The Habit Apps

Well they are three weeks late, but goals for 2014 are done and on paper.  Some are updates from last year (more hours volunteering) and others are new habits to start up (like meditating).

In case you missed it – I’m on the go – a lot.  So I’ve already got calendars and to-do lists settled into my apps (I dream of an app that will handle both but my to-do lists are little too complicated for most of those combo apps).

I put the goals and the related to-dos into the to-do app (ToodleDo in case you’re wondering), but the new habits had me searching out a new app.  I didn’t want to clutter up my to-do list to track new habits – which are mostly just repeating tasks.  My to-do list can do without a daily task for journaling – or the more complicated exercise 4 times a week.

So I sought out some of the free apps for the iPhone.  And what I came back with were three that looked like they had potential – Way of Life, TraxIt All and Habit Factor.  What I was looking for was an app that could:

  • sync across my ipad and iphone
  • track specific goals regardless of time frame (not everything is daily, some of it is weekly)
  • let me see how well I’m doing in a pretty quick easy and easy fashion
  • let me give myself gold stars – a little healthy praise is good to reinforce habits

Here’s what I found out when I tried each fo the apps.

Way of Life

–       Pros –

  • has a really nice interactive walk-through set up.
  • Gives you a pretty good list to start from to choose habits,
  • updating is very easy,
  • the trend charts are pretty nice
  • Color code of red or green
  • Will let you go back if you miss a day
  • Let’s you have “skip” days
  • Gives you a note section

–       Cons –

  • the free version limits you to 3 things (cost of full app is $4.99),
  • doesn’t let me get specific to my goal – like writing that I want to do three days a week
  • it will only let you start from the day you put the goal in (so last week’s trips to the gym don’t count)

–       Trends

  • Shows you both reds and greens, or just greens
  • Leaves out the skips
  • Let’s you have a trend line
  • Can change from #’s to percentages (good for those skips)

–       Share your results with twitter, Facebook

TraxIt All

–       Pros –

  • integrates a to-do list for items that you are working on (a bit like a journal entry),
  • allows you to categorize your goals/habits, – even create custom categories,
  • lets you be really specific to your goal (counts, time frames, specific 2 x a day or you want to be higher than – more than 3 times a week or less than – example less than ### of calories);
  • lets you see the yes/no to different features (like smiley/frown face, check mark and x or star and x for those of us who need gold stars);
  • will let you start tracking from whenever you want;
  • has a spot for notes

–       Cons –

  • just throws you right in,
  • interface is a little too basic (it’s not visually appealing),
  • reports are also a little basic,
  • the tracking is a Monday start week (not a calendar week)

–       Sharing – via email or Facebook

Habit Factor Lite

–       Pros –

  • cool motivational quotes,
  • breaks it up to goals and habits and you can related your habits back to your goals,
  • gives you a habit tracking period, (it doesn’t want you to keep track of it forever
  • has some basic categories set up for you
  • allows you to put comments for tracking

–       Cons –

  • full version is $6.99,
  • can’t back date (last week’s trips to the gym don’t count here either)
  • setting up habits is confusing – I wanted to set up exercise 3x a week and instead somehow turned it into 41 days – it made me select specific days that might do it in order to get the number down,
  • not designed for ipad (or at least the graphics look a bit horrible)
  • can’t change dates for goals

–       Sharing via Twitter, or Facebook

–       Based on the book the Habit Factor

After playing around for a few days – the winner ended up being Trax-It All. The way the habit tracking is set up is much more of what I had in mind.  Habit Factor’s was way too complex to actually set up a simple habit but the concepts were really good so I added the book to my reading list.  Way of Life was much more visually appealing and the reports were the best I saw but the tracking wasn’t specific enough.   I’m not sure why these apps think I have the need to share my new habits but they all had that feature while NONE of them had the sync I wanted.

Given all that, for now, Trax-It all is now my go-to spot to give myself all the gold stars and smiley faces I can earn.   And I’m adding another to-do to check out apps two months from now to see if there’s anything better. So a 🙂 and gold star for me for improving my organization today!

About AngelaMWrites

mom-of-two, fan-of-non-profits, can't-sit-still-for-long-kind-of-girl
This entry was posted in Keeping Healthy, The Business of Keeping House and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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