Last month, I had the most amazing family vacation in Florida. For the first time in several years, I was able to kick back, relax with my loved ones and forget about the daily grind that would await me on my return home.
Vacations are not all good news, however. When I returned to normal life, I found it incredibly difficult to back into my routine. My 5am starts were gone and if I got out of bed by 6am, I’d consider that a great effort. The desire to exercise had fallen by the wayside. My reading had dropped off and the less said about the lack of writing, the better.
I needed help, so when I was asked to review Momentum, I jumped at the chance. I’d played about with habit tracking applications in the past yet never found one that I considered to be sustainable.
Until now that is.
Momentum is a simple, yet powerful habit tracker for iOS that helps you reach your goals with the minimum of effort.
Once downloaded, you are presented with your Calendar. This is actually the only piece of the app that I am not keen on as all of the date are grey in colour (I really don’t like grey!). I see this as a potential positive, however, as there is more of an incentive for me to complete habits on those days and turn them green! Clicking off a habit is extremely simple. Once they are set up, all habits appear in a horizontal scroll bar at the top of the screen. Simply scroll to the habit you have completed and tick the date it was completed (turning the date that magical green colour!). Of course, the goal here is to try and complete a streak of dates and thankfully the developers have made ticking the habits off a simple process as opposed to a chore.
Below the Calendar are two tabs, one for Calendar (which always brings you back to this screen) and one called My Habits. This is where you will set your habits up when you first load the app, as well as maintain them in the future.
The option is there to configure how often the habit should repeat. At the moment, all of mine are daily, however I may look to tweak this to allowing me the weekend off for some of them in the future. Reminders can be set if you feel you really need a nudge (my 5am rising habit has a reminder set at 5:10am just in case I’m struggling for whatever reason!) and you can also set yourself a weekly target to measure yourself against.
You can also look at suggestions for alternative habits by clicking the Tips option to the right hand side of the Name entry field. Here, you will find ideas like Eat more vegetables, Sleep by midnight, Keep a journal and Meditate.
The free version of the application allows you to track three habits, whereas the Premium version allows for an unlimited number. At the time of writing, this was £1.99 ($2.99).
Like most productivity applications hitting the market, there is an Apple Watch version as well and best of all, this one is very useful to have. Yes, there is the occasional slow loading time whilst it is loaded on the phone, to then pull through to the watch, however once it is there, you have the ability to scroll through your daily habits, mark them as complete or skip them entirely. There is certainly room for it to develop further when Watch OS2 arrives, however in the meantime it is a nice complimentary addition to the iOS app.
Further configuration options come in the form of an App Badge, which shows the number of habits you currently have outstanding, Sounds/Vibration alerts, various date parameters as well as a Daily Reminder that can give you an overview as to how much progress you are making. You can also Export your habit records to a CSV file, which can be a handy feature.
Overall, I’m quite impressed with Momentum. The developers have done a great job in packing a lot of features into a simple interface, which is one of the biggest challenges for a productivity application. The features you would count on in a habit tracking application are all present and correct and the addition of regular reminders is vital until your habits become automatic. There could have been slight improvements to the overall presentation, but that could just be myself being harsh and always on the look-out for applications that are aesthetically pleasing. What, in my opinion, Momentum lacks in looks it more than makes up for with ease of use and functionality.
I’ve used it daily since I first logged onto it and I’ve already got ideas for the next habit stack I’m going to putting on there. It’s now an essential part of my workflow and for that, Momentum gets full marks from me. Here’s a link so you can check out Momentum.
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