For years I was intimidated by charts. Later I found out I'm slightly dyslexic and I'm sure that added to my chart anxiety. I've since overcome this anxiety, but if you're a new knitter, you may be familiar with this. Charts are great, so don't be scared!
My advice is to keep an eye on the row below. How do your stitches stack up? Unless the chart is pictorial, there's usually a rhythm to it. Once you get a feel for this rhythm, you won't go too far with a mistake (usually just one or two repeats). You'll want to look at the chart and observe the relationship between the row you are knitting and the row below, which you've just knit. The stitches will stack up in a certain way, which means you can keep track of where you are in the pattern.
If you look at the pattern above, there are columns of red stitches; if I were to end up with a grey stitch there I'd know I made a mistake. I can also see that there will never be more than two stitches of the same colour stacked up.
You might want to try a knitting app, they are great because they have a way of keeping track of where you are on your pattern. There are many, but the one I use, Knit Companion, has a line you can move up and down, which doesn't get in the way like washi tape can. It also links up with Ravelry and Dropbox, so you can download your patterns.