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It’s time to turn the calendar again. As soon as 2012 rolls in, out will come those lists of goals and resolutions. I guess that’s as common a human trait as any. What’s even more certain is that those resolution lists will see the bottom of a waste basket before the month is out. That’s the story with most of us who find it difficult to make habits stick. Why is it so?

Could it be because we let one day pass on to the next instead of really tracking our goals? Probably it is…as we fail to focus on the boring steps while trying to keep half an eye on the lofty goals. If changing habits and reaching for goals, a matter of routine, then RoutineTap is the personal tracking tool you can turn to.

Self-Motivation with RoutineTap

RoutineTap tracks your progress towards a goal with the help of raw data. The data is gleaned from the information you put in daily with the help of questions and answers. Think of it as a self-survey tool. RoutineTap helps you set up a series of questions related to the goal you want to work on. The answers to these questions determine the progress which is charted by RoutineTap.

For instance, let’s say that you are training to prepare for a marathon. You can set up RoutineTap with a question like – How many kilometers did you run today? (Alternatively, it could be a simpler – Did you run today?). Both of these questions will generate an answer: a number (e.g. 1 km) for the former; a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for the later.

The answers represent raw data that can be plotted on a graph and tracked over course of time. RoutineTap believes that keeping track of this data could lead to habit changes as you visualize your progress over time.

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For me, RoutineTap is a nice way to see the difference between the status quo and actual progress for the goals I have set for myself.

Track Progress with Questions

You can set RoutineTap to ask you different types of questions. That will depend on the goal you are planning to track. The screenshot, and the left panel, show the different types of questions that can be set up – from simple yes-no types to the more detailed textual types (not visible in the screenshot). You can create as many questions as you wish in your questionnaire. The more questions you set, more detailed will be the tracking. Multiple questionnaires can be created but only one is active at any point in time.

The only hitch is that if you are tracking any sort of expense, RoutineTap works with Euros. I am trying to track my running efforts. My first question looks like this:

Set up multiple questions. You can change the order by dragging and dropping the questions in place. Click the black cross if you want to delete a question.

To stick to your resolve and to maintain motivation to follow through with RoutineTap, try to keep the questions simple so that you just to spend handful of minutes each day updating the RoutineTap daily entries. You can use the calendar to go back to any date and fill in the answers in case you missed a day somewhere. Here is a screenshot with the questions I had set up for myself. For each day, you have to take just a few minutes and answer them,

Monitor Habit Patterns with Graphic Reports

The Reports section displays all the data you have accumulated with the help of your answers. Here are the tracking results in the form of colorful graphs. You cam mouse over the graph to see the numbers for that graph. The graphs give a clear indication if you are on the fast track with your goal or flagging off now and then.

Consistency of Habits

It’s a thumb rule that says anything done over the course of 21 days becomes a habit. I don’t know about that one, but if you can keep to your purpose with the help of this simple app, you would have taken big strides. RoutineTap motivates you to track your days and the hope is that a rising graph would motivate you to stay the course. If RoutineTap does not do it for you, here are a few more:

Do you like to break free from the staid and the humdrum? What habits have you decided to change? Give us your take on RoutineTap.

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