Much like task management approaches, calendar apps, or email clients, what habit tracking app you use is not something that has a “one size fits all” solution. You’ll want to look at what you want – and don’t want – in your app of choice. Do you want accountability form other users by design or by default? Do you want something incredibly robust or super simple? Do you want something that plays nice with other app or a completely isolated offering? When it comes to choosing a habit tracking app, you don’t want to spend a lot of time shopping – you should just get started.
That’s where The Productivityist Guide to Habit Tracking Apps comes in.
This guide will be updated every so often, so you’ll have the latest apps that I’ve taken a look at and evaluated. If I’ve reviewed the app, I’ll link to our review. If I haven’t then I’ll give you our impressions to help you make a more informed choice. This kind of guide serves our mandate at its core: To help you be more effective, more efficient, and better than ever.
Take a look at the guide below, where the apps are listed alphabetically. Let me know if I’ve overlooked any (remember…this is a living document and an ongoing work) and we’ll evaluate it to see if it should be added to the list in either a basic fashion (simply a mention and a link) or something more comprehensive (perhaps a review).
I hope you’ll find the habit tracking app you’re looking for…and I hope The Productivityist Guide to Habit Tracking Apps helps you do that.
Balanced offers a bit of a different approach to habit tracking in that it stores habits by category, which can work well with the mode-based approach to productivity that TimeCrafting discusses. It also seems a bit less “in your face” about things – something that might appeal to users who want to foster their habits and not feel destroyed if they don’t make them happen every day. (iOS only)
Productivityist reader Brent recommended Beeminder because it helps him by “connecting it with my iPhone location tracking to automatically track when I go to the gym, for example. I find it really motivating.” You may want to check it out.
Coach.me has perhaps the largest reach of any of the habit tracking apps we’ve looked at. Originally known as Lift, the app hasn’t just undergone a name change. It’s also had many features added since it first came on the scene. One of these additions is the ability to sign up with coaches to work on particular habits or areas of self-development. Coach.me also allows for sharing of habits in order to create better accountability or you can make your habits private so only you can see your progress. If you’re looking for a habit tracking app available on the web, iOS, and Android – and one that has staying power – then you’ll want to explore Coach.me. (Multiple platforms)
Commit was created by Nathan Barry and he used it to help him hit his daily writing goal. Commit is simple and is ideal for those who want to hit a specific goal every single day. It does have constraints, but often constraints can lead to more freedom when viewed properly. This app won’t be for everyone, but for those that want a daily driving force for a habit (or multiple habits), you’d be hard-pressed to find something more suitable than Commit.
Exist – This app takes the information you enter and creates different forms of graphics from it. For example, it shows how long you have slept, the amount of steps you have walked, the weather, and even your current mood. (Web-based, Android and iOS)
Go F—ing Do It
Simply put, this web-based service propels you to your goals through the use of inverse financial motivation. Don’t complete the goal (or keep up with the habit)? It costs you…cash. (Web-based)
Good Habits is a clean, beautiful, simple app that is based on the “Don’t Break The Chain” approach used by Jerry Seinfeld. (iOS only)
Habit Bull this app allows you to list out the habits you want to achieve and then shows you how you are doing with charts and graphs. This app offers more features than most so it allows the user to dive deeper into the habits if desired. If you would like to keep things simple, you could do this as well but you will likely not utilize the many available features. (iOS or Android)
HabitClock is a fairly new app that allows you to build morning routines, and you can do those for both yourself or for your kids. We wouldn’t suggest you have your kids install this app on their iOS device (should they have one), but you can create a routine for them on your device and act as a coach for them as they work their way through their morning routine. (iOS only)
Habit List is an iOS only habit tracking app that looks gorgeous and offers statistics that keep you moving in the right direction with your habits. (iOS only)
Habitica This app is perfect for any gamers. It treats habit building as if you are a character in an role playing game.(Web-based, iOS or Android)
This app takes a rather unique approach to tracking habits.
irunurun is an app that makes habit tracking competitive. It tracks the number of habits you achieve during the week and then ranks you against your friends and allows you to look back at your history to see the progress you’ve made. (Web-based or iOS. Android version is in development.)
Joe’s Goals – A simple, web-based app that helps you track goals and habits. If you are looking for a habit tracker with tons of features, this isn’t it as there is no mobile version available. However, this easy to use, no download required web app will work well for someone who wants to get up and running in just a couple minutes. (Web-based)
This is an app that will jive nicely not only with habits, but with productivity approaches as well – even The NOW Year Approach. Lifetick is very robust but is a web-based app – even on mobile devices – so keep that in mind. (Web-based)
Momentum – not be confused with the Chrome extension – is a new entry on the scene and if you’re looking for a habit tracking app that has a decent amount of features then you’ll want to check it out. Want to check out our review? Here’s the review conducted by Lee Garrett. (iOS/Apple Watch only)
Productivityist Weekly reader Stacey suggested this addition. “At first, I was a little confused about how to use both Balanced and Productive, but have worked that out for my situation. Love the look of both of these apps.” Turns out Productive is from the makers of Balance (iOS only/ In-App Purchases Available)
Reporter App – This app focuses on the things you care about. The main feature is a list that shows you a snapshot of information about your life: the weather, your location, how loud your environment is, number of steps taken, and number of photos you have added to your device. (iOS only)
Productivityist reader Tim says: “Streaks is my current go to habits app. Its simple, deliberately only tracks 6 apps and works for me better than any others for various reasons….” (iOS only, Android forthcoming)
Strides – A list-based habit tracking app that is simple, clean and organized. With the use of colors in this app you can quickly see where you are successful and what areas need more work. (iOS only)
We wouldn’t have thought about adding a more conventional task management app to this guide, but ATTN: weekly email subscriber Darren mentioned that “they’ve added a habit app and it’s pretty basic but with all their other features it’s a pretty good overall app.” Well said, Darren. Consider Toodledo added to the mix!
Way of Life
Way of Life – This app breaks down habits into small blocks which represent days. If you are successful, the bar is green. If you do not achieve your habit, it is marked red. This makes it very easy to notice any trends. (iOS only)