Do you remember your goals from second grade? I’m sure one of mine was to advance to the third grade, but I really couldn’t tell you what other goals I had back then. Mostly because I didn’t write them down anywhere that’s still in existence. Thankfully, there’s been some amazing app inventions since then. While you probably won’t want to remember every goal from grade school, I’m sure there are others you’ll want to keep track of.
Goals need to be written down because we aren’t elephants
Okay, so I’m no elephant expert. I don’t actually know how good their memory is, but from watching a couple of documentaries, they sure seem to have really good memories. I can’t remember how to get to my out-of-state brother’s house without directions, so I’m always impressed when elephants travel hundreds of miles without a map or GPS.
In any case, we need to write things down so we’ll remember them (or find our destinations). Goals especially. Otherwise, we’re back to the “being doomed with those New Year’s resolutions” thing.
Writing them down also makes it more real and immediate
Another reason to write down those goals is due to a memory trick. The more senses we use, the more likely we’ll remember something. So if you write down your goals, you’ll be far more likely to remember them (and achieve them!).
Oh, and if you want extra credit, here’s another trick. Trigger a unique smell while you’re writing down your goals and reading them. That way, you’re using three senses and will remember those goals even better.
Okay, so where can you write down your goals? On a piece of paper is a great place, as long as you’ll remember where you put that piece of paper. A lot of my associates swear by hanging it on their dresser or bathroom mirror. That way, they can see it on a regular basis. Seeing it on a regular basis reinforces the memory, after all!
I’m not a fan of writing things on paper simply because the baby tends to gum it into a completely illegible state. His brother thinks it’s funny and is a great climber. So hanging it up doesn’t work well for me.
My 3 favorite note-taking (or goal storing) apps
There are three great (and free) note-taking apps that I’ve used. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, but all work well.
- Google Keep: This free app syncs well with my Google calendar – it even lets me put reminders up on specific dates. It’s also got a widget so I can keep track of my goals from my home screen. I can also share my notes or goals with others.
- Evernote: There are both a free and a paid version of this app/program. You’ve got to be a pretty heavy user to need the paid version (I’ve never upgraded). It’s a great program that lets you organize things by notebooks, adding an extra layer of organization over Keep. It also lets you share notes.
- One Note: This is the newest note-taking app in my arsenal, but it’s quickly becoming my favorite. It does what the other programs do and it is just very user-friendly and very simple to use. It uses both a notebook and a page organization system that’s just super intuitive and clean. Oh, and I can draw on the notes, too. That’s a fun (and handy!) extra feature.
No matter where you decide to write down or store your goals, though, make sure you do it. Oh, and don’t forget to make them SMART while you’re at it. Then, throw in some PIE for good measure. Yeah, now you’re totally rockin’ those goals.