I’m not big on tracking things (especially weight, calories, and all the other traditional dieting metrics), but I’ve found that the rise of habit tracking apps has made an immense improvement to my awareness and consistency.
For a while I was using one of the apps in the list below. I wanted to write an article on it, but decided I’d look into its competitors first. After testing out a bunch of apps, I created a list of five with a clear winner and I’ve now switched to that winning app.
Before we get to the list, let me tell you a little about how these apps work and what I was looking for.
How These Apps Work
All of these apps offer the same core experience. You create habits or goals you want to track (mostly habits—that’s where the power is) and then every time you follow through with that habit you mark it as “done.”
The app begins to show you patterns in behavior—where you’re taking action consistently and where you’re not taking action consistently. This allows you to make sure that you never forget about certain habits and that you can get yourself back on track if you find that you’re being inconsistent with certain habits.
Here are some of the core things I wanted in the app (that not all have):
- The ability to mark whether a habit is done daily (and even how many times per day), weekly, a certain number of days per week, monthly, a certain number of times per month, etc.
- The ability to track habits in different ways. It’s not always about completing the habit. For some habits, like getting 8 hours of sleep, I’m only concerned about the average. Am I averaging 8 hours of sleep? For some habits, it’s about how many times the habit was completed. For example, I want to create a habit of drinking 8 glasses of water a day.
- The ability to mark a habit as productive or destructive. This way I can make sure I’m engaging with productive habits and avoiding destructive habits.
- The ability to categorize habits or at least order them. I don’t want one one long random list of habits to wade through.
- A web interface that coincides with the mobile interface would be a bonus.
- A beautiful design. I love using beautiful software. Even if a software does everything I want, I will reject it if it’s not beautiful. It’s just me. I value aesthetics.
So let’s get to it…
Way of Life