How I’m using Twitter and Hootsuite to make progress tracking happen

What a trip the last two days have been. It started with this blog post about an inspiring TED talk & now I’ve connected with Susan Alexander‘s 30Day Challenge series on her blog, Good Disruptive Change.

If I take everyone I talk to seriously, it sounds like our main issue with completing a challenge is tracking progress. If only tracking is not such a chore, isn’t it? It’s the same with me. In fact, when Susan asked me about my experience with challenges I realised that I lack the discipline in tracking progress because ‘discipline‘ sounded like too much hard work! So I asked myself:

  1. What if being disciplined can be fun & meaningful?
  2. What if tracking progress is so natural I can’t NOT do it?
  3. What if tracking progress shows me what I need to see on one page?
  4. What if tracking progress can really help me learn more about how I think & do stuff?
  5. What if me tracking my own progress can benefit other people as well?

If you checked out my earlier blog post, I  listed my 30day challenge items. I’m on Day 3 now & I feel very alive. Mostly because I know I don’t need to sit myself down at the end of the day & write a report. If you’re interested to know how you could do the same, here’s where I’ll write about:

  1. How I’m using Twitter to record my progress,
  2. How I’m using Hootsuite to make recording the journey hassle-free

So-

1. How I’m using Twitter to record my progress: I use # hashtags.

I’m on Twitter a lot. I love it not just for the ideas & insights I get from the links in tweets, but for the discussions that I join. Facebook doesn’t give me this satisfaction, but that’s another story for another time. On Susan’s 30Day Challenge post I told her about how I use # (hashtags) to record my progress. The picture shows you how it looks like. If you want to, you can view the bigger picture on twitpic if you click on it.

2. How I’m using Hootsuite to make recording the journey hassle-free: I create a tab & add my #tags as streams.

I enjoy the new Twitter design. When on my computer, I just use the website. When I’m participating in Twitter discussions like #TTOT, #innochat & #storyfriday, I use my Hootsuite dashboard instead. For the 30day challenge, I created a new tab (no. 2) that has all my challenge items sorted into streams (no. 1). This way, I can see what I need to see on one page. Minimum distractions too, BTW.

At the most left is my main #30day stream (no. 3) where I can see everything that’s tagged with #30day. I’m not the only one using the tag & I’m learning about what other things can be done in 30 days too!

No.s 4, 5 & 6 are my items, tagged #photo, #word & #question, respectively. These #tags are not foreign to me, so it’s natural to use them. They’re also closely related stuff that I personally love to do, as someone who comes up with different kinds of content for different purposes.

Even now, at the early stage of this challenge, I’m beginning to see my pattern – the words I use & my tone, for starters. I predict I can understand my own thinking pattern better as I move along. Using #tags also serves the purpose of sharing what I know with like-minded people who, like you & me, use different tags to filter the huge load of data into information that we can use immediately.

Looks like I’m already answering my own 5 questions. I’m glad & grateful for that. Come by Susan’s blog & you’ll see the ideas & ways how others are answering their own questions through her 30Day Challenge Series.

Now if you’re looking to using your own existing tools to track progress of any kind, or just looking for a different way to look at things & do things better, I recommend strongly to start with your own set of ‘what if’ questions. To learn more about the power of what-ifs, do check out Luke G William‘s book, Disrupt – full book title’s there on the book page. It may help you find the right spark to get you going.

In the meantime, it’s #30day Day3 for me! See you again soon.

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