- February 5, 2023
- by Kat Ciesielska
- No comments
Is a goal tracker a tool for you? Let me ask you some questions.
How often do you set new goals? Once a year in January or more frequently? If you are like me, you think about improving your life pretty often. So, you set your goals.
You want to go to the gym regularly (or at least exercise on the floor instead of purring your coca-cola on it), read more, eat healthier, start saving money, and get better at your job (or get a better job, right?).
How often do you succeed?
Yeah, me too. And there is also the more complex part at work: your projects, your targets, and KPIs. I kind of feel that sometimes reaching these goals is as hard as after work, isn’t it?
But as someone wise once said, you can’t expect different results, if you’re keeping doing the same damn thing. Time to change your strategy with the best goal tracking apps!
Table of Contents
What are goals?
So, what are goals? They are the answer to the question “what do I want?” They determine our life aspirations, what we perceive as success and a sense of accomplishment. Once you establish what are your goals, what you want from life, and what you want to absolutely avoid, your mind will get clearer. They will help you focus entirely on the things that are important, and reduce the behaviors that drag you down, wasting your time.
Why does setting goals work?
There is a biological answer to that. There is this part of our brain called the Reticular Activating System. Though the name is quite complicated, the working process of our RAS is simple. When we are looking for something, we send signals to our RAS, and it immediately starts searching through our surrounding to find it. Once it notices something that matches the description in our head, it informs us. When you know what your goals are, this organ is able to look for and find the opportunities to complete them.
And how do we know that it works? Our brains simply work this way. It’s like when you bought a new jacket, and suddenly you notice every person wearing the same or a similar one. Or when you received a new, cool watch for your birthday and you are not able to take your eyes off it for some time. The RAS was informed about something important in your life and begins the process of focusing your attention on it. It works in the same way with the plainly established goals. That’s why it is important to track progress – to notice small victories along the way.
How to set up life and business goals?
Have you ever tried a good goal tracker app? This kind of tool is meant to track your goals, so you can understand where you are. And when you know where you are… you also know which path to choose to win.
But let’s start from the beginning.
No matter which goal tracking app you choose, you won’t do it without a reasonable strategy. To do lists might be not enough for achieving goals in business or in personal life. Let’s check, what other wise-guys have invented to help us. Because there is more than just one method to set goals.
SMART goal setting method
Great for all types of goals!
One of the most popular ways to set goals. If it is not your first time looking for help in growing new habits, you’ve heard about it for sure.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. You can also find other versions out there, but this one is the most common.
Loosely said, you need to be precise, so you really understand what you want to do. You also need to be able to track your progress (and that’s where the goal tracking app jumps in), and the goal needs to be realistic.
Don’t plan impossible things because you simply will lose your power to try. Remember about relevancy as well, it should align with your personality and who you are. To make your plan more real, set up a deadline also.
It all sounds pretty sensible, isn’t it? If you want to learn more about this method and get detailed instructions on how to implement it in your life (or business), here’s a recipe. Templates included!
BSQ goal setting method
Ideal for big personal goals
This method is probably less known, but it’s really simple and pretty sensible as well. It lets you dream bravely.
B stands for Big because you are allowed to be crazy ambitious. Nothing bad about it! That’s why: write it down, don’t hesitate. Write I want a shaped and healthy body. Imagine it, feel it and be it.
And now, let’s go to Small steps. Think carefully about all the stairs you need to climb on during your journey to achieve this goal. Divide it for the tiniest acts as you can. And here’s your plan! Almost.
Act Quick and start now. Set up a deadline for each step, so you can track goals properly. Yes, and now you really have a plan (without this it would be just a dream).
B.H.A.G goal setting method
A fun method for both personal and business goals
I love the full name of this method. Big Hairy Audacious Goals. If BSQ lets you dream big, this one lets you go almost crazy.
The main reason for setting them up is to give you motivation. That is why I would recommend you mix it up with some other method, for example, SMART.
The idea is to go wild in your head. Just let yourself be and write down the true desire of your heart (do you see the face of Lucifer now? I do, let’s put it here ;)). Don’t stop yourself, just be free for a minute.
When you write it down, even it’s crazy, it’s becoming more real. And maybe with a help of other methods and the right goal tracking tool, you will eventually achieve it.
One Word Goal-Setting
An original approach
This is something entirely different from other goal-setting methods. Here goal tracking app can be actually crucial.
One Word Goal-Setting is all about making it simple. As you might have figured it out already, you can use just one word to set up a goal. No going for details. If we want to use our previous example again, I think we could set Shaped here.
How to follow the plan if it’s just a single word? Well, if you use a goal tracking app with a time tracker inside, it’s possible. Just set the task Shaped and measure the time you’re spending on it. In this case, I’d say that the training.
What about food? We all know that training is just 30%, and the rest is all about the diet. Well, I would just set the second goal here. Let’s say Healthy because it would remind you about making healthy choices every day. You could write it on your fridge.
What kind of goals you can set in your personal life?
Do you think that you don’t need to set goals in your personal life because they’re not important team objectives? Think again. If you have any dreams or you want to break bad habits, measurable targets might be very helpful.
When you are first setting your personal goals it is wise to start by setting your life goals. These can be what you want to accomplish by a certain age or distant year. By setting life goals first you will be able to better put other things into perspective. This will help you with your time management in achieving these goals. Some of the goals you can set range from:
- Career Goals
- Financial Goals
- Education Goals
- Family Goals
- Physical Goals
- Attitude Goals
- Luxury or Pleasurable Goals
Take the time to write out everything you really want from life and then re-evaluate the list to make cuts to focus on the significant goals you wish to accomplish.
Does a goal tracking app really help?
Ok, we’re done with finding our favorite method. Does a goal tracker really necessary? I mean, you are motivated now, right? You just want to do it! You think that you don’t need to track goals.
Hold your horses there. I almost feel your hype and will to start changing your life and becoming an employee of the month, but we both know that it’s not that easy. After one or two weeks you may already feel confused, lost, or just unsure.
Smart goal tracking software will help you to survive this crisis. It is much better than a simple goal tracker template. Trust me. If you use it right, it will show you how much have you spend on your journey already. Just look at all these hours you’ve trained! All these sales calls you’ve performed! Do you really think that you can’t keep going?
Check your progress regularly. And when you can’t see the outstanding results yet, remember about the time you’ve sacrificed. It does mean something. And if you’re doing everything according to the plan, it will pay off. Keep pushing.
But how to use the goal tracker app? Well, it all depends on the tool you choose.
Best goal tracking apps you can use
Time to choose an app to track your goals. Smart goal tracker for SMART goals 😉 If you want to make progress, you need to see it. That’s why I’m proposing to you apps I’ve found interesting. You can find one or two that works as an online goal tracker, but you can download most on your phone.
All of them let you track goals, but they are not the same. That’s why I recommend you to read it all. There’s no rush when it comes to choosing the best tools.
If you really want to change your life, pay attention to this process. It will be a lot easier later on!
Goal tracking as a game? Yes, that’s possible! That is one of my favorite habit-tracking apps ever. If you’re a gamer, and you smile when you see pixel art, you will be amazed.
You can really change your life while having fun with this adorable, free app. You can create your avatar, and by fulfilling daily tasks you grow it. As more goals you’re achieving, you earnd rewards and the better the app is becoming. It’s one of the coolest goal-tracking apps! Developing better habits has never been funnier.
At some point, you will be able to unlock not just better armor and pets, but also quests to play. You can also invite your friends to this app and compete with them. If you have team goals, you can buy a group plan for combining personal and group goals and talk on chat.
However, when you reach higher levels in the game, you can, unfortunately, lose your motivation because there are not many things to get anymore. If it’s enough for you to achieve your goals, that’s great! But you will need to find another way to motivate yourself for the new goals.
⇒ Available as a mobile app on iOS and Android.
Habit tracking app that has become pretty popular already. Over 100k people have downloaded it from Google Play only. Simple and clear helps you to track your good and bad habits. It’s one of the best free goal tracking apps.
You can analyze them on graphs and charts as well, to feel more control on everything.
Way of Life proposes a free version as well as the paid-one. Most people claim that the second one is much more useful.
Some key features of the Way of Life app include:
- Easy habit tracking with goal progress bars
- Goal setting
- Analytics and insights
- Customizable categories for habits
- Reminders and notification
- Multi-device synchronization
If a simple habit tracker is not enough for you, though, this app won’t meet all your expectations. Especially if you want to track your big goals’ progress.
⇒ Available both for iOS and Android.
Habit tracker and coaching at the same time? Why not? This is an interesting proposition for people who want to feel motivated by a human and stick to good habits. The free version doesn’t offer it, but you can hire a coach inside the app, starting at $14.99
You can choose if you need a simple message coach, or you need a real help via phone or even a video.
It focuses more on motivating you to good than fighting bad habits, but there’s also an option for that.
What’s great, you can keep in touch with the whole community who tries to implement the same habits as you. You can ask, find your motivational buddy, and check who else checked in every day.
Unfortunately, the last update was in March 2020, and there are still some problems like stability issues or not-working reminders. There are also fewer people active than before, which can be pretty demotivating if you count on social support.
⇒ Available as a Web application and on mobiles (iOS and Android)
Previous goal tracking apps are more about setting up new habits and fighting those bad ones to reach both personal and professional growth.
Lifetick focuses on long-term plans. The key features are reminders, due dates, journaling, reporting, and of course setting up your goals.
If you liked the SMART method, you will like that this app supports it. The easy form is very handy and user-friendly. It might be the best goal tracker for tracking personal SMART goals.
What is also worth to mention, Lifetick team knows that life is not just about your personal progress or work. When you decide to purchase their premium version, you will support an organization taking care of leftover landmines.
If you’re not ready for payment yet, the Individual version for tracking personal goals is free.
⇒ Available as a Web application (works pretty well on mobile).
GoalsOnTrack is another goal tracking app that focuses on SMART method. Pretty fresh and modern helps you to set up wise goals, and encourages you to visualize the goal.
Multi-level Subgoals feature is a nice way to break long-term goals to smaller baby steps, while Habit Tracking is perfect for learning a new routine. Goal journal will help you to stay on track.
This responsive app works perfectly fine on desktop and mobile devices. Its payment model, however, may not please you. $68 per year annually is not something most of us like because there is no option for monthly payment. The good information is that they offer 30 days guarantee.
⇒ Available as a Web application and a mobile app for iOS and Android.
If you really want to take of yourself and mental health is as important to you as other things, this is a habit app you’ll love.
Created thanks to help of Kickstarters who wanted to help people improve their lives and fight depression. The app use reminders to encourage you to implement self-care, not to push you hard.
What’s interesting about it, users can’t set up any goal. There is a list prepared by designers, but it suits everybody who wants to take care of themselves. This team definitely didn’t mean harsh productivity when they worked on their project.
You can support them on Patreon if you wish, but the app itself is free.
⇒ Available just for iOS at this moment, but as soon as there’s a possibility, they will launch the Android version as well.
Having all your progress at the one place. Wouldn’t it be wonderful? If you’re looking for an app specifically designed for achieving business goals, you might really like this one.
Databox is a platform that puts all the data from other software into one place, where you can track your KPIs. It works perfectly with Zapier, Facebook. Ads, Google Sheets, Salesforce, HubSpot, Google Analytics, and more.
You can build your own dashboards, set your own goals, and get performance alerts and recommendations.
People like it for its user-friendly design, the possibility to export reports, and its flexibility. Some of them, however, didn’t like the limited number of dashboards, not enough customization and their business model in general.
This goal tracker offers a free trial, freemium version, but the more complex one starts at $89 per month. If you’re looking for a free online goal tracker, their free plan can be the best solution for you.
⇒ Available on Desktop, mobile (iOS and Android), and optimized for TV, AppleWatch, and more.
Strides is the one of the most analytical goal tracking apps. If you like charts, progress bars and numbers it will definitely help you track progress and manage tasks easier. With its intuitive and user-friendly interface, Strides makes it easy to set, track, and reach your objectives. Whether you’re looking to improve your health, boost your productivity, or simply stay on top of your to-do list, Strides will motivate you to complete tasks. With features like customizable goal templates, automatic progress tracking, and reminders, Strides provides the motivation and support you need to succeed.
⇒ Available on mobile devices with iOS
Leapsome – online goal tracker and much more
Leapsome is an all-in-one HR platform designed to help companies boost employee engagement and performance. Among its key features, it has great OKR and goal tracking ones that will keep your team motivated. What is more, with Leapsome, organizations can create and manage performance evaluations, provide regular feedback, and organize internal communication.
The app also includes features such as recognition and rewards, professional development tracking, and pulse surveys to help companies gain valuable insights into their employees’ experiences. It can be a perfect web goal tracker for the whole organization serving as a single source of truth.
⇒ Available only on web
This is a free goal tracking app you’ve been waiting for if the previous ones were not enough for you. They are great, but you want something different, don’t you? Something that can really impact your life.
How can you change something if you don’t have full control? How can you watch less TV, use less Internet and read more if you have no idea on time you spend on each of these activities?
You have 31 556 926 seconds each year to reach your dreams and business goals. Make use of every single one of them.
TimeCamp will help you to achieve your goals and track your progress in a more detailed way than just a simple habit track software. This is a perfect tool if you set up long-term goals.
Let’s say, that you want to write this book you’ve dreamed about. Or you simply want to study more.
In TimeCamp you can create the task and track how much time do you spend on it. Just download a desktop app, and soon you will see if you work on it as much as you thought or social media eats more of your time.
It works automatically, so there’s no way you miss how much time you spend on searching cat memes. You can also use a mobile version that you can bring with you to the gym, for a walk, or anywhere else, where you want to keep control of timing.
TimeCamp offers a great free plan, but you can also decide on a premium version, for example, if you want to engage the whole family in achieving life goals.
⇒ Available on desktop, Web app, mobile app (both iOS and Android), and as an extension for Chrome and Edge
Your new life
And we’re here. You know how to set up new goals, and you have few goal tracker apps to choose from. I need to let you go now, and you need to start acting by yourself.
I believe in you. Trust me, you can do it.
If you’re not sure where to start, I’ll make a suggestion. Start from using SMART method with a help of TimeCamp application, and feel free to tell me how it goes 😉 You can send an owl, write a comment here or maybe use #TimeCampGoals on Twitter? Why not?
Co-author: Marta Piotrowiak, Head of Marketing at TimeCamp