A few days back, my friend Ryan wrote a very nice piece on keeping an eye on the big picture and how to make progress with little steps. Life goals and achievement experts also advocate the same. Take any of your goals and break them down into the smallest achievable steps. Focus on the smallest step and take it…but keep the big picture on the radar.
Climbing any of life’s peaks could be the same I guess. Even if it’s as daunting as Everest. The smallest step? It of course, starts with a dream.
“If you don’t have a mountain, build one and then climb it. And after you climb it, build another one; otherwise you start to flatline in your life.”
I believe Sylvester Stallone when he says this. He has climbed his personal peaks. But we, the average Joes have to climb ours, and that’s where a free iOS app aptly called Everest could help.
Live Your Dreams, but Don’t Forget To Capture Them First
Everest is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch running iOS 6 or later (for free). You can think of Everest as a combination of a goal-setting tool, a bucket list, a vision board, and a productivity coach. At its most basic, it is a getting-things-done app that means to track your journey from a definite beginning to a satisfactory end. As the app developers so pointedly say – Everyone has their Everest. We help you climb yours.
The personal development and productivity market is a multi- billion dollar one as reflected in the sheer number of content on the subject. Plus – the apps on various platforms. The appeal of Everest lies in the way it has beautifully packaged everything together.
Beautifully Capture Your Journey from Dreaming To Doing
Everest works on more than one level:
- It is a place to capture all your dreams…like a bucket list.
- Break your larger dreams into a sequence of definite steps with deadlines and reminders.
- Focus on your top three goals. Any more than that and you probably could get overwhelmed.
- Capture the moments in photos and notes as you work towards your goal. This could be your vision board.
- Share your dreams with others or the whole wide world.
- Stay motivated by learning from others with similar goals.
- Take on challenges that take your dreams to the next level.
With that overview, let’s jump into the screens and how the app puts everything together.
Tell Everest All about Your Dreams
On Everest, any life event which you plan to realize is called a Dream. You can start by registering and then decorating the app with your pretty mug shot and also link via Facebook or Twitter. The app takes you through a brief walkthrough. I like to keep my dreams to myself for now, so decided to ignore the social media links for now. Later, I might if I feel like shouting out an achievement from the rooftops or seek some crowdsourced motivational counseling.
Tapping on the bright yellow icon sets the journey in motion. Start a new dream to add your first. You can fill up the following blank screen with your very first dream. The What kind of dream field slots the dream into a category when you pick one up from choices like Adventure, Causes, Creative, Health, Learning etc. If you tap and make the dream public, it will be shared with the community and they might drop in to comment on it.
A dream is nothing if you don’t try to realize it with some action steps. Turn to the dream and tap on it to open the screen as illustrated below:
This screen allows you to add steps (with deadlines and reminders) and also say why the dream is important for you. The nicest part of Everest is that it allows you to give a ‘face’ to your dream with the help of a cover photo. Set cover with your own from the camera roll, take a new one or allows Everest to surprise you. Everest uses your dream as a keyword and downloads one from its collection. You can keep tapping and let Everest surprise you with a choice of images (not many right now…and not always accurate).
You can then proceed to break down your lofty goals into manageable micro-steps by clicking on Add a step (the little yellow ‘thunder’). As you can see, each step can be assigned a deadline and you can toggle it as completed if you actually do. All steps are collated and show up on the tab dedicated to them.
Steps can also be added from the main screen by tapping on the ‘+’ icon or from the tab that’s dedicated to the display of all steps from all your dreams. This gives you an overview of what you have to do day to day to achieve your goals and dreams.
The Focus Dreams: It’s difficult to handle all your dreams in one go. So, Everest gives you a space to focus on just three. Drag the main three and place them under the focus area to bring them front and center.
Explore: The Explore screen is really interesting because like any social media it lets you turn into a voyeur and see how others are following their dreams. You can see each of their steps (if their privacy settings allow) and best of all – copy their dreams and make them your own.
Challenges: Pick one or few from the ones on view and make them your own. You can mark them as complete when done or drop the challenge in defeat. I am not sure how the gamification works here, but completing the steps nets you some points. The steps are also included as part of the challenge package.
A Useful Tool If You Want To Forge Ahead
Everest is beautifully put together. I noticed a one or two bugs along the way – for instance, one of my focus goals disappeared from the focus area and I had to drag ‘n drop it back. But really nothing that takes away from the seamless experience. These are relatively early days for the app, but I have a few things on my wishlist for future iterations:
- Allow me to get an overview of all the steps of each specific dream. Now, we get to see all steps collated for all dreams on one screen.
- Allow me to do a search online for a cover image (e.g. download a Creative Commons image).
- Allow me to see the streak of successfully achieved steps graphically, like a habit streak.
Tell us about the peaks you want to climb. Tell us about your favorite app, or about Everest and the impression it just created.