BB Skills Course: Module 0
It’s a good thing my experience with their Facebook group was so positive, because my first lesson in Bucketlist Bombshells’ Design Skills course was plagued with technical difficulties. I think I hate Asana now, and I’ve definitely learned what not to do when including PDF worksheet downloads on my site!
Module 0 (from what I can tell, it’s identical for both the Design and Tech Skills courses) at least had good, thought-provoking content. It was all about setting goals for the course and your future business. The first video lesson had a worksheet to download and fill out as you followed along. And that is where my troubles began.
This PDF Wasn’t Made For Editing
The ideal practice might have been to print it out and handwrite all your brainstorming. But as much as I love putting pen to paper, my printer is still packed away after my move, and I frankly wasn’t keen to waste ink, especially if future lessons had worksheets as well. Best to just download and save in a folder I created especially for the course. I opened it from the downloads bar in Chrome and started typing merrily away.
I had filled out the first page and was about to head to bed to continue thinking of ideas for the next section, when I had a realization – what if this was one of those awful unable-to-save fillable forms? I hit save, left the form open in Chrome, and tried opening it again in Reader. None of my changes showed up. I made a copy and played around a bit until realized I could edit and the changes would save in Reader. But what about my already-started Chrome version? I went to copy and paste my responses into the Reader copy, only to find out I couldn’t copy from the PDF! After Googling around for alternate keyboard shortcuts, I figured out I could print the Chrome version to PDF, open the printed version in Reader, and copy/paste between the two versions from there. And Reader is not multi-document friendly.
I did some research and it does look like you can save PDFs correctly in Chrome if the PDF is uploaded with the correct permissions. If it’s a read-only copy, expect the same fiery torture above. As a comparison, Skillcrush used Google Docs for their worksheets – you would click the link, and it would invite you to save a copy to your Google Drive. You had to remove the “Copy of” in the filename every single time (which was super annoying), but other than that, it worked very smoothly.
Next snag was realizing all my brainstormed goals now needed to be distributed among 4 time periods – which meant a LOT of copying and pasting (which at least actually worked in Reader). I’d made about 30 goals over 4 different types, and had to scroll over 4 PDF pages, redistributing them over the 4 time periods – on a laptop that isn’t so great with the scrolling.
Then it was onto assigning monthly focuses – which didn’t line up well with either of the two previous sorts and the type of goals I had set. The action step breakdown was more than I wanted to do at the moment, and seemed designed for printing multiple copies instead of filling out on the computer. So I moved on to the second video lesson.
Asana Don’t Wanna
Shay provided a quick run-through of how to set up lists and boards in Asana, and had you put your lesson tasks in a list and your goals in a board and set due dates. Simple, right? Try mindnumbingly dull and repetitive. With more snags.
First, I accidentally set up an organization instead of a workspace since I put in my business email in addition to my personal one. I had already created my projects when I realized this, and while it didn’t take too long to figure out how to add a workspace, apparently there is no easy way to copy or move a project from one to the other.
Second, I had to copy each individual goal into a separate board task from the PDF. So the 30 goals I had already copied once, I had to copy again one by one. Only later on did I realize I could have just copied them all into a list and it wouldd have separated them out for me, then I could have selected all and dragged them to the board, though I would have still had to divvy them up into the 4 time periods.
Third, while I did find site that would help me transfer a project from organization to workspace, it changed my board into a list while doing so. So then I had to divvy up the goals for the THIRD freaking time.
And I don’t even want to think about trying to go through every module and list out the tasks ahead of time and assign due dates. That doesn’t even make any sense. How am I supposed to know how long these will take me at the beginning of the course?
I’m hoping the other modules will be an improvement over this one. As it is, this is a very bad first impression for the courses.
My suggestions to Cassie and Shay for improving Module 0:
1. Provide better options for saving and editing the worksheets, or at least clearly explain how to open the download in a way where people’s information won’t get lost. I can’t imagine being someone who had filled it out completely, hit save, and then opened it later to realize nothing’s there.
2. Instead of forcing your students to go through every module in the course and manually add the tasks to Asana – why not provide a list they can copy and paste right into their workspace? They can then customize, break down tasks into action items, and add deadlines as much as they need to. It would show Asana’s strengths and eliminate meaningless busywork.
3. Speaking of Asana’s strengths – one of them seems to be dragging and dropping tasks at will. So why not have students take advantage of that by having them brainstorm and categorize goals right in Asana from the start? It would eliminate all the back and forth in the unwieldy PDF and having to copy everything over to Asana later on.
4. I still feel very lost working with Asana, and since I don’t know what all I’ll be doing with it in the course, I don’t know what type of Asana tutorial I should follow. I understand that this course isn’t all about Asana, but what about linking to a good free online tutorial that covers everything students will need for the course?
I’ll update this post if I hear any changes are made to improve the module!