How To Accomplish Your Dream Life, Part 4

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By now you should know the importance of having and setting goals, working on what matters and how to structure your day.

It can be hard to stay on top of everything while you make these new habits, so this post will overview the tools I use to help me stay on course.

My Do Not Do List

This list doesn’t change often, but I need it in a highly visible place to remind myself daily what I need NOT to be doing.

For years I used Post-It notes on both my home and work desk. This was a simple and effective solution.

Post-it

When I am traveling with my laptop though, I couldn’t really bring the Post-It notes with me. To solve this, I have now created a wallpaper for my desktops and laptop so whenever I am working, I have to look at my list.

Pomodoros

The Pomodoro technique really shines through for getting tasks done and making sure you are not trying to perfect any 1 step. Since some of my tasks are not computer based, I needed a solution for tasks such as “reading” and “exercising”.

For this I am thankful for having a cell phone that I carry around with me just to use as a timer. I use my default cell phone clock timer for my Pomodoros.

Time Boxing

If you’re not focusing on 1 task, you’re wasting time.

I love Cold Turkey because it will block both web sites and programs on your computer that you set on a schedule. It’s Windows based, but if you’re on a Mac you can use Self Control ( web sites only )

Keeping Track Of Goals

Having a cell phone is critical for me here.

I need a solution for not only keeping up with my daily and weekly goals, but also errands and chores I need to be doing.

Evernote is available for my desktop, laptops, and my cell phone. It was an excellent choice in helping me stay on course with things I needed to do even when I wasn’t “working”.

I use it very similar ( but not exactly ) to a productivity system called The Secret Weapon. I have also borrowed ideas on using Evernote from J.D. Meiers and other resources online.

Pony up and get the paid plan if you can.

I store receipts, tax information, contracts, websites and emails I want to review & read later, errands, and pictures in it. I even Inbox Zero my email accounts with it.

Getting on a paperless life and also having 1 “inbox” for my flow is very important to me if I plan to travel and get things done. Having this on your phone means you can always capture ideas, keep up on tasks, and rule your life when you’re away from your computer.

Employee & Project Task Tracking

I like to keep track of various projects in Trello.

I’ve been using it and the KanBan method of project tracking for YEARS before many people jumped on and made it “hip” to do so.

I can quickly see what steps of a project have been worked on and what progress has been made with my outsourced workers. I can also assign new steps and see problems before they pop up.

Habit Building

I’ve tried a bunch of different things to try to remember habits.

Evernote doesn’t have recurring reminders, and many of the apps on Android just plain suck or have bugs. The simplest thing I have found is to just create a recurring daily alarm on my cell phone for the time I need to remember my habit. It’s foolproof.

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Short Term Tasks

For all of my other tasks, I have tried a mix of putting them in ToDoist, Evernote, OmniFocus ( when on Mac ), and a slew of other tools.

The simplest method I have developed is to just put them in my online calendar which sends me a notification ( email, pop up, cell ) when the task is due.

This does cause me to have more than one “inbox” of flow for tasks, goals, and habits currently.

I do this because my habits are very critical for me. Setting them to a cell phone alarm means that I  can’t avoid the constant alarm ringing on my phone. I have to take an action on my habit.

The short term tasks that are not goals, not habits, but are recurring, are less important. Putting them in my calendar where I just get a single cell phone ring/vibrate or email notification does just fine.

If I miss the single notification for these tasks, it’s ok. When I check my phone later I will see the notification later without breaking something important like a habit.

Passwords

I am almost ashamed to admit this, but for the last 18 years I have always manually entered in my passwords and log ins to websites.

That’s a lot of time wasted on remembering log ins and also dealing with insecure passwords.

I now use LastPass for this chore.

In Conclusion

You do not need a bunch of fancy software or expensive apps to keep you productive.

I mostly use free or default apps with the exception of Evernote. Cell phones aren’t free, but you most likely have one already so there should be no added costs for using it to keep you productive.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

What tools are you using to keep you on track of your goals and habits?

HEY YOU.
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Hi! I'm Jason Brown and I’m a 36 year old digital marketing intrapreneur living in beautiful Louisville, Kentucky. I've been involved with the Internet since 1996 and have personally made millions online with my creative marketing tactics and persistence. I blog about marketing, money, and motivation. Thanks for stopping by!

2 comments

  1. Niko   •  

    For habit building you might want to check out lift.do

    It basically keeps track of your streaks, sends you an daily email with your stats and it’s easy to use on the web or app.

    The Android app for it is not great but I believe they are trying to make it better. Regardless it’s easy to use.

    Then I have a gmail filter that grabs that emali and labels it as Lift.do. I have IFTTT grab any Lift.do emails and save them into my Evernote. The formatting kind of sucks but I like knowing that I have it saved on Evernote for future reference.

    I also use IFTTT to email me daily with my monthly goals at 5:00am so when i wake up it’s in my email waiting for me…however I like the idea of not checking email until AFTER I am done with my goals.

    • Jason Brown   •     Author

      That is a good tip. i will need to look into it myself.

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