So, for Christmas, I received a tablet. It is lovely and fits my limited needs (surfing the web, a quick email or two). But I still use the laptop for some things (typing longer texts, the Garden Planner at kgi.org).
Now, that the New Year is 3 weeks old, I felt the need to get a little more organized and thought of installing a to-do app. As I understand it, To-Do apps are the “Hello World” of apps; meaning that every tutorial and book on how to program an app uses them as their example. Consequently, there are a LOT of these apps around. I chose HabitRPG without testing any others.
I had read about HabitRPG on the interwebs (definitely on Soup.io and maybe BoingBoing.net) and I felt it was worth a try because
a) it’s free
b) it caters to my delight in checking off lists and having proof that I’m doing stuff
c) the rewards are listed too, making it much easier to say “Oh, I was such a good Fritzi today! I definitely deserve an hour of mindless internet / a new skein of wool / a frivolity of my choosing.”
I like the fact that I can differentiate between New Habits I’d like to form, daily tasks (there is an option to specify which days of the week the task needs to be done), and a to-do list with one-off or rarely reoccurring tasks (deadline optional). A task can even be comprised of several sub-tasks (for example: I can break “clean kitchen” down into “do dishes”, “wipe surfaces”, “clean stove”, and “clean floor”, checking off each sub-task as I complete it). I can determine a task’s or habit’s difficulty and am rewarded or “punished” accordingly. I can make up my own rewards and specify how many of my earned points they will cost me.
There is a social aspect to HabitRPG as well: just as many bigger MMORPGs there are guilds and groups, quests and bosses, and an inn where players come to chat and hang out. So far the only social aspect I’ve tried are the “challenges”. Anybody can make up a challenge. I’ve joined one which puts all the tasks necessary for looking after my plants on my lists. My progress is shared with all those who have also joined this challenge and, I’m guessing, there is the possibility of sharing one’s experience via chat.
I’ve installed the mobile app on my tablet and occasionally use the website (just because I like it better for editing and adding tasks).
After two days of using HabitRPG I can not say much, but I can say that it has made me more focused on working down my to-do lists and even makes me look forward to doing certain things, just because I want to feel like I’ve really earned that second cup of coffee or evening of scrolling through soup.io.
Next on my app wish-list is the Unfuck your Habitat app… simply because their website and twitter are helpful and wonderful. Maybe I can find a way to combine UFYH with HabitRPG? Will see.
Confession at the end: I love to-do lists and will sometimes put “have shower” on one just for the joy of having something to cross off. And then there are the days where having had a shower is one of my small victories of the day.