Take Action From “High To Low”

Whether it’s brilliant ideas or the exciting possibilities that await us, most of us have many more activities noted on our “bucket lists,” than the time readily available to work on them.  In short, there’s never enough time to do everything we want to do. It’s a universal hitch.

We can easily bog ourselves down in time-depleting, low-yield tasks that prevent us from moving forward. 

In a world where alerts and notifications pop up on us for everything under the sun, it is imperative to distinguish which alerts are critical and which alerts can be addressed later. 

It really doesn’t matter which technique you use. In our App, you can blend parts of different techniques to create your own custom method that feels right, and get to work.

Read on to take action on your priorities. Check-in on that bucket list. Let iStratus, help you structure things from “high to low” to make the most of your time, and keep it flowing that way, today…

What’s The Priority?

You have 40 tasks upon your list, and before the “worst-case scenario” towards underachievement rears its ugly head, ask yourself: Which one of those things is the most important?

For iStratus, our prioritization “Flags” and “High to Low” preferences support your answer to that question, with an immediate method for quickly evaluating the necessity of each task on your list. We believe, through informed decision making, you’re more likely to: 

  • Do what is required to complete tasks.
  • Recognize what you don’t need to do, and as we like to say: “Roll Up”.
  • Work out exactly when you need to focus on certain tasks and
  • Accomplish what needs addressing next in line.

Prioritization Tackles Two Significant Matters:

Everything is Critical! If you feel like you spend your day extinguishing fires, because everything is considered to be “urgent”, at work or home – we hear you!

Use iStratus to establish a succinct prioritized list and regain control of your own time, pushing back any unreasonable last-minute expectations or requests.

Prioritized lists can be an effective armor against delays and distractions. For instance, any new, work-related ‘urgent’ demands can potentially be refuted with evidence of clear priorities, and the cuts that would be required for such accommodations. In the long run, prioritization and productivity should aim to be improved, even if, it’s in the smallest of ways. Our brains love to procrastinate and deter us from accomplishing important work.

Speaking of: Should you really answer that email? It’s not rocket science, if you constantly enable incoming emails to influence your list of priorities, you’ll find it difficult to get ahead. That’s not to say recurring important documents needing attention should be ignored. 

We simply mean, sometimes a delayed reply to an email is justified when you’re attending to what needs to be focused on first and foremost.

“Of course, our failures are a consequence of many factors, but possibly one of the most important is the fact that society operates on the theory that specialization is the key to success, not realizing that specialization precludes comprehensive thinking.”

~ R. Buckminster Fuller

Rate It, We Say.

Thinking about the ‘High to Low’ points we mentioned earlier, research suggests, the MoSCoW process (pronounced like Russia’s Capital) is a humble technique for the resourceful distribution of every task into one of four categories:

  • M – The Must Do’s (M): Are rated as such for immediate attention.
  • S – The Should Do’s (S): Are the ‘Should Do’ tasks that are important, but they’re not as critical.
  • C – The Could Do’s (C): Are the cream of the crop, kind of To-Do’s. You’d like to do them, but if you don’t, it’s unlikely to be a big deal.
  • W – The Won’t Do’s (W): Are things that really aren’t worth doing. Hello, procrastination!

Use the MoSCoW technique in Stratus, to evaluate your To-Do list. By the end, you should be able to see your tasks inflow, from top to bottom in accordance with their priority. Any W tasks should be deleted.

If you consistently address your list from the top-down, you’ll always feel a sense of focus and direction.

Hey, by the way – we recognize, some days you might feel off base, and that’s okay. Remember, there’s always more than one way of doing things. 

You might find, iStratus works better for you in 5 Simple Steps known as the “Ivy Method”:

  1. Conclude every workday identifying the six most crucial tasks remaining on your list for tomorrow.
  2. Order those in terms of priority.
  3. Set to work in the morning, focusing on task number one until it’s done.
  4. Complete tasks in sequential order.
  5. Continue until all six tasks are complete (preferably). Repeat this process daily.

Bottom line: Do what works. 

Which elements work best for you?

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Organize Your Way To Zen

Creating a Digital Filing System

Do you find yourself always running back and forth?  How often do you forget something at the Grocery Store?

Consider filing a list in the ‘Food’ Category and your inner foodie will thank you. Car Service completed? Keep important info easily on file. Rename that ‘Travel’ file to ‘Vacation’ for reminders. Avoid that sinking feeling en route to the airport, as you realize you have forgotten your passport!

Thanks to iStratus, those kinds of days and missing pieces can be a distant memory.

Right in the palm of your hand, customize folders, set with a theme and a recognizable emoji. The process of creation is straightforward, so you won’t miss a beat – or plane while backtracking home. Let iStratus help you find some Zen.

Big Deal. Why Bother Organizing At All?

These days, we have millions of digital files stored across multiple devices. From music files, photos, work or school documents to business and financial files, you name it – we have oodles to sift through electronically.

Times have changed. What if they were all easy to find in one place? That’s convenient, right? Feeling Zen already? You betcha!

Now, perhaps you enjoy using the “Search” or “Find” function on your computer, tablet or phone to locate your files, but more often than not, that summons a significant list of possible matches instead of the exact file you wanted. And that’s only if you can recall something of the actual file name in the first place!

Realistically, who doesn’t become frustrated with such an approach? Searching relies on both descriptive names and useful keywords. Essentially, we have a limited timeframe as it is, so iStratus is the perfect system for organizing your files as you create and store them in order to find them faster later.

Do What Works.

iStratus ensures its digital filing system becomes a matter of personal style that works for you. Below are some essential truths, we believe can help anyone organize filing with order and efficiency.

  • Don’t save every file: Delete the old ruthlessly! If you don’t need it, you don’t need to organize it. Delete duplicates, those ancient files you never use, and avoid downloading every email attachment. Click delete. Trash it. Those blurry or duplicated photos add to the abyss of data. Store what is required, there’s no need for the photobomb with iStratus.

  • Create names to file in a detailed and consistent fashion: Instead of wasting time opening every file to establish which one is the most recent and relevant, name them distinctively. Use dates and keywords and file under the appropriate category iStratus has set out for you. Goodbye searching.

  • Categorize new files immediately: Use the App set up every file, all the time! Put your new documents, photos, and tasks in the appropriate folders as soon as you click “Save” or “Download.” Get into this habit, so you’ll stay organized.

  • Synchronize files automatically: If you have more than one device, and you need to mirror some of your files onto the other computer (i.e. shared documents), determine which files are to be synced and which are not.  Synchronicity is an automatic necessity with iStratus.

  • Avoid creating a complicated folder system:  You don’t need a million and one folders and sub-folders to stay organized. As long as all your files aren’t floating loose in one giant “Documents” directory, you’re probably a step ahead with digital storage.

iStratus has already put in the hard yards for you. Creating folders for each of your major file categories or by the tasks you work on most frequently, whatever makes sense for your data.



Create some Zen in your life. Avoid overflowing your device with so many Apps that you’re scared to even look at it and/or your emails, sometimes. Deep down, you are probably someone who takes pleasure in being organized, tidy, and ordered (us! Us!), you don’t even need a reason to begin orchestrating the process. It’s your happy place and being disorganized is quite a nightmare.

Conversely, if you’ve been delaying organization because the task is too immense or daunting, or you simply don’t know where to start, wait no more. The good news is, iStratus is here to get you choose the right folders and on the path to mastering the effectiveness of your own personalized digital filing system.

Choose a theme, create a folder and organize away.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things

Wait. That phrase appears too familiar… No, we’re not starting a rendition of ‘The Sound Of Music’. We’ll leave that one to Julie Andrews. Trust us – your eyes and ears will thank you.

We do, however, love our star-sectioned iStratus favorites tab.

The concept of a filing system goes back to the good-‘ol-days of a filing cabinet and hardcopy files and folders.

The advantage of the initial paper-based filing system was that placement was important so that items could be located easily. In contrast, it becomes too easy to have digital files scattered everywhere.

Often, you don’t realize you have a problem — until you have a problem! With iStratus, you don’t have to feel the pain of a disorganized system any longer.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Digital Filing Goals

There are three overarching goals to a digital file organization system:

  • Easy to File: You don’t want your filing system to be a huge, hierarchical maze. It needs to be fast and easy to save files, clash-free.

  • Easy to Find: You want your system to make it easy to find the file or folder you need, either by using ‘favorites’ or a search.

  • Reusable: Where possible, keep re-using the same lists and templates and titles, all of which support the previous two goals. The complete principle of your ‘Favorites’

A Few Simple Rules 

Organization does not mean ‘complex’. These rules may help you make the most out of the iStratus App.


When you’re generating folders, think minimal. Most files and notes can be easily categorized logically if your initial layout is well structured.

In general, iStratus recommends only creating new folder sections if you find yourself repeatedly coming back to save similar files/items in the same place.

Your favorites should be designed to cover a vast array of important information that is easily accessible when you need it.

You want your file structure to be as simple as one, two, three.




For an “Easy to Find Fast” situation, be strategic. Less is more.

Put some time into incorporating ‘the digital’ into situations where you’re most likely to use these handy tools.


This leads us into the nitty-gritty of  Dropbox™ and other similar services iStratus supports.

Sync services (such as iCloud™ Dropbox™) are an instantaneous way to coordinate and share your important information effortlessly.

As the tech-savvy folks at Geeks For Geeks explain, these systems are:

“A file hosting service, offering cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software”. There are two main differences between the hosts:

  • Dropbox: Shares files through web applications

  • iCloud: Shares files through links.

Both of which are amazing tools used within iStratus, to give you access to your important documents between various devices. This allows you be productive wherever you are. They’re also great for easily sharing digital files, notes and ideas with others and yourself as a future reference or a reminder.

Favorite Shortcuts Are Your Friend

Now you have specific folders, what’s next?

Well, you can structure your files to suit any way you want. iStratus allows to customize and personalize your features. Don’t feel like typing? No worries! Create a sketch or add a new audio memo by clicking the “more” option, when you tap the screen. Giving you a ‘1-click’ access shortcut directly to the folder, you’ve created or selected.

You can of course rearrange, change or delete these at any time, using the simple to follow editing tools, all within the App itself.

  • Pro-Tip: The Favorite feature is great for those folders you permanently need access to, but it is also excellent when you are working on a project. Add info to the ‘Planning, Projects’ folder while you require quick access, to include photos or notes. When you’re done, ‘check it off’ or remove it completely.

The key is functionality and some things are made to be temporary. Look for the folder you want, with a few keystrokes jump right there.

Automated Organizing

You can gain a huge productivity boost with iStratus, by setting up an automated organization tool.

If you have tasks that are recurring, set iStratus to save specific events or supporting material, and it will automatically allocate and store the necessary information to the calendar and/or an appropriate section.

The point is, not only are we going paperless using an automated organizer to set an efficient pace for your day, but we’re helping the environment too!

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Keep Calm Through The Crazy

calm through crazy

What is your favorite ritual?

We all have a way of finding peace in our lives. Now, that’s not about connecting to one’s secret inner hippy, with all that light and love stuff.

Simply put, the busier, the crazier the world becomes around us, the more grounded we need to feel. Finding that sense of calm throughout the crazy, makes all the difference.

Who knows how life is going to turn out? Being organized is one approach that provides us with a sense of stability in this uncertain world. With iStratus we have the ability to be prepared and stay that way.

So… How Can We Keep Calm Throughout The Crazy?

Would you dare to apply that favorite ritual, to your agenda?

The iStratus Organizer is here to help. Designed to keep you on track, with the multitude of tasks we’re expected to juggle –To Keep Calm Throughout the Crazy, finding that balance in what is simply life.

With its multifaceted interface, you can easily and efficiently use the iStratus Organizer to:

  • Notate a clear “To Do” List, in order of priority, with a click of a button.

  • Generate reminders to send follow-up emails.

  • Effortlessly set multiple alarms to navigate schedules that always have you on the go. Whether it’s supporting your kids with multiple activities, or staying atop that crazy college schedule, iStratus has you covered.

  • Create seamless shopping lists for the household meal plan, which does not have to be complicated. Keeping it light, and easy.

  • Quickly coordinate appointments you need to attend for yourself. The process is as simple as you can get.

Leaving a little time for that favorite ritual. Yes, you should!

5 Benefits of Being Organized:

Remember, balance is always key. Thus, there are simultaneously 5 beneficial elements of being organized with iStratus for creating calm:

Stress Relief

Experts suggest an endless list of “things to do” constantly invading your headspace is a major source of stress on the tipping scale of life. It may seem obvious (but not necessarily easy) that becoming organized lessens that pesky weight upon our shoulders.

Bustle.com says, one of the most productive things that can be done is simply tracking your day.

Anyone can take three hours to complete a task, largely because of the task itself or because of the interruptions allowed.

Simple adjustments to your lifestyle and timing using iStratus can help reduce the “stressors” in your life.

De-Clutter, Sleep Better

Clutter creates chaos. Even if you don’t realize it, clutter in your bedroom can result in the loss of Zzzzzzzz’s. Furthermore, if you are disorganized you may unintentionally become a night owl, staying awake later to do something last minute, or worrying about everything that needs to be addressed.

Use iStratus to de-clutter, schedule that time, and stick to it. Organize the clutter in your life to lessen that endless ‘chaotic craziness’ invading your precious dreams to sleep longer and deeper at night.

A Healthier Lifestyle

When you’ve planned out your meals, you’re less likely to forget to eat,  avoiding hunger pangs, which flows through to impulsive consumption. You’re also more inclined to find motivation for physical fitness if you plan time on the schedule for it. Increase those necessary endorphins for better health. Who’s up for a triathlon?

Essential ‘Me Time’

We’ve finally arrived at that favorite ritual, we’ve mentioned! Perhaps it’s PB on toast or a warm cup of Tea? (Sometimes, the simplest things mean the most). We frequently leave ourselves until last! You can put yourself on your own agenda when you actually make time for it!

It’s difficult to be at your best for anyone else – family, friends, colleagues – if you’re running on fumes. Bustle.com advises it doesn’t matter what you do – it matters that you do it.

Try the iStratus App for prioritizing time to do something you enjoy. Coffee anyone?

“Create the kind of climate in your organization [processes] where personal growth is expected, recognized and rewarded.”
 ~ Author Unknown

Be More Productive Professionally

Let’s be honest, disorganization is un-motivating. Along with clearing out the clutter in your home life, it also gives you the energy to focus on what’s required during office hours. If you’re feeling tired of four walls, try taking a few minutes to organize your iCalendar or filing your emails.

Did you know that iStratus easily allows you to file photographic evidence with paperwork for an appointment or task? Once it’s where it belongs, you won’t be yelling at your phone, whilst searching inboxes for the information you require at the Doctor’s Office.

A little effort goes a long way. Spending a few minutes each day getting organized makes a difference towards being healthier, happier, and calmer throughout the crazy!

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Synchronize It!

Synchronicity. We approve of that. Don’t you?

Synchronicity brings organization.

For you. And your Calendar, that is.

What is it with life that causes, those days, weeks followed by months on end to become a mind-boggling swamp? When you think about it, it’s the daily calendar we often find ever so monotomous.

Isn’t it a pleasure when things just work impeccably well? All those dates and dot points connect together without a hitch across various platforms.

Welcome to iStratus.

Our calendar function does just that. Allows access via your phone settings, and it’s as simple as one, two, three. In fact, it is even simpler.

Set an event, in one calendar and it transfers directly to iStratus. One-click. No-fuss. Just purely, perfect synchronicity.

Organization Simplified. Book it in.

Your calendar is akin to armor in the skirmish of working life. It safely guards your boundaries against other people’s priorities and influence, which can easily impede upon your own precipitously expanding list of “Must Do’s”.

All you need is something like iStratus, a proven calendar management strategy, to win the battle.

Follow Your Instincts When Planning Ahead

It’s natural to feel more energized by certain activities at different points during work hours.

For instance, when working from home some of us like to hit the gym in the morning. Followed by meetings, phone calls and transcribing reports or proposals that require completion. By late afternoon, procrastination on Facebook beckons — and then to avoid becoming a complete couch potato with Netflix, it feels far better to address more tasks, paying bills or reviewing stats on your SEO.

A culinary adventure for becoming the next Master-Chef in the evening works well. Or perhaps not. Do whatever floats your boat.

The point is, the specifics of your day are less important than recognizing when responsibilities motivate you to be productive as opposed to when they vampire your internal fuel tank.

Armed with this knowledge, block-book everything in your iStratus calendar for the coming week —and then work on what matters most.

Give Your Days Some Color

Color Coding, that is. Let’s consider work overload.

Various activities require diverse skills, involving different parts of the brain. Thus, it’s no surprise it can be difficult to juggle time and fit all of life’s business in. It’s not news that multiple tasks due simultaneously can become overwhelming, and cause a rise in blood pressure.


If this sounds like you, why not begin planning your days by theme? iStratus allows you to:

  • Created colored categories on your calendar, making things more recognizable.

  • Dedicate an entire day to a colored theme.

  • Easily allocate a chunk each day to a project, highlight in one color.

This way, you’ll free up headspace with iStratus, because you’ll know what to cover and when.

The Importance of Gaps

The truth is, none of us have “time to kill”. Often, calendared items run back-to-back. It’s one class, meeting, or appointment to the next, without breaks.

However, regardless of how “flat out” situations seem, it is important to:

  • Incorporate at least fifteen-minute gaps on your calendar.

  • Use such moments to decompress or address factors arising from a previous meeting/appointment.

Or go hardcore. Of course, the choice is yours. The aim of your calendar is to achieve goals. Every meeting (no matter what form) should create connection, rather than small talk.

According to The Business Insider, Elron Musk once said:


The Calendar Review

We all know, situations don’t always run as expected. Work commitments, seep into personal time. Today, it’s considered normalcy.

On the contrary, iStratus sees your time as being relevant. We recommend reviewing your calendar, every Friday to consider:

  • How closely your previous week’s calendar matches up with what your next one needs to look like. Plot progress;

  • Scheduling appointments and meetings that are a must, canceling anything irrelevant if you can;

  • How you wish to spend your time.



You might lack full control over your working week specifies, but there are undoubtedly some weeds requiring attention, aka pulling to break the feeling of monotony.

Remember, your calendar is a clear representation of how you’re spending your time and where your priorities lie.

Using iStratus effectively will organize your days and allow you to accomplish more without burning out. Keep that synchronizing simple.


Checklist Chatter

  • Check. 
  • Check.

  • Check.

How can one little word and symbol be so satisfying to see? We love the productivity of Checklists. Needless to say, a key purpose of the iStratus Organizer App and its Checklists ensure the process is even simpler.

Checklist or Not to Checklist?

Generally speaking, checklists entail a set of statements that correspond to specific criteria and indications of the action required. They may be “single-use” or designed for repeated usage.

With a single tap, a checkmark appears in iStratus Organizer App to keep your daily, weekly, monthly tasks in order, avoiding the backlog of those “To Do’s” that can overwhelm our lives.

Often it’s easier to prioritize things of importance and relevance when you apply checklists.  To checklist or not to checklist? Bottom line: Checklisting works.

6 Reasons Why iStratus Checklists Work:


  • When using checklists you’re likely to make fewer mistakes, as every action to be taken is clear and concise.

  •  Complete repetitive tasks more efficiently and quickly.

  • Increase productiveness with more time in a day to accomplish multiple important tasks.


Organization is one of our favorite words and we hope that by using the iStratus Organizer it quickly becomes one of yours too.

With an accurately configured checklist:

  • No steps in a process will be skipped or forgotten

  • Multi-tasking remains more systematized

  • All your items and necessary tasks are synchronized in one place.

  • It allows effective scheduling so that nothing “slips through the cracks.”


  • Major tasks become smaller and more specific in terms of priority.

  • Providing comfort and confidence that all tasks will be completed more effectively and correctly, increasing yet again, our productivity.


We’re not running a marathon to take out the Gold however, using iStratus for checklists motivate people towards success because they also:

  • Encourage us to take timely action and complete our daily tasks

  • Even with the smallest achievements and that faithful checkmark, our brains release dopamine, a positive chemical associated with enthusiasm, learning, and pleasure.

Evidence from The Harvard Business Review suggests we are more likely to repeat the activities that lead to success. (Yes, we are creatures of habit, who really just want to make the world a better place). Together in an ever-changing world, we use can motivation to do good and consciously be ready to accomplish greater things. iStratus strives to achieve better results, and we want you to be part of that too.

Creativity For Clarity

Ticking off a checklist results in less stress and fewer ‘Groundhog Day’ moments.

  • By mastering the tedious, repetitive tasks more effectively, you’ll be free and able to apply improved focus and brainpower for creative activities.

  • With a little extra free time and fewer things competing for attention within your mind, you will have greater clarity.

Excellence Is Fundamental

When nothing is forgotten, the quality of your work and life often exceeds expectations. Feel better about the daily grind.

Finding The Right Fit

Essentially there are three main types of Checklists:

  • Procedural Checklists: Highlight the steps that must be followed in sequential order;

  • Project Checklists: Indicate tasks that must be completed; and

  • Communication Checklists: Encourage communication in organizations, which is great for prioritizing those notes to support your weekly meetings.

With iStratus you can design a list that best fits the intended purpose. Feel free to click for yourself. The choice is yours.

Checks Equal Balance

Obviously, we want our App to simplify your life and provide a feeling of satisfaction, checks equal balance. In order to achieve this, our main tips, using the iStratus Checklist approach are:

  • Tick off checklists as you go

  • Allow your checklists to be flexible. It’s ok not to achieve every item at once!

  • Don’t micromanage yourself. Stick with the process. Trust in your direction. Not everything is always Black and White.

  • For the workplace, collaborate your ideas! Constructive feedback can be an invaluable part of the process for achieving goals.

Checking In With Your Checklist

There is always room for improvement. We practice what we preach, using our own iStratus tools.

Checklists are an invaluable tool and work in a wide variety of circumstances and industries.

Covering ground so that you are prepared for almost anything. Even highly complex tasks can feel like a walk in the park.

Will you begin some Checklist Chatter?

Brave it. Give it a Go. Checklist along with us.

“The constant free flow of communication amount us – enabling the free interchange of ideas – forms the very bloodstream of our nation. It keeps the mind and body of our democracy eternally vital, eternally young.”

 ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Develop a Growth Mindset to Boost Performance

How great could work be if you genuinely believed you had limitless potential?

It is possible, with a growth mindset.

What’s a growth mindset?

The term—growth mindset—was coined by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck after her research of student performance.

Dweck found that students fell into two groups: students who believe that their success is a product of their own hard work and persistence (growth mindset); or, students who believe that whatever success they might have is solely a product of some innate intelligence or talent, not effort (a fixed mindset).

What Dweck found is that students with a growth mindset had significantly better grades than students with fixed mindsets.

While this research was done in classrooms, her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” prompted business leaders to recognize how applicable a growth mindset could apply in business as well.  If you want to boost your work performance, develop a growth mindset.

What does a growth mindset look like?

If you believe that you have the power to build capacity through your own hard work and passion, you’ll likely find the following to be true:

You’ll clamber for meaningful professional development and mentoring opportunities.

You’ll take challenges and risks confidently, knowing that all experiences (even failures) present learning opportunities.

You’ll take setbacks in stride, not as an insult to the value of your core self.

You’ll welcome and act on constructive feedback.

You’ll be enthusiastic to work collaboratively (rather than threatened), knowing that you can learn from others.

You’ll be consistently more productive and satisfied, and a more significant asset to your organization, because you are continually looking to grow.

If you are working within an organization that supports the growth mindset, you’ll feel more integral and committed to the overall organizational mission.

Sounds terrific, right?

Unfortunately, not everyone has a growth mindset.  

What if I have a fixed mindset?

If you are like many, you grew up with an internal dialogue that told you what you weren’t. I’m not a math person.  I’m not a good public speaker.

Whether it was fear, subtle (or not so subtle) messaging from friends or family, or messages absorbed from society-at-large, you internalized the belief that you are who you are.  Nothing you do will change that.

If this sounds familiar, you have a fixed mindset.

By accepting these messages as fact, and feeding them back to you on an endless loop, these “facts” about yourself became a reality.

All of the outward evidence proved your point:  you struggled in math and avoided or stumbled through public speaking.

Even for high-performers, a fixed mindset is limiting.  

For the “natural talent,” they see no real reason to push themselves because their work is already superior and they believe work should come easily.  So, again, reaching full potential is squashed.

Also, high-performers with a fixed mindset do not take feedback well and are more prone to shift blame or cheat to cover failure.

If this sounds painfully familiar, don’t worry.

The good news from Dweck’s research is that your mindset is more malleable than you think.  And, honestly, it’s typical to have a fluid mindset not consistent in all domains.  For instance, a person who has a growth mindset in writing proposals may have a fixed mindset about public speaking.

How can I develop a growth mindset?

A growth mindset is a process of reframing your thinking.

The tagline that emerged from Dweck’s work is the Power of Yet.

That’s your new mantra.

Believe that areas in which you don’t currently feel as confident are merely areas that you are NOT YET confident.

With hard work, persistence, and a relentless pursuit of growth, you CAN become more capable.

The following quote captures the fixed vs. growth mindset struggle perfectly, “It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.”

Whatever you think you are NOT now, is merely temporary.

Belief in capacity needs to be followed with action.

Here are some actionable steps to develop a growth mindset (Bradbury, 2016):

Don’t be helpless.

Learn from successes and failures—they are both valuable.

Work with passion.

You may not be as talented as another, but you can compensate with passion.

Act now and take risks.

Don’t let fear and anxiety paralyze you.

Exceed your personal best a little every day.

Seek out constructive feedback and opportunities to collaborate with others to spur your growth.

Be results-driven.  

Just because you ought to be progress-focused, don’t let yourself off the hook when it comes to striving for results.

Face adversity with flexibility.  If you face a setback, no whining—learn and move on.

Be honest with your boss about areas in which you’d like to grow.

Maybe you’re ready for growth, but what about the boss?

If you are a manager, your personal mindset has an even broader impact on the success of your employees and organization.

If you have a fixed mindset, you won’t see or foster full potential in others and are less likely to provide growth opportunities because you believe capacity is fixed.  

You are more likely to praise only the highest of outcomes (not progress) and natural abilities (e.g., you’re so smart/talented).  

By recognizing high outcomes or innate abilities only, you effectively cap growth.

If employees get the message that no matter how hard they work, they’ll only get positive recognition for the highest of outcomes and assume they just aren’t capable enough.  They’ll see no point in exerting extra effort.

Even for high-performing employees, a boss’s fixed mindset is a detriment.  High-performers typically have a history of producing well without having to stretch themselves.

They get the praise anyway, so who needs to grow?

However, a boss with a growth mindset can unlock limitless potential in their workforce by praising hard work, progress, perseverance, and thirst for growth.

A boss with a growth mindset knows that developing a culture of growth is both good for employees and good for the health and success of the organization.

A growth mindset culture encourages higher quality work, fosters mutual trust, and deepens the worker’s commitment to the company.

Dweck’s research found that growth mindset employees are, 34 percent more likely to have a strong sense of ownership and commitment to their organization and 47 percent more likely to say their colleagues are trustworthy than their fixed-mindset peers.

Given the highly competitive business world, a growth mindset at the individual and organizational level is critical.

It ensures all employees reach their full potential, fully engage in their work, and produce the best outcomes.

Whether you want to improve your public speaking, learn a new software language, or improve how you coach your employees, you have the capacity for growth with hard work and passion.

Even better, you’ll be part of a happier workforce.

For more information about tools that support your growth and organization at work and at home, visit iStratus.com to check out the DayPlanner app for iPhone.


6 Tips for Effective Goal Setting

The beginning of the year inspires many of us to reflect, assess where we are professionally or personally, and, hopefully, set goals for the New Year.

There’s something about the flip of the calendar that fills us with a sense of opportunity, excitement, or curiosity for what the year ahead might bring.  

If the year just past was not what we’d hoped, we might look to the New Year as our clean slate; our chance to makeover some part of ourselves, our jobs, our organizations anew.  

However, inspiration can fall flat in no time if you don’t create an exact plan of action driven by a foundation of effective goal setting.

Why is goal setting important?

Think of goal setting as mapping a course.  Without setting yourself (or your team/organization) on a specific path, you might as well be a rudderless ship adrift on the ocean.

Where your ship lands might be lovely, but just as likely, your destination could be awful. You’ve left it up to chance.

How will you know if you’ve had a prosperous voyage if you didn’t know where you were sailing in the first place?

Does that sound like a plan for success?  

Success doesn’t usually happen by accident.

Goal setting propels you forward with inspiration, intention, and purpose.

The act of goal setting develops key characteristics of the successful person.

Research by Locke & Lathan in 2006 found that setting goals result in motivation, self-confidence, and autonomy.

These qualities not only breed success but happiness as well.

We know goal setting is a positive, but what does effective goal setting look like?

Six Tips for Effective Goal Setting

Tip 1. Be passionate

The best, most fulfilling goals are those for which you feel passionate.  

Ideally, this is not an “I should” kind of goal, because others tell you it’s important.  

Or, if it’s a team or organizational goal, craft a goal that is one your team/organization can genuinely get behind because it’s closely aligned with your core mission.

Without passion, you’re likely to flop.

Tip 2. Set a goal that stretches you

Being passionate about your goal is important, but setting a goal that insists on significant growth (and maybe even a little risk) is critical.

What do you really gain by setting a goal that’s too easy?  A checked box?  Bragging rights?

Who cares if there’s no real growth.  This is where a growth mindset is truly your friend.

Tip 3. Craft a goal with clarity

And, it’s not enough to think about a lofty goal in some vague, hopeful, unspecified terms.

Zero in on that passionate goal, but follow up with a detailed, clearly-outlined plan of actionable steps, and measurements to take to assess progress.

One popular system for setting and achieving goals is called OKR–Objectives and Key Results.

OKR was developed in 1975 at Intel by Andy Grove.  

Today, OKR is a system followed by the likes of Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, ING Bank, Target, and Bono, to name a few.

The key tenets of OKR are:

Objectives: The WHAT of your goal.  This is the passion and inspiration and can be a little more “big picture” rather than detailed.

Intel’s original model suggested monthly goals so they could be agile and adjustments could be made quickly.

For example, your objective could be–I want to be an attentive parent.

Key Results:  The ACTIONS or HOW you will go about attaining your goal and MEASURING your progress.

KRs must be quantifiable and should number between 2 and 5.

For the attentive parent example, your OKRs could be, I want to be an attentive parent by spending at least 30 minutes of one-on-one time with my child at least 4 days per week and initiate family time at least 2 weekends a month for the next month.

I will (Objective) as measured by (this set of Key Results).

For more information about OKR, check out this TED Talk or visit https://felipecastro.com.

Tip 4. Write it down

It’s not enough to feel passion, you must put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write down your goal.

Psychologist Gail Matthews at Dominican University conducted a 2015 research study that found goal achievement is 42% more likely when goals are written.

Tip 5. Accountability works

The same Dominican University study also found that people who not only wrote their goals, but shared their goals and/or action plan with a friend, and committed to periodic progress reports were significantly more likely to succeed in reaching their goals.

Commit to a friend to chat every week.  

Or for a team/organizational goal, schedule recurring progress review meetings and commit to making them non-negotiable.

Tip 6. Don’t quit when the going gets tough

There are times when you may need to abandon a goal.

This is especially true if it’s one that was ill-conceived—you’re not passionate about it, it was an “I should” goal.

But entrepreneur Molly Cain writing for Forbes warns us that more often, goals are abandoned prematurely because of fear.

Maybe it’s a fear of failure. What’s going to happen to my career if I don’t reach my goal? Or maybe fear of success. How will I possibly manage it all if this business gets off the ground?

Remember; growth involves discomfort.

Just like those leg pains you got as a kid before you shot up two inches, growth in your professional and personal life also involves discomfort.

Discomfort in the unknown. Discomfort in the uncertainty of success and putting your neck out there.  But, in the end, growth towards a goal for which you feel passionate is worth discomfort for the chance of earning exhilarating success.

What supports can I use to help me meet my goals?

Technology can be a powerful tool in achieving any goal.

The iStratus DayPlanner app for iPhone has multiple functionalities directly aligned with the goal-achievement process.

For instance, when you clearly document your goal, your actionable steps, and record progress measurements, those documents can always be at hand and top-of-mind.

By saving and storing them securely, you have ready access wherever you are.

Trying to map out your action plan?

Use the task list function tied to your calendar to make sure you are on target with scheduled tasks.

Keep yourself accountable by adding color-coded meetings on your calendar (or multiple integrated calendars, if needed) for progress check-ins and deadlines.

Keep your key results doc linked to your calendar at your goal dates to compare actual progress vs. plan.

By following the tips above to craft an inspiring, growth-oriented goal, to implement a clear action plan whose results will be accurately measured, accountability partner(s), and guts to persevere, you put yourself in the best position to set and achieve significant goals and experience personal growth.

iStratus DayPlanner – Organizing your life…with a twist

With the sheer demand on our time and volume of activities, tasks, meetings, appointments, schedules, contacts, and more, it’s easy to miss something. This seems like something technology should be able to solve but my iPhone has multiple apps designed to manage a portion of my life.  I want something to manage more than just one small piece.  I need my world to be interconnected and organized where my calendar, appointments, events and access to my documents and pictures all work together to enhance my life.   So this got me thinking, what features would a great organization app need to help me better manage my life?

What makes a great calendar and organizing app? 

  • Features that maximize my time like repeatable event management.
  • Access to quickly create and customize my calendar events.
  • A way to preview upcoming days, weeks, and months.
  • The ability to share calendars with my family and co-workers.
  • Personalization to easily customize my calendar using icons, colors, text and fonts.
  • The ability to sync across iOS devices and other services (Google, iCloud, Exchange).
  • Confidence to know all my calendar appointments and events are automatically added across all my Apple iOS devices including iPad, iPhone and iPod.
  • Voice recognition for easy updates on the go.
  • Security – after all, this is my personal information and I need to know it’s safe.
  • Simple and intuitive interface for easy use.

Time and Organization matters.

Time has become elusive for us all. With so many distractions—especially thanks to new mobile expectations—it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Organize your life and work to your habits, and you’ll find everything operates smoother. It’s just more productive…and less frustrating!


Manage your life using iStratus DayPlanner…the all-in-one solution to organize your busy life across your mobile iOS devices.

Learn how at iStratus.com.