End of Beta Soon

The beta period for the GoalsOnTrack website will be over soon. We launched the first release about six months ago in 2008, and have been working hard to fix bugs and glitches and to enhance the application by adding important features and improving the user experience. I’d like to thank you for your many suggestions and great feedback during this period. We’ve done our best to address a lot of your requests, and will be continuing to do so in the future.

In the coming release (planned to go live on Mar 1), GoalsOnTrack will be offered under two different types of plans, Free and Standard. All new accounts will have full access as Standard accounts for 30 days. Afterwards, you may choose to stay as a Standard account by paying a $9.95 fee per month, or to have your account automatically downgraded to Free account, which will have only limited access to features and functionality.

For users who signed up before Mar 1, you will be treated as new signups and you may continue to use and evaluate the site for another 30 days for free.

We are trying our best to make the site as useful as possible for all users. And there will be continued development and improvement to the site, even after the beta. We have plans to offer more advanced and powerful features for some power users in the coming months. Therefore, your suggestions and feedback are always welcome.

Let me know if you have any comment on this or have any questions.



GoalsOnTrack: Set Goals For Yourself Online

Friends at MakeUseOf.com has just posted a review on GoalsOnTrack.

Check it out at http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/goalsontrack-goal-setting-tracker/. (Thanks Kaly!)

Recent updates and upcoming changes

Two weeks have passed since my last post on the blog. I’ve been working on maintaining the code base steadily. Also found time to promote and optimize the site with search engines. I’ve got some good results so far, as the site now turns up in Google’s first page search results on a few important keywords.

Like always, there are some small fixes and adjustments done to the site on a regular basis. One thing you may have already noticed is that I’ve switched to the hosted wordpress blog. The reason being I am planning to post more frequently, and more things related to productivity and goal setting, than just site related updates. Therefore I’d like to have a more reliable and stable environment so that the blog can be an integral part of the site.

There was a bug that affected a few users when showing tasks other than “Today’s”. It has been fixed now. The summary report email format has also been improved, or simplified a little. I am always wondering what more or less we should put in the reminder email. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

One change that is going to happen in the next few weeks, is that a pay version will be launched, and at that time, I will be officially closing the beta phase. However, this won’t affect you using the site in any way. My plan is that all existing users will still have full access to everything for a month after the beta is closed. I will post more about this in the next few days. If you have any comments, feel free to email me or leave them here.

So long for now, as always, please let me know if you find anything not working for you, or any ideas how the site can be made better.




How to Set Goals and Manage Tasks with GoalsOnTrack

Many of you have contacted me with questions about setting goals and adding tasks in GoalsOnTrack. There isn’t  “official” documentation for the site, as I understand that most users should have no problem in figuring out how to use the site very easily.

However, there are certain things that I’d like to share with you, so that you will have a better idea how the software is designed and perhaps find ways to make better use of it for yourself.

1. Relationship between goals and tasks

In GoalsOnTrack, there isn’t a very strict sense of what should be considered a “goal”, and what should be a “task”. It’s pretty much all up to you. If a goal is too small, it can just be a task; and if a task seems too big, you can make it into a goal.

2. Sub-goals or sub-tasks

There is no hierarchy relationships among goals or tasks. Or in other words, there is no sub-goals, or sub-tasks. Originally I thought this might make things unnecessarily complicated, but now it seems that it might make sense to support this feature. This will probably be implemented in the next version.

3. Goal ‘measure’ field vs Task ‘outcome’ field

If you have noticed, there is a “Measure” field for the goal. The purpose of it is to track how much progress has been made on the goal. In order to make it work, you should enter data as numbers, or at least starting with numbers, such as “25”, “10 chapters”, “2500 visitors”, “$5000” etc.  This number will be used when computing your actual progress on the goal.

If a goal has a “Measure” field filled, whenever you complete a task for it, you will have a chance to enter a number for “What progress have you made towards the goal?” All these values of completed tasks are added up to calculate your real progress on the goal.

4. Time tracking for tasks

In the software, the time tracking feature is really designed for tracking tasks that won’t take longer than 3 or 4 hours. If your task will take much longer than that, and you still want to track the time on it. It’s suggested you further break down this task into smaller tasks and make the original task as their goal. This way not only you can track the exact time spent on the task, you will also complete it more easily by focusing on one baby step at a time.

That’s all for now. If you have any questions or comments related to setting goals and managing tasks, please feel free to leave a reply here or contact me directly.