Get 2019 Right With WeAchieve

Whatever your goals are for the coming year, using the right system can help you dramatically. Here’s why WeAchieve is the way to go.

Even though it is November, it’s not too early to think about what you want to accomplish in 2019. Do you want to get promoted? Run a half marathon? Lose weight? Start meditating? Write a book?

No matter what your goals, the newest way to help yourself get there is WeAchieve, the most flexible and powerful goal setting platform on the planet.

We’ve built WeAchieve because we were frankly disappointed with the existing platforms out there: they lack a lot of features that are essential to providing a system to set and track goals that actually motivates you.

We’ve built WeAchieve to provide what the market currently does not, and the result is a new kind of productivity platform. With WeAchieve’s unparalleled flexibility, you can now do more than ever. Here are some ideas to get your brain going on 2019!

Go beyond Streaks

Real life doesn’t lend itself to big streaks; don’t tie your goals to them!

Yes, trying to do something every day can be a great way to get into it. But we all know that life doesn’t lend itself to doing much every day. As it turns out, streaks are a pretty awful way to set new year resolutions. Basically, streaks work well, until they don’t — which is often before February even begins. If you really want to get something done in the new year, you need to build some give into your targets: meditate 5 days a week, or try to run an average of 15 miles per week, et cetera.

Go beyond Yes or No

Just saying “Yes” or “No” loses a lot of detail and makes it easier for your standards to lapse.

While just tracking a “yes or no” for a given goal is easiest, it often loses a lot of the color that makes it fun to chase a goal, relegating it to checklist status. If you are a runner, you wouldn’t set a goal to run 3 times a week and not track the miles, right? So instead or trying to, say, workout 4 times per week, set a goal to workout for at least 3 hours a week and track the total time. Specific targets make it easier to hold yourself accountable and actually make a difference. Case in point: it’s easy to say “why yes, yes I did I read today” with a quick cop out of reading 2 pages, versus if you set a goal to read 10 pages per day.

Manage Time Better

Time-based goals can be really powerful ways to change your day-to-day life.

Time is your most valuable resource you’ve got, so it can be worth watching where it’s going. WeAchieve easily lets you set time-based goals: keep yourself to an average bedtime of 11pm, track how long you are on your phone each day, or how quickly you can run, bike, or swim a specific interval. No other goal planning app makes it as easy to set a time-based goal and reach it.

Set goals for your to-do list

Tasks and goals — together at last in WeAchieve!

Why on earth are your goals and your daily to-dos in different places? Many of your daily tasks relate to your goals, or you have goals to ensure you stay on top of the things you have to do. WeAchieve has a great task tracker within the platform, so it’s easy to track what you need to do on a given day. Even better: stats from your tasks are automatically updated each night, so you can set a goal to, say, complete 10 tasks per week, or to never have more than 3 overdue tasks to motivate you to knock out those stubborn tasks.

Move Your Targets

The best goals are reachable but not too reachable, and variable goal levels ensure that you can adjust the goal to fit your current situation.

Flat goals often risk becoming irrelevant. Case in point: walking 10,000 steps per day. This is great when you average 9,000 steps a day. But as you increase your daily walking and average 12,000 steps per day, it becomes irrelevant. Similarly, it can feel overwhelming if you only average 4,000 steps per day: in this case it’s better to set a goal at 5,000, then 6, then 7, and on.

WeAchieve lets you easily adjust targets to different levels so that they can stay relevant in a way that no other app can. Keeping with step count: it is very easy to start with trying to walk 5,000 steps per day in January, up it to 6,000 per day in February, and so on. The same process can be used to gradually reduce a vice, such as drinking or smoking, rather than facing an overwhelming goal at the start.

Make it Social!

Shared goals are a great way to stay motivated, but also a great way to stay in touch with friends and family over shared interests!

Many goals are personal, but plenty of them can be enhanced by making them social. If you and three friends have similar goals, there should be a place where all of you can track progress together, encourage each other, and have friendly competitions. That is WeAchieve! Social goals let you setup regular challenges on any type of goal. Have a step count or running competition each week to keep you pushing toward your goals.

Set Complex Goals

Often, fitness goals are complex, but WeAchieve can handle anything you throw at it!

The things you want to do in live are quite diverse, and they almost certainly don’t all fit into a “reach X” or “do Y” framework. WeAchieve enables much more than that. Take the example: have six runs over six miles or more each month, or to run a 400m in under 72 seconds. WeAchieve lets you set this up and automatically does the heavy lifting to calculate this from your running data, often synced directly from Strava. And we’re not done — if you can’t setup a goal you have in WeAchieve, we will build a way. Our goal is to enable all kinds of human achievement.

Best of all…

Did we mention: WeAchieve’s core functionality is free and unlimited, everything we mentioned above is included on both our iOS app and on our web platform. Other platforms offer less and charge money if you want to use them for more than a month or set more than a handful of goals.

Live better in 2019 with WeAchieve on your side!

Don’t get stuck using an inferior product; use WeAchieve to make 2019 your best year yet!

Check out WeAchieve on the web or in the iOS app store!

Scroll Less & Live More: A Conclusion

How does using goals work as a tool to reduce over-reliance on smart phones? Pretty darn well based on my experiment. Here’s what happened:

Twitter: an interesting and addicting place.

This is part three of a series exploring how to reduce smart phone usage. If you haven’t seen either earlier piece, check out part one and part two.

As I had noted in the first part of this series, Apple’s iOS update at the beginning of the month began to reveal just how much time we all spend on our phones. After a week of using my phone as usual with this feature, the picture was not pretty:

  • Daily screen time: 3 hours and 6 minutes (this is actually very close to the national average)
  • Daily # of Pickups: 98 (~1 every 9 minutes)
  • Daily Twitter Time: 1 hour and 6 minutes

I set out to reduce those with four goals running through the end of October. Now that we’re there, what’s the result? Here’s what those same #’s looked like once the goals were put in place:

The Results

  • Daily screen time: 1 hour and 41 minutes (down 46% or 1 hour and 25 mins less per day!)
  • Daily # of Pickups: 67.7 (down 31% to ~1 every 14 minutes)
  • Daily Twitter Time: 8 mins per day(down 88% and almost an hour per day!)

I did this by being achieving each of the four goals that I set. Here’s each of those now that they’ve completed!

Of course, the social pressure that comes with writing about it also helped reach 5 stars across the board!


I was pretty happy overall with how each goal set the incentives for me. Twitter limits helped me be mindful of scrolling through there without a point, and total time limits helped me stay focused on actually doing things on my phone, rather than mindlessly wandering around looking for apps to entertain me.

Lastly, the pickup count goal helped me resist that initial temptation to pull up the phone. That was the toughest to meet, as it is such a quick reflex to grab the phone and swipe it open. Although it was the closest goal, having a 31% reduction was pretty good. Grabbing the phone once every 14 minutes still seems like a lot, but it’s something to build on.

Overall, the numbers suggest that I got 32 hours back over the 3.5 weeks using this goal. That seems substantial, but I can’t say that my life feels that much different as a result.


It has felt a bit easier recently to reduce my screen time a bit further; each day in the last week was under two hours.

What does it feel like? I do feel like I’ve been a bit more productive, but it isn’t a dramatic shift. I feel a bit more inoculated to the outrage mobs of Twitter and the general mess of our current political environment. And I have certainly been a bit more aware of my surroundings and “present” to borrow a term from meditation terminology.

That all being said, I absolutely don’t feel any worse or feel like I’m missing out on anything. The hours cut out largely didn’t add anything to my life, and I still feel connected to everything that’s going on.

What’s Next:

Based on what I’ve learned, I’ve setup some long-term goals to help me continue to be aware and wary of screen time. Here they are:

One thing I did was to translate each goal into a weekly target. This allows more flexibility — I don’t have to worry about going over, say 15 mins of Twitter each day, but can adjust and compensate based on the needs of a day.

Each target is also a slight decline from where I am today. I do still feel like I can improve my life with further reductions in phone use, and so it’ll be a fun challenge to cut Twitter time slightly, reduce pickups by another 30%, and reduce total screen time by another ~15%.

Once I reach these targets, I’ll be saving myself almost 50 hours per month over the baseline that likely represents my past few years. Who knows what else all that time will bring with it, but I’m very glad to have it back!

If you missed part one or part two, check them out as well! If you’d like to try reducing your screen time, try out WeAchieve to set goals and start achieving them!

Fighting Phone Addiction

Last week, I quantified just how bad my phone addiction was: 3 hours and 5 minutes a day. One week later, here’s how that is changing…

If you didn’t take a look at last week’s update, it will help to check that out. But the gist of the story is this: Apple released an update that reports daily screen time, I see that I use my phone 3 hours and 5 minutes per day and particularly Twitter for 1 hour and 6 minutes a day, and I decide that neither one of those is acceptable and set targets to reduce them!

(As always, all visuals here are made in WeAchieve because if your productivity platform can’t do this for you, you are using the wrong productivity platform)

We’ll start with the headline: daily screen time has dropped from 3 hours and 5 minutes down to 1 hour and 52 mins, a 40% reduction, and well under my goal of 2 hours and 30 mins per day:

Total phone screen time (in hours) by day over the past two weeks.

I’m even happier though with my Twitter reduction. I’ll let you figure out where the goals were put into place based on this chart:

In fact, my Twitter reduction was so successful that I decided to adjust my daily target from 30 mins to 20, with a plan to drop it to 15 minutes next week. This type of adjusted target is really helpful both to build in a gradual (and thus more feasible) plan for improvement, as well as to keep the difficulty level at a threshold where the goal is always relevant.

Lastly, total phone pickups. Before setting goals, I averaged 99 pickups per day. This translates to about once every 10 minutes, which is quite honestly appalling. This has been a tougher one to reduce, but I am currently averaging 65 pickups since the start (a 34% reduction, and now once every 15 mins) and am on track to reach my goal of keeping that under 70 per day for the rest of October.

My average daily phone pickups since setting the goals.

This approach of tracking a target and quantifying progress is valuable because it is the only way to know whether or not you improve. Without that, we all run the risk of delusion: selling ourselves a story of improvement when none actually exists.

Stepping back from the numbers, I’ve found a lot of value so far in reducing my screen time. If nothing else, I at least ask myself “what am I using my phone for” before mindlessly swiping it open. I’m leaving it at my desk rather than at my bedside at night, and keep it out of sight during the workday. I can’t say for sure whether this all has made me “happier,” but the effects seem positive so far!

Where does this all end? I’m not sure. Obviously I don’t want to take my screen time to zero, but I’d like to reach a steady-state of phone usage that is probably still below where I am today. I think it’d be great to get that down to just one hour a day. I’ll also refine what measurements I care about: there are valuable things I do on the phone, and it seems silly to count time spent learning chess or learning a second language against my screen time totals. Also, given my minimal use of Facebook and LinkedIn, I probably don’t need to track those on their own and may use an aggregate “social networking” time instead.

Have you taken a look at your screen time with the new iOS update? Have a desire to reduce it? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

Want to learn more about how WeAchieve can help you reduce your bad habits? Check out our websitedownload our app, and give it a try for yourself!

New Steps to Take on iPhone Addiction

If you feel like you are addicted to your iPhone, you probably are. Apple now provides a handy way to see just how many hours you spend. But using that data to live better is the next step. Here’s how to get started.

With the recent release of iOS 12, Apple now shares the time spent on your phone daily. For anyone who worries a bit about their phone usage and wants to reduce it, this is a huge boon. Saying, “yeah, I’m addicted to my phone” and saying “yeah, I picked up my phone 114 times and used it for a total of 3 hours and 27 minutes.” And yes, those numbers are real — that was my day upon seeing the screen time feature debut a week ago.

Having easy access to this data is great, and Apple also provides some tools for managing that, letting you browse the data and set limits by app. But for most people, setting limits is a non-starter. Perhaps it is human psychology, but creating artificial limits on oneself feels unnatural. And even if you do set one up, it’s often just an annoyance you remove the first time it comes into play.


We are only beginning to understand the impact of smartphones on our psychology.

Indeed, though Apple is making this data available to you and though they give you ways to control it, many early reviewers note that this changes nothing as the limits become annoying and eventually are turned off. It will be interesting to see if Apple shares any details on how overall usage changes, but we’d expect it to drive very little long-term change in user behavior.

But the problem is that a lot of us should change our behaviors! The average smartphone user picks up their phone 47 times per day, uses it for almost 3 hours per day, and spends an 75 minutes per day on social media (source). Merge that with recent studies linking phone usage to depression and suicide attempts in teens (source), and we can say that it’s pretty likely that your phone usage is negatively impacting your life.

The reality is that reducing screen time (or any habit) takes willpower and self-control, and that these are skills that are developed over time and ones that technology can, if used correctly, help develop. As a creator of a platform designed to build that, I am quite excited to use WeAchieve to start to reduce my phone usage. I am using it fairly uninhibited for the first week in order to get a baseline of behavior.

My phone usage in hours over the first week of tracking, with the 3h 6m average noted in black


So what does that look like? It isn’t pretty. For the first week, I averaged 3 hours and 5 minutes per day and 99 times picking up my phone (this would be about once every 10 minutes). Particularly distressing was the 66 minutes per day that I spent on Twitter. Yes, I am embarrassed by that. And no, no one is happy after spending time on Twitter.

How many times did I pick up my phone each day? Saturday topped out at 136, but was mostly due to excessive camera usage.

So again, this data is great, and now we can at least say “well, I should probably spend less time on my phone, and less time on Twitter.” But goal-setting theory and common sense tells us that this isn’t going to change anyone’s behavior. Saying “well, I should do this addicting habit less,” has no way to define success and no real way to keep yourself accountable. Without a system in place that does both of these, the addicting system will win out and you will return to your past behaviors.

For the week, Twitter was a much bigger use/waste of time compared to other social media: Facebook and LinkedIn (graph shows total hours over past 7 days)

But we can use WeAchieve to create that counteracting force. While willpower will still be necessary, we can make sure that we’re properly incentivized and supported in exercising that. So I’m setting up four goals and each will run for the rest of the month. As you can see in the image below, they focus on each of the metrics that I am most embarrassed by: averaging less than 2.5 hours per day and less than 70 pickups, and also spending less than 30 mins on Twitter every day, as well as having one “No Twitter” day each week.

WeAchieve can be used to track many different kinds of goals so that the goals can be tailored specifically to what you want to do.

So that’s my plan to start! Note, these goals are fairly relaxed, and represent a ~20% reduction in phone use, which should be quite manageable. But like other bad habits, going easy at the start can “put one in the win column” and set yourself up for bigger gains later on, rather than setting an aggressive first step and failing miserably. Should this work, I can tweak the setup and/or make more aggressive goals in November and beyond.

Want to hear how it’s going? Subscribe and stay tuned for updates! Want to try it yourself? Apple has not yet made this data available in an API, but you can use WeAchieve’s iOS app or use us on the web, easily enter your data, and follow along!

Want to learn more about how WeAchieve can help you reduce your bad habits? Check out our websitedownload our app, and give it a try for yourself!

Achievement Oriented: A Running Story

As we launch, WeAchieve is sharing stories of goals both made and missed. If you have a story to share, let us know and we’ll be glad to share your story!

Running as a hobby is something that people either “get,” or they don’t. For the first 22-odd years of my life, I didn’t get it. As we went through college, I had good friends who would head out for runs, and the best I could manage was a “what are you going on a run for? You are going to end up right back here in an hour, except all tired and sweaty!”

Of course, this isn’t a story of not running. My running story begins when I was going on a trip with two friends. Prior to that, the two of them discussed my odds of taking up running, and I was given a 5% chance by one, and a 0% chance by the other. This was fair: I hadn’t run more than a couple miles in at least three years, and often balked at having to walk to the other side of campus. But social validation is a powerful motivator, and thus a running story was born.

It was the winter of 2009, and Pennsylvania was COLD. Perhaps the first step is the hardest — I geared up and stepped out the door, wondering what I was doing. “Trying to run” was an apt description, as I ran for a bit then was forced to walk time and again. Records indicate that I ran 2.5 miles in 24:29, but that definitely included many pauses to catch my breath. But I went out six of the next seven days, determined to give this a shot and prove my friends wrong.


My running log in the early days, almost 9 years ago!

On day one of the trip, we did go out, and I managed to keep up with them for a fun, albeit slow, four mile run. The mission was a success! But I was faced with an existential question: what’s next? Having proven my friends wrong, what could I do? They knew enough to know that they shouldn’t bet against me again. Where could new motivation come from?

This is how I really uncovered the value of explicitly setting targets to try to reach. Of course the concept had been around, but it’s meaning was lost on me. What is a goal if it is arbitrary and can be changed? But without any other options, I figured I’d give it a shot and *this time* stick to the goals. A set a goal to run a 5k. I did that the following fall. I set a goal to do a half-marathon, which I did the next Spring. This seemed to work well, so I kept going. I decided that I wanted to run a full marathon, and I did that the next year.


My first half-marathon in Spring 2011, which was a bit of a struggle!

What’s left after that? After running for a while, I realized there was an array of arbitrary targets that I could set to motivate me when the idea of fresh air wasn’t enough. Faster races, weekly or monthly mileage, total vertical feet climbed, and doing more long runs were all options, and I created another excel sheet to keep track of how I was doing on each of those. Every run was the part of one of the games that I had set up for myself.

Fast-forward to today. Part of the reason I’m so passionate about setting goals is that I’ve used it to achieve running goals I never thought I’d be able to do and couldn’t have even imagined as I stood there 9 years ago. Of note:

  • I’ve run 7 marathons, 14 half-marathons,
  • I’ve dramatically improved my personal bests at every distance,
  • I’ve lost twenty-five pounds since that day that I started running,
  • I’ve found new friends and stayed in touch with old ones,
  • And I’ve explored many nooks and crannies of Washington DC (one of the greatest running cities on the planet) and seen the sights of many others.


Spring 2017 — The feeling of an unexpected personal best marathon!

While much of this is just the reality of running, none of it would have been possible without the goals that got me out there when laziness was creeping in. Often, it’s the runs that you don’t really want to do that make the best memories: bad weather, too long, too hilly, a strange city, these end up being the most memorable moments.


Of course, those bad weather runs are still better if you are running with a friend!

Goals drove me to create those memories, which is the gift that I hope I can provide to many more.

Want to learn more about how WeAchieve can help you set and reach your running goals? Check out our websitedownload our app, and give it a try for yourself!

WeAchieve Open Beta Begins!

Great news everyone: WeAchieve is officially beginning our open beta phase on both our web platform and on our iOS app. That means you, yes you, can now use WeAchieve!!

To start, we’re offering a unified productivity platform: view all your data on the web or in the app, track all your goals, all your to-dos, compete in challenges with friends and family, all in a single place! We’re incredibly excited to start to get our platform out there and continue to build toward a platform that will make the whole world happier and more productive.

As you may expect, both platforms will still be changing pretty regularly as we respond to all initial feedback and continue to build toward our vision. So please be patient with us as we iron out some of the kinks. But anyone joining WeAchieve now will have access to the core platform for free for as long as they are on the site.

So… what are you waiting for? Go sign up! Use the web platform here or download our iOS app if you are on your phone or tablet. Beyond that, all we ask is that you send us any and all feedback you have, we’d love to hear from you. We can be reached at, and look forward to hearing from you! Of course, if you really like it, please leave a rating and review in the app store.

Some screen captures from our iOS app


Ben and Kai

10 Ways to Set Better Goals

Setting goals has gotten a bad rap in recent years. Much of this is due to evolutions in corporate culture. In our workplaces, many companies have abused the concept of goal setting and KPIs by making them too narrow and too rigid. As a result, employees are forced to optimize to a single number often at the expense of better answers for the employee and the company.

That’s unfortunate, because goal planning can be really fun and empowering when it comes to your own life. Such goals come without all the baggage of a corporate environment, and many studies have confirmed what we should all intuit: setting goals is the best way to get things done and improve your long-term happiness.

Achieving long-term goals is hard and takes persistence, but it is worth it in the end.

Mentally noting that you want to save money, eat healthy, and exercise more is a start, but there are many ways that you can get more out of setting goals. As such, here are ten ways that you can start to step up your game and achieve more:

  1. Make sure your goal is something you care about. This seems basic, but ask yourself “would I be upset if I didn’t do this?” If the answer is “yes,” then it is worth pursuing.
  2. Make the goal quantifiable! This can be tough but goals such as “eat healthy” or “run more” are easily subject to your own interpretations that make the goal easy to subvert. It may seem rigid, but the numbers won’t lie!
  3. Write them down! This seems basic, but research shows your likelihood of completing a goal goes up by about 30% as soon as the goal is written down.
  4. Track your progress regularly. If you said you are going to journal 30 minutes a week, you need to actually track if that’s done. The more detail the better: so track how many minutes you actually journaled for. It will help you set better goals as you move forward by using your past data
  5. Create short-term goals to start, THEN advance to longer-term goals.If you haven’t run before, it probably your first goal shouldn’t be to run 1,000 miles next year, or to run a marathon in 4 months. Maybe those get the headlines, maybe you can do it, but it’s much more likely that the goal will seem too intimidating and that you’ll never get started. If you haven’t run before, a better goal would be to run 2 times a week for four weeks. That’s quantifiable, achievable, and a positive first step! As that becomes easy, you can change your goal to more difficult goals. Once you are reliably running each week, you can look at setting month-long goals.
  6. Make goal setting a constant part of your life. This is hard because it takes time, but you should be looking each week at what goals you are doing well on, which one’s you aren’t, and which ones aren’t important to you any more. By tuning this constantly, you can keep prioritizing your life toward what matters to you.
  7. Share your goals with a close circle of friends and family. No, you don’t need to blast out to everyone on Facebook that you are going to take up running, or eat more healthy, or drink less. But you should tell someone! Studies show that selectively sharing your goals with 2–5 people significantly increases the likelihood of meeting them based on work in several academic studies.
  8. Team Up to Achieve More! Yes, personal goals are great, and help you achieve more. But humans are social creatures and powerfully motivated by social forces, so use them. Find some friends or family with similar goals and make a game out of it!
  9. Set goals for staying in touch with the people you care about. This may seem odd, but it is very easy for life to fly by and you’ll lose touch with people in the process. There’s no need to go overkill here and set a target for how many minutes you spend on the phone with mom, but you absolutely can set goals to send birthday notes to the 50 people you care about, or to reach out to one professional contact each week, or to contact each of your close friends at least once every three months.
  10. Do all this in one place. This is tough, but you don’t want to be tracking these things in five different apps, two Google docs, and an Excel sheet. Aside from being a pain in the butt, it makes it hard to prioritize between the goals and make the inevitable trade-offs between goals. Whether this is done on a sheet of paper, an Excel sheet, or an app or service, put it there, use it regularly, and update it. We’re partial to WeAchieve because, well, we designed it to help us do this in our own lives.
TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More!

That’s all we have for you. If you haven’t set personal goals before, why not give it a try?

Unlocking Achievement in 2018

In my initial post describing WeAchieve, I wrote a bit about what we’re building, and as part of that outlined three reasons why we’re going after personal productivity market. The gist of it is this: we see the start of a trend pushing back against distraction technologies and moving toward real-world experiences and outcomes. As we do that, the technologies that exist to help people with have been under-invested in, and are under-developed as a result.

The Psychological State

A couple weeks ago, we covered a bit about why productivity is broken, and how the ad-driven economy has created an unsustainable spiral of click-bait and sensationalism in the news, addiction-creating algorithms on social media, and games specifically-engineered to keep you playing.

Entertainment is good in the right quantity, but we are starting to see deep dissatisfaction spread at both personal and societal levels. On a personal level, depression and suicide rates are increasing. Societally, we’re seeing more and more unrest and anger as youth unemployment rises across the globe and more and more people don’t feel that the jobs that they do have provide them with meaning.

Teens especially struggle with our digital age, but suicide rates across the US have hit a 30-year high (Source) and general mental health trends also show increasing unhappiness.

While many causes contributed to these, our contention for a major one is this: a world increasingly driven by addicting entertainment ultimately robs people of the time needed to build real-world lives, real-world relationships, and real-world accomplishments. We believe this dynamic is responsible for a lot of the deep-seated unhappiness and frustration that we’re seeing in the world.

Our Mission

Solving this challenge — or more realistically to make a dent in it — is the mission of WeAchieve, and our product is designed to do this person by person or small group by small group.

We do this by providing a framework, curated content, and a tracking system for our users that helps them decide what matters to them, set goals, and hold themselves accountable.

Of course, this concept isn’t exactly new: setting goals, writing them down, and tracking your progress has been a known tactic and experimentally-proven to be effective. And naturally, many software platforms have been created to try to help this process happen. And yet, nothing has really caught hold. In doing our market research, we’ve uncovered several problems with the status quo that cause them to be ineffective, which has guided the vision for what WeAchieve is and what it will become.

The Three Opportunities: Flexibility, Universality, and Actionability

The existing market for goal planning tools — and many other related products — fall short on three key dimensions. Today we’ll cover what they are, and next week we’ll cover what WeAchieve is doing to address these challenges.

Flexibility— existing software to help you set goals are focused on specific types of goals for specific types of things. Many of them focus on forming habits, and revolve around creating “daily streaks.” This works well in some cases and for some people, sure. But it fails if you want to track how much of something you do and things that don’t need to follow a set period — e.g. daily, weekly, or monthly. For the modern human, this most things that you do.

Universality — Perhaps more importantly, personal productivity platforms are all quite siloed. Do you need a note-taking app? Use EverNote. Do you need a to do list? Use ToDoist. Do you need a Habit Tracker? Do you want to set fitness goals? Use a fitness app. Do you want to do a friendly competition? Use a different fitness app. As each company has tried to do one thing really well, they’ve missed the mark on a holistic view of consumers’ real need. People don’t just need a to do list, they need a system to organize their life. A to do list is necessary but not sufficient in order to reach this, and the same can be said for each of the other categories mentioned.

With every niche app, your life gets more complicated.

Actionability — The last dimension in which the current market struggles is how to convert data into motivation for the consumer. In part because existing tools are relatively inflexible, the visualizations and ways in which they motivate people are also very simplistic and largely ineffective as a result. For example, apps that try to help you to walk more commonly rely upon giving you a 10,000 step-per-day goal. As with streaks, this is maybe motivating in some cases. But there are many other ways to translate even a simple metric like step count into motivators for the user, and these opportunities scale exponentially when looking at activities with many metrics such as running. But even with running, most apps rely on a basic: run more than X miles per timeframe Y. Without breaking into next week’s subject, let’s just say that there’s so much more that can be done there.

WeAchieve makes it simple to list all your goals in a single place, and then quickly see where you are on track vs. where you need to make progress. These six goals I’m struggling with at the moment.

A Conclusion

Marking these three areas as opportunities in the market is not an indictment of the companies that have ventured into the personal productivity space. Platforms out there now have carved out their niches and have done well to do so in a world where the investments have gone more toward showing people ads whilst flinging cartoon birds across a screen. But the end result is that the productivity market is very fragmented which ultimately is to the detriment of consumers. Next week, we’ll keep with these themes, and cover how we plan to address these three opportunities to create the best productivity platform yet.

WeAchieve is a cutting edge productivity platform designed to help you manage your life and achieve more. It will be launching soon on the web ( and in the iOS app store.

Productivity is Broken

Over the past ten years or so, economists have been pondering a question: if the internet is so transformative to how we live and how we work, then why aren’t we becoming more productive and growing the economy more quickly than we have been?

This has been the subject of recent economic research. For full context, here’s the trend that we’ve seen since 1950, courtesy of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:


What we see overall is a steady increase up until the mid 1990’s as the internet came onto the scene. From there, productivity grew substantially until 2010. Since then it has continued to go up, but at a notably slower pace than the rest of the internet age, but also slower than growth in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s as well. We see similar trends (indeed, an even more stark flat-lining) when looking at the UK, South Korea, Germany, and Japan, so this is a global phenomena within advanced economies.

Any system at this level of complexity simply can’t have one single factor as the “cause” of the slowed growth. Yet it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out some of the key factors. This change occurs with the rise of the smart phone and the incredible scaling of what we call “monetized distraction technologies” or MDTs such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and much more of the ad-driven internet. Indeed, if we look at internet ad revenue over time, it hit $88 billion per year in 2017, and mobile in particular has skyrocketed from essentially zero in 2009 to $50 billion in 2017.

Marketing Charts - Charts, Data and Research for Marketers

We’ve always lived in a world where your attention could be monetized, even if it was as quaint as a Coca Cola billboard along the side of a highway. But the advent of the internet, mobile devices, and lightening-fast data transfers and algorithms have taken us to a breaking point. As billions of dollars in investment have poured into the ad-driven economy and as it generates returns, we are seeing a system more and more optimized to take your attention and convert it into (someone else’s) revenue.

But of course, any trend that can’t go on forever, won’t. The flat-lining of Facebook usage reported in their recent earnings call is one sign that the pendulum is about to shift the other way. Beyond what can be quantified though, there is the beginning of a shift in culture back against the MDTs as people everywhere realize that their time within them may provide short-term bursts of dopamine at the expense of long-term happiness (and productivity).

There is hope that we can come out the other side of this though, and come out even stronger for it. The same principles that have been optimized to bring your attention to BuzzFeed top 10 lists, cat videos, and the latest gossip can be used to help you do the things that really matter to you. Systems can be built that incentivize your pursuit of a faster mile, knowledge of a new topic or language, your meditation routine, your journaling or writing, and so much more.

This is an achievable future, but technology and culture must move in concert for this to happen. Some of the tools we need are out there, or just getting started. Patreon is one great example that helps people monetize their work in traditionally tough-to-monetize environments. But more needs to be done to help people focus on the diverse set of goals that make them who they are.

WeAchieve is a next-generation productivity platform designed to help people achieve their goals. It will be launching on the web and iOS in September 2018. For updates, subscribe to our blog or follow us on Facebook (yes, we do appreciate the irony of that statement).

Welcome to WeAchieve!

Hello! From the team at WeAchieve, we wanted to welcome you to our site and our community. While WeAchieve is a website, we want to start more than that. Specifically, we want to start a movement around using technology to accomplish more in the real world.

Finding your true motivation in life is critical to making your life a fulfilling journey for yourself and those around you.

The platform we are building is a way to do just that – technology that helps people rather than just draw their attention to shiny (or sneaky) advertisements. No software is magical. In order to get value from it, you need to invest, you need to really want to achieve more in the same 168-hour week that we all get.

At the same time, we realize more than you know that self-motivation is HARD. You can find bursts here and there to get things done, or do something really exciting, sure. But odds are, if you are in the 99% of the population that we are, that you struggle to do all the steps you need to in order to accomplish your personal, family, and career-related goals. We all do it, and while we all feel bad about it, it keeps happening.

Why is that? Well, a lot of it is just human nature. We have a natural bias toward laziness as a way to conserve energy. But the invention of the internet has added a new wrinkle (actually two) to this evolutionary bias against action:

  1. It’s made it basically impossible to be bored, and
  2. It’s found a way to monetize (through ads) your time being distracted.

The result? The biggest incentive for you to do something productive (boredom) is gone, and other people (read: not you) have found a way to make money off of that.

Those two wrinkles have created a dangerous system that we have to fight back against. We want WeAchieve to be your tool to combat all the distractions that Netflix, Facebook, YouTube, and thousands of other companies with addictive technology deploy. They use your free time to show you ads so that they can make money. While everyone needs some downtime, we’ve gone too far down this rabbit hole of distraction.

In a sentence: WeAchieve is a platform designed to help you define what matters to you, create metrics that incentivize you to reach those, provide help from an AI to encourage you, and let you connect with your friends and a community that supports and encourages you as well. We know that’s a lot, but we are incredibly excited for the potential we’ve seen in using this, and are even more excited to launch this and share this platform with as many people as we can.

Do you like the sound of that? Please follow along! We’re going to be sharing more in the coming weeks as we slowly expand our beta and start to bring WeAchieve to market, and we want you to be a part of that journey!