Something that has been coming up a lot for me recently is staying true to a routine. With many of our lives melding into a work-meets-home blur, it can be hard to stay on track. For me, it’s the classic self-talk of “I know what I need to do, now I just have to do it.”
Implementing the practices to ensure I get tasks completed takes time, and doesn’t often make it onto my to-do list. That’s why I’m always happy to find an app that actually gives me a leg up in reaching my goals. One of the most organized and efficient people I know is my virtual assistant, Mercede. She and I have been implementing these goal tracker products and apps over the last month, and I can tell you from experience: they work.
Read on for a few that have been helping me, and then please share your favorite goal-tracking apps and tools in the comments!
1. A Comprehensive Journal/Planner With Actionable Steps.
There are so many engaging and actionable journals, workbooks, and planners. Even though I try to go paperless, sometimes it’s important to put pen to paper, create a vision board, or document the next steps. Mainly I enjoy the products that ask you prompting questions and help you move from idea to action. Last year I used one by Best Self Co. It had everything from a habit tracker to reminders to network and goals setting check-ins.
Mercede is a big fan of a simple planner, kind of like build your own adventure. “I really enjoy this style because if I miss a week of planning or find I need more space to brainstorm, I can have it,” she says. “While the prompt planners are great for some, in the past, I’ve felt like a failure when I don’t write in every place I’m supposed to.” This year she’s trying out the Muji Monthly/Weekly Planner. Its simple design allows space to write on each day, with a blank page to the right in case you need room for notes, plus it has grid paper. Although it’s not that cute, she asked her husband to make a leather cover for it, and now it matches her laptop sleeve.
If you’re looking for something quick and easy to get your goals off to the right start, I recently launched my first workbook that you can download for free for the month of January. The workbook is a very condensed version of questions and prompts I find helpful, and it’s helped so many of my clients turn their goals into reality.
2. The Brain.fm App.
Before I entered the world of blogging, I journaled as a daily practice. I only wrote down the things that came to me. Sometimes it would only be a sentence, sometimes a page. Now that I’m writing for work, I need to create an environment that keeps my mind in the zone. Inset Brain.fm. I can not express how much this app has helped me. They have music and beats that flow for focus, creativity, relaxation, sleep, and meditation (I’m listening to the creative flow right now). It also helps block out the noise of my husband on his work calls and my kids downstairs. The science-based approach they use to create the musical selection clearly works. You can read more about it on their web page, they write:
“Just as the visual design of an office or bedroom should enhance its function, the music you listen to should support your goals as well. Think of Brain.fm as interior design for your mind! Brain.fm is a collaboration between scientists, musicians, and developers who each believe that the best approach to functional music is not curation of existing music, but through research, testing, and in every way crafting music with function first.”
I’m a big-time list maker. I tend to lose track of my lists. Plus, I can’t stand it when my handwriting looks messy (confessions of an A-type personality). So, when Mercede introduced me to Trello is was love at first sight. I have a Trello board for everything work-related, managing our housing projects, and a personal one I share with my husband that tackles everything from paying the bills to grocery lists. It also links with GoogleDrive and Dropbox. Visually I like the layout, and there are many features from due date reminders to labeling and checklists. This platform has it all. The best part? All of the functions I just mentioned are free.
If you like boards, vision boards, mood boards, etc, you’ll enjoy Trello; if you’re the spreadsheet type, this might not be the goal tracker app/platform for you. However, you can link spreadsheets to Trello!
“Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process. Imagine a whiteboard filled with lists of sticky notes, with each note as a task for you and your team.”
4. Then here comes, Flora.
Because there are so many goal-tracking apps outs there, I asked Mercede to review this one. Flora is essentially a to-do list. You simply create a to-do, select a focus duration, and then press Start to grow a tree. If you close the app for another, like Instagram, it will alert you that you’ve just killed a tree. You get rewarded if you make your time with another tree, and can even opt for the paid version which actually does plant trees for you. Find out more here.
5. Finally, I truly recommend investing in an Apple Watch.
The Apple watch is the ultimate goal tracker! It has apps and prompts for fitness apps, timers, meditation, gratitude, breathwork, and even reminders to drink water! I like the Apple Watch because it helps with our need to have the ever so distracting cellphone near. But, there’s no Instagram scrolling to knock you off track, and I’m trying to be more conscious of my children seeing the phone in my hand. This way, I’m staying connected and accessories all at once—some of my go-to apps for the Apple Watch are Breathe, Happier, and Pillow.
I would love to know what has been working for you this January to keep your goals on track, so please comment below with the goal tracker products and apps you’re loving.
Until then, I’m wishing everyone a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year no matter how you get there!