It’s that time of year again! Ode to the exhilaration, goodwill, and ever mounting work that comes with closing your business year while maximizing your holiday festivities.
During this busy time of year let your Brain be your digital assistant so you can stay focused on your key goals and events. Here are twelve must have Thoughts that will make your holidays richer and your work load lighter; so you can spend more time with the people that matter most to you and end your year with a bang.
Project Focused Thoughts that Save Time for the Holidays
With a few additional Thoughts and links, your Brain can dramatically streamline your tasks and mitigate any unforeseen holiday hassles.
1. Travel and Trip Planning Thoughts
Whether you are going to the airport to pick up your grandmother or flying up north to see your parents, TheBrain is the ideal tool for organizing travel. You can create Thoughts for key destinations and drag and drop all relevant Web pages from the best hotels to main attractions. It’s also really useful to create a Thought for airlines and use the notes section (below your Thoughts) to type in all their phone numbers so they are always at your fingertips.
For a quick demo on my travel Brain you can watch this video
And also see Matt’s travel Brain in Action!
2. Special People Thoughts
The holidays are all about connecting with people. You can drag and drop your friends’ Facebook pages, Outlook contacts or simply type in their name and add their information in your Thought notes. I like to link people to the city they live in. This way when I visit somewhere I can click on that city and easily see who to have dinner with during my stay.
Of course, adding family members into your Brain is something you will get use from all year round. Clicking on the in-laws and seeing their connection to bowling will remind you to get them those passes for Christmas and a link to your sister’s favorite author from Oprah’s book of the month will be a very helpful reminder for a nice stocking stuffer under the tree.
3. Gift Ideas and Online Shopping Thoughts
You can see where this is going… Yes, everything is connected. So now linked to the people you love can be notes or Thoughts to gift ideas. You can drag and drop their favorite books from Amazon to trigger interesting ideas and help you customize the perfect gift.
This is also a useful Thought for office managers who are buying holiday gift baskets for clients. You can drag and drop the best ones in, show them to your boss, and then place your order.
This section is a must for avid online shoppers. Often you will run across something online that is perfect for your family but it’s not their birthday or Christmas. Then when that magical occasion comes around, you can dazzle them with that perfect gift or conversation topic. Just activate Mom’s Thought and your plethora of ideas and online gifts is right there.
4. Holiday Schedules and Event Planning Thoughts
Use TheBrain’s built-in calendar to remind you of key deadlines. Set up reminder Thoughts for key dates or deadlines so you can be sure nothing is overlooked. Additionally many people take time off during this season. Be prepared and link in schedules. Connect people to their replacements or supervisors so you have the right contacts when they are out of the office.
If you are planning any holiday parties, you can link all event venues, budgets and guest lists together for complete project management. For more information, see the TheBrain for project management video.
5. Year End Sale Figures, Metrics Thoughts and Multitasking Mode
Of course with the season so merry it’s very important to stay focused on key work projects to ensure you meet your annual goals. Now more than ever it is especially important to have Thoughts for key business objectives. With TheBrain there’s no limit to the number of Thoughts or connections you can make so you can link all relevant documents and online resources. If you are concerned about increasing your sales read my blog post on “Increasing Your Sales with TheBrain”.
In fact, TheBrain’s instant activate is ideal for people who are multi tasking. Just type in the first couple letters of your project or goal in the Instant Search Box and TheBrain displays this Thought and all related connections. So you get the big picture on all key aspects of a task and an immediate visual briefing of what needs to be done. This allows you to switch tasks quickly and still remain focused.
6. Year End Tax Planning Thoughts
Each year end gets easier and easier with your Brain. You can visualize key business processes and steps to ensure you are prepared; make the necessary investments and plans for year end. Throughout the year you should also drag and drop interesting web articles from fortune.com or other finance oriented web sites. This way you will always have them when you need them, and aren’t scratching your head trying to explain to your accountant about this tax credit that you can’t quite remember but read about online a couple months ago.
7. Lessons Learned and New Year’s Resolution Thoughts
As the year comes to a close both personally and professionally adding some Thoughts and ideas on key milestones in your life and lessons learned will ensure you capture valuable knowledge for years ahead.
You can create Thoughts for any 2013 goals or resolutions. What’s great about TheBrain is that your new year’s resolution list doesn’t have to be a static list. You can build a complete knowledge base under your goal on how to achieve it! For example, if your goal is to reduce your cholesterol or lose 10 pounds, you can have links to key diet sites, fitness logs, and notes on your progress. Your Brain becomes your launch pad for success.
Festive Thoughts for Holiday Fun!
Sprucing up your Brain with wallpaper and some holiday Thoughts can be a very entertaining project and at the same time help prepare you for your in-laws! I recommend the following new Thought for the holidays:
8. Winter Events and Destinations
When the snow comes you might as well make the most of it. This is a section for all your winter activities including skiing, snow tires and snow angels. This is the part of your brain where you can put frivolous YouTube videos like how to make snow angels and the world’s largest snowwoman.
If you are a skier you can create a section here on the best resorts, specials, and link all your trip plans. You can also add Thoughts for winterizing your car here.
9. Holiday Decorating Ideas and Resources
Drag and drop ideas from online design stores or brainstorm on holiday themes for family get-togethers. You can even attach your shopping list so you know exactly what to pick up when you venture into the crowded stores.
10. Holiday Recipe and Menu Planning
Let’s face it for most of us the holidays are all about the food. But for any time of year linking and organizing your favorite recipes takes your cooking to the next level. With TheBrain’s associative interface one recipe or dish can be effectively categorized under multiple Thoughts so you can always discover the right dish for all occasions. For instance, eggnog could be under both “Christmas Meals” and “Cocktails”. Drag and drop Web links to launch the recipe web page. You can also cut and paste from the web or jot down new recipes in TheBrain’s Notes area.
11. Religious Traditions
Diving deeper into the meaning of the holiday season with your digital brain can be very enlightening. You can use TheBrain’s built-in search web feature and then drag and drop web sites and make connections to other Thoughts or ideas in your Brain for a complete perspective. This can also be an area where you link to Christmas Carol lyrics or traditional family items.
12. Charities and Good Deed Thoughts
When yearend comes this is the time to finalize any donations. Once a donation is made this Thought is a great place to store all your receipts. If you get the receipt by email you can drag and drop the message in. For hardcopies I recommend scanning as a PDF file and adding them in.
If you want to get even more creative, you can create a “Goodwill Thought” and brainstorm on ways you can make your home, office and/or the world a brighter place. It could be as simple as taking a niece or nephew out for the day, bringing home some fresh cut flowers, or planning some volunteer work in your community. A noble exercise that is perfect for your digital Brain.
Your Holiday Brain
Even just a few of these Thoughts should bring some order to your busy life and certainly some good old fashion holiday cheer. So as you start decorating your tree and putting your Christmas lights up, don’t forget to dress up your brain this holiday season. It will keep you focused and energized into the coming year.
Your Holiday Brain Template
Download a copy of my Happy Holidays Brain for ideas and useful categories to start your own.