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Level up my life...
June 3, 2014 10:00 AM   Subscribe

There are about a zillion goal-tracking and habit-forming apps out there with a bit of gamification ingrained in them. Which are great?

I used to track a number of different goals -- some positive (do this every day), some were negative (don't do this, ever!), some were daily and others were recurring tasks (drink 3 glasses of water every day, do the vacuuming 2 weeks after the last time you did the vacuuming), etc. -- using a combination of Remember the Milk and Joe's Goals and a blog. It was a bit tedious to keep up, but I found it help me keep my life a little more on track.

I know there has been an absolute glut of these types of Apps recently, but I don't know which ones are worth trying.

My ideal app:
-- Is cross-platform. I have an iPad and a few computers, and I anticipate getting an Android phone in the next couple of months.
-- Is free, one-time purchase, or ad-supported, not subscription based.
-- Offers some level of gamification, without necessarily getting overly cutesy about it.
-- Offers crowd-support but also privacy settings. I don't want to have everything open to every person I've ever friended on Facebook.
-- Isn't weight-loss, or even health, focused. It's fine if it supports weigh-loss and great if it includes food tracking, but if the sole focus is weight loss that's not where most of my goals are. A lot of them are things like house-keeping goals, rather than personal care.
posted by jacquilynne to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 98 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love (and use) HabitRPG which is maybe a little overly cutesy but is alsot fairly powerful...and I dislike "dying" enough that I will get off the couch and do my last 1 or 2 chores just to get the extra points.

It's web based, so works cross platform. No ads (to speak of) or subscriptions. Isn't focused on any particular types of goals, etc. and offers crowd support. It also does have options for some social networking//group goal making//group support but it isn't at all necessary.
posted by AnneShirley at 10:28 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]


It sounds like Lift might work for you. It's cross-platform and its primary goal is to track habits of any flavor. You can opt into a group challenge - of which there are many - or work privately, and for each option you have the ability to participate so the world can see or no one but you can see (this is all, of course, behind your username, so you can go with your actual name or an avatar). It's a pretty user-friendly app on iOS and is free.
posted by AthenaPolias at 10:53 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


Beeminder is not really gamified, but it's a superb goal-tracking and habit-forming app. I use it for a lot.
posted by katrielalex at 11:04 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I love HabitRPG. I've tried other things/apps/websites/concepts, but they never stuck or kept me engaged. For whatever reason, this has me gripped, and I've been using it daily for months now. It ticks pretty much all your boxes, except for a minimally cutesy avatar, which doesn't show up on my phone's browser or on the app, from what I can tell.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 11:13 AM on June 3


I'm another person who came here to pimp HabitRPG. It's the only thing that's ever worked for me, and it meets all your criteria:

--It runs on javascript and has both an Android and iOS app
--All of the important features are free (there is some cutesy/cosmetic stuff that's subscription-based)
--They cover the bases of positive, negative, predictable and random reinforcement, and while there are definitely cutesy features, using them is optional
--Only you see your individual goals even if you join a party or a quest or share a widget
--It's not weight-loss-centered at all, though it could be used for that purpose. In fact, once you hit level ten, you have the option of allocating points based on whether a goal is physical, mental, social, or other.

I'm probably doing the best I've ever done right now at keeping up on habits and finishing to-dos. Bonus: it's open-source.
posted by dee lee at 12:19 PM on June 3


2nding Beeminder.

For a less structured approach, maybe look into 43Things or PopClogs?
posted by gakiko at 12:29 AM on June 4


I'll second Lift. It ticks all your boxes and is completely free atm.
posted by Brent Parker at 5:53 PM on June 4


I love both Beeminder and HabitRPG, so they get an n++th, but I find that what really works for me is to not really use these apps so much as a crutch but as an extra incentive to make real habits out of the dreaded tasks. Use these apps, plus try to figure out a way to enjoy what you're doing so that you'll do it again. Like try to figure out a good reward or pre-task ritual.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:14 PM on June 8


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