Ginni Chen - of iDoneThis fame

At the beginning of this year I had a conversation with Ginni Chen of iDoneThis fame, and then I got sick. The post I was preparing from that exchange was never published. I’m healthy now and I want you to get to know this simple, smart and sweet online tool. Below, Ginni did a Q & A with me on the behalf of the rest of the iDoneThis team. I like iDoneThis. It’s like leaving breadcrumbs on the path to your success. Also, be sure to read to the end because it’s also a great tool for keeping a team effort stoked.


Q: ProNagger helps people make large projects, completed projects. How do you suppose iDoneThis might help my clients?
A: iDoneThis is a great tool for your clients because it tracks, piece by piece, how those large projects come together.  Large projects require pulling together multiple smaller components and often take longer periods of time to complete.  iDoneThis helps users account for their progress both substantively and temporally – users can follow the completion of each of the varied components over time, as well as follow the precise amount of progress made day to day.

Q: How does iDoneThis work?
A: iDoneThis is a web-based productivity application that emails you once a day to ask you, “What did you get done today?”  All you have to do is hit reply and write down what you accomplished that day.  iDoneThis then makes your daily list of “dones” available in your calendar view.  You can go back 1 or 2 days, or 1 or 2 months, and see exactly what you did on any given day.  iDoneThis can also be used for teams/groups of users.  Every member of the team is able to report his or her contribution to the team for the day, and is also able to view what other team members have accomplished.

Q: Who’s the master mind?
A: We had 3 master minds.  Walter Chen, Rodrigo Guzman, and Jae Kwon.

Q: What was the mission in starting iDonethis?
A: To help people get things done.
Initially, the master minds used it to help THEM get things done.  Rodrigo first used it for his fitness and running routines.  Walter used it to teach himself Ruby on Rails.  Jae used it to store his memories.

Q: Who benefits the most from your service?
A: People who want to make the most of their day.
“Making the most of your day” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, all of whom iDoneThis can help. For some people, making the most of their day means doing hundreds of chores, tasks or activities that relate to work/school/fitness/training/etc. – basically life in general.  iDoneThis benefits them because they will have a great list of the myriad  tasks they’ve accomplished.
For other people, making the most of their day means working towards goals and aspirations. The daily incremental steps of great life changes, whether it’s becoming something, starting something, or building something, can all be recorded and accounted for using iDoneThis.
And there’s another group of people for whom making the most of their day means taking time to reflect, preserve memories, and enjoy the passage of time.  For those people, iDoneThis reminds them to stop and ponder their daily lives.  iDoneThis also has nostalgic value for them because they can look back on specific days and see what they did.

Q: What’s the best way to use iDonethis?
A: Fanatically.  No, I’m just kidding.  Although it does help to be diligent about using it everyday.  The app is so simple that there really isn’t a best way.  You get an email, you write back what you did.  The End.  After some time passes, what you wrote is going to be pretty fun to look at.

Q: How does iDoneThis motivate users?
A: iDoneThis is a great motivational tool because knowing what you can do and have done gives you the momentum to do more the next day.  It’s like when you go for a long run.  When you realize how many miles you’ve logged and that you’re more than halfway there, it gives you that extra push to the finish.
I’m particularly prone to moments of melodrama when I decide things are hopeless and I’ll never accomplish something.  Then I check my iDoneThis calendar and realize that I said that three weeks ago but still managed to get it done.  So I like being reminded of how ridiculous I’m being.

Q: What if I’m working with a team or involved in a joint venture is there a way to use iDoneThis with my team?
A: Yes! These days, you can sign up for iDoneThis as a team and we’ve built a business-oriented aspect to our service.  iDoneThis’s team accounts are a great way to track, share, and celebrate what you’ve gotten done with team members at work.  It’s especially helpful for teams that work remotely because it allows everyone to stay in touch on a daily basis.

Here’s how it works:  iDoneThis sends everyone on your team an email each evening asking, “What’d you get done today?”  Each team member takes a minute to respond to the email.  The next morning, everyone on the team received another email that compiles everyone’s accomplishments from the previous day.  It’s a great way to see what your colleagues have achieved and what progress you’ve made collectively day by day.

We’ve worked with some awesome companies to help them manage their highly productive teams, including Zappos, Shopify, and many others.  It’s a pleasure for us to be able to contribute to a company’s friendly, supportive management culture with our tool.

Q: How much is it to use iDoneThis?
A: Free for personal accounts. $3 a month per person for a team account (free to try for 30 days)