Priorities in Progress Turtle

Progress Turtle is organized using a system of priorities. Priorities are categories that represent what you care about. This article explains the mechanics of creating, reordering, and deleting priorities in Progress Turtle. It also offers some thoughts on how to conceptualize, create, and evolve priorities to maximize your success.

Creating a Priority

To create a new priority, sign in to Progress Turtle and click the 'Priorities' link in the menu at the top of the page. Create a priority by typing it in the input field and clicking the 'Add >' button or pressing enter. Your priority will be added immediately and will be available to take notes on right away.

Add priorities

Ordering Priorities

To reorder priorities, click the up and down arrow to the right of each priority. The order of your priorities on the priorities page determines their order on each daily entry page.

Order priorities

Deleting a Priority

To delete a priority, click the red 'x' to the right of the priority. Deleting a priority will delete all notes and counts associated with the priority.

Delete priorities

General Priority Notes

To keep non-daily persistent notes on any of your priorities, click the title of the priority on the priority list or on any daily entry. This will bring you to a form that contains your general notes. Use this form to change a priority's name. General notes are a good place to keep higher level information related to the priority for later reference.

General notes on priorities

Keeping Daily Notes and Counting Progress

The lion's share of note taking and counting will take place on Progress Turtle's daily note entries page. To read more about keeping notes, click here

Some Thoughts About Notes

There is no 'correct' way to set your priorities. In discussing priorities with our users, we've learned that methods for setting and ordering priorities differ widely depending on who you are and what your priorities are. We want everyone to feel empowered to experiment and do what's right for them. Here are a few general thoughts to consider:

Broad vs. Narrow: Think about whether you want to set general or specific priorities. For example, a broad priority like 'health' could be a useful way to help you start considering how the things you do every day affect your health. However, keeping track of a priority as broad as 'health' could quickly become overwhelming. A vague priority like that might cause you to lose steam in the medium or long run. In that case, you might start thinking about how you could divide your 'health' priority into more manageable priorities. One example might be dividing 'health' into separate priorities for 'fitness', 'nutrition', etc. Being more specific might make it less daunting to relate your everyday actions to the priorities you've set. On the other end of the spectrum, you might create very specific priorities like 'train for race' or 'lose 10 pounds.' Specific priorities like this can be super helpful. But be careful not to set too many priorities that are too specific or you risk turning Progress Turtle in a to-do list, which has drawbacks. In any event, the point here is to give some thought to how specifically you are defining your priorities. Being mindful of the differences between general and specific priorities can have an important impact on your success.

Objective vs. Subjective: Another thing to consider is whether your priorities are objective or subjective. In other words, can your priorities be measured or quantified? It is impossible to put numbers on many of the most important things in life. But that doesn't mean they're not worth our attention. Setting a priority like 'lose 10 pounds' may be satisifying because it allows you to determine with mathematical precision how far you've come. But the drawback with a priority like that is that it may get in the way of your attention to other more important subjective priorities like 'physical energy', 'alertness', or 'ambition.' Thinking about how to stike a balance between objective and subjective priorities is a rewarding experience that leads to growth.

Changing Things Up: Our conversations with users have demonstrated that being able to change, reorganize, and reframe priorities is closely correlated with success. In other words, people who adapt their priorities over time are more likely to make meaningful progress in them. The key here is to balance consistency with openness to change. When thinking about changing priorities, we recommend thinking of the process as an evolution - something that changes slowly over time but in the short term remains consistent and stable.

Focusing on Today: Progress Turtle has politely declined numerous requests for features that would allow users to view statistics on past activity. Likewise, we've decided to not build features focusing on planning future notes. There's a reason we're so adamant about focusing on today's notekeeping over summarizing the past or planning the future. We want Progress Turtle to help users stay focused on what's being done *today* to make progress toward priorities - not obsessing about what's done or what will come next. The value of a micro-journal like Progress Turtle is that it helps establish a pattern and habit of thinking about what's happening today and how those things contibute to what we prioritize in life.

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