How To: Make Your Own Don’tBreakTheChain

Musical Accompaniment:

kid break dancingThere is a site called Don’t Break The Chain based on the Seinfeldian wisdom that if you a) have daily task, and b) mark days on a calendar in which you completed that task, you c) build up a chain on the calendar that you don’t want to break.

I signed up for the site, but you have to add a separate calendar for each goal that you want to track. (That, and it’s yet another tool you have to add to your web app arsenal) Since I only have a few things that I want to do every single day, it wouldn’t be that big a deal, but I have a few other things (such as posting to this blog) that I want to make sure I do a few times a week, but not necessarily every day.

So, I went to a tool that I already use for things like my finances, car maintenance, book notes, etc.: Google Docs. Since GD is already part of my workflow, I find it easier to integrate new spreadsheets and docs even though it does basically just involve opening another web site.

Since I was creating my own spreadsheet though, I could add some customizations not available in Don’t Break The Chain. I not only addressed my ability to track more than a one goal on a page (eliminating the few seconds it takes to flip between calendars to update your chain), but also made it so that I could track my weekly goals in addition to my daily goals.


daily_to-doIt was very easy to just throw in two dates that were a week apart, and then drag that little blue square in the bottom right of the cell down so that GD copied weekly dates for me for several months at once. From the picture over there you can also clearly see that I have color-coded the cells so that the colors change depending on a) the number of times I want to do something each week, and b) the number of times I have done that thing this week.

So, you can see I’m doing well with Exercise, need to do some serious Meditation, and am falling behind on my Jammin’ and Groovin’. I’ve posted once to this blog – and since I’m only aiming for 2 per week, that gets me to Yellow already; I’m good on Friending Natalie Portman; and need to get in a little more Humping of Mannequins.

Here’s what it looks like in GD when you select Format -> “Change colors with rules…” You can change the text color in addition to the background color, but I find that just makes it hard to read.



Gravity Time Breakdance

Originally uploaded by homardpayette.


Posted on July 17, 2009, in Productivity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on How To: Make Your Own Don’tBreakTheChain.

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