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Gold Assistant
An add-in product for Microsoft Excel

  • Manage your To Do's based on
          their value and effort
  • Change your outlook on your to do's
  • Stop using to do ranking approaches
          that don't work.
  • Go to your to do list anytime with one click
  • Create different lists as needed
  • Stop mixing to do's with action steps
  • Focus on to do's, not the individual to do tasks

Download a trial version now!

The Gold Assistant add-in for Microsoft Excel provides you a different way to manage your to do's.   It is compatible with Microsoft Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016, and Office 365.

The Microsoft Excel Gold Assistant provides a unique approach to managing what goals you should be working on.  Almost all managers tell you to prioritize your work on the most important.  They don't tell you how to do a very important step:  the prioritization.  And one often fail to separate tasks that are just action steps from a past decision and those issues that are true decisions on how to increase one's weath.  The following screenshots illustrates this:

The Gold Assistant uses words like "gold bars, coins, nuggets and ore" to describe the rows in your gold list.  Each entry has the hours required and the entry's value, found in columns E and G.  It uses, and this is key, the probability of success.  Failure to include probability of success in your analysis of what to do is the number one reason people work on the wrong tasks. Probability of success is used to calculate the net gold value and the net value in man hour remaining to accomplish the goals.

With a click of a button your to do list is sorted so that:

  • Items you must do in the near future are at the very top
  • Key items in categories  you pick appear next. 
  • Lastly, all remaining items are sorted by a "gold index" that takes into account the value of the gold (an entry), the probability of success and the effort remaining to accomplish the gold. Those with the highest gold index are at the top of this group.

With another click of a button, all the un-important entries are hidden from view.  Now you see only what you should be working on.  A second click on the button and all entries are displayed.

The Gold Assistant takes a unique approach to managing your to do lists. The typical word associations one has with to do lists are "work, pain, agony, something to avoid,….". The Gold Assistant instead does a paradigm shift and approaches your to do items as gold. By viewing your to do's as gold, they word associations become "valuable, fun, and desirable to do". To do's now have value. Some are gold bars. Some are gold coins. Some are gold nuggets. Some are gold ore - valuable but requiring a bit of work.  There is even a set of golden rules!

The Gold Assistant creates a worksheet called a gold worksheet where you enter your to do's, or as we prefer to call them your gold descriptions. It also creates additional sheets called treasure maps that are the steps you take to accomplish the complex gold entries on your gold worksheet.  The two are linked so you can jump back and forth with just a click.

By using treasure maps, you can separate the tasks to accomplish a gold entry from your list of gold. Many people mix the two. By separating them, you are able to better understand each list. One should have only a few gold lists. One would have many treasure maps, one for every complex to do or gold entry. And our template treasure map prompts you to identify not only the steps to take, but the risk you face. 

So that you do not have to toggle back and forth from the gold worksheet and treasure maps, the gold worksheet contains a column for the next key action you will do on a gold entry.  It also contains a column for the priority of these next actions so the items you should work on today can be sorted to the top.

The Gold Assistant does not have you rank your gold (your to do's) by priority. Such just does not work. How often have you seen people work on lower priority tasks? They do so because they must be done, have more valuable or have a higher chance of success. Instead, the Gold Assistant recognizes these factors. It also recognizes there are two kinds of to do's:

  • Must Do's. These are entries that must be done, like weekly reports, paying the rent, paying taxes, etc They are required, mandatory tasks or chores. If they are not done, something bad will happen. And seldom will your net worth increase when you do them. Must do's always have key dates and completion dates imposed by someone else - typically your boss or the government.
  • Real gold. These don't have to be done, but have value, and therefore you want to do them. Such vary in value. Some are gold bars. Some are gold coins, some are nuggets, and others are just gold ore.  Working on real gold increases your value. The Gold Assistant helps you focus on the right ones.

When you run the top entry on the Gold Assistant's main menu, "Sort gold by importance", you get far more than a simple sort. You get:

  • The must do's with close (or past due) start dates and completion dates at the very top
  • Gold entries in key categories that must appear at the top are then shown. For us it is always "software bugs to be fixed".
  • All the remaining real gold and must do's appear, sorted by a "gold index".   This is simply the value of gold times the probability of success divided by the effort.  The highest one appear at the top.

Once you have sorted your gold by importance you can use the Gold Assistant to:

  • Color the background of entries you want to focus on gold, using the gold button on the second toolbar. Or click a second time to remove.
  • Show only the important gold, hiding the un-important rows using the option "Hide less important gold rows"
  • Sort the data below your most important rows by category and value.  Thus you have the most important gold rows on top, in importance order, and the remaining rows grouped for easy inspection.
  • Use the strike through button to strike through the entries on completed rows.  And clicking a second time removes the strike through formatting.

One does not have to use $'s to value gold. One can use a 1-100 index. Effort can be measured in $'s, man hours, man days,... man years.  Or effort can be measured by a 1-100 index also.

Gold entries are often strategic entries.  A support worksheet we call a "treasure map" can be used to list all the key steps to accomplish the gold.  And, on the gold worksheet itself, beside the gold entry is a tactical column, called the "Next key action" and "Hours required" for it.  Such is what you plan to do next in your path to achieve the gold entry.

One interesting feature is the ability to create a map of your gold.  The following illustrates such a map:

Such a map divides your gold into gold bars, gold coins, gold nuggets, mineable ore, and marginal ore. Gold bars and gold coins are the best to work on. Accomplishing a lot of gold nuggets is fun, but adds little value. Mineable gold ore is worth working on. Marginal ore is just that - marginal. One should look to ways to extract just the mineable ore from the marginal ore.

To recap, the Gold Assistant takes a different approach. It does a paradigm shift on how to approach to do's. Buy the Gold Assistant and start enjoying your to do's!

 

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