For many years Goalpro (version 5 and then version 6) was the bedrock of my personal productivity system. The software provides facilities to manage everything from goals down to tasks and time too; but there are some facilities lacking and I feel the product has reached its end of life.
Review of Goalpro 6
Rated as /5 on May 23 2007 by David Hollingworth
I came upon Goalpro (5 as it was then) when I first started to look for some software to manage my personal productivity. At that time many software packages only offered a very simple to-do list with limited or non-existent nesting of tasks. So I was very impressed with Goalpro’s feature list which allowed me to set goals, break these down into tasks and then to schedule these tasks in a built-in calendar that synchronizes with Outlook. It seemed to have everything I needed.
When you first start the program you’re introduced to the subject of goal setting through a Goal Setting Wizard. This takes you through the stages of setting goals and the defining the support structure for the goals. The support structure includes defining the tasks that will accomplish your goals and also adding a rounder definition of the goals by identifying the challenges and resources that will be required if you’re going to achieve your aims. Finally you can add personal and corporate mission statements and values to your plan.
Having set up your goals using the wizard you’re free to add or modify these at any time using an outline tree of all of your goals and tasks. As part of your daily routine there’s a configurable set of reports you can display or print, a management screen that displays tasks that have passed their due date and a very useful “Sufficient Support” wizard.
The concept of Support in Goalpro is that every goal and sub-goal must have a number of tasks assigned to it in order to achieve the goal. By default, when you create a new goal, it is set requiring at least two sub-goals or tasks. If a goal doesn’t have the required number of supporting sub-goals or tasks then the Sufficient Support wizard will flag this goal as requiring attention. You then have to create new tasks for the goal or reduce it’s required support. This is a great way of ensuring that all goals have a valid next action assigned to them.
There’s various motivational tools built into Goalpro including a chart that shows how efficient you are at maintaining your Goals support, completing tasks on time and doing your daily reviews. It’s a great boost to get those lines up to 100%. You can also create goals that are activity based, like “Run 2 miles a day” and then track your progress against your targets.
As well as the whole goal and task setting and scheduling side of things Goalpro also has a built in journal with topics and a very useful scratch pad for doing brain dumps. Items in the scratch pad can then be highlighted and turned into goals or tasks at the click of the mouse.
Goalpro6 has a great many things going for it and there’s not much I don’t like about it. One of the things it definitely lacks from a GTD point of view is that there’s no contexts. Tasks are just tasks and there’s no simple way of splitting them according to where they can be done. Whilst you can filter the task list by major goal you can’t filter the tasks by context.
Another thing that’s a bit of a turn off for me is the rather cludgy interface; it really doesn’t look like a modern Windows application. It works OK; but I don’t find it very appealing to look at. It’s also very restricted in terms of data interchange between applications. You can synchronize with Outlook OK; but there’s no import / export features to exchange data with tools such as MindManager or even MS-Project.
Another mark against Goalpro6, and this is a big issue for me, is that there doesn’t appear to be any on-going development. This version has been out for some years now and even though there’s been a couple of maintenance releases in that time there’s not been any new functionality added to the product. Based on what I’ve seen I have to ask myself, “Has this product reached the end of its roadmap?”.
The final criticism I have of Goalpro6, and I feel this really underlies the previous point, is that I reported a very annoying bug that causes the application to crash whenever I lock my desktop. You don’t loose any data because everything appears to be saved as you type it; but it’s still very aggravating to have to restart Goalpro every time I leave my desk unattended, which is pretty often each day.
All round it’s a very useful tool and stood me well for a long time and I’d probably still be using it today if there were better import / export facilities, the user interface was nicer and I thought the product was going somewhere. However, based on these criticisms, I can only give it three stars.