MyGoals – A First Impression Review
If you’ve been sourcing for premium online goal software for some time, tendency is, you would have come across MyGoals.
Started in February 2001 by Greg Helmstetter, MyGoals is one of the pioneers in the goal setting software market and has won numerous mentions in renowned publications such as Forbes.com, Times Magazine etc over the years. Just scrolling down the list of accolade banners took me half a minute. Yes, it’s that long! In fact, it was also through one of the local women’s magazine that I first read about this online tool.
Almost 7 years have gone since MyGoals first debuted. Is the “patent pending technology” they’re claiming to use still relevant? And how does it score against the 10 selection criteria I’ve previously highlighted?
I decided to put it through the test.
My First Impression
Operating on a subscription model, it costs $5.95 per month to use MyGoals. You can get the 12 months package for the savings. But according to the registration page, it says “… Sorry, but we can’t offer pro-rated refunds”. Does that mean no prorated refunds request will be entertained if you terminate before the 12 months’ grace period? Frankly, I’m not really sure.
Though MyGoals doesn’t come with a pretty interface, the website’s fast and not too chunky. Very important for an online tool, since it’s unlikely the system will hang on you. Especially if you’re in the middle of a goal plan update.
The fast access also made transactions hassle free. For example, it took me less than 30 seconds to register for the 10 days free trial. The only bane is, I need to provide my credit card details, which will be automatically charged if I forget to cancel the subscription before the 10 days’ up.
There are quite a number of short, straight to the point goal setting tips on the website. Which, I think are very useful for people who want to know more about goal setting but doesn’t have the time. If you’re looking for more depth, go for the 6 goal setting articles here. I’ve read some of them. Solid content. But if they were written in a more conversational tone, I think they would appeal to more people.
One article which I found particularly interesting is their press release on their annual predictions of the goals people set. Nice touch.
So, How Does It Fare Against My 10 Criteria?
Here’s the scorecard :
If you’re depending on MyGoals goal setting software to help you determine your life goals, you’ll likely to be disappointed. The moment you login, it shows you a list of high category goals – such as Health & Fitness, Family & Relationship etc etc – assuming you know which to work on immediately. Though it doesn’t come with a real brainstorming wizard per say, the huge database of pre-made goal plans is likely to bounce off some ideas.
Sample Goal Plans
I didn’t do a count but I guess there should be at least 200 different plans. Each complete with obstacles, subtasks, milestones, due dates. The unique part is that, it identifies obstacles first and subtasks are designed to counteract the obstacles. Something I’ve never seen in other goals software. The system is also flexible enough to let you create your plan from scratch or adopt an pre-made plan straightaway.
Each subtask also comes with a brief paragraph explaining the rationale for the task and reference to some useful resource links. It’s like having a virtual coach. But out of 10 links I clicked, almost 4 are either not working or are pointing to the wrong page. Hmm… looks like MyGoals clearly needed some clean up. This definitely limits the usefulness of this functionality.
For people who have a rough idea on what they want to do but prefer to cut down the time taken to write down the detail plan, this is indeed a great help. Though I figured a lot of customization would be required before each plan is workable. But then again, which plan isn’t?
Full Suite of Project Management
It takes only 3 steps to add a new subtask, making this one of the easier-to-maintain application I’ve ever seen. It also supports recurring tasks and milestones. But if you’re thinking of integrating the data with your blackberry or mobile, I’m sorry. It clearly doesn’t support that. The only reminder you’ll get is only via email, which can be sent once, daily, weekly, monthly, prior to your due date or randomly.
Comprehensive Goal Tracking
Goal tracking is really lacking here. Other than the ability to print out your detail goal plan, complete with all the sub tasks, deadlines etc, I don’t see any other reports. But there’s a nice surprise when I tried to complete a goal. I was directed to a page that reminds me to reward myself with either a small tub of ice cream or buy a gift from some online store. Not too bad.
Motivation Adds On, Auxiliary Content & Accessibility
If you’re looking for added motivational resources from the site, you’ll be disappointed. Other than the free goal setting tips & articles on site, a newsletter – both which you can access even as a non-member – and perhaps a built in feature for announcing your goals via email, there’s really nothing else. No member supported forums. No additional reports or bonus software.
But well, for $5.96 a month, I probably can’t ask for too much, can I? It’s also important to note that there’s no offline version or any export features available. So, in case you’re stuck overseas for long periods of time without internet access, you may need to print out your plan on paper for manual tracking and update it when you’re back.
Trial or Money Back Guarantee
Frankly, I really love the 10 days free trial. It goes to show the management’s confidence in their product. Hence, I’ll strongly encourage you to go for the trial first before deciding if MyGoals’ suitable for your needs. And even if you’ve decided to cancel, the process’s quite hassle free too. Just go to Account Settings and click ‘Close The Account’. That’s it.
Support & Maintenance
There’s a well written help section when you log on to the system. Anything you need to know, from “What’s a reminder” to the steps to access and update your goal plan, are all in there. Partly because of this and also for the fact that this is a pretty stable and user friendly application, there’s really no need for a helpdesk support centre per say. This seems to be supported also by the fact that there was nothing ridiculously negative about MyGoals in the forums.
Value Over Price
Paying for MyGoals is equivalent to paying for the pre-made goal plans. Personally, I don’t have much issue with brainstorming the subtasks for my goals. So, paying $5.95 monthly for an email reminding service that I could get free with tools such as Google Calendar or IWantSandy seems rather cost ineffective.
Overall, MyGoals is a rather simple, user friendly online goal software. For anyone who needs some suggestion with their goal plans and don’t mind forking the low $5.95 monthly charge, go ahead and give it a run. But for those who wants something more robust, I’ll suggest you to look elsewhere. Or just try my free goal setting software recommendations.
P.S. Is there any other goal setting software that you’ll like me to review? Feel free to drop me an email and let me know!