"Don't Break The Chain" app with skip days, because life is complicated
April 13, 2013 1:17 PM   Subscribe

There are tons of "Don't Break The Chain"-style motivation tools in the iOS App Store and online, but I'm having trouble finding one with a feature I find essential: the ability to skip days on the fly without breaking your streak.

The app Streaks and lots of others lets you skip predetermined days (like every Saturday and Tuesday, or every other day) but I can't find one that lets you mark a day as, essentially, "I didn't do the thing I was tracking but it was through no fault of my own." Days where I don't deserve to have my streak extended, of course, but I certainly don't deserve a broken chain either.

The excellent Way Of Life app does this, but unfortunately it only offers aggregate monthly number tracking, not streaks, but I find streaks (and the threat of breaking a streak) to be the biggest daily motivator when making a new habit.
posted by Ian A.T. to Technology (15 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
This won't help you now, but I'm working on an app that will support this in a sense. From the outset you'll set whether you want to do something every day or have a certain number of days off each week, which you can use as needed. Wish it were ready now, but keep an eye on stickto.it
posted by the jam at 2:18 PM on April 13, 2013


I've used The Daily Practice to do something similar to this, but not quite the same; you can set it so that your goal is (X) out of every (Y) days, so if I say I want to do a certain goal 6 out of every 7 days, or 8 days out of every 10, I can give myself enough leeway for emergencies.
posted by Jeanne at 2:20 PM on April 13, 2013


Health Month (which allows for non-health goals) also has something like this — you specify how many days out of the week you want to do/not-do a thing, but you also get a bonus for maintaining consecutive streaks of good behavior. The upshot is that having one unplanned off day is worse than keeping your streak going, but still better than falling off the wagon entirely, which might be good enough for what you're trying to do.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 2:39 PM on April 13, 2013


Yes, I came here to mention Health Month as well. There's a Metafilter group (you might need to be signed in to see it?) if you want to get into the social support aspect.

I don't think they have an app yet, but they probably will sometime in the future. It works well on my mobile browser, though.
posted by k8lin at 2:54 PM on April 13, 2013


Thank you everyone for taking the time to answer, but like most deluded sad sacks who believe that a real lasting lifestyle change and long term happiness would be within my grasp if only I could find the right piece of software, I'm familiar with what's out there and why it's not the best solution for me. I'm specifically looking for a DBTC app or website that assumes you'll be doing something every day but still allows for unplanned neutral days if life intervenes.
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:49 PM on April 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Way of Life

This app allows you to skip days on the fly without breaking your streak.
posted by pakoothefakoo at 6:34 PM on April 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seconding way of life. It even gives you statistics, for the data lover.
posted by bluloo at 8:15 PM on April 13, 2013


Sigh. The last paragraph of my question: "The excellent Way Of Life app does this, but unfortunately it only offers aggregate monthly number tracking, not streaks."
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:21 PM on April 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Does it have to be a literal streak? Habitualist's HabitScore was designed to solve this problem. I find it to be an addicting and motivating number and I have a few chaotic days here and there myself.
posted by michaelh at 10:14 PM on April 13, 2013


Ah, pardon.
posted by pakoothefakoo at 10:36 PM on April 13, 2013


I think you can do this with Chains.
posted by bink at 11:19 PM on April 13, 2013


There's an app called WriteChain which is for tracking word count that allows you to set a number of 'coast days'. So you can say 'only break my chain if I miss doing X for Y days'. I guess you could stick any number in for a word count if you're not tracking a production goal like that.

Personally I fiddled around with various nice looking apps before giving up and just building my own Byzantine spreadsheet that does exactly what I want.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:46 PM on April 13, 2013


Thanks for the Habitualist link...that does look like it might fit my needs. Do you use them, michaelh, and is it actively being supported? Their blog and Twitter have been dark for a while now. I don't want to put a bunch of energy into something that might go away soon.

giving up and just building my own Byzantine spreadsheet that does exactly what I want

Heh, yes. The subtext of this question is "are there any apps that do automatically what I've set up a Byzantine spreadsheet to do manually?"
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:20 AM on April 15, 2013


There is an iPhone app called Wonderful Day that I think does what you want.

It's a break-the-chain app, but you select which days you do the activity one.

So you can say I run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and it will only count those days.
posted by chrispy108 at 3:41 AM on April 19, 2013


The second paragraph of my question: "The app Streaks and lots of others lets you skip predetermined days (like every Saturday and Tuesday, or every other day) but..."
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:11 AM on April 19, 2013


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