Most of us need to mix up our organising with a little creativity to keep ourselves motivated. We need to be able to see not just the tasks at hand, but reminders of our goals and all the useful things we found along the way. What we need is a way to bring it all together visually and memorably. To have all your pictures, links, tasks relevant to this aspect of your life together and ready for action. This is where Netvibes becomes an amazing asset.
It doesn’t really have to be Netvibes. iGoogle or maybe another similar RSS/portal/start page would do the trick just as well. The goal here is to create a place online where you can easily access a selection of your favourite life focus points, projects or whatever. One online destination, many tabs for your goals.
I’m personally a fan of Netvibes as a start page for many reasons. It’s not my main feed reader, but there are good reasons for duplicating a few RSS feeds in to Netvibes. You’ll see why soon as I outline how you can use Netvibes.
The Set Up
It’s surprisingly easy to set up, too. Head over to Netvibes and get an account. Create a new tab for your goal. For instance, I’ve chosen to make a “Holidays” tab. A project you might have in mind could be your online job search.
You can choose how you want the column layout of the tab to be by choosing “edit”.
Now, you want to add a module for your tasks. If you’re using Remember The Milk, there’s a great ready-made module. If you can’t find a widget for your usual task manager, see if you can get an RSS feed for your tasks. Then you can simply add the RSS feed as a module.
Set up your task module so that it only shows the relevant tasks for this part of your life. In RTM, it’s easy to pick a pre-made smartlist (the picture above shows how to save a search as a smartlist in RTM). For others, you might be able to filter by tag or something.
Now, make a module for your links. If you’re using Delicious or some other link manager with RSS, you can use an RSS widget to bring in your relevant links. For instance, links tagged with “Holiday” would be brought in to mine.
Also grab a few pictures that remind you of your goals. There’s a Flickr module which brings in a grid of pictures using RSS. I love this module particularly because the feed doesn’t have to come from Flickr – it can be any picture RSS feed. Bring in relevant picture RSS feeds from your albums on Flickr or ideas on Tumblr. Bring in Flickr group photos that remind you of your goals.
Take a look at the sorts of RSS feeds you can get from Delicious bookmarks. Mix that with a little strategy for organising your studies using Delicious and you can see that we’re able to get some extremely useful information by RSS.
Then add a few inspiring RSS feeds of blogs relevant to your goal. For instance, in my “Holidays” tab I’ve added travel advisories, French travel blogs and French learning blogs. If you want to mix and match your RSS feeds before importing, use something like Yahoo pipes to tweak them first.
As you can see, with everything together like this, it’s hard not to feel motivation towards your goal. Also, when you focus the page on the tasks you really want to work on, then you’re not going to wind up feeling like you should be doing everyday tasks instead of focusing on your goals.
Do you use a system like this? Which apps do you use? What priorities have you dedicated a tab to and why? Let us know your great ideas!
Image Credit: WorldIslandInfo.com
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