I recently posted about goals and how important goal setting is to your small business. I would be remiss to leave you without the tools to get it done! So here is a list of the best goal oriented programs (both on paper and digital) to help you kick it into gear. I’m adding to this list as I come across great planners and calendars so feel free to send me what works for you!
Passion Planner (paper) – $24
I spoke about the Passion Planner in my previous article, but I didn’t get into a whole lot of detail. The Passion Planner was created by a young woman who felt like she couldn’t get a grip on her own goals, and didn’t like any of the tools out there. The planner was originally funded on Kickstarter.
The Passion Planner begins by working through your life’s goals. It then asks you to break down one (or several), and from there break down the internal goals again until they become tasks you can time and enter on the calendar. There are no daily task fields, which was at first annoying, but I now realize that forces the user to block off actual time to get things done – no more floundering. At the end of each month is a page for reflection and goal regrouping to drive this point home. Positive weekly quotes keep your head in the game.
Any.do (app) – free with premium option
The Any.do app packs a punch. Its friendly interphase looks incredibly simple, but with a calendar, task tracking, syncing across devices, sharing, and more, it can handle anything.
What I liked about Any.do is that it prompts you to plan your day each morning, and remembers tasks without deadlines that were entered at an earlier time so you don’t forget them even if there’s no time, yet. Any.do also helps break down goals into tasks, which is critical.
The premium option offers greater sharing and file uploads, which is awesome for the workplace. Since I suggest goal setting for small businesses, this feature is key.
Top Down Planner (paper) – $50
It may seem like a hefty price, but the Top Down Planner comes with a lot to offer in the realm of goals setting. In fact, it’s weekly view is laid out with goals and tasks on top and hour slots below. This planner means business when it comes to small business goals.
The Top Down Planner was developed by a two-time Shark Tank alumni. While it begins with top-level goal setting just like the Passion Planner, this section also includes workspace for understanding yourself, useful for folks who may have been floating for a while. From there those goals are broken down into tasks.
The Top Down Planner’s design is much more business-like and strict, and is clearly geared toward use in a small business or corporate setting. However, the cover is customizable to your style.
Optimized (app) – $3.99
Optimized is an app that definitely had me thinking, “This is too good to be true.” But upon further reading, it seems that it is.
Optimized is a life coach, goal setter, and habits tracker rolled up in one. It integrates with FitBit or the Health App on your iPhone to track your health and activity. It then compares those numbers to your goals based on scientific data. For example, the app will tell you if you’re not getting enough sleep to be healthy according to the recommended standard. That’s pretty cool!
You can also set your own goals. Optimized then helps you achieve them through statistically aggregating your input. You have to work for it by accurately inputing your activities, and it’s not instantly geared toward work, but Optimized has a lot to offer if you use it properly.
The Spark Notebook (paper) – $25
The Volt Planner (paper) – $40
Inspired by the success of The Spark Notebook, the Volt Planner is integrated with the ability to take notes and jot ideas while managing a weekly calendar. What I like about it is the freedom to add whatever is on your mind without the constraint of single-use lines.
This planner is also extremely goals oriented, and offers an entire goals setting / overview page for each week. For those of us that always feel like we’re juggling, this is extremely useful.
The Brilliant Life Planner (paper) – $58
This planner was designed with mom-preneurs in mind (moms who run their own businesses). It just went through a revamp on Kickstarter to make it even better based on the comments and recommendations of the original planner users.
This planner has the same things I loved about the others — goals tracking and reflection space — but it’s detailed in a way that allows you to record memories and wins big or small. This is also the most durable planner I review since it’s made with moms in mind (whose kids might get a hold of it…). It also features spiral binding so it lays flat when open for ease of writing and viewing. Check it out.