From the monthly archives: January 2010

Best isn't good enough

It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

How great is that quote? It’s something I touched on in my post Try is nothing, do or do not as well. I often wonder what our community fascination is with celebrating giving up. Failure is not the end of the world, it’s not even the end of the road. Until we stop trying, we’re still in the race.

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So if you’ve gone  through the steps so far for collecting your clutter into Evernote then you’ll already be well on your way toward using Evernote for goal tracking . We started by collecting all our clutter and then we went about capturing it into Evernote. So if we’ve done everything correctly up until now we have a system filled with all the related information pertaining to our goals for the coming year, and we’ve stored it all in a trusted system.

Make a next action list

With all your information stored in one secure place, and your system set up to receive more information as you receive it. You can now start organizing your day to day affairs. Draw up a list of all the projects related to your goals that currently require your attention. So for example, if your goal is to lose weight, your first project might be to research methods of losing weight. What is the next action you have to take to move that project forward? You may make an appointment with a doctor, or spend time on the internet or go to the local bookstore. Whatever you choose, capture that next action into Evernote.


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Fight the fear with momentum

So as I sit back in my swivelly chair the smell of coffee filling my nostrils, I’m too scared to reach across and pick the damn cup up. Each time I do I get 2 dozen bolts of pain shooting back and forth across my chest and head. Thursday evening I was elbowed in the chest, a blow that through my protective vest felt like a baseball bat hitting me in the sternum. I took a finger to the face and knuckle to the lip. What a great evening.

This was my first evening of Wing tsun class and I’m really glad I went but as it always happens there was a moment earlier in the evening that could have saved me this ordeal.

Having screwed up the directions to my first kung fu lesson, I sat in my car with my phone in my hand considering my options. My mind was set on going home the moment it realized that I was in the wrong place. I had my out, the reason to go back to the comfort of my flat and climb back behind my monitor. I could always try again next week. I knew I was lying to myself. “If not now then when?” that question is the one that came to me at that moment. If not now, when?

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In my previous post on Collection for tracking your goals in Evernote, I started bringing together all my clutter and also setting up the bare bones of a Getting things done (GTD) system to organize and review your goals in Evernote. In today’s post we’re going to look at the best ways to capture all the information you’re going to be using into Evernote.

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GTD organization evernote collection bookcase You've tried setting and achieving goals before, we all have. You've probably spent hours online and reading about the goals you want to achieve, and just as many hours coming to the stark realisation: "Achieving goals is hard"

In this, the first step in setting and achieving your goals with the help of GTD and Evernote, we're going to tackle all the false starts you've had and start corraling the information you already you have at hand in Evernote while applying some Getting things Done (GTD) principles.

This first post will be the shortest in my series. The purpose of this step is simply to set up a trusted GTD system of collection in Evernote as well as collecting all the information you already have amassed which will assist you in achieving your goals and objectives with ease.

"A vision without a task is but a dream; A task without a vision is drudgery; A vision and a task is the hope of the world"

Collect everything

The GTD system that we're going to be setting up in Evernote is a very simple system to keep track of your resources and goals. We'll keep your list of goals in notes in Evernote, feel free to get creative with this, you can create images, put your goals as statements in a note or pdf file. Do whatever you need to do to get your goal statements into Evernote and make them easy to review. I'm a huge fan of GTD by David Allen. It is the seminal book on managing your productivity. You already have a lot of documents, magazines, newspaper clippings, books, brochures, reciepts in short stuff relating to your goals lying around right now. Go find it now so we can find it a home.

One place to collect them all

Okay if I’m going to achieve my goals this year I’m going to need lots of information. I’m also going to need to refer to most of it fairly often. The best way to keep my goals moving forward is to spend quality time on them. In order to do this I’ve organised my information into one trusted system, Evernote. The beauty of this is that I keep all my information in one place. I can search in one place for anything I may need. Example:

I want to finish the first draft of my novel by June 2010

In order to complete my goals I need to:
  • Increase my knowledge about novel writing
  • Do research for my novel
  • write about 75 000 – 100 000 words
In order to move on to the last stage of my goal, the important bit, writing 75000 to 100 000 words, I need to complete the first two steps. In order to help myself achieve that, I’ll create 2 new notebooks in Evernote:
  • Novel 2010 - I'll be using this notebook for all the things pertaining to achieving and tracking my ulitmate goal of getting my first draft written
  • <Novel Name> Research - I'll be using this notebook for capturing and tracking all the information I've researched for my novel
I will use these two notebooks to save all the information around completing the first two steps of my goal of writing my novel.

Increase my knowledge about novel writing and do Research for my novel

Now i’m going to collect all my writing related:
  • Books
  • Magazines and Articles
  • Courses
  • Blogs and websites
Once I’ve found them all (well obviously not the blogs those are in ye old feed reader) I now have a very impressive pile which I’ll start capturing in Evernote soon. Go ahead and start going through your desk cupboards, all dark corners that your "stuff" may be hiding. In my next post I will take you through the process for capturing everything you may find and making sure it's search-able in Evernote so you can build a massive reference library that will not only support you in achieving your goals and getting things done but will also track your progress. This post forms part of my series Tracking Goals and objectives in Evernote: Part Two - Goal and Objective tracking in Evernote Pt. 2 – Capture Image Credits

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