Early on in my career I worked with an engineer named Max who always said, “You get what you measure.” The Accomplishment Journal for Women Entrepreneurs: From Goals to Results: A Simple System To Build Your Business & Be More Effective does just that.
The authors created not just one book, but a series of accomplishment journals to help women stay focused on what is important to them personally and for their business. This journal was designed to counteract the all too common feeling women have that despite how many emails they answer or meetings they attend that women still feel like a failure.
The Accomplishment Journal Series
The Accomplishment Journal series began with the first book, The Accomplishment Journal for Working Moms published December 2007. In 2010, the authors published The Accomplishment Journal for Women in Sales and the Accomplishment Journal for Women Entrepreneurs. Information on the series can be found at Accomplishment Journal.
When I requested a review copy, the authors actually sent me a “productivity care package” including the last two Accomplishment Journals and a DVD from the first book that introduced and explained the system. Fortunately the Accomplishment Journals are easy to use and take you through the system step by step.
Why Use the Accomplishment Journal?
The Accomplishment Journal does so more than a typical planner. At the end of every day it tracks the necessary data so you can clearly measure the progress towards your business and personal goals.
The Accomplishment Journal benefits are:
- “Stop the busy-ness and start the effective-ness”
- Get more done during the day to free up time to spend with family and self
- Overcoming procrastination, lack of discipline and no game plan
- Go from feeling stress and guilt to being appreciated and successful
The Accomplishment Journal Steps
All of the Accomplishment Journals follow the same steps:
1) Identify the Qualities of a Happy Life
2) Set out goals for the year
3) Set out goals for the quarter
4) Project Organizing System
5) Daily Action
6) Quarterly Review
Each day on the left hand side of the journal is a planning side where tasks and priorities are listed. The most eye opening part is the time commitment column. Often women underestimate and over schedule their day. One of the authors realized that at the beginning of using the journal she regularly scheduled 23 hours worth of work into her day! That is when she knew she had to change her expectations and priorities.
The right hand side of the daily journal is where the accomplishments are listed with hard business metrics such as calls made, business completed, new leads, etc. Next are softer metrics such as “What was the happiest moment of today?” and “What am I most proud to have achieved today?”
Then there are four areas where you can identify whether your actions supported your qualities of life such as balance, wisdom, growth or enrichment. Over the course of a quarter if you flip through the pages quickly you can easily visualize if an area of your life is being neglected.
The Accomplishment Journal authors are business women who use the system and wanted to share it with other women. The series was written and created by Gina Robison-Billiups, the “mother” of Moms in Business Network and the International Association of Working Mothers, and a mother of two.
Gina has spent more than six years supporting, educating, serving and representing the needs of business moms. Co-author Brenda Prinzavalli is a writer, consultant, seminar developer and owner of Balanced Organizing Solutions, LLC. She combines her expertise as an educator and problem-solver with a personal commitment to health and wellness.
Who Benefits from the Accomplishment Journal Series?
The Accomplishment Journals are specifically designed by and for women. They are meant to be used one quarter at a time. Yearly goals are not enough. The author’s believe you need to review the previous quarter and adjust your priorities at the beginning of each new quarter. Also the Accomplishment Journal can be customized so you can begin using it tomorrow to track your progress over the next ninety days.
The Bottom Line
Remembering what’s important today and doing more with less guilt is the key to success for every woman entrepreneur. Use the Accomplishment Journal for Women Entrepreneurs to recognize that success happens with small steps every day, not just all at once overnight.
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Hi Sarah – Thanks for sharing this wonderful book with us. I love this focus on accomplishment because I’m forever working on staying focused on what matters. I find that I often have to “remind” myself to not get distracted by things that seem important and the time, but generate little value or accomplishment for me or my clients.
I’m so glad you liked the book and the review. Visual reminders help a lot when you are starting a new habit. The colorful book and layout are very helpful on keeping you focused.
Ivana, thank you for your reflection and reminder that we can all get distracted. The Accomplishment Journal System is designed to be that daily reminder of focusing on what’s important in your life!
I liked that you described the book as more than a daily planner. With increased distractions in business, businesswomen can benefit from a system with quarterly reviews. I recommend a similar quarterly review in analytics for many clients, so seeing this perspective in another format is refreshing. Thanks for sharing a great review.
When the month’s fly by so quickly in business, I agree that quarterly reviews help you stay on track. So that way you don’t wind up at the end of your fiscal year in a trance and wondering how you got so far afield.
Thanks for the comment Pierre!
Thanks for the great write up! I’m so thrilled you received value from it. I personally love smallbiztrends.com and refer to it often, so as a fant of the site, this is a big thrill to have our the Accomplishment Journal featured on the site!
Gina, It was my pleasure to review the series. Thanks for your encouragement of women everywhere!
I love the whole premise of the Accomplishment Journal series – there is something so powerful about writing something down! It enables us to celebrate the small victories that are easy forget along the way towards success (however we define that for ourselves). I think Gina and Brenda are also shining examples of how we can utilize our inner compass to strive towards balance in our personal and professional lives. Thank you for your review Sarah!
I like that you can counteract any small voices in your head that claim you aren’t doing enough just by flipping through the journal and seeing all that you have done. Seeing is believing!
So great that you are addressing women’s feelings of failure, even when they are doing so much.
Thank you. Our worst critics are always ourselves. We need all the help we can get to support our successes and how far we have come instead of focusing on what still needs to be done.
I feel like this book was written for me! Thanks for sharing it with us. After being in business for myself forever, there is nothing more important than staying on task, making time for the important things in life and accomplishing the many goals/tasks that overwhelm our lives daily. Having a journal to stay on point is the perfect solution! Accountability, Balance and Visual Rewards/Reminders of achieving Goals is “Just What the Dr Ordered” 🙂 Just like we constantly have to reinvent ourselves, we constantly have to arm ourselves with a tool to succeed! Thanks again
so glad you found the journal review helpful and prescriptive!
I am a CPA, business owner, and mom of four. I have the craziest life. I discovered the first Accomplishment Journal awhile ago and live by it. It made me realize just how unrealistic my expectations were. I am very organized yet was becoming more frustrated on a daily basis at how “little” I was getting done. When I found the Accomplishment Journal, I was finally able to put my work, business, and personal life into perspective. I am a better mom, CPA, and employer because of it. My 11 year old daughter has even started using it. She is a straight A student that also maintains about 10+ hours of dance a week. She tries to get way ahead of herself with homework and projects. The Accomplishment Journal has allowed me to teach her good time management skills that she can carry into adult life. Thank you Gina and Brenda!
Great article! I have the pleasure of working directly with Gina on the upcoming Women’s Money Conference and want to congratulate both her and Brenda on such a wonderful accomplishment. Great job ladies!
Thank you, Kelli! We are always pleased to support others in creating solutions for our all too busy lives!