Over the past few weeks, Simpleology 5 has been slowly rolling out to our over one million registered users. Meanwhile, our developers have been busy busy bees.
With the rave reviews we’ve been getting for 5.0 across the net, it might be tempting to rest on our cyber-laurels. Pah! Tempting if we were lazy. Fortunately for us, we are all avid users of our own software and therefore relentless productivity machines as a result.
Here are a few of the new features you’ll notice when you log in today (that weren’t there when we launched 5.0).
Look in the upper right corner and you’ll see an unassuming little magnifying glass. Click on it and you’ll see version 1 of our new Search tool. It’s pretty fast and pretty fancy, but it’s only going to get better. It will search across all of your Simpleology data (Targets, Lists, Dream Catcher, everything …)
Options Overlay Redux
The Options Overlay was, and is, unique. It’s a totally new UI concept that began here. Generation 1 was good, but there were a few issues. Dragging and dropping was clunky. Clicking on links was not easy. It didn’t work well in mobile. It wasn’t as well organized as it could have been. The Redux solves all those issues and more. Try it out.
The belt training has changed everything. We now have a systematic, step by step, way of taking you from “total novice” to “Simpleology Black Belt.” The first version had a few issues. The videos weren’t working in mobile. We weren’t considerate of the hearing impaired and left out Closed Captioning. It was hard to know how long a training session would last. The training was excessively repetitious. There was no way to control the videos.
All of that has been addressed and more.
Now, granted the repetition was by design. Many folks think “I get it” but then after watching a video a 2nd or 3rd time realize they missed a few key concepts completely. So, there is still going to be a bit of repetition, but not as much. As a general rule:
- There will be short and long versions of training sessions
- You’ll need to complete the long version a few times (strategically timed) and the short version several times (to ensure you demonstrate the skill)
- You will be able to fast forward through videos, but only after a few forced repetitions
Frankly, we were reluctant to make those changes. Since in time we’ll allow folks to use their Simpleology belt as a credential, and will allow others to verify that credential, we do have some responsibility to ensure folks have actually demonstrated a skill before advancing. But at the same time, we want to make the system flexible enough for those who have different learning styles.
It’s a delicate situation, and no matter how we slice it, there will be those who will game the system. Given that that’s unavoidable in any scenario (already we’ve heard rumblings of people offering “pre-loaded Simpleology Black Belt accounts” generated by cheap labor) we opted for a good balance of flexibility and forced skill demonstration.
As always, there is much much more to come, folks. As always, this happens by combining your requests with our plans, so keep those requests comin’! We are listening.
These are all fantastic changes!
What about adding the ability to share each belt achievement via a Facebook share app? It would be a great for drumming up curiosity among our friends, i.e. "Mark Jones has just become a black belt in Simpleology!". I am sure everybody will want one. :-)
Repetition is great, but I used the new version for a while and I'm learning nothing new while I am spending time going over stuff I know. Is there a way to get to new training quicker?
I also suggest you have a link to this blog on the page so people can quickly check out these comments and suggestions.
dwillie Hi David, after two days you can fast forward through the videos. However, we don't plan to program a way for folks to get around the repetition. While you may have the concepts down, the benefits of repetition can't be substituted by anything else. What I can say is that White Belt is the most repetition and that there is a lot more variation in the future belts. We really need to ensure folks have that base habits of a. Using Start My Day every work day ... and b. Using the Dream Catcher all day every day ... before moving on to anything else. If those things aren't mastered, the benefit of the rest is greatly diminished.
dwillie Oh, one more thing to be clear ... when I say "repetition" I mean demonstration of the skill taught. The videos don't need to be repeated if you want to fast forward through them.
Why in the hell would anyone want to game a system that was good for them and makes them better. That's like lying to yourself about exercise, or cheating when playing golf, it's a non-starter.
Mark and company: you have done it again! I got more done in the last month, while achieving my yellow belt, than I did in the entire year leading up. Thanks so much!
Repetition is great. Wouldnt it be helpful though to provide a summary to repeat as a revision with the option to repeat the full training if desired? Pne more suggestion, is there a way of working ffom the main goals , ther tasls and subtasks into the daily praxis to keep us on track and help avoid being side-tracked? Straight line theory in practice?
great great great...the repetitions make sense to me, but then I was a ballet dancer, a sabre fencer (still) a musician...and in those professions one learns that it is the aware repetition that makes it work..including those of us who are quick on our feet..there's always an angle that we only get, even in our own thinking processes, only after repeating a movement..
tessfisher Interesting question ... we deliberately suppress them so there's less noise and you can focus on the bigger picture of priority. Would you find it helpful to see them?
Mark Joyner Hi Mark! Thanks for the response. I'd like the option to see them. This is probably because of the way I set up the task itself. It's meant to hold the big picture as the heading and then keep all the related subtasks in one spot. I set a reminder date for the task to show up, but then if I can't see what the subtasks are I don't know which thing I'm supposed to decide on. I can do a workaround where I look at the subtasks before I get to "decide". I posted the question just to see if there was some little trick I was missing. :) If it's not already in the programming, then no worries. Thanks!
Mark Joyner Well I wanted to see if it was something I just didn't know how to do before I requested it as a feature! :) I think my workaround will be fine though.
Cool changes. I really appreciate the closed captions by the way. Clear and legible.
I didn't even think of this at first, but what about blind people? I don't know how accessible your website's to them. They kinda have the opposite problem as me--audio isn't really a problem to them but there're a whole other ballpark of needs.
Taking their needs into consideration would take considerably more than just adding closed captions to videos and might even require creating an alternative version of the website accessible to screen readers. I can't really advise you there--you'll have to do your own research if you want to look into it. But I do think it's worth taking into consideration.
kajarainbow Hey, that's a fantastic suggestion. It's probably outside of our abilities at the moment, but that's something we'll look at in the future for sure. The next priority for this type of thing before that will be localization. There are many folks who would use us if we were available in their languages ...
Mark Joyner Oh, yeah, localization would be another good method of improving accessibility. :) And, yeah, I mostly just brought it up as something to think about. I know there'd be considerable technical complications there, but it's still worth thinking about.
I'm happy you're willing to think about making your website usable by more people. I'm certainly benefitting from that.
kajarainbow Very happy to do it :-) Come to think of it, we do have a few visually impaired users, but they have software on their end that interprets everything. I have no idea how they do it, but you'd be surprised. One of them has been running a fairly robust web business for years.
I love the new approach of integrating gamification into simpleology but there is toooooooooo much repetition for the 1st stage (white belt). Its like 20 times. I got the whole thing from the first time and enjoyed till the 3rd time. After that it became so much boring and a waste of time really.
Thank you for developing such an amazing product .Make your days great
yassinshaar For future users they'll be able to FF through the training after the first couple sessions ... That's in place now.
onlineiq "rort" might need translation for folks not familiar with Ozzie/Kiwi slang :-)
Mark Joyner oops :) yes, gaming the system.
One other question - where is the best place to put questions which come up during the training...
onlineiq Hey, do you mean a question about the system? Probably the help desk ...
Sigh. I hated the long boring repetition after about the first five times. Did it any way, and oops, learned something.
LOL, don't let us whiners keep you from making us doing it right!
I love it. The only thing is I would like to add is that I cannot tell everyone to use Simpleology, because they don't know english enough. What about open to new market?f.e. In Poland for 40 mln people?
AnnaSikora Hey Anna, we've been holding off on localization for a while until we reached a certain level of development that would allow us to minimize re-work. We're getting much closer ...
I still think the Multiple Forced Repetitions is probably a better way to go. ... How many times have students of mine said "OH, I get that!" but later on, it became quite clear, they had NOT gotten "that."
dsl1 :) I am in total agreement on repetition! I tutor hundreds of kids and assign homework to practice the skills. I don't assign the exact same problem over and over though. And I let teach them new things along the way too!This is one of those things where The Sagacious Simpleology Superstars will never please everyone. :)Mark-I LOVE the new search! THANK YOU!!!!
tessfisher dsl1 You're most welcome. I hope the new changes are a good balance.
Further to discussions about the Dojo... I was looking at the difference between the packages, and Elite has Strategic Financial and Business Management Module which the others don't.
So my point is... if you are giving someone a free trial, and the first 30 days are spent focusing exclusively on the white and yellow belt, it doesn't really show them anything specific to the Elite package. They don't know what they'll be missing if they drop it after the free month.
I don't know what the solution to that is - just wanted to flag it up,
Moira Hendrickx Now it's sure great to hear our customers bring that up and not our Marketing Department :-) We're erring on the side of being as generous as possible. My thinking now is that if we can really help folks become super productive in the first few belts, they'll be more open to becoming paying customers later. If they can't afford it, they're still welcome to stick around and use the free tools be become more productive/successful. We're in it for the long haul.
Loving the new Simpleology 5.0! From the new training and belts, to the new UI, everything works well and I'm even more productive than I was before 5.0. Only thing I'd like now is an export option to my company's CRM of choice (Podio) for my daily tasks via an "select tasks to export" batch option! https://zapier.com/zapbook/ could be a fast way to set that up.
JohnStringer Stay tuned :-) That's definitely on our radar, but we have a few other things of higher priority to hit first. I think you'll love what's coming next.
Great improvements Mark, yes the white belt training was long and tedious but well worth it, Have been using Simpleology for a few years and learned a few more tricks. Thanks and keep up the good work.
JoseBerrios Now that's what I like to hear :-) I hope any and all who are balking because they think they "already know it" can be encouraged by the notion that they may learn a few critical improvements. Even some very minor enhancements can have a huge impact on productivity.
Love the new facilities Mark! And how quickly you are tweaking and improving them. Also love your support team. They're fantastic!! I don't know how many years I have been a member here now, but it is really great to be treated like someone "in the loop" when you have a query - instead of a "that's the way it is" response.
Only yesterday I got a reply about Dojo issues and exporting daily targets - explaining what was still being worked on - and here we are today with much of it done!!! Great stuff! I am one of those who will really appreciate the option to jump forward in the belt system. Not to 'game' or because I don't believe in repetition....but because I know that I don't use lists and trackers efficiently and really want to build those habits on top of the regular start my day - which I am very familiar with. Suggestion... another alternative might be to allow users to overlap some of the belt training. I've never learned a martial art - but I imagine the skills for black belt incorporate a lot of skills learned for earlier belts right?
I love Simpleology!
Moira Hendrickx Hey Moira, that's an interesting option ... Yeah, the Belt system here will in fact work much the same way. That is, each successive level tends to build on the last. However, in Orange Belt (which many are already on now) the focus is Kankyo Kaizen which should be totally new for everyone (and I hope extremely useful to all who do it).
Mark Joyner Moira Hendrickx Yeah the Kankyo Kaizen practices are great, I remember when you had a course on it awhile back. (I believe it was a course, correct me if I'm mistaken.
I recall a friend of mine discussion how their work just implemented 'Kankyo Kaizen's' into their company. They said at first they thought it was silly but over time had added to significant improvements. I asked if the owner uses Simpleology. Answer was of course Yes.
PaulC.Koenig Moira Hendrickx Awesome :) Yeah, that meme has some serious traction. The phrase was in fact coined here, but it's taking on a life of its own. We never had a course on it, but I did make a blog post and write a short ebook on it. All that and much more is in the Orange Belt. We've taken it a lot further now.
Mark Joyner Moira Hendrickx Ahh that's where if was from. I couldn't remember so I assumed a course :).
Yeah it's awesome to see how it's taken off. The company made it a requirement of their staff to identify Kankyo Kaizen's each year before their performance review with a write up of how it improves their work or the business.
It's made a great impact in my own life and is a key point I've been teaching others ever since. Many people who want to make a change try to drastically turn things in one direction. Be it suddenly cutting all 'bad food' from their diet, or working on person projects 0 minutes a day, to hours. This momentum rarely lasts. There is a better way. Kankyo Kaizen's. Small improvements add up over time.
For Simpleology users: the Orange Belt covers Kankyo Kaizen broken down over the daily lessons. If you haven't gotten there yet keep doing your daily lessons. You will be glad you did. This is a very powerful method to increasing your productivity in all areas of life. Great way to present the concept Mark!!
Mark Joyner PaulC.Koenig My daughter (at uni) talks about "life hacks" and I think she means something akin to Kankyo Kaizen. Sounds great! And, like all great ideas - simple and practical too.
I am looking forward to doing the orange belt. Kaizen was one of the reasons Simpleology got me hooked in the first place.
Way back in the 80s, I bought a book called something like "How to make a million dollars" - you know the kind of thing. I'm in the UK - they were less common here! But it was a genuine personal development book wrapped around a "how to" for direct selling! Wish I could remember the name of the author - he introduced me to Kaizen and the whole principle of "you can't change a single other person - but you can change you!!"
Bravo the the Simpleology Team. It is the first time I have been "forced" out of procrastination. I love the processed of repeated daily training and the mix of short or long ones.
I am not quite sure why but when I do some to the training when I press the "continue training" the videos will no longer work and I am "on my own" ... it does not seems it register that I have "on my "own" completed the training / inputs of Start my day.
Otherwise FABULOUS work as usual.
Thanks for your support / training .