A lot of us begin each new year with a list of things we want to accomplish. More often than not, this list includes breaking old habits and creating new ones. But to our disappointment, we also have a habit of not following through. Let's face it, change is always hard, but there are many things you can do to help you get of any rut and using a habit tracker app is one example.
"What gets measured gets managed." – Peter Drucker
A habit tracker is any tool with which you define your habits and track how successful you are at acquiring new ones and getting rid of old ones. This can be any old gadget but, nowadays, habit trackers often come in app form. These tools were carefully designed based on what we know about habits – their biology, neurology, and psychology.
Habit formation is a process by which new behaviors become automatic, and this doesn't happen overnight. In fact, some studies found it takes over 2 months to form a new habit. So, changing your habits is difficult and lengthy process.
However, when you're aware of your day-to-day habits, your chances of eliminating bad ones and integrating good ones become greater.
While there are other ways to track your habits, apps provide unique benefits not seen in other modes of tracking, planning, and habit building. Here are some of those benefits explained.
Most of us keep our phones close at all times. There's no better way to get reminded of things you should or shouldn't be doing than with a handy app on your favorite device.
Most habit trackers are able to sync with other devices and come with integrated features that makes staying organized and on track a peace of cake.
Accountability is something that helps many of us become better people with better habits. You'll see that many habit trackers come with social features to help you reach a goal together instead alone.
Apps are fun to use, and your chances of developing a good habit is always greater when you're having fun along the way.
There are countless habit trackers out there competing for your attention. You can easily get lost in the ever-growing sea of mobile apps, and not all of these apps are good. That's why we've made this list of the top 21 habit trackers to pick and choose.
This app allows you to measure and track almost anything and everything. Use it to start tracking bad habits like smoking or spending too much time on social media as well as good habits like exercising. The app helps you follow a schedule, keep track of your goals, and get notified when you need to get something done.
A free tool that helps you build life-changing habits. This app lets you plan and schedule a routine on an easy-to-use interface, set smart reminders, and get insightful feedback. If you want a simple app for your iPhone or Apple Watch, Productive is a great option.
Free ($3.99 for a monthly premium)
Habitica takes a unique approach to habit formation. It's designed liked a classic role-playing game with the goal of making your character powerful by enforcing good habits and killing bad ones. Another great feature of Habitica is that it has an optional community feature to help keep your accountable for forming good habits.
The New York Times called Strides "the most comprehensive, user-friendly, beautifully designed goal tracking app available."It has reminders to hold you accountable and charts to keep you motivated. Available on iPhone, iPad, and the We, this app is free for up to seven goals/habits at a time. For more, you can upgrade to Strides Plus and get other features like backup and sync, tags and filters, and data export.
Free (Strides Plus $4.99)
Unlike other apps of its kind, Done lets you track your goal multiple times a day instead of just once. The app is customizable with daily reports and the option to export your data in CSV format; however, this is only available if you purchase the premium version.
Wrapped in a beautiful and intuitive interface, Habit List includes everything you need to reach your goals: it motivates you with streaks, it helps you stay on track with reminders and badges, and it tracks your progress with weekly or monthly completion percentages.
Free (premium version $3.99)
According to the creators of Acrou, by its simplicity this app allows you to focus on things that matter. The idea behind Acrou is to let its users create proper routines and repeat them every day until they become habits. This app lets you review your own performance, repeat the intentions, and mark them as done simultaneously.
Free (premium version $3.99)
Goalify works just like other habit tracking apps, except that it lets you pause your habits when needed. It has a clean and easy-to-use interface and features a task dashboard to help you stay organized. You can track up to three habits under free subscription. Paid subscription also features group chats, personalized reports, and more.
Not your average habit tracker. Fabulous is a science-based app with a focus on helping people improve their health and well-being. Among many other things, this beautifully designed app will help you learn to build a transformative morning routine, start yoga, and practice mindfulness meditation. However, quality comes with a price and you can get this app for a monthly subscription.
Free for one week ($14.99 monthly)
Flora is an app designed to help you stay focused, be more productive, and reach your goals. The app works like a game. Whenever you and friends want to focus and avoid distractions from your smartphones, plant a seed using Flora. If you're successful at this, the seed will gradually grow into a healthy tree. But if you (or anyone from your group) fails by overusing their phone, the tree will die. So, if you can't put down your phone but want to, Flora is your app.
Free (In-app purchases for $0.99)
Featured in TechCrunch, Business Insider, and Forbes as an award-winning meditation app. Simple Habit Meditation is great app for busy people to help them learn how to reduce stress, learn how to relax, and sleep better. Research shows that meditation has many benefits for people under lots of stress. And what's best, it only takes 5 minutes of meditation a day to get these benefits.
Streaks lets you track up to twelve tasks daily, and the goal is to build a streak of consecutive days. A really great thing about Streaks is that it can read data from the Health app to check if you've completed a task. If you want a simple to-do-list for your habits, then let this app track your behavior streaks.
If you like checking things off of a to-do list, then this simple app is a good option. Loop is a free app with a simple design and intuitive setup. A really great thing about it is that there are no pop-ups or adds to help you stay focused. Weekly and monthly progress is displayed in checklist and a chart form. Notification settings are also flexible.
Recommended by The New York Times, The Guardian, and Forbes, among others. There's no limit to what Way of Life can monitor. From eating and exercising habits to your smartphone use and sleep hygiene. Way of Life lets you export your habit data to a CSV or Excel file. Track goals over long periods and share your progress on social media. The more information you collect, the more you'll be able to pick up on trends in your life.
In a faced paced world full of distraction, Morning Routine promises to help you live a more fulfilling life. The concept behind this app is to start each day with activities of your choosing and that make you feel good. The app helps you set timers for each habit you want to build and tell you what you need to concentrate on.
Free (Premium $15.83)
An app that you likely already have on your Android phone can also be used for tracking goals and habits. This feature is built into the Google Calendar app and is completely free. Define your goal, choose how often you plan to repeat a task, how long you think you'll take to achieve it, and select the time of the day or week you want to get it done.
7 Weeks is based on Charles Duhigg's bestselling book entitled "The Power of Habit" as well as the X effect method of completing goals. When you complete a day successfully, you simply mark the day as complete. The app can help you boost your motivation, willpower, and discipline, and it comes with custom alarms, a beautiful interface, flexible weekly goals, and customization options for each habit.
Coach.me breaks down large goals into smaller ones to help you stay motivated. Whether your goals are personal, health, relationships, or skills-related, this app can help build better habits to achieve those goals. The app was designed based on the latest research on psychology and behavior. We are huge fans of Carol Dweck, Daniel Kahneman and BJ Fogg.
8fit is designed for those of us who want to improve our health and fitness. So, whether your goal is to lose weight, gain weight, eat healthy, or get fit, this app will help you build better habits that will bring you closer to those goals. 8fit works like your personal trainer and includes quick workout routines and a healthy meal planner.
Inspired by Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret, and that involves checking each day on your calendar when you complete a task. The goal is to get a long chain and to not break it. You can choose daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. All goals are listed on the home screen. You can sort them by date, frequency, and by name. You can export all data to Google Drive or import to any device.
HabitHub lets you set daily reminders and it provides graphs that help you stay motivated in reaching any type of goal. HabitHub sends you motivational quotes in the morning to keep you motivated. Like with many habit tracking and building apps, the goal is to get a long streak of days for the habit.
iOS (coming soon) and Android
If you have a bad habit that's sabotaging your way to success or have an idea what good habit you should develop, then try out using habit trackers. While these apps don't guarantee that you'll finally quit procrastinating, smoking, or spending too much time on Facebook, they can make things easier. Many habit trackers also put more focus on creating positive habits, which can be just as difficult. Whatever your goal for the year is, know that there's a habit tracker that can make reaching it a bit easier.