SmarterStep by StepCatch Problems Early 

Grasp Issues Quickly

Take Action Decisively


2 minutes each week to help you execute on your goals

from Jean Moroney

Issue #71
I. Recommendation of FIELDBOOK: A Digital Tool to Simplify Complex Lists
II. Last call on survey on time problems
III. Recent Posts on the Blog
I. Recommendation of FIELDBOOK: A Digital Tool to Simplify Complex Lists
I am very picky about using digital tools. They have to be simple, simple, simple–and really enhance my productivity. That’s just the kind of tool Fieldbook is. Fieldbook is an online application that looks a lot like a spreadsheet, but which is designed to manage complex lists.
For over a year, I’ve been using Fieldbook to help me manage personal projects. I use it when regular lists aren’t powerful enough to keep track of everything, and project management software would be overkill.
You know the problem. You have too many lists, you need to cross reference everything, you need to reorganize the lists every which way, and the list items are in flux. And maybe other people need to see the lists and update them, too. The lists get messy, and then you have to start over.
I began using Fieldbook when I was president of an organization running 30 events a year. I had to keep track of all the moving parts: finances, marketing, vendors, and over 30 volunteers. I was feeling overloaded. That’s when a friend, Jason Crawford, offered to let me alpha-test Fieldbook.
I dumped all my lists into a Fieldbook project, and miraculously, I was organized. The user interface made it trivially easy to add items, subtract items, move them around, group them, sort them, etc. Everything was in one place where I could find it.
It was so easy to use, that I did use it. I know that if I had started a spreadsheet with similar information, I wouldn’t have maintained it for the whole year. (I’ve failed with spreadsheets before.) The user interface made the difference.
On other projects, I take advantage of Fieldbook’s sexy additional feature: subsheets. For technical types: subsheets add a database-like feature to a spreadsheet. But subsheets are much easier to use than a “real” database. For non-technical types, you can understand subsheets from this 2-minute video
Fieldbook can be used for planning a move (as mine was), planning a wedding, planning a programming project–planning any project with complex lists. If it sounds useful to you, try it out. Jason Crawford has shared a link so you can get instant (free) beta-test access:


II. Please fill out my survey on time problems

Thank you to everyone filled out the survey on time problems. It’s preparation for a class I’m giving soon.

If you haven’t already filled it out, I’d appreciate your sharing your thoughts. Your answers will help me make the class that much more useful for everyone involved. What I learn is sure to make it into future newsletters.

Please fill out the survey here:

Thank you!

III. Recent Posts on the Blog

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Jean Moroney

Jean Moroney

About Jean Moroney: Ms. Moroney, President of Thinking Directions, teaches managers, small business owners, and other professionals how to be smarter as they execute on their goals by catching problems early, grasping issues quickly, and taking action decisively. Ms. Moroney received a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and worked as a system engineer, project manager, and software consultant for 10 years. She has an MS in Psychology from Carnegie-Mellon, and has been coaching and speaking on thinking skills since 1998. She has given her all- day flagship course, “Thinking Tactics” all over North America. Her corporate clients include Microsoft,, BB&T, and Canadian Bank Note Company. Thousands of people have benefited from her methods. Find out more at and sign up for her freebie class: Jump Start Your Project: