The starting process
As mentioned last week, I am hoping to create a habit change plan for myself using the knowledge I have gained through the resources I have been exploring. These resources detailed the differences between habitual behavior, contextual cues, brain chemistry and looping systems. My long term goal for this free inquiry is to change one or more habits and document my experience, paying particular attention to what did and didn’t work for me.
However, rather than dive straight into creating an outline of my own change plan, I have decided to explore different habit-tracking apps available online. Later, I plan to use my experience to guide my own planning process. I thought that incorporating personal technology into my free inquiry/blog would be a great fit, so why not try it out?
Throughout my research online, I have found a large number of different habit-tracking programs available on desktop and mobile. Since I usually carry my phone with me wherever I go, I think that having an app on my personal device will help motivate me to continuously use it.
In my curation of possible habit tracking apps, I created some general criteria. The apps should be:
- available for free on iOS, or have a sufficient free trial period
- have a simple, user-friendly interface
- have a variety of options for documentation – e.g checking boxes, adding photos, in-app calendar
- have good user reviews and a stable user base
- have the ability to sync information across different platforms
One website that I found particularly useful is Tomas Laurinavicius’s blog post curating different habit tracker apps. His list is nowhere near exhaustive, but it has given me a good starting point in terms of what I should look at.
Below, I have selected five apps from his list of recommendations and provided a short summary on each. Next week, I will choose one app to try and then document my initial experience using it.
This habit tracker has a minimal interface that is available on desktop or iOS. What drew me to this app was its simplistic design and syncing feature.
This app uses the chain method for habit tracking. All you have to do is provide a timeline for the habit you want to track and the frequency per week. Progress tracking is available offline without opening the app.
Unique in its concept, Habitica has a game design for habit tracking. You are the ‘main character’ of the game tracking your progress of your goals.
What pulled me towards this app was its option to create personalized dashboards for each goal/habit. In these boards, users can add journals, to-do lists, and photos.
This app has flexible scheduling so you can plan habits and routines in the morning, afternoon or evening. It has a simple and sleek design that includes visuals to motivate you to reach your goals.