Habitica is a gamified habit-improvement app, designed in the format of role-playing games. “It is a free app that uses a social network and in-game rewards and punishments to increase people’s motivation and productivity,” explains Maria Espinola, Psy.D., psychologist and CEO of the Institute for Health Equity and Innovation.
With Habitica, users can create and customize a character, or avatar. When you complete the tasks on your to-do lists and habit lists in real life, your avatar is rewarded with items and experiences that enable you to level up in the game. Your character will get destroyed or lose its health if you fail to complete your tasks. Most features are free, but other in-app purchases are available with a subscription.
The app, which is available on iOS and Android, offers a habit list for tracking good and bad habits at your set frequency—daily, weekly or monthly. You can track tasks you want to do multiple times in a day and enable reminders for each task. It also features the opportunity to build goals and work on challenges with friends for added accountability.
Habitica is free, but offers more features with a subscription, which costs $4.99 monthly, $14.99 for three months, $29.99 for six months and $47.99 annually.
This habit tracking app is for you if you’re looking to build a habit streak, consisting of repeating the same tasks over a long period. “If you’re motivated by seeing your progress, this is a great app for you,” says Dr. Sepehri.
Roach recommends Streak because, “it is a great tracking app for anyone trying to start positive, healthy habits and kick bad ones to the curb,” adding that it’s organized well for “those left-brained thinkers.”
Streaks allows you to create a to-do list with specific tasks you need to complete daily (up to 24 tasks), choose how frequently they need to be done and set reminders. It provides useful statistics for assessing your progress, with the goal of achieving a streak of consecutive days. The user interface is simple and customizable, featuring 78 color themes and 600 task icons for customizing features to your preference.
The app is available on iOS, and integrates with Apple Watch and the Health app to keep you on track with your goals. It costs $4.99.
SitckK is a user-friendly app designed to help users build good habits, stick to them and achieve personal goals. “This app uses behavioral economic principles to promote personal change in different settings, seeking to increase people’s motivation by focusing on incentives and accountability,” says Dr. Espinola.
StickK works by making users sign a “commitment contract.” The contract terms require users to set goals, define what needs to be done to reach the goal and give them the opportunity to put some money on the line and state what happens to the money if they fail to stick to the commitment.
The free app, available for iOS and Android, includes progress reports and commitment journals for monitoring your progress.
Available for iOS, the Strides tracker allows you to set SMART goals and work at your own pace. “It offers four unique tracker types, which can help users find a tracking method that fits their needs,” says Dr. Espinola. With the four unique trackers, users can choose how they measure and track their goals, whether it’s set time-bound target goals, smaller milestones or set averages. “This app also offers customized progress reports, tracker templates and charts with history and success rates, which can help users stay motivated,” Dr. Espinola adds.
You can add notes to your set habits, schedule reminders and get progress reports. The app also offers 150 templates. While there is a free version, Strides Plus costs $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year.
The Productive app has a simple, aesthetically-pleasing design. You’re able to complete, stop or pause habits at any time, and completed habits result in a motivating streak. Dr. Sepehri says this app is a favorite because, “being able to see a streak of success gives us the dopamine boost we need to not only keep tracking, but also to maintain our progress”.
Another perk of Productive is its portfolio of features, including weekly challenges, reminders, ADHD assistance and educational articles to make habit building easier. Available for iOS and Android, the app is free, but offers extra features for $3.99 monthly and $23.99 annually.
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Way of Life
Way of Life offers the standard features of most habit trackers—including a streak feature, reminders and data on your progress—and is easy to navigate and organize. “Simple and practical. The interface is intuitive, so data entry is easy and quick. You can use this app for free to track up to three habits.” says Dr. Sepehri.
It features a scoreboard of weekly and monthly feedback, and allows you to visualize progress via charts and graphs, as well as the ability to export data to Excel. The premium version of the app, which is available for iOS and Android, costs $4.99.
If you’re a fan of smashing goals with friends, this app might be for you. HabitShare is a social and collaborative habit tracker for building habits and tracking progress with friends. “It can be helpful to get reminders and encouragement from others to achieve certain goals. As an example, most people are more likely to exercise if they have someone who exercises with them and reminds them to go to the gym,” notes Dr. Espinola.
However, you have total control over your privacy settings, and can choose to work alone or share your goals with friends (and which friends see which goals). The app offers features to customize your habits and schedule reminders. This app is completely free, and available for iOS and Android.
“Habit Tracker is a great app which I recommend to many adult ADHD patients who have difficulty getting daily chores or tasks done,” says Roach.
Dr. Sepehri also describes the app as exceptionally accessible, organized and well built, “it provides a wealth of statistics on your habits and even has a diary where you can take more detailed notes,” she says.
Available for iOS, it features cloud backup and sync, so you can exchange the same data between all your devices, and view your progress anywhere and anytime. Other features include custom reminders, habit ideas, focus time and a yearly review. This app is free, with in-app purchases available.
Healthy habits can boost your well-being in different ways. “Practicing a new healthy habit can have a domino effect, prompting you to add more healthy routines that compound on your success.” says Dr. Sepehri. “This not only boosts your overall well-being, but your confidence and sense of self-efficacy as well. It’s essentially an act of self-love when you prioritize habits that remind you to value yourself and your health.”
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