If you're not tracking your habits, you're missing out on a powerful motivation tool. HabitHub is a fantastic app that can track your habits, remind you to stay on top of them and provide some great charts showing your progress.
Platform: Android Price: Free/$US4.99 ($6) Download Page
- Track up to five habits for free, unlimited for $US4.99 ($6)
- Set daily habit targets or a certain number of times per week
- Schedule reminders for the days and times you want to tackle your habits
- See success chains, even for non-consecutive habits as long as you meet your quota
- View several graphs and charts to track your progress over time
- Add rewards you can "earn" by accumulating points for completing habits
- Backup and sync data with Dropbox
- Premium unlocks widgets, PIN lock and CSV export
Where It Excels
There are a ton of different strategies to build a new habit. You can try the streak method where you focus on not breaking the chain, or you can use a cue-routine-reward system to give yourself a reason to get into the habit every day. HabitHub does an excellent job of helping everyone, no matter what method works for you.
You can quickly add new habits and rewards with the big Plus button on HabitHub's home page. Simply add a name, a longer description if you want and pick a schedule for your habit. You can choose a daily habit, like drinking water, or you can use a more flexible schedule. For example, if you want to start working out, you can aim for three times a week. As long as you reach your goal three times within a seven-day period, HabitHub will count it as a success.
Over time, HabitHub will generate graphs to show your progress. You can see your "habit strength" which calculates how often you reach goals, versus the times that you skip your habits. The "punch card" view shows which days you're most active for each habit, and a history chart shows your streaks over time.
Where It Falls Short
For data nerds and anyone who likes the streak method, HabitHub is great, however, its design is very clinical. Compared to apps like Habitica which gamify your habits, it's very dry. It can sometimes feel like you're doing extra paperwork on top of trying to build a habit. If you'd rather get something simpler without all the bells and whistles, you can find some alternatives in the competition section below.
The paid version is also a little pricey. Fortunately, most users can get by with the free version, but if you'd like to choose a different theme, use homescreen widgets or track more than five habits, you'll need to shell out $US5 ($6). That's not the most expensive app in the world, but habit trackers are pretty common and you can find dozens that are cheaper. If you go premium, you should be sure you need it.
HabitBull (Free/$US5 [$6]) feels so similar to HabitHub that they could almost be clones. Unlike HabitHub, HabitBull has an iOS counterpart as well, so you can use it on both platforms. However, it also comes with a lot of extra junk. For example, HabitBull includes links to forums where other people are discussing their habits by default. You also get something called "Funny notifications" by default which are entirely unnecessary. HabitBull's premium version — which gets you data backup, multiple device syncing and up to 100 habits — is just as expensive as HabitHub, while being more limited, though you can save a little if you don't care about exporting data to CSV.
Loop (Free) is an open source app that's totally, 100 per cent free and much simpler than the alternatives on this list. You can set a simple goal, check in each day to confirm you did it and see a few charts that track your progress. It doesn't have rewards and it can't sync between devices, but you can create backups without paying extra. You can even import data from apps like HabitBull if you want to try it out without losing your progress.
Habitica (Free), formerly known as HabitRPG, has been a favourite around Lifehacker for a while. Instead of a traditional charts-and-calendars approach, Habitica turns you into a character in role-playing game. Completing your real-life habits gives you XP and builds your character. However, Habitica also aims to be your to-do list, and it doesn't have the same flexibility for building habits that aren't daily routines. Some might find it lacking, but it's undoubtedly the most fun habit app we've looked at.
Lifehacker's App Directory recommends the best applications and tools across multiple platforms.