• Michael Weinstock

The Career canvas (2 - Planner or Doer)

Updated: Jan 17, 2020

The next thing we're going to look at is whether you would say that you are more of what could be a Planner, or more of what could be called a Doer.


A Planner, to me, is someone who tends to have an organised mind. It's someone who pretty much always likes to do some planning before they launch into work or start on a project. A Planner often tries to define the scope of a project before getting started on it, and will then try to cut the project up into manageable chunks and make a plan for when what part is supposed to be finished. An experienced Planner is often someone who is knowledgeable about project management methods, such as Gantt-charts, Waterfall, Agile, Kanban, or Scrum. Often, it is someone who likes using project management, task management, planning tools or time-management tools, such as Asana, Trello, or Jira.

Theoretically speaking, a Planner will often be seen as someone who is good at thinking long term, and is skilled at creating structure, keeping order and making sure that things happen according to plan. It is someone who is more likely to work with administrative tasks and reporting. In my personal experience, someone who focus exclusively on becoming a good Planner will be very efficient when they get to be in control, but will have a harder time thinking ´outside the box´ and handling creative chaos.


A Doer, conversely, is to me someone who tends to have a very creative and curious mind. It's someone who pretty much always loves to launch straight into a project so as to get their creative juices flowing. A Doer is someone who loves to do stuff, to try stuff out, and to experiment again and again until they are able to show results. An experienced Doer is often someone who loves to use creative methodologies such as UX-design, UI-design, Service Design, Design Thinking, or Coding. They often love using Creative tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, or CAD, since it helps them to have a high work-output and get more stuff done.

Theoretically speaking, a Doer will often be seen as someone who is good at quickly delivering high-quality content, and is skilled at ideation, prototyping, and wireframing; that enable them to create Proof of Concepts (PoC), Minimum Viable Products (MvP) or finished products and services. In my experience, someone who focuses on becoming a good Doer will come up with some of their best ideas when faced with creative chaos or open instructions, but will feel stifled when faced with too many rules or too much administrative red tape.

Take a few minutes to think it over, and then write down which of these two types you feel is more descriptive of you. For example, you can simply write "Planner" to show that you have made a decision. When you have decided, add a few sentences to motivate why your answer suits you. The more you can motivate and internalise your decision, the better you will be at pitching or defending your decision in a job interview setting later on. Remember that you've written down now, you can change later, on a new post-it or on a new canvas print-out.

Example texts:

“I always spend some time planning my work and my projects, often using planning tools and dividing the project into smaller parts.“

"I happen to be a highly organised individual. I tend to like to lay things out according to a system so that they are easy to overview. I also prefer to get started on things only when I know entirely what they will entail. That's why I think choosing to promote myself as a ´Planner´ suits me much better than promoting myself as a ´Doer´."

“I like to launch straight into a project and explore the creative options, like make some quick prototypes or make a list of features that I'd instinctively feel like I would want to include in the product. When inspiration strikes I know that I should quickly jot the ideas down on paper while I still remember them. It's often that the first ideas are the most intuitive, even though hundreds of ideas might get vetted in the course of an innovative project."
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