Sometimes just keeping yourself above water requires Herculean efforts. The more you get behind, the more impossible it seems that you'll be able to hit your goals. So what do you do when you're drowning in tasks, to-do's, and trouble tickets?
You turn to goal tracking.
The Google Play Store offers offers plenty of goal-tracking apps, but choosing the right one for your needs can be a bit daunting. Here are five good candidates that may help you monitor your goals and achievements.
Note: This article is also available as a screenshot gallery.
Looking to set goals for the week, month, or year? Looking to track family, finances, health, socialization, hobbies, career? GoalTracker (Figure A) could be what you need. It offers an easy-to-use five-step wizard that walks you through the process of creating goals. You can set and track time intervals and averages, add alarms and images, create a goal slogan and description, sort your goals for easier viewing, and more.
Once you've created a goal, you can get a quick overview of progress through that goal's dashboard. The individual goal dashboards really make GoalTracker stand out as one of the best in the field. If you tend to get overwhelmed with too much information and need an app that breaks down individual goals in a more visually oriented manner, GoalTracker has your back.
2: Goal Tracker & Habit List
If you need a simpler means of tracking your goals—one that doesn't offer too much in the way of details or features yet still manages to get the job done—Goal Track & Habit List (Figure B) might be right for you. With this app, you start by creating an entry for a goal. Then you can open that goal in a calendar and mark each day as having met or failed to reach its daily requirements. There's little fancy about this particular app... but it does an outstanding job of quickly showing you the goal progress.
You can view goals by Detail, Week, or Month, as well as import and export goals (tap the Menu button in the top-left corner to reveal the quick access sidebar for more options). This is the perfect app for anyone who just wants to keep track of the progress of their tasks without having to worry about too many bells and whistles.
3: Raise the Bar
This take on goal tracking aims to help you build healthy habits by measuring your daily progress via percentage bars. Raise the Bar (Figure C) also lets you create daily to-do lists to accomplish more detailed goals.
Creating a goal is simple, thanks to a built-in wizard. You give the goal a name, select how you want to track the goal (by levelling up, milestone, or check list), select the bar options (reminder, repeatable goal, or deadline), set a completed by date for the goal, and then customize your goal's bar. Once you've created the bar, you can check your stats, tag your goals, check off items from a list, and more. You can enjoy unlimited goals and even edit data in your existing goals.
HabitBull (Figure D) offers a fully customizable and simple interface to help you track your habits. You create new habits by selecting from Work & Study, Arts, Health & Fitness, Housekeeping & Pets, Money, and Self Improvement, among other options.
After you select a type of habit, you can decide how to track it (with a simple "yes" or "no", a number, or with data from Google Fit). Then, just name the habit a name and select which days you want it to be tracked and/or set a target number for the habit (how many successful days in a row). From within the habit's calendar view, tap days to mark them as successful, unsuccessful, or blank. You can set reminders, add notes, and get a visual representation of habits.
5: My Goals
My Goals (Figure E) takes a unique approach. You create goals (with tasks, deadlines, images, etc.) and then the app generates a motivational mosaic on the main screen. Yes, this might seem a bit cheesy. But you can tap on an image for your goal and immediately be taken to the detail screen for that particular goal. The detail screen lets you tap to complete tasks, edit the goal, and check your progress. Although My Goals doesn't include some of the extra features found in, say, GoalTracker, it makes up for it with a sleek design and ease of use.
There are as many goal-tracking apps as there are personal methods of tracking goals. What you need and how you work will dictate which app works best for you.
Do you have a different tried-and-true goal tracker in your app arsenal? Share your recommendations with fellow TechRepublic members.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.