A habit-tracking app is designed to help people develop good habits and achieve their goals (anything from exercising regularly to keeping in touch with family members). Likewise, it's also designed to break bad ones (such as eating fast food or smoking).
There's a wide variety of habit-tracking apps out there, but the most important thing is that you pick one that works for you. There are habit-tracking apps that have minimalist designs and are simple to use. There are apps that are more robust and highly customizable. And there are apps that are, well, unique and something in-between.
We've rounded up our favorite habit tracking apps below.
Streaks has been arguably the best habit-tracking app for iPhone users for years and years. Yes, it costs $5. And yes, it does many of the same things as other apps, such as making customize daily, weekly and monthly goals, as well as sending push notifications to remind you on your progress (or lack there of). But Streaks really has two features that set it apart. First, it integrates super well across all devices across Apple's ecosystem, including Mac and Apple Watch, and can be seamless integrated with Apple's Health app (if the habit can be tracked). And two, its robust charts and graphics give you a more detailed perspective of habit-tracking than most everything else out there.
Habit-Bull is fairly simple and easy-to-use app that requires the user to manually create the positive goals to hit, or negative goals to break, and then be honest with themself as they log them. For example, you can set daily, weekly or monthly goals of the number of times you workout, call family members, go out to dinner or even drink alcohol. It has a couple simple features, such as calendar view and the ability to set reminders. It's compatible across a number of platforms, including macOS, iOS, Android and PC.
Goalify is a slightly more sophisticated habit-tracking app (compared to the other free options, at least). It still allows you to create goals for both positive and negative habits, and has features like dashboards and reminders that motivate you to stay on top of them. But it allows has more of a social element than other habit-tracking apps, which allows you to create goals with friends and check on each person's individual progress; there's also a chat feature so you can give others that extra bit of encouragement (or snide).
Habitica isn't a conventional app because it turns habit-tracking into a type of 8-bit retro video game. You create daily and weekly goals not too dissimilar from other habit-tracking apps, but then Habitica turns it into an old Game Boy game. You play as a character that gets stronger as you hit your goals (and, likewise, you get weaker if you don't hit them). You can also get more upgrades for your character if you do well, such as improved weapons and armor. It's definitely a fun habit tracking app for people who, well, just love video games. Available on iOS, Android and the web.
Strides is a great habit-tracking app that has a clean layout and is super easy to use. It separates itself it's more robust than other apps. Specifically, it gives you four different ways to track habits. 1) You can set goals and habits based simple on "yes" or "no" (for example: Did you exercise today?). 2) You can enter a target goal over a set period of time, and Strides will show you your pacing. 3) You set a goal based on an average (for example, you want to get an average of seven hours of sleep per night). 4) Or you can set up long-term projects with pacing and specific milestones. Strides works across iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
Beeminder is a habit-tracking app that really makes you bet on yourself. You set goals for habits and if you don't hit them, the app will charge your credit card. (No, you can't make money if you hit your goals.) If you're an iPhone and Apple Watch wearer, the app syncs with Apple's Health app so it can pull data, like steps and distance, and put it towards your goal. (No need to manually enter that data.) The app is also available on Android.
Grow is a minimalist and straightforward habit-tracking app for visual learners. You set goal (or multiple) to hit and the app creates a plant that represents that goal. As you progress and get closer to your goal, the plant with grow and blossom into a beautiful tree. If you don't progress, the plant will die and you'll have to start back from a tiny stem again. Grow isn't going to blow you away with features, but it's a fun app for people who like to watch things grow.