This blog is a continuation from last week’s free inquiry entry! As mentioned previously, I wanted to review the habit-tracking app Habitica. I was intrigued by its role-playing gaming aspect, so I downloaded the app to try it out myself.
My review of Habitica… Continued
How it works
The habits I chose to work on in Habitica are exercise and school related. When you complete a positive habit, you tap the ‘+’ button to get experience and gold. For negative habits, you press ‘-‘ which decreases your avatar’s health and keeps you accountable for your actions. If you complete a positive habit often, it will turn green; if you fail to do so, it will turn red and you lose ‘health’ points. When users collect enough ‘experience’ points, they level up, which restores their health.
Dailies & To-Dos
Dailies are habits you want to complete in a scheduled and repeatable fashion. You complete these activities by marking off a checkbox – doing so will give you experience and ‘gold’ (which can be used to purchase items for your avatar). However, failure to complete a daily will result in a loss of health.
To-do’s are one-time tasks. Completing them will give the user experience and gold. Yet, unlike habits and dailies, to-do’s will not cause you to lose health.
The role playing aspects of the app
- Levels – completing habits, dailies and to-do’s allows players to gain experience or lose health. Enough experience = gain a level. Losing all health = player dies, and is set back a level. The higher the level, the more features you can access
- Currency – completing the three types of tasks = gain gold, which can be used to buy rewards (eg in-app resources, boosts)
- Character – players can customize their avatar (skin, hair, clothes). Players can choose from one of four classes within the game’s class system, which provides their avatar with different character attributes
- Pets & Mounts – players receive items for completing tasks – eg eggs, colors potions, or food which can be combined to collect pets and mounts for their avatar
- Social accountability – players can participate in ‘parties’ to complete quests, and join ‘guilds’ to engage in challenges to win achievements
- Seasonal events – the app hosts ‘Grand Galas’ where players can participate in quests, win special items, and fight ‘bosses’ as a community
Inputting my data
I found it very easy to input my data and write my goals in the app. All you have to do tap the ‘+’ button at the top right hand corner of the screen to add another item. If you want to add another focus for your habits (eg school, exercise, work), you can do so by going to the filter tab and revising on that screen. I also like how the app allows you to edit your tasks in case you want to adjust them or because you made a mistake.
I also liked that there is a ‘search’ function at the top of each tab, making it easy to find my habit goals, notes or different checklists.
Overall, I had a pleasant experience using this app. It was interesting to use the app in a collaborative way, as most of the apps I have briefly looked into view goal-setting in an individualistic way.
The in-app chat & Tavern feature (an online community for users to discuss with each other) makes the app seem like an extension of social media. This strengthens the RPG aspect of the app since users are interconnected even when they are working in the app.
Habitica also has a massive, established online community, through platforms such as Twitter, Wiki Fandom, Discord, Reddit and Youtube. This community is very helpful for finding motivation and encouragement to reach your goals. Changing or developing habits can be difficult to maintain on your own, so having others to rely on and keep you accountable is useful.
Would I use this again? Long term?
I do not think that I will return to using Habitica as a habit tracking app after my free inquiry project ends. Although the gaming aspect of the app is a great motivator, I think that I would become too engrossed and distracted by the quests and initial set up, which would take my focus away from the real purpose of the app. In addition, the ability to join virtual parties, raids and challenges is great for creating a sense a community, but I think that I would be too empowering for me.
I recognize that this kind of set-up could work really well for other people (as evidenced by Habitica’s 2,000,000+ user base), so I am not going to dismiss the many advantages to this kind of app due to my own personal experience.
Plan for next week
For my upcoming blog post, I am going to try another habit-tracking app from the list I had chosen in my previous post. In my review, I will follow a similar format of providing online context of the app, and discussing its format & design and its impact of my productivity and habit goals.