New Feature Launched: Subgoals

It’s been another week. After quite some beta testing, bug fixing, and last-minute finetuning, I am happy to annouce today that we’ve launched the new “Subgoal” feature. 

Subgoals can help you break down a larger, more difficult goal into much smaller goals that are easier to accomplish. While accomplishing your subgoals one at a time, you know you are making progress on the overall goal, and completion of the bigger goal is just a matter of completing these smaller subgoals. “Subgoal” feature in GOT is designed for exactly such purposes.

feature_subgoals

For GOT users, functionally, a “subgoal” is not much different than existing goals that you’ve setup already. You can add tasks, track progress on any subgoals just like you do on any normal goals. However, an important feature of subgoals is that any progress made on them is directly reflected in its parent goal progress.  You will see it in action whenever you complete a task under a subgoal.

To creat subgoals, go to the main “Goals” tab, and under each goal, there is now an extra button called “Add a subgoal“. The subgoal creation form is similar to normal goal form, except that you don’t need to enter description and categories fields, but instead you need to enter a percentage value for the subgoal, in a field called “Parent Goal Completion %”.

It means how much progress completing this subgoal will contribute to its parent goal completion. It’s important that you enter a percentage so that the software can track how much progress is made on a parent goal whenever a subgoal’s progress is updated.

Once you’ve created subgoals for any of your goals, they can be viewed on your Dashboard page, as shown in the example screenshot below.

feature_subgoals_dashboard

You should notice that each subgoal is listed under its parent, along with their goal status, due date, progress etc. This helps you see all your goal progress at a glance.

We added another feature which allows you to control whether a goal should be visible on Dashboard page. Now you can selectively show which goals you’re most actively working on to be displayed on dashboard.

I am planning to create a tutorial video to explain more about subgoals, so here is a brief introduction and hope it helps you get a general idea of how to use subgoals. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Upcoming new feature: Subgoals

We’ve been working on a new feature which allows you to break down a larger goal into subgoals. The purpose of this feature is to help you create action plans for goals that may seem too general, or too far away in future. Here is the quick peek of how it looks like when it’s available.

screenshot_subgoals

An important feature for this is that when you complete tasks that have made progress on your subgoals, the parent goal progress is automatically updated.

Also because of structural changes introduced by subgoals, we feel necessary to add a function that user can choose which goals to show on dashboard. That way, for any subgoals that you’re not actively working on, you can hide them on dashboard.

We’re in the process of final testing on subgoal features and it will be launched by the end of this week.

Keeping Yourself Motivated

Author:  Ryan Cash (Marketing and PR Coordinator for Marketcircle)

Staying motivated isn’t easy – we often convince ourselves not to be. We often give ourselves excuses, allow other people to put us down, or look at the success of others and think, “That’ll never be me.”

There are two basic types of motivation: intrinsic motivation, and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation comes from the feeling of self-achievement inherent in the task or project achieved, i.e. solving a puzzle, completing a school assignment, or finally publishing that website you were working on for a client.

Extrinsic motivation is the reward you get from others – or outside “forces”. This includes money and other financial or tangible rewards, such as a free vacation for achieving your sales targets, a trophy for winning first place at the Olympics, or even the crowd cheering as you overtake car #2 in the last stretch of the race. This explains the “home team advantage” methodology.

Extrinsic motivation (namely money) is often the primary basis for our motivation. Everyone needs money, and wants as much of it as possible. That’s no secret. However, I believe the feeling of self achievement is equally important when it comes to staying motivated.

When you’ve finished the design work for a client, what feels better? Getting paid or seeing your client smile, succeed, and receive brand recognition partly due to your efforts? If you picked getting paid, try thinking about it this way:

A small, startup company seeks your help in setting up their identity (logo, business card, website, etc.). The company is completely unknown but happens to take off. All of a sudden the company is everywhere – the NY Times, TechCrunch, CNN, a trending topic on Twitter, you name it.

Do you still feel the same? Okay, that might have been a bit of an exaggeration, but hopefully my point was made.

But what about the money?

There are many ways that you can use money and your personal financial status to keep yourself motivated. Here are a few ideas:

  • Reward yourself: decide on an amount (that doesn’t cut into your bill paying or savings) and reward yourself after a job well done. Of course you don’t want to spend every hard penny you’ve earned on your favourite hobby, but if it’s all work and no play you’ll get burnt out. Reward yourself as a reminder of what you’re working towards.
  • Financial status: do you want to put a down payment on your own place in 2 years? Pay off the house in 7? Have children and send them to private school? Remind yourself how much money you need to earn each month in order to support your desired lifestyle. If you’re not quite there yet figure out the steps needed to get there and write them down.
  • It takes money to make money: do you have any business plans that require startup capital you don’t currently have? Do you plan to buy and rent properties? Invest? These are other good ways to remind yourself to keep at it.

What else?

Networking. It’s easy to meet other people in your industry on the internet these days (especially if you’re a designer). If you don’t already have a blog, consider starting one. Sign up for Twitter and get out there! Meeting other people in your line of work helps you to learn the language and communication styles that are effective in your industry.

If you know a lot of designers, for instance, they can refer clients to you when they’re overbooked, or when a client requires something beyond their expertise.

It’s also a good idea to try to network in person. It’s refreshing to get out of your home or office and meet people face to face. People will often share more in person than they will on their blog or via Twitter. Escaping your workstation every once in a while will give you that added fuel you need to move forward when you return from your mid-day vacation.

When all else fails, I tend to go on a “success story” binge. Take an hour to watch a few TED Talks, read a few articles about people on the Forbes 400 list, or poke around the Small Business Success Stories page on BusinessWeek.

Stay motivated – and if you can’t, try something new.