVP, management team summary, sources and uses of funds, financials, the go-to-market intentions, and their exit strategy.
Or a group of volunteers for a non-profit can collaborate on a fund raiser using Wicked Plan. They can include the coordination of volunteers, assignment of responsibilities, schedule for event setup and tear down, and all other aspects of the event.
Each plan will involve the same steps using Wicked Plan:
- Using traditional outlining techniques, create the rows for the things being planned
- Add, delete, indent, and drag to rearrange rows as necessary
- Pick colors and outline symbols and indentation as appropriate
- Add columns that will hold the important details for each row, such as budget, due date, etc
- Switch to the canvas view for situations when a visual display is more relevant than a table or outline, such as for a SWOT analysis in a marketing plan or a Business Model Canvas™ for a business plan
- Look through the Wizards to find any pre-configured components relevant for your plan
- Create a particular arrangement of rows and columns, and save it to the table of contents
- Create another arrangement of rows and columns, and also save it to the table of contents
- Collaborate with other people via Wicked Plan and iOS 11's Share->Add People options
The result is the whole team working on the whole plan from wherever they are located and whenever they choose to contribute. It's the combination of the powerful outliner with columns with views with table of contents that lets people use Wicked Plan for an extraordinary array of planning activities. Unique features like Wicked Plan's canvas, outline notes, and self-configuring time charts add unmatched power. The interaction of Wicked Plan and iOS 11 provide users the opportunity to collaborate on their important plans as never before.