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The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 11 – Helvetindex Cards

The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 11 – Helvetindex Cards

    As we head into the final days of our 12 Days of Giveaways promo, we’ve got some cool analog tools to offer. Today we bring you the excellent design and craftsmanship of Helvetindex Cards, which will not only help 5 lucky Lifehack readers get things done — but will give them some quality looking material to do it with.

    But before we get to that, let’s take care of announcing the winner of yesterday’s 12 Days of Giveaways winner. We had a ton of responses to this one, which was an Evernote prize pack and a copy of the must-have companion book to Evernote, Brett Kelly’s Evernote Essentials.

    The question we asked was:

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    “How will you use Evernote in 2012 to stay more organized and become more productive?”

    And the winning comment was left by Anne Geissman Cartwright, who said:

    “My life is about to go topsyturvy–my husband and I are launching a complete remodel of our house. But the rest of my life will continue on: freelancing as a book editor; taking classes at the local college (I just finished up with some graphic design and Emergency Medical Technician training), working in Search & Rescue. I need to stay on top of my schedule, my finances, various sorts of information. The mere idea of having everything I need for my Search & Rescue and EMT work always available in one handy place makes me quiver with delight. But to have everything else at hand as well, and organized–oh, bliss! I’d love to make Evernote a regular, can’t-do-without-it part of my life.”

    Congratulations, Anne — I hope you get as much out of Evernote as I have. I’m an avid user; it’s a mainstay on all of my computing devices. I’m sure it will help you give your productivity a boost — and with all you’ve got on the go, it sounds like a boost will come in handy in 2012!

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    Now…on to today’s giveaway!

    About Helvetindex Cards

    No matter how you slice it, paper is still a big part of a lot people’s productivity systems. There’s no compatibility issues, no software upgrades needed and it’s both portable and disposable. I’ve been using index cards as part of a Hipster PDA capture tool for years, and the cards I used were as cheap as they came. Oddly enough — or perhaps not — I treated the tasks on the cards as poorly as I treated the cards. Silly, perhaps…but it’s how it went. So I stopped using them and went to a different method of paper capture. I started using higher quality goods and stock, and soon everything I captured on them had more quality attached to them as well. But there were still no index cards that matched the quality of my other paper products, so I kept my binder clips in a drawer, unused.

    Then Aaron Mahnke created Helvetindex Cards.

    These cards are made of high quality stock and are a pleasure to use. There are spaces at the top of the card to mark with dates, topics or whatever your system dictates. Helvetindex Cards don’t force you into a system, they let you bring them into yours. I’m still working through my pack of 100 cards and my binder clips now have something to hold on to again. My Hipster PDA is back where it belongs: with me at all times…along with the Helvetindex Cards that I use to make it.

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    How to Enter

    In order to enter to win one of the five bundles of Helvetindex Cards, you need to leave a comment below or on our Facebook fan page that answers the following:

    “When do you find yourself reaching for paper over digital tools — and why?”

    Leaving a comment on both our Facebook fan page and here at Lifehack.org will get you 2 entries, so but you need to give us two items that you like the most – no copying and pasting!

    The Fine Print

    Employees of Helvetindex Cards and of Stepcase (including current independent contractors of both) are not eligible for this contest. The prize can only be shipped to addresses within the continental United States and Canada, so keep that in mind when entering. The winning entry will be judged by the Stepcase Lifehack editing team and winners will be notified on the platform in which their winning entry was placed (either on the Lifehack.org Facebook wall or by email through our commenting system here the website). For those entering contest with a comment on our site, in order to be considered eligible, you MUST leave a contact email when leaving a comment (it’s the only way we’ll know how to contact you). Entries must be submitted by 10 am Eastern the following weekday and winners will be chosen by 12 pm Eastern time on the same day. The winner will be announced the same day on Lifehack.org, and will be notified beforehand.

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    Good luck!

    (Photo courtesy of Helvetindex Cards)

    More by this author

    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    1 10 Huge Differences Between a Boss And a Leader 2 Why Perspective Taking Is an Essential Skill for Success 3 How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve Success 4 How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates) 5 How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

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    Last Updated on June 3, 2020

    How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

    How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

    Everyone needs a goal. Whether it’s in a business context or for personal development, having goals help you strive towards something you want to accomplish. It prevents you from wandering around aimlessly without a purpose.

    But there are good ways to write goals and there are bad ways. If you want to ensure you’re doing the former, keep reading to find out how a SMART goals template can help you with it.

    The following video is a summary of how you can write SMART goals effectively:

    What Are SMART Goals?

    SMART Goals

    refer to a way of writing down goals that follow a specific criteria. The earliest known use of the term was by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review, however, it is often associated with Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept.[1]

    SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. There are other variations where certain letters stand for other things such as “achievable” instead of attainable, and “realistic” instead of relevant.

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    What separates a SMART goal from a non-SMART goal is that, while a non-SMART goal can be vague and ill-defined, a SMART goal is actionable and can get you results. It sets you up for success and gives you a clear focus to work towards.

    And with SMART goals comes a SMART goals template. So, how do you write according to this template?

    How to Write Smart Goals Using a SMART Goals Template

    For every idea or desire to come to fruition, it needs a plan in place to make it happen. And to get started on a plan, you need to set a goal for it.

    The beauty of writing goals according to a SMART goals template is that it can be applied to your personal or professional life.

    If it’s your job to establish goals for your team, then you know you have a lot of responsibility weighing on your shoulders. The outcome of whether or not your team accomplishes what’s expected of them can be hugely dependant on the goals you set for them. So, naturally, you want to get it right.

    On a personal level, setting goals for yourself is easy, but actually following through with them is the tricky part. According to a study by Mark Murphy about goal setting, participants who vividly described their goals were 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully achieve their goals.[2] Which goes to show that if you’re clear about your goals, you can have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

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    Adhering to a SMART goals template can help you with writing clear goals. So, without further ado, here’s how to write SMART goals with a SMART goals template:

    Specific

    First and foremost, your goal has to be specific. Be as clear and concise as possible because whether it’s your team or yourself, whoever has to carry out the objective needs to be able to determine exactly what it is they are required to do.

    To ensure your goal is as specific as it can be, consider the Ws:

    • Who = who is involved in executing this goal?
    • What = what exactly do I want to accomplish?
    • Where = if there’s a fixed location, where will it happen?
    • When = when should it be done by? (more on deadline under “time-bound”)
    • Why = why do I want to achieve this?

    Measurable

    The only way to know whether or not your goal was successful is to ensure it is measurable. Adding numbers to a goal can help you or your team weigh up whether or not expectations were met and the outcome was triumphant.

    For example, “Go to the gym twice a week for the next six months” is a stronger goal to strive for than simply, “Go to the gym more often”.

    Setting milestone throughout your process can also help you to reassess progress as you go along.

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    Attainable

    The next important thing to keep in mind when using a SMART goals template is to ensure your goal is attainable. It’s great to have big dreams but you want your goals to be within the realms of possibility, so that you have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

    But that doesn’t mean your goal shouldn’t be challenging. You want your goal to be achievable while at the same time test your skills.

    Relevant

    For obvious reasons, your goal has to be relevant. It has to align with business objectives or with your personal aspirations or else, what’s the point of doing it?

    A SMART goal needs to be applicable and important to you, your team, or your overall business agenda. It needs to be able to steer you forward and motivate you to achieve it, which it can if it holds purpose to something you believe in.

    Time-Bound

    The last factor of the SMART goals template is time-bound (also known as “timely”). Your goal needs a deadline, because without one, it’s less likely to be accomplished.

    A deadline provides a sense of urgency that can motivate you or your team to strive towards the end. The amount of time you allocate should be realistic. Don’t give yourself—or your team—only one week if it takes three weeks to actually complete it. You want to set a challenge but you don’t want to risk over stress or burn out.

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    Benefits of Using a SMART Goals Template

    Writing your goals following a SMART goals template provides you with a clearer focus. It communicates what the goal needs to achieve without any fuss.

    With a clear aim, it can give you a better idea of what success is supposed to look like. It also makes it easier to monitor progress, so you’re aware whether or not you’re on the right path.

    It can also make it easier to identify bottlenecks or missed targets while you’re delivering the goal. This gives you enough time to rectify any problems so you can get back on track.

    The Bottom Line

    Writing goals is seemingly not a difficult thing to do. However, if you want it to be as effective as it can be, then there’s more to it than meets the eye.

    By following a SMART goals template, you can establish a more concrete foundation of goal setting. It will ensure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound—attributes that cover the necessities of an effectively written goal.

    More Tips About Goals Setting

    Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

    Reference

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