The 8 Best Habit Tracking Apps in 2020
The 8 Best Habit Tracking Apps in 2020
we’re gonna be taking a look at one of my favorite types of apps in the entire world, the humble habit tracker. This very simple type of app helps you to build strong habits or break bad ones by leveraging what’s been called the don’t break the chain strategy. For some reason when our brains see that we have done something for a long period of time or haven’t done something for the same long period of time, we don’t wanna break the chain, we don’t wanna break the pattern. So essentially a habit tracker just lets you check off whether or not you’ve done something every single day and over time you get a visual indication of your progress and that keeps you motivated to keep progressing in the right direction. Now since habit trackers are very simple, they’re also not that difficult to make in comparison to other apps and as a result, there are a ton of them out there whether you’re on iOS, Android, or just looking for a web app version. So what we’re gonna do today is I’m gonna share my picks for the top eight habit trackers that deserve your attention here in 2019.
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And for an app to make my list, it has to do something beyond just letting you check off whether or not you did a habit, it has to bring something unique to the table and without further ado let’s just jump into the number eight pick on my list which is called Habitify. Now Habitify makes my list because it is very well designed. In fact, across all the apps that I tested for this video, I found Habitify’s combination of simplicity and really nice UI to be at least the most attractive to my eyes and in addition to that it is also cross-platform, you’re gonna find it on Android, iOS, iPad, and there’s even a Mac app as well. Additionally, you’re gonna find features like a dark mode, lots of fancy charts and graphs to track your progress and if you are an iOS person, you’re gonna find Apple watch apps, a widget for your iPhone home screen, even an iMessage app as well which I have not seen in any other app that I’ve looked at.
Next up on my list is an app called HabitHub which gains the distinction of being the only Android exclusive app to make this list. Now a lot of the other apps I’m gonna talk about in a little bit have Android versions but this is the only Android exclusive so if you’re an Android person and you wanna lord it over your iPhone friends that you got an app that they can’t use, well this is probably the one that you’re gonna wanna pick. HabitHub also has a really nice design and it has a couple of other features that I really enjoyed as well including the ability to have goals for your habit streaks so you can do things like having a 30-day challenge and the ability to mark a habit as skipped instead of just failed. So if you had a business trip or you found yourself sick for some reason, you could mark something as skipped, you could add a note to it to explain why you had to skip it and you’re gonna get a visual indication of it being skipped rather than just failed or not marked altogether.
That brings us to number six on the list which is TickTick and TickTick isn’t really a purpose-built habit tracker, it’s actually a full-fledged task management/to-do app that is very similar to Todoist and I actually talked about it in my video on the best task management apps since 2019 which you’ll find linked in the description down below if you haven’t seen that but now they have actually integrated a habit tracker into the app and for a really long time, I’ve been getting questions from all kinds of people asking me, Tom is there a task management app out there that also integrates a habit tracker and for the longest time, my answer to that question has been no or at least I don’t know of one. But now TickTick has filled that void so if you wanna have your task management and your habit tracking living in one place, in the same app, on the same screen, TickTick is gonna be what you probably wanna go with for both of those purposes. Now if you are one of those people who wants a little bit more complexity in your habit tracking.
Then you might want to pay attention to number five on my list which is Beeminder. And yes, I’ve talked about Beeminder many, many times in this channel, it was most recently profiled in my video on apps that force you to work so I’m not gonna talk too much about Beeminder but in case you haven’t heard of it, it is an app that allows you to essentially put money on the line to ensure that you do your habits and in addition to that financial incentive part of the app, there is just a lot of data in Beeminder. You can look at all these crazy charts and graphs, you can see all of your data points, you can get really, really nerdy with this app and it also holds the distinction of being the app that can pull in data from the largest amount of sources that I’ve ever seen. It can pull on Apple health data, it can pull on data from all kinds of other quantified self-apps and it can even connect up to IFTTT which can basically let you pull data from literally any other service in the world that you can probably think of through some weird combination of home automation Python scripts and whatever it is you programming nerds like to build out there, you can probably use it to shove data into Beeminder. But let’s say for a second that all that data is not the top priority for you because you are a person of culture, you are a person who prides and values aesthetics over everything else.
Well if that is the case and if you have an iPhone ’cause the one we’re gonna talk about here is an iOS exclusive, then you may want to look at number four on the list which is called Today. Today is a beautiful app, in fact, it might even be a little bit too beautiful for my taste. In fact, the reason that it’s not a little bit higher on this list is that I feel some of the aesthetics get in the way of using the app really quickly and efficiently. That being said, it is a very capable habit tracker under the hood in addition to all the nice design and UI and it even packs in some features for free that other apps charge you monthly subscription fee for. Now, of course, you can do all the basics, you can add habits, you can check them off, you can do multiple check-ins per day but you can also set specific covers for your habits so you get that nice little splash screen for each one and one thing that I’d really like is that for each habit you can add what is called custom cards to the data area for the habit and well, it can’t pull in your Apple Health data to actually hold your feet to the fire like Beeminder can, so you can’t do something like having a walking goal and then pulling in your steps data to check it off or not check it off, you can add in Apple health data for some extra context for your habits which is a really nice touch. Plus Today is just pretty, did I mention that? All right, I will stop gushing about Today’s design.
Let’s move on to number three on the list which is Coach.me and I didn’t put it on there ’cause it rhymes though that is a nice little coincidence. So Coach.me is actually the first habit tracker that I ever used back when I was using it, it was called Lift, though it has since rebranded to Coach.me and as you might imagine there is now a coaching component to the app and that is actually what makes it pretty unique. Now at its core, Coach.me is a very capable habit tracker, you can add in your habits, you can check them off, there are nice high-five animations sometimes but there’s also a big community element to the app as well both in the form of coaching and in the form of a simple community with discussions. So for any habit that you add to your list, if it is a common habit, there’s probably gonna be questions and discussion threads for those questions from other users. You can use that to get tips and additional motivation. If that discussion area isn’t enough for you, you can also go over to the coaching section of the app which is where it gets its namesake and for a lot less money than I’ve seen in almost any other coaching venue that I’ve come across online, you can get personalized check-ins with coaches for basically any habit that you’re trying to build or goal that you’re trying to achieve. Now if I had to guess, I would say you probably get a little less personalized attention, a little less time than you’d get with an actual coach but a lot of people don’t need a ton of personalized attention, a lot of people don’t need to pay $60 for an hour of a coach’s time. Some people just need to be able to check in with somebody a couple of times a week and just have someone there to keep them on track and that’s the need that this app fills. All right, homestretch baby.
we are on to number two on the list and it is what has been my favorite habit tracker, my habit tracker of choice for a very long time, it’s called Strides and it is, unfortunately, an iOS exclusive once again but hey, the Android people got HabitHub so you can’t complain too much, right? So at least on the surface, I would say that Strides is pretty similar to Habitify. Both have really clean professional UIs, both are very fast, they’re snappy, they are a joy to use. But where Habitify is a little bit more rigid in the types of goals that you can set up and track, Strides is more flexible, it has some additional options for the types of habits that you can set up within it. For one, you can set up street goals which are great for things like 30-day challenges and you can also set goals to be either yes or no, did you do them, did you not, or based on a certain quantity of things, so if you wanna take like 10,000 steps a day, you could actually type in that number if you really wanted to but the feature that I like the most about Strides and this is something that I have not seen in any other habit tracker that I’ve tested is the ability to track an average for a specific habit. So if you want to make sure you’re not playing too many hours of video games each week or you wanna just track the number of times you go to the gym which you don’t have a specific goal for it, this is a great feature and I love it.
But not as much as I love the number one app on this list which is of course Habitica. In my humble opinion, Habitica goes beyond all other habit trackers out there because instead of just letting you track your habits, it lets you turn your life into a bonafide video game. Habitica is basically an RPG with habit tracking elements built-in and instead of just working on yourself, you’re working on yourself while also building up a character in the game that can go on quests and party up with people and get mounts and all kinds of gear and all kinds of fun stuff. Now I will readily admit that I am a nerd and not everyone out there is a nerd, maybe you’re not a nerd. – Nerd! – So Habitica is not for everyone, there’s a lot going on in that game, there’s all kinds of stats and buffs and all kinds of crazy stuff which is why I made this list. There are seven other picks on the list that you could go for if you want something a little bit more simple but in my experience, all of the gamification elements that are built into Habitica are really, really motivating. If you get into the game, then you really don’t want to fail on your habits ’cause you’re trying to build up some gold to get a new piece of gear or you’re trying to level up so you can actually cast more powerful spells or, and I think this is the most genius part of Habitica, you can actually party up with other people, real-life humans, and you can go on quests and fight bosses together and when you are fighting a boss, at the end of each day that boss is going to attack you and it will never damage you unless somebody in your party fails to do their habits or if they mark off a negative habit like smoking a cigarette or eating junk food. If people don’t stick to what they’re supposed to be doing, everyone in the group gets hurt and if you run out of health and die, you actually lose a piece of gear so there’s this great accountability element to Habitica that a lot of other habit trackers just don’t have. Plus in contrast to a lot of the other habit tracking apps out there, all the core habit tracking functionality in Habitica is free. If you get really into the game, you can buy gems for certain purposes or you can actually donate directly to the team if you want but all of the habit tracking features, those don’t cost anything to use and this is something that I really respect about Habitica. That and the fact that I can put a pair of steampunk goggles and a top hat on my character. Now no matter which habit tracker you do choose to go with, one habit that should probably be on it is taking some time to do some independent learning each day and that’s something that you can easily do with the daily challenges feature on Brilliant. Each day new challenges are posted that can test and stretch your problem-solving skills in areas like calculus, physics, computer science, statistics, astronomy, and much more. And if a particular problem piques your interest, you’ll also find dozens of full-fledged in-depth courses in Brilliant’s course library that can improve your knowledge even further.