Team name: The Alastairs (Open Division)

Inspiration

Every one of us has goals and aspirations. From goals to hit a target in your career or business to personal goals such as getting fit or writing that book that you’ve always dreamed of. The problem?

Is that so many of us don't actually achieve our goals.

Even if you're very ambitious and you strive hard towards trying to accomplish them, it can sometimes feel impossible to know if you're even on the right track. That's exactly how we felt.

Especially as we both work remotely, we've seen first hand just how difficult it can be to stay on track to achieve your goals when there is no one there to hold you accountable.

That's when we came with the idea for GoalTrack, a goal-based daily planning application that helps you be more productive, be more focused & stay on track towards your long term goals.

We particularly resonate with entrepreneurs as especially when you're working for yourself, you're responsible for keeping yourself accountable and on track in every area of your life, not just your personal.

Without even being aware of it, you can easily fall into the trap of being "busy" which involves you working on the wrong tasks, at the wrong time without even realising it.

We developed GoalCast to solve our own problem and in turn, solve the problems of millions of people across the world by helping them track, measure and optimise their own lives.

What it does

Using the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting method, GoalStep helps you dissect the targets you’ve set yourself into practical, measurable milestones. We then break down these milestones into actionable tasks that you can easily infuse into your daily plan so that you’re always on the right track to achieving the things that are important to you.

The app allows you to easily plan your daily schedule and with the swipe of a finger, you can start filling your schedule with these actionable steps, each one directly aligned with and measured against your long term goals. With strong visual contrasts, you're able to instantly evaluate if your daily plan is aligned with what you're looking to achieve in the future.

However, that's only the beginning.

Throughout the day, we track your progress and your productivity against the goals that you've given yourself which is automatically presented onto an easy-to-follow analytics page to allow you to statistically analyse and review your own progress so that you can stay accountable to your self. The app also measures your productivity rating for different tasks against the times that they've been scheduled to identify the specific times of day that you complete certain tasks most effectively.

Imagine being able to know the best times to schedule a work out routine, client phone call or time for the things that you're passionate about with the knowledge that it'll lead to you gaining the most value for your time.

It's not about just being productive. It's about helping you leverage your time in the most effective way so that you can use it on the things that you actually care about instead.

Once we've collected sufficient user data, we'll use natural language processing and machine learning to identify the success factors that lead to the successful accomplishment of a goal. Using this, we can provide our users with tailored goal suggestions and strategies to increase the probability of them actually being successful. This includes but isn't limited to suggesting various methods of framing a goal (changing the way a goal is articulate to increase their ability to achieve it), suggesting more appropriate measurable milestones and task scheduling suggestions based on their personality and the results gathered from anonymous user data.

Imagine being able to wake up, decide you want to accomplish something new and be given a perfect, step-by-step pathway to get there with the highest probability of success.

No more wasted time. No more stressful learning curves. No more disheartening feelings when you don't achieve a goal.

How we built it

We've built a prototype of the core part of our product; an interactive daily planner tool. You should be able to click any 30 minute block on the planner to add a new task, begin typing and hit enter when you're done. You'll also be able to drag and drop "Actionables" into your daily task list.

It's a frontend app built using React. It makes use of a service worker, which means it can be added to an Android device's home screen and function as a native app. We used various other JavaScript technologies some of which include

  • create-react-app A starter template to get up and running with a base project without having to do any upfront configuration
  • react-motion To smoothly animate in and out the "Actionables" side menu
  • react-dnd To help with drag and drop functionality
  • react-jss To build CSS in JavaScript and avoid some of the pitfalls of the CSS language
  • Redux To efficiently manage application state

Challenges we ran into

Developing quality drag and drop interfaces is hard. It took a substantial amount longer than expected. Getting a pitch video done in under 3 minutes was also extremely tough, due to the large plans we have for the application in the near future. It was difficult to choose the strategy we wanted to present as they were all, equally as important in achieving our long term goals.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

For the core feature set we have developed so far its very solid and reliable. It's a solid foundation for us to build on and take our prototype forward into an MVP. We're proud of our idea and believe it solves a big issue that more and more people are facing, especially in today's digital world where we're bombarded by constant distractions.

What we learned

We identified that the pain points we are solving directly correlates with the pain points that arise from not having a boss. We also learned how to achieve a large number of initial users with minimal marketing budget through an affiliate marketing strategy.

What's next for Goal Step

Firstly, we'll finish implementing the application screen mockups to build our MVP. Then, we'll soft launch it to members within our target market to gather user feedback and refine the initial MVP's feature set. Following this, we'll begin reaching out to influencers with the digital entrepreneurship space to execute an affiliate marketing strategy and in order to build a large user base. We'll then have enough personal and anonymous data to further improve our product and offer a substantially improved service that allows our users to live more efficient, productive lives and in turn, allows us to scale our product into our secondary markets.

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