GoalsOnTrack Blog

A systematic approach to achieving goals and getting results.

New version launched!

GoalsOnTrack’s new version has been officially launched today.

You should be able to login and use the site using your current login and password. All data you have entered in the old version persists in the new version, though the layout and look-and-feel are different now.

If you can’t login or access your data in the new version, please let me know immediately and I will make sure it’s fixed asap.

Please test around and give the new version a try. Let me know if you have found any bugs or have any suggestions.

Thanks and Happy New Year to You All!

Christmas release

It has been a bit quiet lately on the blog, that’s because I have been focusing on getting this new release done for the past few days. There’re just two days away from Christimas, and a new version is almost ready. Actually the backend is pretty much done already for the production. However, I am still working on several front end items, such as some new screenshots, testimonials etc.

Although I have been trying to test the code as thoroughly as possible, there still could be bugs or minor glitches here and there. I will probably have to deal with them after this release is in production.

Another thing is with the new feature of uploading pictures for goals. I will need to test it all out on a staging server first before the code goes live. If everything goes well, that shouldn’t take long, otherwise, there could be a slight delay. Anyway, I think the new version will probably be out around Christmas, and everyone should be able to see and use the new version before the new year.

Let it snow, let it snow

We had a big snow storm around Vancouver yesterday.  This is probably the biggest snowfall I’ve ever seen since I came to live here. Everything is totally white, and everything looks very different from what I used to see everyday. Here are few pictures of the snow, hope you like them.

snow 1

snow 2

snow man

New look for the home page

I’ve been working on a new design for the home page. The problem with the old(current) design is that it lacks certain critial components, such as navigation) and also the colors do not look very good as well.

I’ve attached a screenshot of the new design, here is how it looks at this moment. My original idea was to make it simple and clean so that visitors will not get distracted by unimportant things except taking the tour and signing up.  Hope this new look somehow is an improvement to the current home page. Let me know if you have any suggestions or comments.

new home page

100 Terrific Web Tools for Meeting Your Personal and Career Goals

There seem to be so many web sites or tools that you can use for all kinds of things nowadays. But do you know which of them are the best and most easy to use. especially for college students?

Here is a list for 100 web tools for meeting your personal career goals, compiled by the friends at Online College Blog. Check it out here. (Thanks for including goalsontrack.com on your list too, Kelly!)

A brief down time

There has been a brief down time, about 5-10 minutes, on the hosting server this morning. It happened around 6am. It seemed like some uninitialized object had caused mongrel processes to fail. But it has been corrected now.

For those of you who are interested in the backend setup, the site is running on a dedicated linux server, with Apache/2.2.9 as web server, and 2 mongrel clusters as app servers. The site itself is coded in Ruby on Rails, and the database is running on MySQL 5.

If you’re a web developer or techie person, you may want to check out my other blog at http://harryche2008.wordpress.com/ where I occasionally post RoR and web development related stuff.

New features in upcoming release

As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I have been working on a new version of the GoalsOnTrack.com for the past 3 months. Everything is coming along pretty well, and I am planning to launch the new site before Christmas. The original plan was to launch by the mid-December, but it seems that there are just so many things to complete and the launch date has to be pushed back.

Anyway here are some of the new features in the next release, and I hope you will like them.

  1. Schedule tasks on dashboard - Now it is very easy to schedule your daily to-do list items. All can be done via a context menu on the dashboard. You can quickly change the due date of a tasks on dashboard to today, tomorrow, or later.
  2. View which goal a task belongs to on dashboard - Every task on your todo list on dashboard view will display which goal it belongs to. You will quickly know what tasks need to be done for all your goals for the day.
  3. Put a goal on the backburner - For those goals you find yourself not really making much progress, now you can choose to put it on the backburner and it will not show up on your daily dashboard, so that you can focus more on those goals which are more important.
  4. Upload inspiring pictures for goals - Now you are able to upload your own pictures for goals. The system provides a few default pictures for different type of goals, but you can add your own now.
  5. Goal dashboard - For people who like to concentrate on one goal at a time, now you can use the “Goal Dashboard”, which is different from general dashboard in that it only shows tasks for that goal only.
  6. Reports on progress and timesheet - A new set of reports are now availabe in flash animations, including both goal progress report and time usage report pie charts.

There are some other small improvements or features added here and there which will be available in the new release. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

A new logo for the site

I’d like to share with you all a new logo I am considering to replace the current one with on GoalsOnTrack.com.

goalsontrack logo

This is how the logo looks like on different backgrounds. Since the new front end will probably have a blueish header, so the logo at the bottom will more likely be what it eventually looks like on the new site.

The logo tries to convey the concept of goals(big G), being tracked(dots), and time being tracked and managed, etc.

The logo was designed by my brother(thanks brother!), who is a very talented artistic person.

Personally I like the new logo very much. It looks much better than the current one. What do you think?

How to make best use of GoalsOnTrack

GoalsOnTrack was designed mainly for keeping track of the progress on your goals, by managing the tasks or action steps you take consistently towards achieving your goals. Therefore, the first thing you may want to think about is what kind of goals you want to track using the site.

GoalsOnTrack works best for the types of goals that you need to consistently complete tasks or take steps for. That is, there must be something you need to DO, as opposed to something you must be, or NOT do. For example, a goal like “quit smoking” may not work well in GOT, because the goal itself requires you to actually NOT do something. Same is true with goals like, “become more happy”, “eat less”, or “stay in shape”, unless you can find certain steps or things that you DO to help you move closer to your goal.

Another important feature of GOT is the time tracking. Personally I found most of people don’t get to accomplish their goals is simply because they don’t spend enough on them. We can be busy all day doing all kinds of things, but that may not help you really achieve your goal. The key is not how long you work or spend time on things, but rather how much time is really spent on working on your goals.

With GOT, it’s easy to track amount of time you spend on each of your goals. You only need to remember to use the timer clocks whenever you start or stop working on a task. The software will automatically record how much time you actually spend. You can even log out of the site when the timer is running, it will still remember the correct time amount.

There are some other interesting features which you may want to further explore. If you have any questions, or any idea on how the software can be improved, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Upcoming changes to GoalsOnTrack.com

It has been almost a month and a half since GoalsOnTrack website was launched. I have been working on a new version of the site, which includes a lot of improvements to the UI and some fixes to hidden bugs. I also have received  quite some great feedback from GOT users(over 1000 at the time of writing), thank you for all your great advice. I will graduatelly implement all the best features that you wanted into the coming revisions.

Here I posted a sneak peak of what new version of GOT will look like, please let me know if you like it or not.

New UI for GOT

New UI for GOT

In addition to the changes to the site itself, I will also need to have the introductary pages re-designed as well. I will also try posting more in the blog.  There seems to be a lot to do in the coming weeks. But it should be fun.