Comic Non-Sans: Watching your goals

This week’s article is a bit more offside even than usual, which is saying something.  With con prep and the beginning of a new year and a reevaluation of how I spend my time, I’ve realized I need some serious help getting myself in gear.

I’m a gamer and very achievement/goal-oriented.  I imagine that, as you’re reading a geek blog, you are as well.  When I was looking for a way to organize my tasks (and, indirectly, my brain), I found mostly ways to make a spreadsheet to keep up with things, or ways to keep up with meetings, and increasingly more corporate stuff that I just cannot wrap my head around.  Or iPhone apps.  I don’t have an iPhone; I don’t care about iPhone apps.

What I did dig up were two things made for people like me that, at least for the last week and a half, have kept me on my toes.  Or at least given me a sense of minor accomplishment in the same way that being rewarded for punching people and stealing their guns in Uncharted does.

These are both things that can be run in your browser, mind, so you’re good to go.

The first I stumbled across is Joe’s Goals, a super-simple little tracker for just about anything.  Super simple.  You fill in things you want to do, pick what days you want to do them, assign each a “point value,” and just click off by the day.  It’s easy as hell to use, takes pretty much no time to load on your browser, and (if you’re so inclined) you can make a little badge for your site and share your progress.  You can even make “negative goals” — for example, you could be like me and fill in “stayed up until 1 AM to get a comic done,” and when you check it off you get negative points.

This was okay, but another I found is irunurun, which appears to be designed more for office business-y sorts but can be toyed with for your own use.  This is actually fantastic for people who do commission work on the side, are putting together books on a loose schedule, or anything you just can’t schedule day-to-day.  I tend to shy away from sites that offer a video tour to teach you how to use it, but they make it look a lot tougher than it actually is.  Here, you don’t schedule things by the day.  Instead you might decide you want to get X number of pages done per week on a book.  Their little “achievement”-based system will let you check off how much you do, not when.

The other thing I love about irunurun despite not actually having used this specific feature?  You can add “teammates” to your list.  This is rather good for collaborations, publishers, or anything where communication is helpful but not easy.

Basically, either or both of these can easily be messed with to apply to anyone keeping a weekly/daily schedule for comics or other output.  Or even commission work or stuff on an arbitrary schedule.  I especially love that both appeal to the desire to see how you’re doing to some degree.  I’m finding it a lot easier to keep to something when I’m being told I’m doing well.  Even if it’s by a computer.

I’d be curious to know how other creators are keeping themselves on track during this, the most productive and well-intentioned month of the year.

Posted on January 10, 2012 at 01:00 by Kara Dennison · Permalink
In: Columns, The Written Word, Webcomics, Webcomics

2 Responses

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  1. Written by Tim Sevenhuysen
    on 2012-01-10 at 06:21

    I set my goals prior to each day, and measure my success by my ability to complete that day’s To-Do list. I usually block out my work about a week at a time. It’s been working for me, but I like the idea of the points system for accomplishing goals.

  2. Written by Travis Dommert
    on 2012-01-11 at 15:09

    Thanks for the mention of irunurun, the greatness app!  Our story started 9 years ago with our founder struggling to build his insurance practice.  The answer: focus on doing just 6 things consistently every week.  

    When he started tracking just those 6 things, life got simpler.  It wasn’t easy, but simpler.  In fact, out of 100 points possible each week…he initially averaged in the 30’s; but over time he began to master those 6 things…they became hard-wired.  After 6 months, his business took off.

    7 years later, after sharing his story and his method with other business owners, and seeing them switch from busy/reactive to focused/intentional, he got the notion to develop it into an app.  It’s not really about goals as much as it is about helping people achieve their potential. 

    And, it goes way beyond work.  Want to be your best at work?  Start by being your best in life.  Align your work with your life.  BE the person you want to be…and your work will rise with the tide.  So as much as people use our app for sales and business, they also use it for mixing a dose of fitness, family, faith, learning, and fun into their otherwise reactive, rat-raced lives.

    Run hard!  …and let us know how we can help!
    president | irunurun

    PS: And you are right about the “invite a friend” feature…adding teammates and creating mutual accountability for living life on purpose with other people you care about will take you to another level.  Thanks for checking us out!

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