Apps Review: Beeminder, Chains.cc, Daytum, Habitforge
Apps are everywhere these days. There’s an app to watch your weight, an app to play music, an app to check the weather; there’s probably even an app to help you tie your shoes. When it comes to helping you reach your goals, yep, there’s an app for that, too. We found four apps that can help you keep those bad habits in check and create a new, more powerful you.
Beeminder is “the safety rope for slippery slopes,” meaning this app keeps you on track to achieve your goals. How? By betting you that you can’t. Beeminder has riled up a lot of buzz both in the press and from user reviews – and it’s all good. Bet Beeminder that you’ll be able to get to bed on time, finish your work assignment, lose those extra five pounds, or save for your next trip. If you don’t complete your tasks (plotted out on a Yellow Brick Road) by the time you say you will, Beeminder keeps the amount that you bet. This app is reliable, completely free (unless you wander off the Yellow Brick Road, of course), and effective. What better way to motivate you to stick to your goal than providing a monetary incentive?
Chains acts on the premise that no one likes to get left behind. Started with Jerry Seinfeld’s “Don’t break the chain” quote, the app gives you a visual of your progress. Set a recurring goal, and every time you accomplish it (i.e. go jogging every Tuesday for one hour) you get another link added to your chain. The more you jog, the longer your chain grows. It then becomes a game against yourself – how long can you keep the chain growing until it’s broken? Available through multiple platforms, easy to use for only $2, this is a great way to stick to your goals.
Made only for the iPhone, Daytum “helps you collect, categorize and communicate your everyday data.” If you want to keep track of how many home runs your son hit over the season, how many articles you’ve written for the newspaper, or how often you get to the gym, Daytum makes it easy to track that. Although the user interface is not as clean as Chains or Beeminder and reviews have commented on the poor design, this app is free and useful once you get it started. For added security and extra features, you can sign up for the premium version, which costs just $4 a month.
Habitforge understands that it’s hard to start a new habit and stick to it, so they’ve developed this web-based app that will keep track of your progress toward your goal and help to keep you accountable to it by including you in teams or alerting friends to your success. Habitforge will send you daily emails to encourage you in your goal and ask how you did – a simple “yes” or “no” response to their email alerts them to your progress. Once you reach 21, 30, and 60 days, the app feels it’s done its job well and a habit will have been successfully broken – or created, depending on what your goal was. From there, Habitforge helps you maintain that habit you’ve worked so hard to keep. Over 100,000 people have used this app, which is free and has received tons of great user reviews.