Google Productivity Pad: Goal Apps: Writing Them Down

Friday, May 10, 2013

Goal Apps: Writing Them Down

Now that we have talked about how the iPad can help with goals I want to get into specific apps that can be used to do that. I'll deal with simply writing goals down and then in latter posts I'll talk about the three categories I discussed last time (communication, tracking, achieving) that we used before.

Writing Down your goals: This is the most important step in the goal process, nothing else happens in a consistent way if this does not happen. For an app to do this for you there are only two things needed:

  1. You can enter text (either typed or hand written)
  2. You will see it often
The second is obviously the hard one in this set. There is no shortage of apps that you can enter text into, but actually seeing that text so it is useful is something else. In order for that to happen you either need:

  • some kind of an alarm system in the app
  • or you need to have a built in habit to check your goals (like a daily/weekly review).

The good news is that you do not have to get any new apps to do this if you do not want to, your iPad or other iOS device already comes with the notes app, and the clock app

You can use the notes app to write down your goals, either in a single note or a separate one for each note depending on you level of organization and detail. Then use the clock app to set a recurring alarm to remind you to review your goals every so often. Because you can not stick a note made on your iPad to the fridge you have to have some way of remembering that you are working on goals.

There are literally thousands of apps that you could use to keep track of your goals, I am going to highlight three more because I have used them, not because they are necessarily better than others.

This is an app I have used for a long time, its a good solid way to make sticky notes on your iOS device. You can select different colors of notes and other options such as size. One of the nice things here is that you arrange all your sticky notes on a cork board and then you can save it as a photo to the camera roll, if you then set that photo as your lock screen it is the tech equivalent of the paper on the fridge.

There is the option to upgrade for .99 cents, and then you can give note specific alarms. So you could also use that as your reminder.

This is the app I personally using for my goal setting write now, the flexibility of Evernote allows me to do pretty much whatever I want. I am to keep my goals accessible across all my devices. I am able to make a chart of the four areas of life (Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Sociemotional) and keep current goals in each of them. I also like the ability to put check boxes next to goals for when I have finished them. I gave a full review of Evernote here.

Lumen Trails is an app I will talk more about in the tracking section because that is what I am currently using it as. But it also has the capability for full notes synced across devices. It is an extremely robust app with a bit of a learning curve. As far as just notes go it is fairly simple though and can function like Evernote, you can set up a notebook for your goals and determine whether you want all your notes in one note or in separate notes. It uses iCloud to sync across all your devices

I only recommend using Lumen Trails for writing down your goals if you are also going to use it for tracking or accomplishing goals or some other function. This is because the price for the full version is 9.99, I was fortunate and got it on a free day. 

You might know of other apps you like for writing goals down, if so tweet them to

Now you may be wondering why this writing goals down is different than tracking, after all you will have to write down the goal wherever you are tracking it as well. I do not do them in the same place for several reasons:

  1. I want to put them in the box, as mentioned earlier
  2. I like to write down more information and have them all together (you may have heard of the S.M.A.R.T. goals concept) its hard to have this much information in a tracking program.
  3. I like to have future goals also written down in the same place so I can add them to my current goals when I am ready.
Thats it for writing down your goals on the iPad or iPhone. If you like this article or it to share it with others.

Thanks for reading, set some goals, next time we will learn how to track them.
And remember, live better.

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