Sometimes I struggle with making decisions. For many years, I even needed several opinions on what to wear each day before settling on an outfit. When it comes to bigger decisions? I pull out all the stops, creating pros vs. cons lists, surveying every friend/relative that I think won’t tell the other I already asked them, and struggling internally until I often just flip a coin to make the choice or collapse wondering how I will ever choooooooosssee. Picking an option, especially when it can have far reaching consequences in your life, can be hard. And finally, as apple products have trained me to think, there’s an app for that. In this case, it’s a free web tool created by Ben Gimpert. He’s calling it Something Pop, and it’s the result of a hobby (a pretty useful one, I might add). It’s motto is that it helps you make better decisions by making your priorities pop.
Basically how it works is that it quantifies everything that you list as important to the decision to provide a mathematical, objective outlay of which is the actual best decision, not just the decision you bullied your best friend into telling you was the right one. There are big categories already entered for you like, which job to take, which apartment to rent/buy, which city to move to, leaving academia, but then there is the more ambiguous choice of “something else” that you’re deciding, like which kind of couch to buy. I know I agonized over that choice this past summer.
Once you know the decision you have to make, you input your priorities. In the case of my couch, I was looking at color, price, softness, and removable cushions. You give each a percentage rating of how important it is to you. Then, step two is listing all the options available. There’s the couch at Macy’s, Jennifer Convertibles, and my dream Crate and Barrel couch. Each field has prompts in case you’re unsure of what to add.
Step three is to rank how your options stack up against the priorities you set on a D- through A+ scale. In my case, I would need to see if the color is right at Macy’s, but the price was WAY TOO HIGH at Crate and Barrel. Then they make you a chart that averages how your couch stacks up. Thought the Crate and Barrel couch was a dream come true, it got a D- on affordability (an important priority), and thus, ranked below the couch I actually ended up buying. It’s a list-maker’s dream. Input all the variables you want, and then look at how they rate. The charts don’t lie.