What work did you do yesterday? The day before?
Up until a month ago, I wouldn’t have had a good answer for you.
But now, I’m keeping track of what I get done each day, and it feels great. I first learned about this little mindset / productivity / work hack from Ari Meisel.
He recommended an automated service called I Done This.
I Done This: What and Why?
I Done This is a daily reminder service that simply asks you what you got done today.
It’s free for personal use and $5 a month per user for teams.
Why would someone consider using this service?
- To hold yourself accountable to make progress everyday.
- To feel satisfaction in working toward your goals.
- To feel accomplished by writing down what you did.
As you can imagine, this is valuable both for employees AND entrepreneurs. And if you have a team of people working with you, it can create a centralized database of the work they did.
Over time, you’ll build a written record of all the stuff you did. You’ll be able to see what kinds of tasks were the most rewarding and impactful, and which ones were merely time-consuming.
The I Done This challenge helps document your march.
But there was one component missing from I Done This that I wanted to add: a Gratitude Journal.
A gratitude journal is simply a record of the good things in life, the things you’re grateful for. The idea is that by focusing on the positive — and writing it down — you’ll feel happier.
Several studies have documented the effectiveness of gratitude journals in improving outlooks and moods, and even in fighting depression and illness.
So I built a free, homemade I Done This + Gratitude Check daily reminder system that you can copy.
It uses 3 tools: NudgeMail, Google Docs, and Gmail.
How to Set Up Your Own Free I Done This + Gratitude Journal
The video below walks you through how to set this up for yourself, and I’ll include some step-by-step notes below that.
Sign up for NudgeMail. It’s free and doesn’t even require a password.
Create your Google Form, adding whatever questions you like.
In this case, I have “I Done This Today:”, and “Gratitudes:”.
For both, I set Question Type to Paragraph Text.
You can include any other questions you want to track on a daily basis. For example, I could add “How many miles/steps did you walk today?” Or “Did you stick to your diet?”
It can be a powerful system, but don’t get carried away. Try and keep it short enough that you actually fill it out daily.
Name your form “I Done This and Daily Gratitudes”. (It doesn’t really matter, you can give it whatever name you like.)
Once you’re finished with the Google Form, send the form by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This way, the form will be embedded directly into the email, and you can fill it out straight from Gmail on your computer or on your phone.
The default delivery time is 6:30am, but you can change it by replying to the daily reminder confirmation email, and changing the subject line to the time you want.
In this case, it makes sense for the form to be sent in the evening, since it’s asking what you got done and what you’re thankful for that day. I have mine set to send at 8pm.
Fill it out daily.
When you want to revisit your responses, you can just go into your Google Drive and find the file “I Done This and Daily Gratitudes (Responses)”. All your answers will be in the spreadsheet, sorted by date.
It’s a little weird, I actually look forward to this email every day so I can fill in what I got done!
I plan to keep using in 2014 to keep me motivated, accountable, and grateful. If you want to join me, set up a reminder form for yourself, and let me know in the comments.
If you think this is a cool idea, please feel free to share around.