The productivity world can’t stop talking about good habits. I can tell you from my own experience that a foundation of a few good habits makes it easy to be productive each day. It can be tricky to form habits, and that’s where habit trackers come in.
Habit trackers like Habitify remind you when to complete your daily goals until they become ingrained habits. These apps reward you by showing your progress. The reminders plus the reinforcement make it easy to learn new habits.
I’ve used Habitify for a couple months now. I’m impressed with how easy it is to use and how well it makes me stick to my goals.
Things to consider before choosing a habit tracker
Number of habits to track
In the excitement of making positive life changes, it’s easy to take on too much. It’s best to start with one habit when you’re new to building good habits. Once you master that, you can add one more, and so on.
Consider how many habits you can track with the system you’re considering. Three is enough to get started.
Available tracking frequencies
What type of habits are you working on? An ideal habit tracker can accommodate not just once-a-day habits. There should be options for multiple times a day and for a number of days per week.
Longer time periods (like a few times per month) aren’t habits. You can use a calendar to remind you of those types of tasks.
Design and notifications
An interface that’s intuitive and free from distractions is going to reduce the friction in the habit tracking process. When looking at a habit tracking solutions, consider whether it has the right number of features. If there are too many bells and whistles, they will just distract or annoy.
Consider whether the tracker can remind you at the right times to do your habits and record the results. Configure the notifications for your device so that they use pleasant sounds and pop up at the right times.
Stats and graphs
The aggregated data is what will keep you interested and checking the app to see your progress. More ways of viewing the data is usually better. Focus on the visualizations that can change your behavior. For instance, a day-of-the-week trend shows you what days you’re most likely to complete your habits. You could commit to doing your habits earlier in the day or earlier in the week if you notice your willpower draining over the course of the week.
Platforms and data portability
Does the tracker support Android, iOS and web? I prefer apps that are flexible, in case I change platforms in the future.
If you’re all about the quantified self, you might want the ability to export your tracking data.
Cost and privacy
Free is nice, but consider how the app makes money. Apps cost money to make, support and market. If the app is always free, consider that the developer may be selling data about your activity.
Also consider whether you can lock the app itself. Sometimes you want someone to have access to your phone but not to specific apps.
A bit off topic, but if you’re concerned about privacy, never use the social login option (e.g., login with your Facebook account). Always make an account using your email instead.
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My first impression of Habitify was that it was easy and intuitive to start using it. You just download it for free and start adding a few habits, no account required.
When you see it, you’ll immediately notice it has an elegantly simple color scheme and design.
Habitify is fairly flexible. It tracks habits with different frequencies, such as daily or twice a week.
You can get daily or time of day reminders to complete your habits for the day. The notifications were just right for me on the defaults. I get a reminder at 7am of which habits are available that day. In the evening, I get a reminder to log which ones I completed.
The best feature of this app is the charts. They show daily, weekly, and monthly performance. I found this motivating in the short term, and I look forward to seeing the long term trends. With the paid version of the app, you get a yearly view, too. This is great for inclusion in your annual review.
There are even more charts, like hour of the day and day of the week trends. You can look at these for clues to increase your success rate.
Who is Habitify for?
People with smartphones who want to build good habits! If you have a paper tracker that’s working for you, maybe you don’t need an app. I switched from paper to electronic tracking to try Habitify, and I haven’t been tempted to switch back. Paper tracking looks cool, but it didn’t give the kind of detailed feedback I wanted.
Pros of Habitify
- Multi-platform (Android, iOS and web)
- Intuitive interface makes it easy to get started
- Habit archiving (paid version only) lets you put habits away and bring them out again later
- Many charts to show different perspectives on your data
- Data export capability (paid version only)
- To track a habit you want to perform more than once a day, you have to create separate habits. That uses up your habit allotment in the free version, and you can’t visualize the data as one habit.
- Some charts are not very useful. I don’t find the overall completion rate useful because some of my habits are by the times per week. I can comply 100% with my goal, but it doesn’t show 100% for the day unless I do all of the habits every day.
Features and benefits
Habitify is available for Android on the Google Play Store and iPhone on the Apple App Store.
The free version tracks up to 3 habits. That’s the perfect amount for getting started.
You can track the same habit at different times of day.
The monthly calendar view is the best way to view the spread of habits you don’t do every day. Access it by tapping the name of the habit in the Journal view.
The user community is available from the website or right within the app. Community members have experience and ideas to share. You can get tech support or help with your habits.
Habitify Premium Features and Cost
You can pay as you go, but the best deal is the $39.99 one-time payment for a lifetime of Habitify Premium.
Either way you pay, you get these extra features that aren’t available in the free version:
- Unlimited habits
- Skip a habit to keep your record through illness or vacation
- Archive habits as you master them
- Yearly calendar
- Dark mode
- Data export for analysis
- Privacy lock (TouchID or FaceID)
- Habit notes for journaling observations on your habits
- Unlimited reminder to help you with habits that you struggle with
Alternative habit tracker apps
- Way of Life for iOS and Android. My partner has been using Way of Life for over a year now and seems to like it. You get clear green/red (pass/fail) indicators for your habits. For when you need tough love.
- Done for iOS. The main strength of this habit tracker is that it easily tracks things you want to do multiple times a day. You can track progress throughout the day on things like how many glasses of water you’ve had. This could work well in combination with Habitify.
Conclusions – Should you buy Habitify?
So should you pay for a habit tracker? If you’re just starting out and have never intentionally created a new habit, then start with a free version. But for everyone else, yes, I think it’s worth the money. Here’s why.
Think about the kinds of positive habits you’ll be able to start with the help of Habitify. Healthy actions like regular exercise, drinking enough water, or abstaining from alcohol. Think about the healthcare costs of an unhealthy lifestyle.
When you choose to add healthy habits, you’re saving yourself tens of thousands of dollars later. What’s a few dollars for an app compared to that?
Feature photo by Gemilang Sinuyudhan on Unsplash.