This current recession is taking its toll on workers, even those running Macintosh. However, Aspire, a forthcoming program by UNIFIQ, may offer some help with the big life goals.
I talking with a friend the other day, who is now working just half time after a partial layoff. She was wondering about different kinds of marketing writing. We talked about the business climate, sipped our coffees and watched the street scene at a sidewalk cafe in San Francisco (California weather, 'nuff said).
While she was focused on the next contract job or position, I suggested that in addition to the usual job search, she would do well to consider what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. What were the things that she had passion about — in addition to putting bread on the table for her family? Perhaps this layoff was an opportunity to examine her life beyond the daily or weekly existence.
Aspire, a Mac program now in beta release, automates this "task" by offering brainstorming and some basic management tools. The program divides your life into goals (that look like a brass plaque on the screen), obstacles (bordered with caution tape stripes), solutions (little chalk boards). You can connect notes to any element.
There are different views of this data that offer perspective and the program lets you add or subtract weight to elements. After you get a handle on the big picture with Aspire, you can drop some the solutions into your project management software for a timeline.
On the company blog, author Mark Roseman said that Aspire takes a different tack than the usual "productivity application."
It's important to say up front that I don't think one approach is "better" than another; in fact, what I think is important is a balance. The last thing I want Aspire to be is something that tries to pull your to-do list, project management, or GTD software from your cold dead hands. Instead, I want Aspire to help you in thinking through and tracking the long-term goals in addition to the short-term ones.
More than ever before, with all the economic and other craziness, I think now is really a time where a renewed focus on long-term goals is a very good thing.
The company says it will charge $39 for the software when it hits Version 1.0. Right now, you can purchase the beta version for $19 (and there's a free 30-day trial). BTW: it requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.