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Agile Results Series Part 3: Mods

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Agile Skyrim

Part 3! In this and the next segment of our Agile Results series, we’re going to show you how to take Agile Results – which is a pretty awesome system – and modify it to work alongside GTD, and other productivity principles.

Part 3 is an overview of all the different pieces and technology that you can use to make this modified system work. It will also outline how to set up and use the system the first and subsequent times through (i.e., the core of Agile Results). Part 4 is about implementing the non-core components of Agile, using devices from GTD or other productivity systems.

The work and process of how this works comes from my own implementation of Agile. In the Agile Results book, Meier states that you should use what you’re comfortable with – whether it’s pen and paper, a spreadsheet or custom software – to implement Agile. I’m going to show you how to do it with tools and apps that you’re already familiar with.

It’s important to make the point that while Agile is a phenomenal system, you need to change it to suit your personality and working style. There’s no need to completely throw out your existing system – just add in Agile components and make them work together. Agile is all about making tweaks, iterating and evolving you and how you work.

The implementation that we’ve come up with at Asian Efficiency is about lining up your goals from the daily through to the annual and beyond level, while creating accountability through support structures. It all goes to this core idea:

Productivity = the amount of time you spend directed toward your goals.

Let’s start by looking at the different component pieces of our modified Agile system.

Component Pieces

Here’s a mindmap of the different components of our modified system:
Asian Efficiency Agile Components

Areas of Life. These are Agile’s Hot Spots. Essentially, they line up with our breakdown of the different areas of your life (health, wealth, relationships, play, projects, mind, passions). We’ll be implementing these using Stories.

Journals. This is one half of the Rule of 3. It’s the written component, where all the nitty-gritty detail goes. Journals work at the daily, weekly, monthly and annual level. You’ll also be creating journals for Areas of Life, alongside Stories.

Roadmaps. This is the other half of the Rule of 3. It’s the “overview look” of all your outcomes and progress. You’ll only have 2 roadmaps – an annual one, combining annual, monthly and weekly outcomes, and a weekly roadmap, containing weekly and daily outcomes. In case you’re wondering why we recommend 2, it’s come out of extensive experimentation and tracking.

Daily Reminders. This is your list of affirmations, important questions and other reminders you want to see on a daily basis.

Lists. Every productivity system needs lists. In our implementation of Agile, lists are 3-fold: 1) action lists sorted by area, for sprints, single actions, projects, reviews, future lists and life management lists, 2) a how-to-work list that implements a lot of Agile’s inner game concepts, and 3) systems, processes and scripts for life that you use on a regular basis.

Stickies. Confession time: I have a minor post-it notes obsession. I’ve found that posting daily outcomes on a post-it note (digital or otherwise) is useful as a quick reference throughout the day to help with focus. The roadmaps you’ll create can also serve this purpose.

Triage. Like GTD, items still get dumped into an Inbox, and then triaged accordingly.

The Apps

You’ll need a few applications to set up our modified Agile Results system. You can use ANY applications really, but we recommend:

System Setup and First Run Through

Let’s look at each part of this setup.

The Journals

The journals you will keep are where it all begins. Load up your journal application of choice (I suggest Evernote if you don’t have one), and create the following notebooks/folders:

  • Annual Journal.
  • Monthly Journal.
  • Weekly Journal.
  • Daily Journal.
  • Journal Templates. This is where you will set up templates in advance and copy-paste them into each journal, in order to save time and retyping.
  • Life Stories.
  • Areas of Life.

Life Stories

The first thing you want to write down are your life stories. The reason for this, is that clearly writing out statements about each area of your life, clears out and ties together a lot of the inner game and core concepts of Agile Results.

Aside: The concept of stories comes from The Power of Story, by Jim Loehr.

This does not have to be complicated. It’s pretty much a statement of “this is what I’m here to do with each area of my life.” Take your time with this, and realize that it could take up to a day to come up with all the different stories you have going on the first time you do this.

Here are the areas we recommend covering:

  • Your mission in life. This is your overarching mission about what you’re here in existence to do. You can make it as spiritual, or as practical, as you want.
  • Your health, both physical and mental (i.e., psychological well-being, state of happiness etc).
  • Your wealth, which you can further break down into personal finances and career. Essentially, everything about money.
  • Your relationships, social, romantic and familial.
  • Your growth and development (mind), such as skills, classes, knowledge and personal development.
  • Play, namely fun and downtime.
  • Passion projects, if not covered elsewhere.
  • Personal projects, if not covered elsewhere.

The structure of how to craft these stories (modified from The Power of Story), is this:

  1. How each story relates to your mission.
  2. The truth. Make sure you call yourself on any BS.
  3. The old story, including: faulty thinking, faulty logic, content and voice and faulty assumptions. Make sure you dig deep.
  4. The new story, which must: 1) align with your mission, 2) reflect the truth, 3) inspire you to take action. Be sure to include the truth, what would happen if the old story were to continue, show connections between your past and present circumstances, and a rough plan for action.
  5. Read your new story, and ask: 1) Does it take me where I want to go?, 2) Is it grounded in reality?, 3) Does in inspire genuine hope and make me want to take action?

Journal Templates

Here’s the structure of each journal template. You’ll want to create these within your journal software.

For each outcome, you want to use this format:

  • Outcome: Name of the outcome.
  • Why: Why you’re pursuing the outcome.
  • How: How you’ll pursue the outcome. Your plan.
  • Result: What it will look like when it’s done.
  • Timing: When this will happen.

You can read more about the above format in goal setting and having a why.

Annual Journal

  • List of annual outcomes.
  • List of sprints.
  • A month-by-month plan. You can also create this as a roadmap instead, which is what we recommend.
  • Systemized months. Roughly, the pattern of how each 4 weeks flows for you.
  • Systemized weeks. Roughly, how Monday to Sunday flows for you.
  • Systemized days. Roughly, how every 24 hours flows fo you.
  • Review of annual outcomes.

Monthly Journal

  • Annual outcomes for reference.
  • List of monthly outcomes.
  • A week-by-week plan for the specific month.
  • Details of this month’s sprint.
  • Review of monthly outcomes.

Weekly Journal

  • Monthly outcomes for reference, including the monthly sprint.
  • List of weekly outcomes.
  • A weekly plan, Monday through Sunday.
  • Review of weekly outcomes.
  • Weekly questions:
    1. List 3 things that went well and why.
    2. List 3 things that need improvement and why.
    3. Any other reviews, such as time tracking or focus tracking.

Daily Journal

  • Weekly outcomes for reference.
  • List of daily outcomes.
  • Daily questions. See our article on journal entries to select questions to ask.
  • Review of daily outcomes.

First Run

Now that we know what each component entails, let’s walk through setting it up.

We want to do this by timeframe. This means, that the first time through, you’ll have to complete all timeframes. But then each subsequent month, week, or day, you’ll work with those timeframes to keep the system going.

Annually

  1. Create a copy of your annual journal entry template into your annual journal notebook.
  2. Fill it out. This should be straightforward. When selecting outcomes, remember the key Agile question: “If this were next year, what are 3 great results I would want?”
  3. Do an evergreen check or an Agile projection check. See if your selected outcomes are evergreen, in the sense that they benefit you forever, or run your outcomes against different timeframes – 1 year, 5 years, 10 years.
  4. Create an Annual Roadmap. Start a mindmap, and create months January through December. Put in your Annual Outcomes as branches when they’re due. If they’re due at the end of the year, put them in December. Bold and Highlight your outcomes to make them bigger.
  5. For each month in your Annual Roadmap, create a branch for sprints, a branch for that month’s outcomes, and a branch for major events occurring that month (anything that has a significant impact on your time, like a vacation or house renovations).

Here’s an example of an Annual Roadmap:

Asian Efficiency Agile Results Annual Roadmap

Annual Roadmap Example (click to enlarge).

We create roadmaps like this in MindManager.

Monthly

  1. Create a copy of your monthly journal entry template into your monthly journal.
  2. Fill it out. Remember that your monthly outcomes should flow directly into your annual outcomes. When mapping out your month week-by-week, remember that it’s a rough plan that can be changed as the weeks happen.
  3. Take the monthly outcomes, and put them into your Annual Roadmap under outcomes for the current month.

Here’s the updated Annual Roadmap, with monthly outcomes:

Asian Efficiency Agile Results Annual Roadmap with Monthly Outcomes

Annual Roadmap with Monthly Outcomes (click to enlarge).

Weekly

  1. Create a copy of your weekly journal entry template into your weekly journal.
  2. Fill it out, remembering that weekly outcomes should be related to monthly outcomes.
  3. Create a Weekly Roadmap. Start a mindmap, and then create branches corresponding to each area of life: health, wealth, relationships, mind, play, passion projects, personal projects.
  4. Put your weekly outcomes into the Roadmap, and bold/highlight them.
  5. Put your weekly outcomes into your Annual Roadmap too, under the monthly outcome that they correspond to.

Here’s what that looks like:

Asian Efficiency Agile Results Annual Roadmap with Weekly Outcomes

Annual Roadmap with Weekly Outcomes (click to enlarge).

Asian Efficiency Agile Results Weekly Roadmap

Weekly Roadmap (click to enlarge).

Daily

  1. Create a copy of your daily journal entry template into your daily journal.
  2. Fill it out. Set your outcomes so they line up with weekly outcomes. Leave journal questions until the end of the day.
  3. Put your daily outcomes into your Weekly Roadmap.

Here’s a fleshed-out Weekly Roadmap:

Asian Efficiency Agile Results Daily Roadmap

Daily Roadmap (click to enlarge).

Congratulations! You’ve just done your first run through using Agile Results, and your system is now rocking and ready to go. Now let’s see how it works on a day-to-day basis.

Using Agile Results Daily

Using Agile Results (or any other productivity system for that matter) is basically about remembering to follow the system, and to keep it updated. This may take some willpower in the beginning, but with something like Agile it becomes second nature within a couple of weeks.

Annually

  • Do this the last week of December.
  • Review the current year’s outcomes. Spend as much time as you need, and write out as much detail as you need.
  • Do an annual journal entry and annual roadmap for the upcoming year.

Monthly

  • At the end of every month, review that month’s outcomes and plan the following month – new monthly journal entry and update your Annual Roadmap. Remember to put the hard stuff at the beginning of the month.
  • Be sure to pick a sprint. Sprints occur during your spare time, for example, picking something to read over breakfast.
  • Remember that your week-by-week plan can be adjusted to incorporate new information and results of trying things. This is Agile’s system of versioning and iterations.

Weekly

  • Every Sunday, review the past week and plan the next week. New weekly journal entry and a new Weekly Roadmap. Update Annual Roadmap too.
  • Have a rhythm to your week. Friday is usually a good day to clear inboxes and post-it notes. Remember to put your heavy loading (i.e., hard stuff) up front Monday through Wednesday.

Daily

  • As part of your morning ritual, write your 3 Daily Outcomes. Update your Weekly Roadmap with these outcomes.
  • As part of your evening ritual, review your completed (or not) outcomes, and answer your journal questions.
  • Have a rhythm to your day. Lock in your sleeping, eating, working out and working times, and plan activities around those.

What To Do Next

You now have the nitty-gritty details of how to setup and use a modified Agile Results productivity system. You can start right away – grab the tools you’ll need (our preferences – Evernote, MindManager, DevonThink, OmniFocus) draw up your journal entries and roadmaps, and start planning.

In the next (and final) introductory article on Agile Results, we’ll be looking at how to implement some of the more abstract concepts of Agile Results, using some neat processes, tools and systems.

Photo modified from: imgur

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Guest February 4, 2012 at 12:59AM

Can you give an example of an Evernote template, such as the Daily Journal, please?

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AE Aaron February 5, 2012 at 11:09PM

I use the format that we outlined in this post here: http://www.asianefficiency.com/organization/journal-entries/

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Ian February 6, 2012 at 12:44AM

Thank you

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walterafable February 5, 2012 at 9:43AM

I’m not sure what to think about this.  Like most I was really excited for this post, but after a couple of reads I’m struggling with the thought this feels like too much “work” to initially set up and then make part of my daily and weekly practices.  I’m afraid that I might invest the time to get this up and running but ultimately struggle to make the practices into regular habits.  Anyone else feeling the same sense of anxiety?

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AE Aaron February 5, 2012 at 11:14PM

That’s perfectly normal.

When I first started tearing through Agile it took about 2-3 days to properly understand how all the pieces fit together and how to actually apply them. Fortunately, our article series makes that implementation process a bit easier =)

Realistically you can get setup in about 1 day – take a Saturday or Sunday and do a first run through.

The day-to-day usage is about 30 minutes per day (10 minutes in the morning for setting outcomes, 10ish during the day for miscellaneous checking/usage, 10 minutes at night for wrapup). You can bump that out to about 45 minutes on weekends when you do a weekly/monthly review. Only the annual review stretches into days – and that’s only if you really want to take the time to go over your entire year.

As for making the system stick – start with the Rule of 3, and make sure you set daily outcomes every day, and then review them at the end of the day. Even if you don’t get all 3 done that day (because as human beings we are typically bad at estimating how much we can get done), you’ll get the system to stick. Then you’ll learn to set better outcomes, then you’ll see HUGE gains in direction towards goals.

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Charlesccunha February 5, 2012 at 6:27PM

I agree that this can get overwhelming in addition to the normal day to day.  I think you have to find your sweet spot, maybe keep it at the weekly or monthly journal level and above.

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AE Aaron February 5, 2012 at 11:15PM

Hey Charles,

That kinda defeats the key strength of Agile, which is the ability to trace what you do on a daily basis back to your weekly, monthly, annual outcomes and the goals in your life.
It may look like a lot, but if you spend a day getting setup and then remember to follow the format daily, it’s actually pretty straightforward.

- Aaron

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Daniel Dolinov February 7, 2012 at 10:30AM

This is excellent!  As I am going about the business of setting up the system using actual software (EverNote, FreeMind, OmniFocus) a few things come to mind:
1. Tasks versus Outcomes (and where the info should be kept) – you might be covering this in the last installment – as I keep my tasks in OmniFocus I would not necessarily want to do double entry on a daily basis.  At the same time, I would want to have an insight into the actual tasks.  Also, how do you differentiate between a task and an outcome on a Daily basis.  It almost strikes me that an Outcome should only exist on a Weekly/Monthly/Yearly basis.  On a given day I may realize an Outcome via completing a specific Task.  Thoughts?

2. Since I do need to deal with my day, as well as try to set up this system, I am finding that my focus is on the granular business of the Day.  I may very well deal with the Week, Month and Year later on, but RIGHT NOW I want to apply the principle to how my Tuesday (today) looks.  It might be helpful to provide a bottom up (Day to Year) approach to supplement (rather than supplant) the top to bottom (Year to Day) approach.

Regards,

Daniel.

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AE Aaron February 8, 2012 at 1:47AM

Hey Daniel, glad you’re liking the article series.

Here’s an example of tasks versus outcomes.

Some random tasks I have sitting in OmniFocus:
* Really look into Skywards FF program on flyertalk.com.
* Find a day to go to: http://www.ensogo.com/bangkok/bloody-hospital-27092011.html
* Organise trip and tickets for BlogWorld.
* Look more into Quora.

Some random outcomes from this year:
* Complete Rework Mindmap.
* Complete AE Sex and Motivation article research.
* Have business lunch with Dave B.
* Complete keyword research for Project XYZ.
* Compile Excel spreadsheet of website assets, locations and passwords.

You’re completely right that often completing a task completes an outcome. The main differentiation in my mind is that outcomes link back to goals. For example:
* Complete Rework Mindmap –> links back to my sprint for February which is to read 1 business book per week.
* Complete AE Sex and Motivation article research –> links back to one of my annual goals which is to take Asian Efficiency to the “next level”. I’ll leave out the metrics :)

To me OmniFocus has become more of a list/task storage platform. What really drives my days are the Roadmaps and Journal Entries. About once a week during review I go through and clear through OF in case I missed anything, and I do reference various OF projects/lists when I set daily outcomes – you can’t always be 100% on-point with outcomes every single day unfortunately.

Regarding your second question, we’ll make it a future article.

- Aaron

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Stephen February 11, 2012 at 4:48PM

This is great! Thanks so much!

Aaron, do you or anyone else AE have an example of a sentence or two of their life story that they wouldn’t mind posting? I’m having some trouble understanding how they should be written to be most effective. 

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AE Aaron February 13, 2012 at 5:59AM

Hey Stephen,

There is no ideal way to write them, because they’re highly personal and just for you. The point is not so much to make them follow a specific format, but to make sure they accurately reflect the past, present and future of that particular area of your life.

For the same reason that we don’t recommend sharing your goals with others, we also recommend not sharing your life story.

As I said above, each story contains:
1. How each story relates to your mission.2. The truth. Make sure you call yourself on any BS.3. The old story, including: faulty thinking, faulty logic, content and voice and faulty assumptions. Make sure you dig deep.4. The new story, which must: 1) align with your mission, 2) reflect the truth, 3) inspire you to take action. Be sure to include the truth, what would happen if the old story were to continue, show connections between your past and present circumstances, and a rough plan for action.5. Read your new story, and ask: 1) Does it take me where I want to go?, 2) Is it grounded in reality?, 3) Does in inspire genuine hope and make me want to take action?

Here is a generic fictional example, based on one of my favourite fictional characters:

The truth is, life has become a mundane routine that fluctuates between boredom and mild depression. Things that used to excite me – the wife, the children, my patients – no longer do. With each decision made, the path has already been predetermined by a social and political system that dictates what we are to do – be infantile, rebel, work as a drone, consume psychopharmacological drugs.

The question becomes, what if this is to change. What if instead of allowing each decision in life to be made by a predetermined order we allow it to fall entirely to chance? Controlled chance of course, within the boundaries of my own imagination, but chance nonetheless. What sort of behavioural flexibility can be created in a human being if the options and choices before him are entirely set – by himself, but then their expression is determined through nothing more than random fate.

In an effort to explore this effect (and escape the mundaneness of my existence), I will attempt to create in myself a multi-faceted man – he who is not bound by social constraint (the need to say hi, the need to prefer one gender over another), but he whose behaviour is limited only by 6 potential options and the roll of chance.

Every month I choose to choose 6 random options, and let them determine my fate for that month. I must play to character, living as-if I were that person, and knowing that the consequences outweigh having to live an otherwise dull existence.

That is a (fictional) example. And completely over-the-top and overly dramatic because it is based on fiction. Your own story will likely be much more straightforward, and should be longer (or shorter) depending on what you have to cover.

I want to stress that there is no “right” or “effective” way to write down these stories, as they are for you and for you only. Anyone else reading them will have little to no insight into what they mean, or their importance to you.

- Aaron

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Stephen February 21, 2012 at 7:44AM

This is great — just what I was looking for. Thanks!

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Jeroen T April 7, 2012 at 9:24PM

Hi, great material!

The example design of the weekly roadmap which is updated weekly and daily seems not to be in line with the text. According to the text, areas of life must be visible, which is not in the mindmap. Also, if you use the journalling approach using Evernote, is there really a need to repeat the questions why, how, result, timing on the weekly mindmap? Or does it mean that you are starting to recommend using only mind mapping and skip the journalling part?

Although I understand in the end it is my decision what to do, I would like to get your recommendation, based on experience…

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Aaron Lynn April 10, 2012 at 2:44AM

Haha, good spot. You’re 100% right. I only recently added areas of life to my weekly roadmaps – must have been a late night when I was doing the sample mindmaps. Most definitely use areas of life in your weekly/daily roadmaps.

I like having the why/how/result/timing on the mindmaps so I can review them when setting outcomes there and seeing how things tie together. Not 100% necessary – it’s more personal preference.

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Caleb May 13, 2012 at 12:30AM

Very thorough job! Do you create a year’s worth of monthly outcomes in one go, or do you add in a month’s outcomes as that month nears? It’s sort of overwhelming to plan out a whole year in advance, but I can see how it would be beneficial.

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Aaron Lynn May 13, 2012 at 8:26PM

Hi Caleb,

I plan month-by-month and recommend that. I’m pretty sure JD Meier says the same thing. The main reason is that our lives and circumstances tend to shift quickly – and what happens one month is most definitely going to effect the following month.

While it’s nice to map out a year in advance in broad strokes, each month really has to be defined at the start of the month, with all the consideration of prior months’ activities factored in.

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Kwanza Bowe September 28, 2012 at 8:38AM

This is awesome and I am taking your recommendation of getting onboard with Agile Results first before integrating it with and implementing GTD on OmniFocus.

1.) Do you recommend any free alternatives to Mindjet, as all of my monthly web services are starting to add up? Or will their free option for iPad serve my purposes?
2.) Not sure if this is the right place for this question, but I did a quick search for Basecamp and or/ Backpack on your site and did not find where you went into any detail on how you use it, except saying that Asian Efficiency Loves Basecamp and Fried’s book, Rework. I would LOVE to know:
a.) How are you using it (Basecamp/Backpack) alongside OmniFocus and Evernote with Agile Results and GTD?
b.) What do you use for your CRM system?
Thanks so much for all of your help and tips!

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Thanh Pham September 28, 2012 at 12:47PM

Hi Kwanza,

1. Free apps on the iPad work too or on the desktop. Although we don’t have a lot of experience with free apps, a lot of people seem to like Freemind.

2a. We don’t use Basecamp or Backpack. We recently started to use Asana for online collaboration. It’s an easier solution for our needs. While Asana is for online collaboration, we still both use OmniFocus for personal stuff alongside with Evernote. Asana holds specific tasks and outcomes we need to accomplish while we sometimes specify them in detail for ourselves in OmniFocus.

2b. We use Office Autopilot as our CRM. We really love it, but you have to do your own due diligence to see what’s best for you. There are a lot of them out there so don’t be surprised to test run a lot of them till you find what you like and need.

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Kwanza Bowe October 13, 2012 at 1:39PM

Thanks again so much Thanh. I got started with the Mindmanager just fine however, I kind of went on a little tangent trying to read up on the benefits/difference of working with Asana vs. Bascamp. Although I am thinking that Evernote and Omnifocus will better organize a lot of the stuff that I am using Backpack for, plus doing those frequently/repeated actions (can’t find the name for it now) also.

So, somewhere on the blog, I read AE’s reply to one of the comments that one should get a grasp of the Agile Results 1st, if you plan on using it with GTD. Now after completing these steps above (part 3 of Agile), should I go on toe Part 4, or should I stop/pause and go to Part 1 of Getting started with Omnifocus (using iPad version) or does it not matter in which order I proceed?

Thanks so much,

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Thanh Pham October 13, 2012 at 6:57PM

OmniFocus and Evernote work great together. We have a bunch of posts on that which I’m confident will be of help.

I would suggest you start with part 4 and then keep implementing Agile Results without the OF article series. Do this for a while and you’ll naturally learn OmniFocus too. Once you have a good grip, then reading the article series will help fill in the gaps. Till that time, there are no gaps and reading the material will give you a lot of confusing ideas that might seem contradictory.

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Kwanza Bowe October 13, 2012 at 7:25PM

Awesome, understood and thank you again.

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Kwanza Bowe October 13, 2012 at 7:29PM

Oh, I forgot to say thanks especially for answering on Saturday too…very helpful so I can keep the momentum going while the weather is bad:-) Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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Thanh Pham October 15, 2012 at 1:36PM

No problem, you’re welcome!

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Arsarn October 19, 2012 at 8:56AM

I’m implementing this page (plus a few tweaks of my own productivity system) with DEVONthink Pro. And I think it’s going great right now. :)

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Thanh Pham October 20, 2012 at 7:49PM

I love DT pro. I’ve been getting really into it lately. Great others like it too.

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Barbaros October 29, 2012 at 12:48PM

I have been trying to understand the fundamentals of Agile Results. I have already prepared (and eventually deleted) several journals, road maps, etc. You have already shared lots of inspiring examples, but could you please share one of your annual and monthly journal templates as well?

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Aaron Lynn November 5, 2012 at 2:12AM

This post should have everything you need about roadmaps:
http://www.asianefficiency.com/task-management/agile-results-mind-mapping/

For Journal Entries, they are largely personal and should basically contain your outcomes, observations and questions. This article is about daily entries, but the same ideas can be applied to both monthly and annual journal entries:
http://www.asianefficiency.com/organization/journal-entries/

Personally, my own entries for monthly and annual entries are basically:
1. Outcomes.
2. Reviews as those outcomes are completed.
3. A couple of questions I like to ask myself across each time period.
4. Any observations or notes.

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Chris November 25, 2012 at 11:58AM

What do you mean by “Systemized” Months, weeks, days? Can you give an example of the pattern of how the day, week, or month “flow” for you?

Thank you.

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Jay February 17, 2013 at 1:19PM

I’m with Chris here. Could you show an example of the pattern of how the day, week, or month flows? How would I put that in under the “systemized months” part?

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Matthew February 18, 2013 at 11:23AM

I’ve been following your suggestion about keeping both journals and roadmaps as described above. I find this approach very powerful.

However, especially at the beginning of a cycle – week, month, year – I find that I’m investing a lot of time updating everything. JD Meier’s response to this question as regards to the system he describes is that it should only take 10 minutes. I can see how that would be if I were to stick only to the journals.

Adding the roadmaps, however, especially since there are two of them, does seem to at least double that time occasionaly, if not even stretch out the review period to half an hour. That’s an awful lot of time.

I find the visual overview of progress that I get from the roadmaps very useful for the overall perspective, and the journals provide a quick and efficient way of keeping me on course on a day to day basis. I find that keeping them both is a source of stress at times, though. I wonder if you have any ideas or suggestions how to alleviate this and still keep both journals and roadmaps?

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Jay February 23, 2013 at 8:21AM

I’m following the guide and it seems to be a bit conflicting to create a notebook for “Areas of life” and “Life stories” where in the latter I put my stories regarding my areas of life? What do I put in the “Areas of Life” notebook if not this?

Regards,
Jay

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Aaron Lynn August 21, 2013 at 8:36PM

I swear I answered this earlier this year but looks like the comment didn’t post.

Areas of Life = notes related to each area. e.g., your gym workout routine can sit under the Health notebook.

Life Stories = the grand, overarching stories for each area as per The Power of Story. I suppose you could also put the “Health Story” under the Health Notebook too if you prefer.

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Dwayne August 21, 2013 at 7:51PM

It seems like people are still having trouble with implementing things, including me. Maybe another step by step tutorial is needed.

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Aaron Lynn August 21, 2013 at 8:34PM

We’ve got a follow-up article on the Evernote component of this scheduled for later this year :)

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Jamie November 10, 2013 at 8:27PM

Can you elaborate on “systemized” months, weeks, days? It seems like a big part of the annual Journal, yet I’m not sure what you mean.

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Aaron Lynn December 20, 2013 at 12:54AM

It’s actually as simple as it sounds.

Work out what your day looks like – what time do you get up, what do you do first, what time do you call it a day?

And then do the same for weeks, months, years. What days do you go to the gym, what days to you work on certain projects etc.

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Dan December 19, 2013 at 9:46AM

As Jamie said;

Can you elaborate on “systemized” months, weeks, days? It seems like a big part of the annual Journal, yet I’m not sure what you mean. And examples would be appreciated also.

Thanks.

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Aaron Lynn December 20, 2013 at 12:54AM

Answered above!

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