No, we’re not taking a left turn here, but I thought it was time to start looking at digital tools that could be used to help us as Freemasons. There are plenty of them out there but I thought I would start with one that I think has a lot of uses, Google’s new goals feature. It was recently added to their calendar app (both Android and iOS) and I thought a great goal would be to learn more of the ritual.
The trick to learning ritual, or at least one of them, is repetition and or course regular practice. I think I most of us will can come up with any number of reasons why we can’t work on memorizing our ritual so a tool that can help us stay “on track” it always welcome. What the goal feature of Google Calendar does is it allows us to set a goal, how often we want to work on it and for how long.
The trick here is to set a goal that is concrete and not nebulous or never ending. In the case of the ritual, stating that you want to “memorize the ritual,” just won’t work, unless you’re planning to memorize the entirety of it. What I would recommend, and what I’ve setup, is to work on a specific section, say a history, or a charge, or lecture, and then make memorizing that your goal.
Once you’ve selected the piece of ritual you’re going to work on you next need to figure out how much time to spend on it and how often. This is something that varies a lot between individuals but for myself I find working in 15-20 minute chunks works well – I can go longer but I’m not sure if there’s any benefit to longer sessions (unless of course what you’re working on takes longer than 20 minutes to present). I’m still experimenting on how often to work on this, right now I’m set up for three times a week but will likely increase it once it becomes more habit than goal.
Instead of walking you through the actual steps for setting up your goal, I’ll suggest that you jump over to the article on Google’s official blog which will walk you through it and give you some other ideas on how you can use the goal feature.
Give it a try and share your experience, I’d be interested to know how it works out for you.