Thursday, December 1, 2005

Great software to help you manage your New Year’s resolutions


By Heather Wardell

It's here again: New Year's resolution time! Writing out your goals and setting out the steps that lead to achieving those goals improves your chances of actually meeting your goals. Having your goals in your Palm, always accessible, should make your success nearly certain.

There are many goal-setting and planning programs available, and I've tested five of them in this article. At the end, I will summarize how to decide which program will be the best for you.


As the name implies, Projects is project management software. What are goals, though, but projects? Projects is clear and intuitive, and freeware to boot, so it's a great place to start. Projects is Free Software provided under the terms of GNU General Public License (GPL).

Figure A shows the project entry screen. As you can see, it's plain, but still effective. You enter the start date, and either the end date or the number of days for the project. Set a state for the project (for example, whether the project is active or not) and assign it to a category. The ToDo tab allows you to enter the steps to reach your goal. The entry dialog is very similar to the standard Palm ToDo entry form, which makes it easy to use.


Projects has clear and well-designed screens. (click for larger image)

There is also an overview screen, which shows you all the projects you have. You can also see all ToDo items on this screen if you choose.

Projects doesn't give any guidance on how best to break down your goals, nor does it have any focus on roles and values. It's not meant to, though. This is a program for the pure management of projects, and it fulfils this particular role very nicely. And you can't beat the price! We give Projects a 3 out of 5.


Goal For It

If you need a little guidance, Goal For It walks you through the process of creating a goal. When you press the Create New Goal button, you see the screen below. As you can see, the screen is clear and easy to read.


Goal For It's goal creation screen is full without being cluttered. (click for larger image)

All of the information about your goal is entered through this screen. List the reasons why you want to reach the goal, the steps to complete, and encouraging quotes to keep you motivated. You can also set reminders with alarms which bring you into Goal For It.