top of page

Get the FREE Wiring Diagram!

Join The Van Conversion newsletter 🚐

Welcome to the newsletter! Awesome content incoming...

diagrams copy_edited.png

Project Management for Van Conversions

It is estimated that 9.9% of every dollar is wasted during a project’s life cycle. Furthermore, workers spend over a third (36%) of their day looking for the information they require. Good project management is going to be absolutely key to your successful van conversion. It will save you time, money, and help you make fewer mistakes. And yet, I seem to be the only one talking about it in the campervan community! Indeed I have a whole video on it in The Van Conversion Course. Project management should not be an afterthought, but rather something to nail down as soon as you have chosen a van for conversion. In this article, I will show you how to increase your productivity while reducing stress, making your van conversion more cost effective, and potentially shaving months off the build time!

I'm Shane, I've been teaching people to convert campervans for many years, I'm the van conversion instructor at Udemy, author of The Van Conversion Newsletter, and the proud owner of a beautiful self-build campervan called Beans. So, let's jump in and have a look at how you can more effectively and efficiently use project management for your van conversion!

Project management for van conversions



Note: Did you know that you can get a free electrical wiring diagram by signing up to The Van Conversion Newsletter 🙂


​ Apps to Download Before You Begin

The only app you need which will do everything that we talk about in this article is the note-taking / productivity app Notion. It's completely free and is available on desktop and mobile. You can check out this introductory series if you haven't used the tool before. Using Notion you will be able to create a supplies list, make a build timeline, create kanban boards, file away useful information, and even create daily todo lists. It's the all-in-one workspace and I would highly recommend it. ​ If you don't fancy Notion for whatever reason, you can always use a combination of other tools, though you may find you will have to use several apps rather than just one. For instance, you could use Evernote for filing your information, Trello for creating your kanban board, and Todoist for your daily todo list. Whatever tools you choose to use doesn't matter too much - what matters is that you are following a system and process which will massively improve your efficiency and effectiveness.

Setting up Notion

If you just want to copy the Notion template directly (rather than following along with this blog), you can duplicate the template here.

The first thing to do having installed Notion is to create a dashboard which contains the following components:

  1. Today's tasks

  2. Kanban board

  3. Timeline (Gantt chart)

  4. Incubator

  5. Supplies list

​ The dashboard will be a new page in your Notion workspace. In the first part of this article I will show you how to setup your dashboard in Notion. It is pretty fast to setup, but if you like you can just copy my dashboard and jump to the next section. Let's have a look at how to setup each component before moving on to how to use it.

Van Conversion Dashboard

Today's tasks

Overview: This is a simple todo list for your day. Anything you plan to work on today lives in this todo list, with the aim of having all your tasks checked off by the end of the day. How to set it up: The only Notion command you need to know is that by typing forward-slash ("/"), a drop-down will appear showing you all the possible options you can use. You can create this todo list by typing the following command: "/todo".


Overview: As you research your campervan build, you will be taking in information from lots of different resources: from youtube videos, to blogs, to books, to podcasts. If you don't store this valuable information somewhere, it will go in one ear and out the other. In the productivity / project management world, where you store this information is called the Second Brain. You want to have information on-hand when you need it most. ​ How to set it up: Create a new page ("/page") called Incubator and select "List" from the template list to create a full-page list. Each item in the list is a page in itself.

Van Conversion Incubator


Overview: This is a simple supplies list of everything you you need to buy or have already bought. It is a really good idea to keep one of these lists, it will help you estimate costs from the outset and in some countries will be needed at the end of the build when you are taxing your van (eg. in Ireland). ​ How to set it up: Create a new page ("/page") called Supplies and select "Table" from the template list to create a full-page table. You will need to create 6 columns in the table: Name (Title), Price (Number), Quantity (Number), Total Cost (Formula), Source (URL), Bought (Checkbox). To change the type of a column, simply click the column header, and change the property type. Total cost will be the Price X Quantity of an item. To edit the formula of the Total Cost column, click the column header and select Edit Formula from the dropdown. Edit the formula to be as follows:

prop("Price") * prop("Quantity")

Van Conversion Supplies

The Build

Kanban Board:

Overview: The Kanban/Scrum board is an essential project management tool and is widely used by technology companies to manage workflow. You can think of it as a simple Todo, Doing, Done list. The aim is to get all your tasks (stories) from Todo to Done. ​ How to set it up: Create a new page ("/page") called The Build and select "Board" to create a full-page kanban board. The page should be ready to go straight away with the 4 columns: No status, Not Started, In Progress, Completed. You can populate the board with some mock stories to get started, such as "Install Inlets" or "Install Window", etc.

Van Conversion Kanban board

Gantt Chart:

Overview: A