Sub-tasks

One of the most frequently requested features we’ve received for the planner is sub-tasks. Sub-tasks are a great way to break a big task down into smaller, more manageable pieces. For a long time Elisi didn’t have sub-task support, but now it’s available. You can find sub-tasks in the task detailed view by tapping/clicking on a task. We hope you enjoy this feature.

A Guide for Staying Organized in Daily Activities

Staying organized throughout your daily activities is important because it enhances productivity, lowers stress levels, and reduces the number of mistakes. To stay organized, you need to use an app or planner to write items down and keep up with important events and deadlines. It is important to schedule specific times throughout the day to answer emails and messages and keep your workplace clutter-free. As a way to avoid losing items, you should always keep important items in the same place so you know exactly where they are. Take to learn about the benefits of organization and tips for staying organized in your daily life.

A Guide for Staying Organized in Daily Activities

Calendar Integration

Since Elisi’s launch, calendar integration has been the most in-demand feature.  The app’s initial conception featured the compilation of a weekly to-do list, with no planned design for calendar events. However, after utilizing Elisi as a daily tool in the long term, we all realized the convenience that calendar events could offer. For this reason, we began work on calendar integration with Elisi. 

Surely, we have confronted some obstacles along the way. We needed to figure out how to parse iCal files, how to sync calendars across devices, and how to display the events in daily boxes, without overloading the interface or losing information. The hardest part, however, has been to avoid overfilling the interface with calendar events in the cases when an already full calendar is integrated. For now, we have made it easy to hide calendars, but we are open to other solutions that are more intuitive. 

To add calendars, please make sure you update Elisi to the latest version, click on “calendars” from the planner, and then simply follow the instructions.  We hope that you like this feature, and please don’t hesitate to give us your feedback.

Introducing Monthly View

Since the launch of Elisi, one feature that has been requested most often by our users is a monthly calendar view.

Initially we didn’t include a monthly view because we felt the weekly granularity provided a good balance between an overview and an actionable to-do list. However, customer feedback clearly indicated that a monthly calendar is needed by many of our users, and is better for planning the far future than a weekly view.

Designing the monthly view presented its share of difficulties, from both UI and technical viewpoints. There was the challenge of keeping the UI clean while still being functional; with a monthly view it is surprisingly easy to put too many things on the screen and lose focus. The technical challenge is how to optimize performance when suddenly Elisi had to show much more information than in a weekly view.

After several iterations and many weeks of internal testing, we are releasing the monthly view for everyone, starting today.

We hope you like Elisi’s interpretation of a monthly view. Please give it a try and tell us what you think.

Introducing Goals

Elisi has been a great tool for all of us at the Elisi team. We use Elisi to manage our daily lives, and to work on to-do lists and our hobby projects. On a big screen, Elisi really helps by putting everything in front of our eyes, so we can make organize things better, and track progress with confidence. 

Then the question arose: how would it be if Elisi could show all the items related to a single goal, and hide everything else? 

Say you are working on a bike project. Your goal is to build a bike from scratch. What if Elisi could act like a project board? Notes would show only notes about your bike design, lists would show only the lists related to your bike build, and planner would show only your bike-related to-dos on your weekly view.

And wouldn’t it also be nice if you could have multiple goals, such as work, life, bike, and kids, and Elisi were able to switch quickly between them? 

Well, that’s exactly what we’ve been developing. Today we are introducing Goals. With goals, Elisi becomes the project board that lets you focus on one objective, with the help of all existing Elisi modules. 

To start using Elisi goals, click or tap on the week number display, then select “Enter goal mode”. The rest of the process should be pretty straightforward: anything created in goal mode will belong to the goal. You reassign goals from each item’s details page. 

Please give the goal mode a try and let us know what you think.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Hello Elisi users!

We recently introduced keyboard shortcuts to Elisi. With keyboard shortcuts you can easily add planner items, check off habits, add the number of glasses of water you have had, or even add notes. Keyboard shortcuts works on most platforms with a keyboard attached.

One objective we had when designing it was to have predictable shortcuts; we wanted the key combinations for common tasks to stay the same. This way, you can memorize the shortcuts without always relying on on-screen tips.

The other objectives were to have a system that’s as self-explanatory as possible, and to have a shortcut system that covers most common actions. In order to fulfill these objectives, we went through several internal iterations of shortcut design, and settled on the one that made the most sense.

To start using keyboard shortcuts, simply press the command/control key. The UI will indicate how to proceed.

We hope keyboard shortcuts will help you become more efficient with Elisi, and we hope Elisi will help you better live your life.

New feature: Revamped Habit Tracker

We’ve finally published a major update to Elisi’s habit module. The updated module now supports habit streaks and a monthly overview. Streaks are widely supported in other habit-tracking apps. Seeing how many times in a row you have been punching a habit greatly increases your chances of maintaining that habit.

We spent a lot of time designing the streak feature: how it should behave, and the best way to integrate it with the current minimal UI. Simply piling up new controls into the UI wasn’t the way to go. We knew that the new UI had to be kept clean in order to be useful. Chaos results in abandonment.

Through a difficult process of design and redesign, we finally settled on the current iteration. The current streak numbers are integrated into the checkboxes, and other streak information is displayed in a new habit details view. We also added a monthly view for habits, so you can check your recent performance.

We hope you like the updates to the habit module.

Honestly, Saving Bucks Is Not That Hard

Have you ever been discouraged by the high down payment on a house or the cost of that car you’ve been wanting for a long time? Have you been depressed by the slow or even negative growth of the number in your savings account?

While nowadays, our minds tend to get derailed by the impulse to seek pleasure, it’s not surprising that even highly paid workers complain about how hard it is to save money. However, despite the fact that the cost of living has grown rapidly in recent years, has the ability to save money become a fortress that can’t be attacked?

Honestly, it hasn’t.

Attitude takes the lead

Before discussing methods, we need to correct our attitude toward saving. There is no doubt that saving money requires strong resistance to desire. The difference between success and failure lies in how we treat this resisting process. If you regard it as torture, your mind will be totally engrossed with the idea of hardship, which will prevent you from clearly seeing the long-term benefits—and will definitely hinder you in pursuing them. But this scenario can be completely reversed when you become aware of how saving money enhances your capacity for self-control and leads you to a better life.

Remember the famous marshmallow experiment? The kids who succeeded in resisting temptation for 15 minutes got a bonus—two marshmallows instead of one. Your bonus for resisting temptation on a daily basis would be far larger than that. Maybe a house, a car, or sufficient funds to travel around the world, start a business, and support your children through a top-tier college. When you aim at how much you can get from resisting, you get a purpose for saving those bucks, leading to accumulation and self-development, not torture.

You track, you learn

Once your attitude is on the right track, you can start preparing. The first rule, the one that comes before everything else, is never spend more than you earn. Many people don’t take this seriously, as it seems so simple and like something “everyone knows.” However, this is exactly where people fall down. To observe that rule requires you to check and compare your expenses and income continuously, not just each month or once a year. You can rob February’s budget to pay January’s extra expenses, but you just delay your financial crisis, not solve it.

With the top rule rooted in your mind, the next step is to build your personal balance sheet. Set up a new spreadsheet with an encouraging file name like “See how I become a money saver.” You can set up your accounting cycle based on your pay cycle or any fixed period you wish. The key elements on your sheet include expenses, income, and balance. Under expenses and income, there should be different categories for what you spend money on and what your income sources are.

Besides the above three key elements, you should also add an extra line/column for notes. At the end of each accounting cycle, skim through the sheet and note anything you find worthy of attention, alert, and praise. As you review the sheet, evaluate your financial performance and you’ll start to learn how to do better in the future. This process will have you making improvements and moving toward your goal.

If building a spreadsheet isn’t your preferred method, try an accounting app that serves the same purpose. Choose your means, and do your job.

Time to save

Okay, we finally come to SAVING.

When it comes to saving and where to direct those funds, we have more than one choice. You can put your money in the hands of investment professionals and wait for returns. You may also consider investing in real estate, which is often a safe bet compared with other complicated financial products. However, all these options require that you have the necessary funds already. Those who are just starting out on their own or are trying to play catch-up have more limited choices, but you must start by saving from every penny you earn.

Your plan should begin with a real savings account, which you cannot use for daily expenses. To make it more conspicuous, you can give it a nickname indicating its future use, like “My first house.” Every time you see that name, you’ll be reminded of your goal, your intention, and the efforts you’ve made along the way. Together, these tactics help fuel your determination and defeat the impulse to spend that can rise out of nowhere.

To put money into that account, you can go with either a fixed or flexible amount. As the name implies, the former option requires you to save a fixed amount of money within each accounting cycle. Take a look at your personal balance sheet, and set up a number that is reasonable for you. Let’s say you earn $5,000 a month and you believe you’ll be able to set aside about a fifth of that each month. What you want to bear in mind is that you have to put that $1,000 under expenses, so that the money you’ve saved is out of reach, making it no different from what you’ve spent.

If you’d prefer to add a little novelty to your savings journey, you have some flexibility. There are, after all, 52 weeks in a year. Try this: Clip 52 pieces of paper and mark each with a different number from 10 to 520 (in increments of 10). Put them in a jar, and draw one each week—that number is the amount you’ll save that week. So if you draw 30, then you save $30 that week. If you’d prefer to start from 100 and increase by 5, go for it! The point here is to set a goal and meet it. Don’t forget to mark the amount you save as an expense on your spreadsheet or in your app.

Hey, look ahead

Envision the future. You’ll no longer be frustrated with saving money because you know saving is for the sake of a better life. You’ll keep improving your financial performance with what you learn from your detailed balance sheet. You’ll hold on tight to your goal and never let your savings account skip a beat. And one day the money in that account will fulfill its purpose.

You are ready to start from this moment because now you know that saving is not that hard. Start your personal plans with Elisi today!

By Elisi Studio

10 Tips to Eliminate Excessive Anxiety (2/2)

6. Stop thinking. When you find yourself stuck with thoughts that are causing anxiety, tell yourself “Stop!” This word is short, quick, and effective.

Practical steps
Tell yourself to stop each time you start thinking about a situation that makes you anxious. If you continue to do this, it will soon become a habit.

7. Take care of and help others. Anxiety and worry can lead people into excessive self-concern. To get out of the cycle of self-blame, a good countermeasure is to consider what you can do for others. Think about how you can help your friends and family. If you know people who are going through a tough time, act now to support them.

Practical steps
Send a thank-you card with a short, thoughtful note or call a friend to follow up about a current situation.

8. List and plan. Empty your mind by creating a list of all the tasks you are worrying about. This will give your brain room to think about other things. In the same way, planning can also help to free your mind from endless worries and fears by organizing your thoughts.

Practical steps
List all the things you want and need to do, prioritize these tasks, and implement your plan. If you start to worry about something you’ve already arranged and organized, tell yourself: “Stop, I have this planned!”

9. Experience being in the moment. When you find yourself thinking about something over and over, take a deep breath and look around. Pay attention to the sky, the trees, and the sounds of nature. Remind yourself to wake up from your “daymare” and you will start to feel differently.

Practical steps
When you find yourself in a negative mood, practice appreciating the beauty of the world around you.

10. Ask a professional for help. When anxiety becomes overwhelming, long-term, and interferes with your daily life, consider getting professional help. A meditation class or a visit with a therapist can calm a tired mind and improve your life.

Practical steps
Find a therapist or counselor, or attend a meditation class.

(By Elisi Studio)