14 Comments
Apr 18Liked by Jeremy Caplan, Andrea Engstrom, MCLC

I have tried many many to-do and habit tracking apps, and the one I've found that I've stuck with is Strides (premium version, which if I recall is $40/year). This is for tracking my habits across many dimensions and types of habits.

For to-dos and other productivity assistance I still rely on Notes a lot for ongoing tracking; I have a Rocketbook habit for that satisfying physical act of checking a box with "paper" and ink, and I'm messing about with Notion and its various templates. I still use To-doist, but I will likely drop that one at some point this year.

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Oh, I'll have to check out Strides!

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Apr 18Liked by Andrea Engstrom, MCLC

I love that analog ("Ink on Paper") gets a shoutout!

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Same!!

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Apr 18Β·edited Apr 18Liked by Jeremy Caplan, Andrea Engstrom, MCLC

Thank you for these suggestions!

Since you asked: I use an Excel sheet that I created, using colors and fonts I really like. I am tracking 10 daily habits, and filling in the colors every day is very satisfying.

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Old school excel sheet! Love it!

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Apr 18Liked by Jeremy Caplan, Andrea Engstrom, MCLC

Dear Jeremy, thank you so much for this list.

I have tried a lot of apps to track my streaks but one thing always bothered me was, there are things that I do not want to do every day and there are things that for obvious reasons I could not do on a special day. Sometimes I feel it’s really unfair to loose a streak because I have travelled or I have been sick.

Finally I got attached and stayed with the App HabitBoard https://habitboard.app/ on iOS which gives me all I need to stay streaked πŸ˜€.

Thanks for sharing your insights and experiences!

Ralf

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The negative habit tracking in the habitboard app looks interesting, especially how they incorporated "loss aversion" theory (how most people are more sensitive to losses than to equivalent gains). I may have to give that a try!

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Apr 18Liked by Jeremy Caplan, Andrea Engstrom, MCLC

Some great apps here, but my favorite habit tool is PolarHabits, so simple and sleek.

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Polar Habits looks cool. I love that they are busting the all-or-nothing nonsense. Perfectionism ruins all good things.

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Apr 18Liked by Jeremy Caplan, Andrea Engstrom, MCLC

Great post, thanks!

What works for me is to have several layers of accountability. I won't go into detail, but I'll highlight two steps. First, I keep a chart of activities in my journal, with a space for ticks every day of the week. At the end of the week, I check the ticks as well as my journal entries, and jot down some successes/failures for the week, plus some ambitions of the next week. I then re-create the list in a new set of boxes to tick, and start the process again.

This helps me in two ways: I see which tasks/habits I'm not finding time for or not really committed to, and it shows my progress in a more realistic quantity so I don't reactively feel bad when I skip days but instead apply some thought on course correction.

I recommend a layered and paced approach, else habit-forming becomes too goal-orientated and not enough focus on the journey/mastery element that is more crucial.

Most of this is on paper, btw. I think habit apps are a waste of time (for me) as they don't occupy a tangible space in my head and are too easy to drop after a few months. Paper holds me accountable. I see the journal sitting there. I physically page through the entries. I highly recommend paper journaling as part of a habit-management system. If you rely on just one app or one technique, I doubt it will last.

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What a thoughtful, intentional, and introspective way to approach habit-building. It sounds like you've discovered the joy in the process. Have you always held that perspective or is it a skill you developed?

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Thank you! No, I developed and discovered the process over several years - I'm not intuitively drawn to it. I wouldn't say I find joy in the process (though I definitely appreciate the idea of mastery). But I can tell you I get anguish if I don't follow the process!

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Apr 19Liked by Jeremy Caplan

Analog habit tracking feels good because it’s tangible. πŸ˜‚πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ

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