Friday, June 17, 2016

Motivate yourself to do anything with Habitica

A few weeks ago, I found myself less than enthused about once again washing dishes. Or replying to emails. Or doing just about anything except lying on the couch watching Downton Abbey on Netflix. But, alas, I had fired my housemaid (she was stealing pearls), and my executive assistant was on vacation (the ingrate--can you believe she wants a week off every year?), so I had to get off my rear and get some things done.

Whilst my elbows were dripping with suds, I concocted an app I'd love to have: a "game" that awards you xp and levels you up based on marking things off your to-do list. Confession: I'm a gamer girl at heart, even if I haven't had time to game since before the toddler was born.

An inquiry (also know as a tweet) gave me a few likely candidates, and after test running them for you (yes, I do this all for you, our loyal readers), I decided that MY LIFE IS NOW COMPLETE. The app we all need to start using is...

Look at me, in all my mage glory:

That's right, I'm wearing my badass mage suit, riding a Shade Flying Pig, and standing behind my Skeleton Bear pet. (The ZZZ over my head is because I camped in the Tavern overnight, which I'll get to in a minute.)

There are a ton of features that I haven't even dipped into yet, like guilds, parties, quests, boss fights. But even without those things, this app gave me exactly what I needed. It works like this:

You assign yourself tasks based on one of three categories: Habits, Dailies, and To-Dos.

  • Habits are things you want to do over and over throughout the day/week (i.e. drink a glass of water, write X words). The more you do it, the less xp you get but the more gold you get. They turn from yellow to green to greener to blue the more often you do them. You can also schedule stuff you don't want to do and give yourself a "-" every time you do it, which knocks off health.
  • Dailies are things you want to do on a regularly scheduled basis (i.e. floss your teeth every day, review/update your short story submission spreadsheet once a week). If you don't check it off, you'll take a hit of damage overnight. If you want to preserve your dailies, you can camp in the Tavern. I usually don't, but right now I'm having some health issues & can't get to all my chores.
  • To-Dos are one-time things that you need to get done. You can assign a due date or leave it blank. The longer something sits on the To-Do list, the more xp you get for getting it done, but it also turns an angry shade of red. And then an angrier one. *guilty look*

How you use this is completely up to you. Maybe you want to write 1,000 words every day, so you could make that a Daily. For me, I made it a Habit since I go in spurts where I write/revise intensely over a few weeks and then take a break.

For each task, you add how difficult the task is, which governs how much xp you get: Trivial, Easy, Medium, Hard. I try to stay with Easy and Medium. (And why do they even have Trivial? "Ate 1 grape." "Washed one dish." But I suppose it has its use--I won't discourage you from using it!)

Another great feature is that you can add categories. So I have a bunch of Writing tasks, Chore tasks, Morrigan (the toddler) tasks, Adulting tasks, etc. Then if I want to check off getting 1,000 words written, I open my Writing Habits and come up with three tasks instead of a long list:

For me, motivation comes by having a list I can use to ensure I'm am not forgetting important stuff and by getting to click that big old "+" sign when I'm done. However, as I mentioned earlier, there are options for socializing for those who benefit from a boost from their friends. I'd love to figure out parties someday and maybe go on some of the quests I've accumulated, but I've kept myself too busy to get to that yet!

I know for sure that Habitica is available on their website and as an Android app. I don't have an iPhone, so I don't know if it's available there, but I would be quite surprised if it wasn't. Go check it out. I'll wait.

*waits patiently*

There are things I'd like to see added to the app, primarily the ability to see what I've already checked off in my Habits and what I haven't. (I suspect I've double-credited myself for doing things more than once.) The website also has more features than the app, but I carry my phone everywhere, so I'm rarely on the website. I'd like to see some of the website features added to the app, but still, it's great how it is now and serves my purposes.

We all struggle with motivation sometimes, and this just gives me a boost to get things done. When I get off track (like this week, with my back problems), it helps me focus myself to get things under control. You can use it for writing or chores or whatever it is you need motivation for.

Tell me in the comments -- Have you ever used an app like this before?


  1. I use it on my iPhone. It's fun! I use it to keep track of trivial things like "did I take my vitamin today?" and I swear getting XP for doing things on my to-do list motivates me to get them done quicker.
    Sorry your maid stole your pearls. Good help is so hard to find these days.

    1. Same. I have a Morrigan list for things to remember to do for her, like q-tipping her ears regularly. I mean, I'm sure I did it before, but now I have a reminder, without having to add it to my google calendar.

  2. That's awesome! I shall look into this.

    1. Hope it helps you as much as it helps me!

  3. You could be qualified to get a Apple iPhone 7.


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