Tuesday 23rd January 2018
It always seems to take me until the end of the month to get myself in gear for the year.  My friend says that it’s the same in the gym, that the big influx of new people comes a few weeks into January rather than in the first week.
Having a theme for the year definitely helps me prepare.  In creating new challenges and goals for myself I always refer back to my theme and ensure that they are in keeping with that theme.  So, for example, this year (The Year of Priorities) are they about making difficult choices and going all-in on that choice?
For my fitness goals, I’m moving away from them being primarily focused on my swordfighting.  Instead I’m going for body image. It’s not that I’ve given up on making myself a faster, stronger swordfighter, I’ve just changed the focus to keep my motivation going.  Dropping body fat and building muscle is no different to what I’ve been doing these last few years, but the new goal gives me a slightly different focus through which to motivate myself and push on.
It’s good to switch things up I think, even if the end result is going to be the same.
This week has seen me start to get myself organised.  Again, not that I was disorganised before, but this refocusing, re-enforces motivation that left me flagging at the end of last year.
So ToDoist is being more actively used.  In recent years I tend to rely heavily on it during times of being busy, but currently it’s more about building (or relearning) habits that will carry me through the year ahead.  It’ll help me manage my priorities and so, given the theme of the year, it’s something I felt worthwhile.
I’ve also swapped around my note-taking.  I’d been a casual Evernote user for years but I never really felt I mastered it.  Evernote is one of those rare software products that’s so flexible it’s easy to get lost because the process to use it is your process rather than something defined you can learn  (the writing software Scrivener can be a bit like that as well).
In the last couple of years, Evernote changed their packages which meant the free version became a lot less useful.  I didn’t use it heavily but I did make a point about a year ago of swapping to One Note.
To be fair, all I really currently use it for is to store ideas.  I’d toyed with the idea of building a wiki for my worldbuilding and got something roughly working… but other than that I couldn’t see a clear delineation between Evernote and Dropbox.
I think I have that now.  DropBox is for files, One Note / Evernote is for notes.  Yes, a note can be a file but does, for example, a sword drill need to be a file I can send to people, or a reference note for myself.  Likewise, the lastest draft of a novel needs to be a file.
Notes are for myself, files are for things I can share with others.
Whilst the difference is still a bit hazy, I want to start taking more notes.  And for me the key to that is being able to do that everywhere:  in the office, waiting in line at the Post Office, sat at home at my desk.  And that means I want something with the widest range of accessibility possible.
It’s part of the reason why I love ToDoist.  I can bring up my task list as easily on my phone as I can my work laptop
For that reason I made the switch back from OneNote to Evernote.  Yes, it costs money, but there was an offer and I think I’m going to start heavily using notes.  Ironically, whilst OneNote has a wide array of tools, using it on my work laptop isn’t easy.  It wants to save notes in my OneDrive and despite moving them to my DropBox, it still doesn’t play nice.
Evernote keeps my notes separate and doesn’t need cloud storage.  I prefer the interface.  I find it easier to access
This time of year is very much about getting the tools and processes in place for the year ahead.  I’ve moved my notes back into Evernote this week, organised them and hopefully given them some structure.
I’m feeling good about the year ahead, but am still on the lookout for further tools and processes to help me.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

Past Issues: 366|  365 | 364 | 363 | 362 | 361
360 | 359 | 358 | 357 | 356 | 355 | 354 | 353 | 352 | 351 | 350 | 349 | 348 | 347 | 346 | 345
Past Years: 2017 – The Year Of The Offensive