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Most people give up on their New Year's resolutions by March, if not sooner. The problem isn't so much motivation as it is preparation. Unless you break your goals down into smaller, incremental tasks, fulfilling them becomes a chore easily forgotten about.

HiTask (http://hitask.com) is a Web-based task management tool that can help you meet your goals, whether personal or academic. The free service (business and professional users can opt for paid accounts with extra features) is easy to use and with its built-in calendaring, time-tracking and more, will keep you on track to complete your objectives.

To begin, type your task in the text field at the center of the Web page. From there, a dialogue box expands giving you the option to add more information such as a start and end date, priority level and tags. The task is automatically added to your planning calendar, which appears on the left-hand side of the screen.

If your task includes enlisting the aid of other people or is some sort of team project, you can add their names and e-mail addresses to the "My team" column on the far-right side of the interface. You can also set e-mail or audio alarms (the Web service needs to be running in your browser to hear them) as well.

HiTask allows you to track your time as well. Say you have a research paper as one of your tasks. When you begin looking for sources on the Internet, simply click on the item in HiTask and select the "start timer" link and the service will begin keeping track of how long you work. At the end of the project you can generate a report to see how much time you spent on your task.

If you have a list of tasks you'd like to group as a project, HiTask's drag-and-drop functionality makes it a breeze.

HiTask is highly flexible and doesn't dictate how you use it. If you're the type of person who needs a high level of detail in crafting your goals, HiTask can accommodate you as easily as those that just want a place to jot them down. The Web service offers a mobile version of the site for smart-phone users, and advanced tech junkies will appreciate the option to integrate your HiTask events with Google Calendar and Apple's iCal.

Don't let your New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside; use HiTask to keep you on point in 2011.