Whether you're a manager, professional, or entrepreneur you need to think ahead. When you do it in a formal sense, it's called it planning, when you do it informally it's something like speculating.
Whether you're planning or speculating, exercise represents just tip of iceberg. For plans or scenarios to amount to something, they have to be implemented. In turn, that usually involves other people.
Which takes us to subject of communication: How do you convert those ideas in your head into instructions or position papers or even real plans?
I recommend writing, as in sense of spending at least a few minutes to put ideas to paper. Several benefits come out of writing process:
First, you'll force yourself to clarify what you're doing and what you want others to do. As long as an idea remains in our heads, it's not made accountable, so to speak. We don't subject our ideas to rigorous scrutiny when they're just thoughts.
But, when we write out an idea, strengths and weaknesses show up rather quickly; we force ourselves to look at idea more critically. When I wrote publishing plan for Abbott's Communication Letter, for example, writing process uncovered many key issues.
But, writing it down assumes even greater importance when we need to communicate with others. Since most thoughts for future are inherently complex or uncertain, a written version of your plan enables you to explain much more.
As you've probably noticed, you can't really deal with much complexity verbally, unless you're making a speech or presentation. In face-to-face communication, for example, a train of thought often gets derailed by questions or interjections by other person.