4 Helpful Frameworks For When You Are Faced With A Blank Screen

Ev Chapman
February 1, 2022
2 min read

Notion, Roam, Obsidian, Craft. What do all these apps have in common?

They all start from a blank page. Which can at once be the most exciting and the most daunting part. They are infinitely customisable and yet if you don't have any pre-conceived frameworks or problems you need to solve it can be hard to know what to do with them.

I remember opening Notion for the first time and wondering why mine didn't work the same as Ali Abdaal's screen. The same when I finally decided to try out Roam and I sat staring at a blinking cursor on a page that only had the date at the top. I immediately closed it down.

Here are 4 of my go-to process frameworks when working with any kind of customisable tool:

To-Do, Doing, Done. A classic agile project framework. This can be helpful for any type of project or task workflow.

Hill Charts. Originally born at basecamp this is a way to visualise the effort of a task or project. Any project starts off as 'uphill' while you figure out how to get it done. Things move more slowly in this phase. Then you finally get to the 'downhill' phase and things move pretty quickly from then on.

Parked > Next Up > In Progress > Done. This is my own framework for visualising the process of consuming & creating content.

Horizons. Anything date based I work on a horizons framework breaking things up into this week, next week, next month, and so on.

Next time you're staring at a blank screen app, use one of these frameworks to start building your process.

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