App of the Day: Goalist Daily Planner and Goals

Like most people, I want to get the most productivity out of my time and have tried many “To Do” apps in the past and goal settings apps. Most of which I decide aren’t for me and don’t work for me. So I’ve gone back to the old fashion way of doing things, with pen and paper. Listing down essential tasks and what time I need to do them, how long they’ll take and plan around the things I need to do.

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After doing this for a couple of weeks I still wanted to try and go paperless and so I found myself looking for a daily planner app, that was separate from my Google calendar. There aren’t many apps that fit the bill but, one app I did find and have now been using for the past few days is “Goalist Daily Planner and Goals”. To start with it looked good but, again not quite what I was looking for and I will admit, it does have a learning curve to get used to it and use it effectively but, once I worked out what that was, I’ve found this app to be very effective and just what I was looking for.

One “downside” to the app is that you can’t put a task in and have it set for a specific time directly, you need to have tasks prior to it. For example if you had a task you needed to do at 9am, you would need to have a task listed for 12am-9am. By default I added sleep for 8 hours and then breakfast for an hour. I decided I also needed “filler” tasks for during the day to get around this – having watched the official video a few days later, I found I wasn’t far off. In the developer’s video, they have a “no plan task” with which the time spent on this can be manipulated and is now something I’ve also implemented.

Tasks can be assigned by pre-set categories and there are several suggestions already available when you first download it, such as life necessities, fun & recreation and goals. Each category then has sub categories, for example fun & recreation, includes internet browsing, while life necessities include work, housekeeping etc.

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With the latest update which was released yesterday, I’ve found the app to be even better. One of the newest features is that once you have your day filled, even with no plan fillers, you can set specific tasks to have a fixed start time and duration. I was finding myself extending some tasks and this was having an effect on an important task. As an example if I had breakfast set for 30 minutes and internet surfing for 30 minutes and no plan set for an hour, with an important task set to start at 10am and last for an hour. Previously if I adjusted breakfast to 40 minutes, it would most likely affect the important task I had scheduled. Now however it would change the time allowed for internet surfing or no plan and not disrupt my important tasks.

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Goalist Daily Planner and Goals is free to download from the Play Store for Android phones and tablets. There is also various different subscription plans available for those who want to get more out of the app, eg widget support, themes and the ability to change or add categories.

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2 Responses to “App of the Day: Goalist Daily Planner and Goals”

  1. Thank you very much for the review! Filler tasks are definitely a good approach at the beginning. It takes some time to get used to putting in more detail. And it’s not always needed.

    To avoid getting discouraged and overwhelmed with too many details it’s good to start with bigger blocks and, over time – if we need to investigate and tweak time usage within a given block – split it into smaller ones. And use Task Sets to make the planning faster (group small tasks into Sets that can be added to the plan as a whole).

    We personally use very detailed plans and have multiple versions of Task Sets for various days and occasions. Before Task Sets were implemented our planning was taking a very long time…

    But we’re just up to 5 minutes precise, while there are people for whom even that is not enough. There was a question in app’s reviews in Play if we could allow 1 minute precision :) which should be feasible, we may add a configuration option for the minimum task length. On the other hand people who don’t want 5 minute precision would have easier life if they could configure that as well (eg: +/- buttons would change duration by 15 minutes instead of current 5).

    Reply to this comment
    • Bex

      Jun 30. 2015

      I like the idea of 1 minute precision, as then it would well and truly be a completely precise planner. Taking medication takes less than 5 minutes so I tend to not include it on my list but, I’d like to. Same with putting washing in, a task that takes 2 minutes but, currently listed as taking 5 minutes on the planner.
      One thing I did notice that perhaps needs tweaking is the notes system. If I have a task twice in the day, I put a note on the first one saying what it was for and then changed the note for the second one but, after exiting the app it defaulted to the same second note. For me personally I can think of at least two things where seperate notes for an already added planned task would be beneficial. On the occasion I noticed it, I was factoring in when my partner would be in the bath and then what time I would need to go in the bath as well, so I put a note on each task. But, I could also use it for websites/blog posts, so if I had a task “Write a blog post” listed three times in a day, I could add a note to each separate one, saying for which site. Same with housekeeping really. Probably the one it would be most beneficial for, as I could have separate tasks for each site but, I don’t want separate tasks for housekeeping so I can differentiate between them.
      With regards to my filler blocks, I started with a 4 hour no plan block but, I’ve now cut it down to 1 hour and if need be I can add it 4 times, as it’s then easier to swap a 1 hour slot out for something else if something crops up.

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