Project Pads

There’s a truism that seems counter-intuitive that states “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” ‘Wouldn’t you want to instead give it to the person with more time on their hands?’ you might ask.

It’s not because they’re circus freaks who enjoy performing the octopus juggle. It’s simply that they’re the sort willing to put themselves out and go the extra mile. Because they are busy, it’s likely they’ll appreciate the value of time- both theirs and others- and not want to waste it.

Keeping track of multiple tasks is a tricky business and it’s much easier to keep notes of what stage you’re at in any given stage of a project than try and keep all that information in your head. I’ve started used project pads to keep track of various projects I have going on and it’s so much easier keeping each train of thought separate and distinct, rather than a pad with notes that jumps between different things.

Project pads are simply pocket sized notebooks with only a dozen or so pages, designed to be used for just one project at a time. It could be an Explorer tracking the progress of their Chief Scout/DoE Skill, a Beaver using it for notes and pictures for their Animal Friend badge or a Cub making into a comic book for their Artists badge! As a leader I’m using them for planning our big summer camp in Wales, the unit sub book, and planning our web and social media posts.


As they’re easy to make, they also make a useful and creative pack night.

You will need:

  •                 Some spare thin card, cut into A5 size (half an a4 page)
  •                 4 sheets of A4 paper, cut into 8 A5 sheets (or if you have a5 available use that!)
  •                 Stapler
  •                 Pens or markers to decorate

To make a project pad:

  •          Fold the card in half to make an a6 sized booklet.
  •          Decorate the cover of the book with whatever takes your fancy
    • If you’re keeping track of multiple projects why not colour code with different colour covers?
  •          Fold the pages in half
    •    Use a ruler or hard edge to make the crease crisp.
  •          Slide inside the cover and staple the centre.
    •    If a long stapler isn’t available, use some blu-tack and a drawing pin to punch two holes near the top and two near the bottom and thread cotton through 6-8 times and knot to stitch together.

Why not experiment with printing pages first- You could try Stanzas for musical projects or why not print some line drawing pictures and make colouring books for younger ones?

Give them a go and tweet me @ScoutManDan to let me know how they turned out!

Dan is a Scouter in Sheffield and the very proud leader of Norfolk District Explorers. When not running the Explorers, he also runs the group website, is the Assistant GSL, County Brand Adviser, Exec Member and Young Leader Co-Ordinator. Somewhere in the middle of all that he finds time for a full time job, wife and daughter. Dan and Becki met through Scouting together and she is more understanding than most about the adventures and mud!

Posted in Programme Idea

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