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5 Apps That Are Essential for a Successful 2017

5 Apps That Are Essential for a Successful 2017

The new year is back in full swing and for a lot of people that means new goals. The problem with long-term goals is that they are often hard to keep track of and tend to be forgotten after a too-little too-short effort.

Technology has slowly been changing that with apps and productivity hacks. There are dozens of new apps coming out every day all designed to make our lives easier and our goals a little more likely to be accomplished. Here are my five favorites for 2017.

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Letterspace

Letterspace is an interesting concept and it is fairly unheard-of. Essentially, this is a note-taking app but offers a lot of features that make it useful for everyone.

One great thing about it is the use of hashtags. You can take down notes, and then tag your notes with hashtags. As you do this, you can organize and pull up notes for different things. As long as you tag notes with hashtags then you will easily be able to sort and find notes that are important to you.

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Toggl

If you have an issue with time, then Toggl is the app for you. Toggl is built to be able to keep track of time. Whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur trying to keep track of where your day is going, Toggl is a great option.

Toggl was built with the idea that measuring how you spend your time is the best way to improve how you spend your time. It is incredibly simple and is already used by millions of people. It also comes with extensions for browsers in addition to phones.

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Workflow

Another relatively unheard-of app is called Workflow. The Workflow app is essentially designed to eliminate wasting time with repetitive tasks. It helps you create buttons on your phone that you can then click to do a certain task. So if there are certain tasks on your phone that are taking up large amounts of time or even tasks that you do fairly often, you can create a button that allows you to do that task with a single click. Sure, it is only 30 seconds saved. But if you do it with most of your tasks, all that time adds up!

Wunderlist

One of my personal favorites is Wunderlist. Wunderlist is an incredible app for keeping track of all your to-do list items. Think of it like a very organized sticky-note pad that makes exciting sounds when you cross off an item. Wunderlist also allows you to build things into groups. For example, if you are trying to keep track of tasks at work, home, and a non-profit you participate in, you could make a list for each one.

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Because Wunderlist is available on Mac, PC, Apple, and Android, and is also on the cloud, your list is always close by to add items to or check items off.

Google Drive

You really can’t create a list of useful tools without including Google Drive. Sure, it has been around for years, but it is still one of the best free tools on the planet for organizing your information.

Think of Google Drive as a giant online filing cabinet. You can put anything in folders including pictures, documents, videos, music, and more. It takes up no room so you can do folders within folders within folders if you would like. It is also extremely cheap if you want to upgrade the memory to meet your individual needs.

All of these apps have the unique ability to save time, manage tasks, and make life easier. Utilizing them will simplify life and give you freedom to do more things that you care about.

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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