I have tried out my share of different planners and planning systems, but I have tried more than enough productivity apps. So today I wanted to share my thoughts on apps that can help you stay on track with your goals for this year. This is going to be the third part of my series of goal planning for the new year.
You can see my other posts in this series here —> Goal Planning For A New Year and here —> Goal Tracking- How to Make it Work for You! In my last post I spoke of goal tracking in paper planners, this post is for those who want to use their phone instead, or those who want to supplement their paper planning with their device as well.
For me, I have always loved the paper planning, but as an Apple device lover, I know that even when I am without my planner, I am never without my phone. So I have been on the quest to try to find the perfect all in one app for planning and tracking on the go. I haven’t found it yet, but I have found some good apps that do help me stay on track when I am without my planner. I am going to split them into categories just in case you don’t plan the same way I do. All the apps I will talk about are free, but some may have more features available if you get the paid version. (Also on a sidenote, none of these companies know me, let alone sponsored me to make this post)
I am not a huge fan of calendar apps. I really like paper planning when it comes to planning my day, because I can add in appointments and to do lists all in one. But when I do want to put appointments in my phone, I use the app Tiny Calendar. It hooks up to my google calendar, which is what I use for work, so I can have everything in one place. Plus it has the option to colour code my appointments/tasks so I know what they are for. In the monthly calendar view it shows those colour dots on each day, so I know without looking if it is a work appointment/info, if it is a birthday, etc. I could colour code dr.s appointments, or if you have kids you could colour code each child for their activities. My favourite part of the app is how you put in the time of your appointment. Instead of having to flip through times like most apps, it has times for you to select. It is really fast to put in an appointment.
I like that there are so many views for this calendar. I can look at my monthly, weekly. daily, hourly, depending on how detailed I want to see.
As I mentioned above, I love how you create and event and are able to select the time, instead of flip through. It is so quick. Plus I LOVE colour coding.
To Do Lists
I had a to-do list app on my phone for a long time. It allowed me to make different categories for my to do lists and it really worked well. However I started using my planner more often, and wasn’t using the listing app as much, so I deleted it for space. I have since gone to try to find that app again, and can not remember what it was named. So my second favourite to-do list app is called, One List. It is free, but does have the option to upgrade to avoid adds. It is a very simple interface, but unlike my favourite app, it only has the ability to make, one list. I still like it though and I like it for writing quick to do lists when I am on the go, and there is something I need to remember. I used it this morning just to try it out some more. I love how easy it is to make the list, and I even like the sound effects of the app. It is also helpful that you can colour code by low, medium, high, and urgent. Your list will go by priority, but all the other items stay in the order you put them in, rather than whatever you enter last staying to the top, like most apps do.
Health & Fitness
So for my health and fitness goals. I use a couple apps. Firstly I use the Up app that syncs to my fitness tracker bracelet. But the main app I use is My Fitness Pal. I think I may have spoken about this app in the past. It is the only calorie, food, fitness tracker that ever keeps me on track, and that is because it is so easy to use. You can use the bar code scanner to scan the bar code on your food to add it to your meals of the day. You can create meals out of ingredients you commonly use. For me I have my chicken stir fry recipe saved so I don’t have to put in all the ingredients separately every time I eat it. You can connect with friends and stay up to date and motivate each other. Also everyday when you submit your food and exercise log, it tells you if what weight you will be, if you continue to eat the way you have that day.
I like how it is so easy to add food, water, exercise, and your weight.
Even though the fitness pal app is a tracker, I wanted to separate that one out, because it is just health and fitness. These next apps, are ones where you can track a variety of habits and goals, including health and fitness if that is your thing. As you know I track my goals in my goal planner, but I have been trying out some goal trackers on my phone lately. I have been trying out a few apps, but it is hard to figured out if they are going to work for me, because they are very limited unless you pay for the full version. Most of the ones I have found range $5.49 to $49.99 a year! I have found one that I think I am going to pay the upgrade fee for, because I do think it might be a helpful one to have.
That app is called Productive- It is free to try but has limitations. You can only track five tasks until you have to upgrade ($5.49). I really like the face of this app. It is easy to use, and like many apps uses the swipe right, left, pull down features to create and check off tasks. I wish there were more features for the free user, or at least a trial period. There are so many apps like this one, and I don’t want to pay each time. I do like how you can choose your task you want to track, choose how many days a week you want to track it, and it prompts you each day.
The front page shows you your tasks for the day, but you can also look at different days of the week. You can also change your view to your today view.
I really like how you create your habit. It gives you categories to choose from or you can create your own. You also get to choose your icon, and choose how you want to track your habit. I like that I can change it to weekly, so it doesn’t have to be a specific day, especially when it comes to my goal of going for a walk more often. I don’t necessarily know which days I am going to go for a walk.
You can also look at your stats, make notes, change the name and icon, change the schedule, etc.
Overall I think this app is the best for me so far. I definitely think it is worth the $6. A couple other apps I have tried that you may want to check out are:
Strides- this one has great reviews but does cost more then most at $49.99 a year. I found for me strides has too many options, and is more complicated then what I was looking for. Like my shaded in boxes in my goals planner, I just want something quick to say yes I completed it, and something I can look back at and see how often that month I completed it. But strides does a really good job with their notifications and reminders. It is a small thing but it is something that is important when you are trying to create habits.
Balanced- is very similar to Productive but I just found the Productive app much easier to use. I will always choose ease over looks.
As much as these apps do make planning and goal tracking on the go very easy, I still really prefer paper planning and tracking. I am going to continue to use the Productive app, and see how I like it after a month. Another app that I am playing around with, but am still trying to figure out how it is going to work for my planning is Trello. It is a app that you can make different boards, and different tasks. If I end up putting it into my planning system, I will definitely write a more detailed post about it.
Happy Goal Tracking!