We’re fast approaching February, but it’s never to late to plan ahead! Creating a checklist of your goals helps you work more effectively and is an easy way to see what you’ve achieved over the course of 2012. We’ve put together some tips for you to build your own list and move forward from your approach in 2011.

Find the planning tools you need
It’s often a winning combination of different tools that will help you maximise efficiency and keep organised throughout 2012. Project Pier, Trello and Remember the Milk are all good options, and there are plenty of apps available for tablets and phones. The important thing is to find what works for you and your business.

Get ahead for the year
Start by marking off any events with set times and dates for the upcoming year, and then work down to your goals and projects per quarter and finally per month before you start planning across the next few weeks.

Record your goals
Make a short list of goals and resolutions for the coming year – maybe you want to explore a new programming language or create a WordPress plugin. Try blogging about your aims or list them on 43things.

Set yourself up for success
Think about what technologies and tools would have helped enhance your workflow last year and create a separate list. Perhaps you need to upgrade Dropbox, improve your lighting or buy a new computer in 2012.

 

 

Organise your email
Chances are you got bored of filing your email into categorised folders at some point in 2011, so make it a resolution for 2012 and delete/archive all the email you don’t need.

Sort out your bookmarks
If you’re a favouriting fiend, don’t forget the tweets you bookmarked and the different devices you may have bookmarked sites on. Delete, organise, and consider using a cloud solution like Delicious to have everything in one place, if you don’t already. Pinterest is also useful for categorising images, and using Google Reader to its full potential will save you a lot of time.

Update, update, update
There have been new releases of WordPress and Zen Cart recently, amongst others, and checking and implementing updates for all the scripts and systems you run on a regular basis is essential to keep your sites secure. For some scripts you will need to subscribe to forum threads or emails to be informed of the latest releases.

Consolidate to save time
Reducing the number of email addresses, subfolders and scripts you use can save you lots of time and hassle. Even just clearing out your hard drive can make a huge difference.