Joe’s Goals: the secret of the slight edge

What’s the “slight edge?”

I recently came across a book – The Secret of the Slight Edge, by Dan Zadra – that said “The real key to great achievement is to give yourself the slight edge – that extra 5% – time after time after time.”

That came to mind when I was using Joe’s Goals this morning.

Joe’s Goals is about the simplest tool you could imagine for managing your goals. When building the service, he must have asked himself Ward Cunningham’s question: “what’s the simplest thing that could possibly work.”

You stick a goal in, click Save, and you’re done. You can choose if it’s a positive goal (get more exercise) or a negative goal (eat less), but the default is positive.

But here’s the real magic of the system:

Most goal-setting applications are set up for episodic goals:

  • you enter a goal
  • you enter steps to take on the way to reaching that goal
  • you choose when each step will be done
  • you track yourself on all the steps, checking them off when complete
  • when the steps are finished, so is your goal

Joe’s Goals is different. And actually, Joe’s Goals is much better aligned for the goals that most people set and try to reach.

Instead of episodic goals, Joe’s Goals is for setting and tracking ongoing goals. Goals like daily exercise. Like one of my goals: not to eat after 8:00 (because if I do, my middle mysteriously widens).

Goals like these are not set and accomplished and forgotten: they go on and on and on, like the mythical Energizer bunny. And so your accomplishment of them goes on and on, also like the mythical Energizer bunny.

The beauty is that there is exactly one page to Joe’s Goals. Come to Joe’s Goals while logged in, and there are your goals. Right on the home page.

And tracking them could not possibly be easier: for those goals you’ve accomplished for the day, click in the box for today. Done. Goal status tracked, on to the next thing.

It’s such a perfect user interface that there almost isn’t one.

[tags] joes goals, goals, time management, web 2.0, ajax, dan zadra, slight edge, john koetsier [/tags]

1 CommentLeave a comment