How I Planned My New Year

My goal for next year is to not have to worry about coming up with goals.

Seriously, it is kinda fun to plan out your new year, but the typical scenario is we have all these great ideas at the beginning of the year and if we stumble upon those ideas and goals at some point later, say around December 15th, we say “oh yeah, remember that goal – forgot all about it.”

So, I have been reassessing my methods and work flows to actually find a way to “stick to it” the whole year through.  Now days there are so many great online tools to help you with your productivity, some of these, such as Toodledo.com and Evernote.com I have discussed on this blog.  Plus, there’s CRM software, blogging tools, online data storage site, social networking applications, browser add-ons, widget applications and on and on.

We use a really nice online CRM tool called Salesforce.com which covers the bulk of my work and customer related tasks, plus we have some extensive in-house produced management applications that handle a lot of our infrastructure.  While Salesforce is web-based and has task-list management like using Toodledo for the speed of managing to-do lists as well as keeping merged lists of both work and personal tasks to do.  While Salesforce has calendaring built in, I still like merging data with my Google calendar.  And I love the concept of Evernote that lets me collect ideas and random content and store it in one location for future use.

But, it’s a new year and time to shake the tree and see what falls out and what stays.

First off, I’m changing the way I’m setting goals for the year.  In the past it was “I want to make this much in sales”, “I want to have this many new customers”, “I want to build this many relationships”, etc.  Now my approach is more incremental.  I’m looking at laying out my year based on what I need to do today or this week as opposed to this year.  This means a whole lot more little chunks of data that all has to be tracked.

First off, Salesforce and our in-house online managaement applications work great – no changes there other than maybe utilizing some of the additional features it offers that I’m not using yet.  But goal tracking for the year with mobile access from my cell phone and integration of personal non-work goals is the big picture here.

I have been using the free version of Toodledo.com but if I really want to track goals for the year, I explored the paid version (starting at $15/yr).  Running the trial version now.  Funny, but the advanced version just isn’t doing it for me and a great all around tool for handling to-do lists (still the best for that) is just not good for what I’m trying to do.

With Evernote, I have been using the free version too, but it is a very different tool and really not setup for goal tracking.  Ironically though, my need for Evernote is growing so I will be upgrading to the paid subscription ($5/month), just not using it for this task at hand.

I have been researching the internet for other options – I can’t tell you how many other online tools I’ve tried – which explains while I’m still in the process of goal setting for 2009 on the 12th day in January.  But I came across a tool called Springpad that is now starting to really win me over.  It is true life management that has features beyond what I was even looking for.  It is a new Beta application that appears to only have been out about 4 months, but it is already at an amazing feature set.  It syncs with Google Calendar, it has an amazing collection of “notepads” that you can setup on your account to manage anything, you can customize it and you can build your own lists.  Plus there are so many template notepads that it really can be called a life management tool.  I’ve been setting up a map of my goals and activities for 2009 with it and so far I’m impressed and it is the leading application I’ve found to handle my goal-mapping needs.  A Twitter exchange with one of the staff members with Springpad assured me a mobile version of the product is due soon – the only drawback I have been able to find with it.

http://www.springpadit.com

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1 comment so far

  1. harryche2008 on

    Nice post.

    You may also check out http://www.GoalsOnTrack.com, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and has time tracking. It’s clear, focused, easy to navigate, worth a try.


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