Track Your Personal Goals with RoutineTap

As incredible as it may seem, this year is almost over. Many of use made New Year’s commitments last year, only to forget them on January 2nd. It’s so easy to pick up bad habits, but incredibly hard to discipline ourselves to do what’s good for us. If we’d make our New Year’s goal to, say, drink more coffee this year, it’d be easy to do, but if we decide to cut out coffee this year, we’d likely give up.

Sometimes, though, what you need is a proverbial kick to keep you going. Joining a fitness club might get you to exercise better than just saying you’ll run 5k a day on your own. You can’t get others to motivate you to do everything, though, so you’ll need to find better ways to keep yourself going on with your lofty personal goals.

That’s where RoutineTap comes in.

Data, the All-Powerful Motivator

In business, it’s hard, cold data that sets the pace of production. When you need to find out if something needs changed, or if the status quo is ok, you’ll need to look up numbers. Business intelligence and analytics is a big business for businesses, and there’s no reason we can’t turn the own tricks on ourselves.

Everything you do can be measured. Did you exercise today? That’s a simple yes and no answer you could keep up with over time. Or, how many cups of coffee did you drink today? There’s a number you could keep up with. Now, keeping up with all of this data over time could be confusing at best. But if you can keep track of it each day, you’ll end up making it a routine, and you can use the data to motivate yourself to do better.

RoutineTap makes it simple to jot down the things you do daily, and then automatically generated nice graphs from the data you’ve added to help encourage yourself to do better. It’s that simple.

Harness your routines to motivate yourself

Surveying Yourself

If you’ve ever made an online survey or poll, you’ll be right at home in RoutineTap. To start keeping up with the stuff you’re supposed to be doing (or perhaps not doing) each day, you can add question items and tweak them with the text you want. You can add true/false, multiple choice (with single or multiple selections), ranged questions with a slider, numeric questions, and a plain text box to write a message about something. The default questions have standard things you might be trying to work on, such as how long did you sleep or if you exercised today. There’s a few oddities: the money field only lets you enter Euros, and you can’t set the range in the slider. Overall, though, it’s just the choices you’d want to survey yourself.

Add simple survey questions for your own self

If you want to realistically get yourself to really answer the survey every day, you’ll likely want to limit the number of questions to a few simple ones you’ll actually take the time to answer. Also, another mind-trick could be to put the easiest to answer questions at the top, and the harder ones at the bottom. You simply click an item on the left to add it to the survey, and then can drag and drop items into the order you want. Click the x button to delete items you don’t want anymore. It’s really just like any other survey app, except it’s focused on interviewing your own self.

Drag and drop sections to rearrange them in the order you want

You can make as many questionnaires for yourself as you want, but only one can be used at once. So, once you’ve added your questions, click the Active button so you’ll be able to answer the questions you want each day.

Select the questionnaire you want to be default

Now, every day, just login to RoutineTap and you’ll see your own survey for the day. You can quickly answer your questions, hit Save, and go on with life. If you happen to miss a day, you could quickly go back to other days this week from the top links, or select any date you want from the calendar. Just make it a routine to visit RoutineTap, and you’ll quickly get a data journal of your life without even trying very hard.

Entering your daily data is simple, and catching up isn't much harder

Data, Data, and More Data

Of course, just entering data doesn’t serve much purpose at all. That’s where the reports come in. Every now and then, you should head over to the Reports tab. Here you’ll see pre-made graphs of your data that make it easy to compare your daily habits over time. Hover over data points to see the actual amounts for that day, and if you have a text field, you can open a tab for each day to see what you wrote. All together, it’s an analytical journal of your life that doesn’t take much time to write. And looking at my graph, I should try to sleep more!

See your data in nicely designed charts and graphs

Conclusion

There’s only a couple weeks left in 2011, but there’s no reason you need to wait until New Years to start on all of your good intensions. While you could keep up with your goals on a notepad or in a spreadsheet, RoutineTap makes it simple to focus on entering your daily data and going on with life. It may not have the most features, and it’s got a slightly quirky design, but it does give you a simple way to save some personal data.

I’m personally going to keep using it for now to try to motivate me to get more sleep, drink less caffeine, and exercise more. I’m sure I’d actually keep my goals better, though, if I was trying to get less sleep, drink more caffeine, and exercise less…


Summary

It's easier to keep your personal goals when they've turned into habits, so RoutineTap helps you see your progress and keep you motivated on your goals.

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