Use Three-act Planning The best practices understand the necessity of planning in three acts: the past, present, and future. Great businesses have cleaned up the past, have a system to reliably handle the present, and are freed to focus on the future. The future must include a clear, compelling vision that pulls the team forward. An action plan that breaks the future vision into meaningful projects is necessary. Great businesses know that neither activity can occur if a system does not exist to handle the present inflow of E-mails, calls, papers, conversations, letters, tasks, projects, and notes, which create more piles for the past and interrupt the achievement of the future. You need a simple process, like the one outlined in Getting Things Done by David Allen. It works with whatever technology you currently use: a paper planner, Outlook, Lotus Notes, Act, Maximizer, Palm, or a Blackberry. It gives a business flexibility and control by having a business-wide procedure for dealing with the present and processing tasks completely.