Keeping Track of Goals

If you’re anything like me you’ve probably got dozens of on-going goals or projects that you went to get done. How do you keep track of all of these and ensure nothing gets missed?

Part of the answer is in having regular reviews; but then you need to have something organized to look at when it comes to review time. Now you can either go high-tech (computerized) or low-tech (paper based) in this and there’s often an on-line debate as to which is better and what tool is best for the job. It’s not what you use that matters, it’s making it work for you that counts.

My current goal tracking system starts with an All Projects list.

The All Projects list is used as a high level overview of all the goals I want to achieve. An entry on here ensures none of my goals slips under the carpet and gets forgotten about.

I was amazed when I wrote out my All Projects list that I had so many things I wanted to get done. It was no wonder some things never got addressed – there were just too many of them to keep them all going around in my head. Here’s the first page of the list in full and thumbnails to the second and third pages if you want to take a look:

All Projects List - Page 1

All Projects List - Page 2 All Projects List - Page 3

That’s one big list of projects; but some of these aren’t active yet. In fact I’ve only got eight active projects out of this list of thirty one. When I decide I’m going to address a project or a goal I move it onto a Current Projects card.

Current Projects

Now I can see the eight goals or projects that are currently active and need me to spend some time on so that’s narrowed the field down somewhat. However some of these projects are temporarily on hold so I use transparent sticky tabs to highlight those projects that can be worked at present:

Current Projects Showing Active Projects

At every review this shows me which goals I should and can be addressing now. At review time I can check my All Projects list for anything that has come into scope and needs further work; these get moved to my Current Projects list. I then check my Current Projects to see which projects need my immediate attention and which are on hold.

In a future post I’ll be looking at how the project cards integrate with task lists and to-do lists. Until then I’d love to read how you manage your high level goals, particularly if you’re using a low-tech system.