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Joe’s Logbook

Joe’s Logbook

Some time ago, I had written a short piece on one of my favorite goal management Web sites called Joe’s Goals. The key to that site is its simple grading system and if you are a user, chances are, you realize the efficiency of the system. Now, the people who are in charge that Web site have gone one step further and have come up with something new, called Joe’s Logbook! Explained in plain words, this is an online logbook that you can use for tracking down a lot of things.

For example, say you are a writer and you have a set of daily goals for yourself. To track your efficiency, you can maintain a log on Joe’s Logbook and document your daily progress.

To start with, if you are already signed up for the Joe’s Goals Web site, you don’t need to sign up again. You can use the same login information for this site too. The interface is pretty simple, just like the Goals site. In fact, you will notice that Joe’s Logbook integrates into Joe’s Goals Web site seamlessly. In English, it means that after you log in, you can see your logbook, as well as, your goals in the main window.

The functionality is as simple as easy addition. To add a goal or a logbook item, just click on the link at the top right corner. Here I am going to focus only on the logbook. Say I want to create a logbook entry that keeps track of the number of pages I write everyday. To do that, I click on the little “Add: Logbook” link and a new entry form will come up. I’m going to call it “Pages Written.” Adding a new entry is as easy as pie, as you can see in the screenshot below.

Once an item has been added, you can just click once in the blank space and then add comments for the entry. Click Save and you are done. Over a period of time, you can track your activity (or the lack of it) by going through the comments for any particular entry. Another good idea is to link your goals and logbook entry for that particular goal together. The screenshot below explains all of that rather clearly.

As you can see, I have linked my “Writing” goal with the “Pages Written” logbook entry. For every day that I wrote, there’s a green checkmark in my goals box. Similarly, for all of those days, I am also documenting the number of pages that I wrote. Also, to combat becoming a lazy writer, I am tracking down the number of miles I run everyday. Is that cool or what?!

The advantage to this system is that it’s online. No matter where you go, you can access the system. Every green checkmark gets you a +1 and a red cross gets you a -1. Looking at the bottom of the table should give you an idea of how productive your day has been. What’s even cooler, is that if you are looking for someone to help you with your goals, you can share them with a sparring partner. This is especially beneficial for people who are working on projects together or for friends working in a competition with each other.

If you want to share your laziness (or your smartness) with the world, you can get a Joe’s Goals badge that you can proudly display on your blog or MySpace page, etc. Click on the link at the bottom of your page to get that. So, this is it folks. The trick is to ensure that you log your activities daily and track them periodically. If this guilt trip won’t drive your procrastination away, nothing will!

Just an idea: You can use this system to track down your:

-Weight loss activities or calorie count.
-Daily household expenses.
-Money earned from projects, if you are a freelancer.
-Job specific goals (like new business leads).
-Number of hours you spent playing games.


~ Yogesh Bakshi