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Creating a system for your design goals | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Creating a system for your design goals

goal tracker by David Seah

New year means new goals, or the chance to renew the energy to keep going on something big that you’re looking to achieve. Last year I set up a couple short and long term goals and divided my year into four quarters which kept me on track. I was able to accomplish most of what I set out to do which gave me a great sense of accomplishment. However during the break over this Christmas I was kind of stuck on those big goals for 2007. I didn’t want to settle now that I’m here working in New York. It’s time to build on what I started. One thing that kept coming up was the desire to be a better designer, but that’s not really a concrete goal. So my attention was piqued when I read David Seah’s blog today about his process for Creating New Year’s Resolutions with the Concrete Goals Tracker. “I could have a goal like, “be a better graphic designer”, and just “try harder”. That’s all fine and dandy, but I want to get a more quantitative sense of what’s going on. That’s where the Concrete Goal Tracker comes in.” David breaks down his points system and offers a pdf template that justifies his system. It’s very logical and has helped me refocus my energy. I’m probably going to adjust things and create my own document in InDesign so I can keep it digital, but without David’s breakdown I would never have been able to get to this point.

emergent tracker by David Seah

On a secondary note, he’s also created a flash application to track your design work time at The Printable CEO™ Online Emergent Task Timer. There you’ll be able to use it online or download it as a stand alone. The only catch is that you have to print the screen at the end of the day to keep track of it – you can’t save it digitally.

This kind of stuff really raises the bar in terms of self promotional tools that helps other designers. Merci David…

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  • http://www.jackcheng.com Jack Cheng

    Have you read David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’? One of the important points Allen makes is thinking about your goals and to-do’s in terms of actionable items – thinking about what the first step you need to take to reach your goal is. For instance, instead of “be a better information designer” it’d be something like “register for tufte course on the 18th”.

    If you want something online-based, check out Joe’s Goals:
    http://www.joesgoals.com/

    It’s ridiculously simple and exactly what I’ve been looking for in terms of a daily goals journal.

  • http://designnotes.info/ michael

    Jack, I’m not familiar w/ David Allen, but thanks for the fyi. It’s starting to work out that by this time next year there should be some interesting discussions about what works and what doesn’t.