According to a study at the University of Bristol, roughly 88% of Goals set in new year fail, and if you’re like the hundreds of millions of people in the world who set goals, you’ve probably had that experience before. Well, thankfully you can avoid repeating it, as long as you have a smartphone on hand. There’s an app in your favorite apps center for nearly every kind of personal tracking you can imagine, from calorie counting to learning math.
Here they are, sorted by the popularity of goals they track:
Get in shape: MyFitnessPal
There is no shortage of fitness-related apps on the market, but MFP is unique in a couple of different ways. First, it’s completely free for iOS and Android users, which is a welcome relief. Second, it is super-simple to use. The idea behind MFP is very basic—studies show that keeping track of calorie intake leads to a decrease. With that in mind, MFP is built to be gimmick-free and intuitive, and it has a large directory of foods so you don’t have to go searching the back of the cereal box.
Get a job: JobServe Connect
One of the oldest job search sites on the internet also runs one of the most comprehensive job search apps around. There may not be many bells and whistles, but the database itself is the killer app here.
Be more productive: Simply Business Guide
While this is not technically a mobile app, this productivity guide should work just fine on your iPhone or Android. The basic premise is that for every aspect of business that troubles you, there’s a productivity solution, whether that issue is email, travel, meetings, or anything else. Unlike other guides of the same type, Simply Business doesn’t pretend to have all the answers themselves—the guide links you to the best ideas from experts in every field, so you don’t have to guess whether the advice is good.
Get out of debt: Mint
The internet’s favorite personal finance app also exists on iOS and Android, with versions optimized for phones or tablets. The power of Mint lies in its ability to track everything related to your finances, so you have a picture of what needs to be cut and what needs to be paid off right at your fingertips. The more information you feed Mint, the better the overview you get—especially if you link your Mint account to your financial accounts. (US & CA only)
Get organized: Tomboy
Again, simplicity rules the day when it comes to keeping your resolutions (studies show that people with simpler and fewer resolutions are more likely to keep them). Tomboy is about as simple as it gets—a note-taking app for any general computing platform. This is another piece that isn’t exactly a phone app, but note-taking works best on a full computer anyway. Notes can be cross-linked with each other, wiki-style.
Learn something new: Khan Academy
Salman Khan’s math tutoring videos for his nephew became a full-blown educational tool and a worldwide sensation in 2009, and Khan Academy’s mission only gets more and more ambitious. Use the iOS app for iPad to access all the videos, testing materials, and your personal account. Khan offerings have expanded from math, physics, and chemistry, out to literature, economics, and art history. Khan Academy also gives users awards for completing lessons and goals, which keeps users interested.
Travel more: Kayak
The lauded travel site has a mobile app that integrates the standard Kayak graphical interface, letting you tap where you’re going rather than typing it out. Of course, the other Kayak features, like searching for specific activities such as gambling, golf, and skiing, are also available.
Of course, just having an app on your phone isn’t going to solve all of your problems. You’re going to need an extra dose of focus. And while there are probably plenty of loving people in your contacts list eager to help you reach your goals, sometimes the phone just needs to take a little break. And, as luck would have it, there happens to be an app just for that purpose—it’s called Silent Time.
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