As the sole proprietor of my own business, I find it can be really hard to stay on task and get work done. In fact, even writing this review, I have other things I want to do. That being said though, it’s important to have end goals set in mind. Lots of studies show that people who work towards something are happier than people who just go to work and try to make it through the day.
iDoneThis is quickly becoming an indispensable tool for me. It’s a free service for individuals, and is a great way for companies to work together to keep each other on track with projects. Read on to find out why I think everybody needs to sign up for this service, whether they’re self-employed or work in a large corporation.
Keeping Up With Goals
My problem is that, because I’m self-employed, I don’t have a lot of motivation to get things done some days. It’s not easy to wake up and get to work when you set your own hours and you can just work whenever. My work is lovely, because I know I work better at night and I can plan accordingly, but at the same time, it also means I have to be extremely disciplined.
iDoneThis emails me every day and asks me what I did. I can respond in list format and just have a quick assessment of how much work I’m getting done on any given day. The service allows me to set a time — after days of receiving the email at 6pm, I recently changed it to 10pm to reflect a more accurate time of when I’m finishing up work — and I can reply to the email whenever I have time.
The email looks good too, and even provides a history of what you’ve been working on. I’ve been using the service for a bit over a week now, and today’s email included everything I did yesterday and everything I did a week ago as a retrospective. It’s not necessary, per se, but I do like having the feature available.
When you respond to the email, all you have to do is separate your tasks by line. There’s no need to use bullet points or anything like that; you just have to hit the Return button every time you move on to a new item iDoneThis takes care of the rest.
Although I’m not part of a larger corporation, I can see the potential for this to be used in group settings. iDoneThis would be a great way to track everybody’s progress in a project. Reportedly, Google has a similar system at their offices, and I could see why it would work.
Using it as part of a business requires a subscription, but there’s a thirty-day trial, so you’d be silly not to give it a shot with your coworkers and see if it’s a good fit for you. It could help you find the people that aren’t doing enough work or pulling their weight, and it could help you keep your project on track.
The Web Site
Of course, even though a lot of the service is orchestrated via email, the website is all sorts of awesome. I prefer to visit it instead of respond to the email, because it’s very visual.
Obviously, you’re able to write down, in list format, what you did that day. But beyond that, you’re also able to to get visuals on how much work you’re getting done over an extended period of time and even see Word Clouds.
I’ve been thrilled to look at the Impact graph and see my Dones increasing on average since I started using the service. I have that extra motivation to finish more work because I want to be able to say I did more at the end of the day. The only dip in my week comes on weekends, which I think is encouraging because it means I’m also taking the proper time to recharge.
The Word Cloud is also a cool feature, but I’m not too sure what purpose it serves with individual use. It allows you to take a look at what words you use the most often in your tasks, which would make more sense if you’re trying to accomplish something as a collective. I think it’s nice the feature is there, but the Dones is priceless.
An Open API
iDoneThis is also flexible enough to fit into existing workflows. The company has made an iPhone app that syncs directly with their service. They’ve also worked with Zapier and Draft to get workflows to iDoneThis straight from those web apps. There’s a Mac app, a Mac menubar app and even a Chrome extension.
Finally, there’s an Alfred script that allows you to post to iDoneThis straight from Alfred 2 if you have the PowerPack installed on your Mac.
Yes, it’s crazy how easy it is to update your iDoneThis account at the end of the day. You can check out all the supported app integrations here.
The Bottom Line
Look, I’ve been going over this feature-by-feature and have no doubt missed a few. But if I’m to be honest, the real reason you need to start using iDoneThis right away is because it might help you get more motivated. Maybe I’m a weak person, but the service has really encouraged me to boost my productivity. And for a free service, that’s priceless.
Because it’s free, you have no harm in giving it a shot. Why not set yourself up with an account and let us know what you think in the comments? There are far worse daily habits to have than iDoneThis.