New Favorite App: Everest

I discovered a nifty and new app over Christmas: Everest. This one promises to wedge itself into my daily routine. With lofty intentions of helping you achieve your dreams, it seems to follow through fairly well (it’s still new). I’ve been looking for a good way to keep track of all the things I want to do “someday,” and I had nothing else going on, so I set up an account and gave it a try.

Everest asks you to create dreams—simple statements of something you want to do. Obviously, the rules of good goal setting apply here as much as anywhere else, but there’s a unique twist: dreams aren’t intended to be done. Instead, you create a dream and use it a a place to store inspiration, notes, moments (in the form of pictures), and steps you want to take to reach your goal. When you choose a dream, Everest presents you with a place to upload a picture for inspiration and a counter of how many steps you’ve taken so far, and a prompt with the next step on your journey.

Each time you add a step, you select when you want to do it. The default is “someday,” but you can set a specific date as well as repeating steps to take every day, every week, or even every Tuesday and Friday. It’s a really powerful idea. Everest takes the steps from all of your dreams and compiles them into a feed so that you know what you can do right now to make your dreams become real.

That’s another powerful difference in Everest: you don’t set things to do. You set steps to take. If you set a step to take every day but don’t take it today, Everest calmly moves it into a category labeled “to revisit.” Any good coach will tell you that a feeling of failure for missing a day isn’t going to help you remember the next time so much as make you want to give up (you already failed, so what’s the point?). The way Everest is set up helps you to focus on what you want to do, but doesn’t shame you into doing it. Every step you take is a step closer to your goal, but a step not taken is just that.

While I’m not a fan of having thousands of different apps (in fact, one of my current goals is to identify all the unnecessary ones), I think that Everest warrants its existence by minimizing task-overload. I don’t like putting my goals—especially personal ones—on a to-do list. When I have a list with three phone calls, an email, a document to edit, sketching, and yoga, it just feels a little disorganized. Invariably, there’s also a time crunch. Yoga and sketching get pushed to afterwards and I do all the business stuff first, feeling all-the-while like there are other things I should (and would rather) be doing. Things that are sitting there staring me in the face all day. Things that are an integral part of my long-term life goals, but not critical to momentary survival.

Instead, Everest keeps all of those things that I want to do in order to achieve my goals in one place, along with the beginnings of those goals that aren’t fully formed yet. Some are in motion, others are still labeled “dreaming.” There’s an activity feed. You can follow friends and strangers or just browse through everyone’s activity. If you see in inspiring step or a dream that you share, you can copy it or add a comment to inspire someone to keep at it. Finally, it’s easy to mark dreams as private, but where’s the fun in that?

Give it a try, find me and follow my dreaming. It’s worth a shot. I’ll be using it for the foreseeable future. It’s already helping to motivate me. Case in point, I ran today and made (and finished) a focus list. Check out the challenges and you’ll understand. I’m off to go eat some homemade doughnuts.

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