10 Considerations When Investing In Premium Goal Setting Software
Free goal setting software & tools are cool but what if you need something that’s capable of more and don’t mind paying for it? Before you reach out for your wallet and start buying any premium goal setting software you see, here are some important considerations you may want to review on the product first :
(1) Brainstorming Tool
If you have no clues what personal mission statement or core values you have or the goals you’ll like to work on, a brainstorming tool comes in very handy. Such a function makes you go through a list of questions, scenarios and a set of prioritization logarithms to come up with the goals you may want to consider. However, if you’re pretty sure of these already and know what you want to achieve, this function’s a lesser priority.
(2) Sample Goal Plans
If your goal is to quit smoking, wouldn’t it be cool if the software comes with a sample set of subtasks you’ll need to complete in order to reach that goal? You can add or remove the subtasks where necessary. Although it’s true that each goal plan differs in accordance to one’s unique requirements, I’m sure it doesn’t hurt to have a baseline to start off with. Think of the time savings! That alone is sufficient justification, isn’t it?
(3) Full Suite of Project Management
Most people pay for goal setting software because they want a more robust project management capability. I totally agree. Because if what you’re paying doesn’t give you this, you might as well stick to some of the free ones I’ve recommended. Why pay when you can get it free? In my opinion, it’s nice to have such a tool with :
A Flexible Subtasks Maintenance
Allows all the goals subtasks, their targeted outcome, deadlines and urgency to be recorded and ad hoc items added on the cuff. Depending on the status, items can be checked off or rescheduled where necessary. To do list, overdue items report and pocketmod exports can generated as and when required.
Recurring Subtasks Support
. Repeated tasks for habitual goals, should be created effortlessly with just a few mouse clicks. The basis for the recurring (eg, daily, weekly, monthly) can also be customized.
Milestones & Rewards
Milestones are various checkpoints that help you evaluate your goal progress. Say your goal is to generate $10,000 per month from your business in 12 months’ time, you can set $5,000 to be earned in 6 months as your milestone. Such, help to break up large goals into smaller segments, and when jointly implemented with an attractive reward system, can motivate you to review and move your strategy going forward.
Auto Notification & Reminders
… to inform the user via email, mobile or system login in the case of overdue or pending items.
Can your goal plans and updates be seamlessly synchronized between mobile devices such as your blackberry or PDA phones, exported or imported easily using common formats such as Excel or CSV? Though this may not be utilized by all users now, with the advent of technology, this could be something as common as email is to us today, in a few years down the road.
(4) Comprehensive Goal Tracking
Does the system come with enriching and insightful reports or charts that shows how far you’re from your target or milestones? Is there an auto reminding capability for you to keep your goal data updated? Does the chart or report attempt to explain why you’re not achieving the goals within the targeted deadline? Are the variables used to measure the progress scientific and customizable?
Though these may sound pretty basic, you’ll be surprised at the quality of such goal tracking capability in many premium software. A good goal tracking system not only can let you know your progress, it can motivate and keep you on your toes as well. So, my advice is, don’t rush into buying one that scores well for the rest but sucked in this.
(5) Motivational Add Ons
Are there any additional features in the software which motivates you in your goal pursuit? Such as a personalized motivation rating chart, a progress journal, a built-in Vision Board, a regularly updated success stories section etc. A software with these reflect the developer’s understanding of a complete goal setting methodology and sincere desire to help their users achieve their goals. Creating the plan is just the start. Keeping you going is what matters.
(6) Auxiliary Content
Are there any special bonus reports or software given free together with the purchase? Are there any supplementary content such as useful goal setting articles, motivational videos and audios provided on an ongoing basis by the vendor? Is there an interactive members only forum available for people to congregate and discuss their experience?
Though this is absolutely not necessary, having this value adding bonus will help you decide between 2 seemingly comparable software. And in my opinion, sometimes, this bonus alone can be worth more than the price.
Can the software or system be assessed online or offline? Some people have qualms about storing their personal data such as income online, so getting an offline application or online tool with strict privacy and security policies becomes major. However, if you’re from the camp which believes in announcing goals to secure commitment, features that facilitate such interaction will be more important to you.
(8) Trial or Money back Guarantee
Any system which comes with a trial or a money back guarantee goes to say something about the product. The developer or vendor is so confident about its quality that he’s willing to risk your not purchasing the product after the trial or getting a refund after the purchase. This also reflects the vendors’ commitment towards customer satisfaction, which is very important especially if you’re using a monthly subscription based paying software.
(9) Support & Maintenance
Nothing irks me off than poor support. You can purchase a solid product with all the features you want but if you’re having problems getting help installing the system on your computer or accessing it behind a firewall, it’s as good as not buying it, isn’t it? I had such a bad support experience from one software provider (it’s not a goal setting software in case you’re wondering), that I unsubscribed from their services just after 3 months. Yes, it can be that bad.
The best way to know if a software vendor gives good support? Ask around! Check out personal development forums and ask if anyone had similar experiences using that software. Google for independent review articles or comments on the internet and read through them carefully.
(10) Value Over Price
After you’ve access all the 9 considerations, take a moment to rank them in the order of importance and select a couple of software that seemingly possess the attributes you’re looking for. Then, finalize the purchase decision based on price. If 2 products with similar features match your ranking and are selling for $99 and $33 respectively, it’s natural to take the one with a lesser price, isn’t it? Most of the time, it may not be that clear cut. My proposition is, always to chose the one that offers the most value rather than blatantly just looking at the price.
Photo by Victor Nuno