The 8 Best Habit Tracking Apps in 2019


– Hey what is up guys? So in today’s video we’re
gonna be taking a look at one of my favorite types
of apps in the entire world, the humble habit tracker. This very simple type of app helps you to build strong habits or break bad ones by leveraging what’s been called the don’t break the chain strategy. For some reason when our brains see that we have done something
for a long period of time or haven’t done something for the same long period of time, we don’t wanna break the chain, we don’t wanna break the pattern. So essentially a habit tracker
just lets you check off whether or not you’ve done
something every single day and over time you get a visual
indication of your progress and that keeps you motivated to keep progressing in
the right direction. Now since habit trackers are very simple, they’re also not that difficult to make in comparison to other apps and as a result there are
a ton of them out there whether you’re on iOS, Android, or just looking for a web app version. So what we’re gonna do today
is I’m gonna share my picks for the top eight habit trackers that deserve your attention here in 2019. And for an app to make my list, it has to do something beyond just letting you check off
whether or not you did a habit, it has to bring something
unique to the table and without further ado let’s just jump into the
number eight pick on my list which is called Habitify. Now Habitify makes my list
because it is very well designed. In fact, across all the apps
that I tested for this video, I found Habitify’s
combination of simplicity and really nice UI to be at least the most
attractive to my eyes and in addition to that
it is also cross-platform, you’re gonna find it
on Android, iOS, iPad, and there’s even a Mac app as well. Additionally, you’re gonna
find features like a dark mode, lots of fancy charts and
graphs to track your progress and if you are an iOS person, you’re gonna find Apple watch apps, a widget for your iPhone home screen, even an iMessage app as well which I have not seen in any
other app that I’ve looked at. Next up on my list is
an app called HabitHub which gains the distinction of being the only Android
exclusive app to make this list. Now a lot of the other apps I’m gonna talk about in a
little bit have Android versions but this is the only Android exclusive so if you’re an Android
person and you wanna lord it over your iPhone friends that you got an app that they can’t use, well this is probably the one that you’re gonna wanna pick. HabitHub also has a really nice design and it has a couple of other features that I really enjoyed as well including the ability to have
goals for your habit streaks so you can do things like
having a 30-day challenge and the ability to mark a habit as skipped instead of just failed. So if you had a business trip or you found yourself
sick for some reason, you could mark something as skipped, you could add a note to it to
explain why you had to skip it and you’re gonna get a visual indication of it being skipped
rather than just failed or not marked altogether. That brings us to number six
on the list which is TickTick and TickTick isn’t really a
purpose-built habit tracker, it’s actually a full-fledged
task management/to-do app that is very similar to Todoist and I actually talked about it in my video on the best task
management apps since 2019 which you’ll find linked
in description down below if you haven’t seen that but now they have actually integrated a habit tracker into the app
and for a really long time, I’ve been getting questions
from all kinds of people asking me, Tom is there a
task management app out there that also integrates a habit tracker and for the longest time, my answer to that question has been no or at least I don’t know of one. But now TickTick has filled that void so if you wanna have your task management and your habit tracking
living in one place, in the same app, on the same screen, TickTick is gonna be what
you probably wanna go with for both of those purposes. Now if you are one of those people who wants a little bit more complexity in your habit tracking, then you might want to pay attention to number five on my
list which is Beeminder. And yes, I’ve talked about Beeminder many, many times in this channel, it was most recently profiled in my video on apps that force you to work so I’m not gonna talk
too much about Beeminder but in case you haven’t heard of it, it is an app that allows
you to essentially put money on the line to
ensure that you do your habits and in addition to that financial
incentive part of the app, there is just a lot of data in Beeminder. You can look at all these
crazy charts and graphs, you can see all of your data points, you can get really,
really nerdy with this app and it also holds the
distinction of being the app that can pull in data from
the largest amount of sources that I’ve ever seen. It can pull on Apple health data, it can pull on data from all kinds of other quantified self-apps and it can even connect up to IFTTT which can basically let you
pull data from literally any other service in the world that you can probably think of through some weird
combination of home automation Python scripts and whatever it is you programming nerds
like to build out there, you can probably use it to
shove data into Beeminder. But let’s say for a
second that all that data is not the top priority for you because you are a person of culture, you are a person who prides
and values aesthetics over everything else. Well if that is the case
and if you have an iPhone ’cause the one we’re gonna talk about here is an iOS exclusive, then you may want to look
at number four on the list which is called Today. Today is a beautiful app, in fact, it might even be a little bit
too beautiful for my taste. In fact, the reason that
it’s not a little bit higher on this list is because I feel some of the aesthetics get in the way of using the app really
quickly and efficiently. That being said, it is a
very capable habit tracker under the hood in addition
to all the nice design and UI and it even packs in
some features for free that other apps charge you
monthly subscription fee for. Now of course you can do all the basics, you can add habits,
you can check them off, you can do multiple check-ins per day but you can also set specific
covers for your habits so you get that nice little
splash screen for each one and one thing that I’d really like is that for each habit you can add what are called custom cards
to the data area for the habit and well, it can’t pull
in your Apple health data to actually hold your feet to
the fire like Beeminder can, so you can’t do something
like having a walking goal and then pulling in your
steps data to check it off or not check it off, you
can add in Apple health data for some extra context for your habits which is a really nice touch. Plus Today is just pretty,
did I mention that? All right, I will stop
gushing about Today’s design. Let’s move on to number three on the list which is and I
didn’t put it on there ’cause it rhymes though that
is a nice little coincidence. So is actually
the first habit tracker that I ever used back when I was using it, it was called Lift, though it has since rebranded to and as you might imagine there is now a coaching
component to the app and that is actually what
makes it pretty unique. Now at its core, is
a very capable habit tracker, you can add in your habits,
you can check them off, there’s nice high-five
animations sometimes but there’s also a big community
element to the app as well both in the form of coaching and in the form of a simple
community with discussions. So for any habit that
you add to your list, if it is a common habit, there’s probably gonna be questions and discussion threads for those
questions from other users. You can use that to get tips
and additional motivation. If that discussion area
isn’t enough for you, you can also go over to the
coaching section of the app which is where it gets its namesake and for a lot less money than I’ve seen in almost any other coaching venue that I’ve come across online, you can get personalized
check-ins with coaches for basically any habit
that you’re trying to build or goal that you’re trying to achieve. Now if I had to guess, I
would say you probably get a little less personalized attention, a little less time than you’d
get with an actual coach but a lot of people don’t need a ton of personalized attention, a lot of people don’t need to pay $60 for an hour of a coach’s time. Some people just need to be able to check in with somebody
a couple of times a week and just have someone
there to keep them on track and that’s the need that this app fills. All right, homestretch baby, we are on to number two on the list and it is what has been
my favorite habit tracker, my habit tracker of choice
for a very long time, it’s called Strides
and it is unfortunately an iOS exclusive once again but hey, the Android people got HabitHub so you can’t complain too much, right? So at least on the surface,
I would say that Strides is pretty similar to Habitify. Both have really clean professional UIs, both are very fast, they’re
snappy, they are a joy to use. But where Habitify is
a little bit more rigid in the types of goals that
you can set up and track, Strides is more flexible, it
has some additional options for the types of habits that
you can set up within it. For one, you can set up street goals which are great for things
like 30-day challenges and you can also set goals
to be either yes or no, did you do them, did you not, or based on a certain quantity of things, so if you wanna take
like 10,000 steps a day, you could actually type in that number if you really wanted to but the feature that I
like the most about Strides and this is something that I have not seen in any other habit
tracker that I’ve tested is the ability to track an
average for a specific habit. So if you want to make sure you’re not playing too many
hours of video games each week or you wanna just track
the number of times you go to the gym which you don’t have a
specific goal for it, this is a great feature and I love it. But not as much as I love the
number one app on this list which is of course Habitica. In my humble opinion, Habitica goes beyond all other habit trackers out there because instead of just
letting you track your habits, it lets you turn your life
into a bonafide video game. Habitica is basically an RPG with habit tracking elements built in and instead of just working on yourself, you’re working on yourself while also building up
a character in the game that can go on quests
and party up with people and get mounts and all kinds of gear and all kinds of fun stuff. Now I will readily admit that I am a nerd and not everyone out there is a nerd, maybe you’re not a nerd. – Nerd! – So Habitica is not for everyone, there’s a lot going on in that game, there’s all kinds of stats and buffs and all kinds of crazy stuff which is why I made this list. There’s seven other picks on
the list that you could go for if you want something a
little bit more simple but in my experience, all
of the gamification elements that are built in to Habitica
are really, really motivating. If you get into the game, then you really don’t want
to fail on your habits ’cause you’re trying to build up some gold to get a new piece of gear
or you’re trying to level up so you can actually cast
more powerful spells or, and I think this is the
most genius part of Habitica, you can actually party
up with other people, real-life humans, and you can go on quests and fight bosses together and
when you are fighting a boss, at the end of each day that
boss is going to attack you and it will never damage you unless somebody in your party
fails to do their habits or if they mark off a negative habit like smoking a cigarette
or eating junk food. If people don’t stick to what
they’re supposed to be doing, everyone in the group gets hurt and if you run out of health and die, you actually lose a piece of gear so there’s this great
accountability element to Habitica that a lot of other habit
trackers just don’t have. Plus in contrast to a lot of the other habit tracking apps out there, all the core habit tracking functionality in Habitica is free. If you get really into the game, you can buy gems for certain purposes or you can actually donate
directly to the team if you want but all of the habit tracking features, those don’t cost anything to use and this is something that I
really respect about Habitica. That and the fact that I can put a pair of steampunk goggles
and a top hat on my character. Now no matter which habit
tracker you do choose to go with, one habit that should probably be on it is taking some time to do some
independent learning each day and that’s something
that you can easily do with the daily challenges
feature on Brilliant. Each day new challenges are posted that can test and stretch
your problem-solving skills in areas like calculus,
physics, computer science, statistics, astronomy, and much more. And if a particular problem
piques your interest, you’ll also find dozens of
full-fledged in-depth courses in Brilliant’s course library that can improve your
knowledge even further. Each course uses the
principle of active learning to help you learn as
effectively as possible while keeping your level of
interest high at the same time so if you want to start boosting
your problem-solving skills on a daily basis which can
help improve your job prospects and even help you become more creative, then head over to and sign up for free. Free account gets you access to new daily challenges every single day and if you do decide to go for
their premium subscription, you’re gonna get access to their entire daily challenges archive with lots more problems
to sink your teeth into and all their in-depth courses as well. Plus if you’re one of the
first 200 people to sign up using that link which you’ll find down in the description below you’re also gonna get 20% off that annual premium subscription. Huge thanks as always
goes out to Brilliant for sponsoring this video and being a big supporter of my channel and thank you to you as well for watching. If you enjoyed this video,
hit that like button to get subscribed right there so you don’t miss out on
future ones when they come out. And you can also click right there to get a free copy of my book
on how to earn better grades if you haven’t done so already. Or if you are perhaps in the mood to watch more videos here on YouTube, you can find one more video on
this channel right over here or listen to our latest podcast
episode right over here. Thanks again for watching and I will see you as
always in the next one.


100 Responses

  1. Hadhoudtn

    May 29, 2019 5:13 pm

    I discovered Habitica thanks to you and I've been using it now for almost a year ! I'm really grateful for this 😉
    Great app ! Only downside : it doesn't have graphs that show progress over time. That would be nice if they added this feature

  2. Anton Mies

    May 29, 2019 6:46 pm

    android – aTimeLogger for controlling freaks. If you can't measure it, you can't improve it.

  3. Joyful Living

    May 29, 2019 8:06 pm

    I love using these types of apps for a few days but quickly realize I have a hard time building the actual habit of tracking my habits.

  4. Michael Smolski

    May 29, 2019 9:47 pm

    I didn't know that apps such as exist. That's something I will try out for sure! For sure will be helpful to get some help from someone, from time to time, as a freelancer.

  5. Justina Anderson

    May 29, 2019 10:06 pm

    I just can't with Habitica because it requires an internet connection.

    It completely ruins it for me because it never loads. I live in the mountains – this is not something I can just deal with.

  6. Mini Meesh

    May 30, 2019 5:15 am

    Absolutely loved your nerdiness in this video. I felt your genuine love for this. I’ve been meaning to use a habit tracking app instead of my bullet journal but none of the random ones I’ve tried out keep up with my needs. Habitica seems amazing but one of my main habits to break is to stop getting distracted when I should be working (and that includes games and YT). So that’s a no-no for me. I’m going to try a couple of the iOS exclusive ones for June and maybe upload a video about using it along with my bujo after seeing how they work for me. I’m so thankful that there are people who take the time to try things out so others don’t have to.

  7. Nachtfalter

    May 30, 2019 9:55 am

    Thank you for the list, I am always in search for the best productivity apps. I just downloaded Habitify and it looks beautiful but you can only track 3 habits or it costs 43€, while the german translation is mixed with a lot of spanish words I do not understand, at least on android. I loved it years ago but now it is definitely too expensive for my likes. I guess I will continue using the Loop Habit Tracker, the UI looks okay and you can easily track lots of habits without paying or ads. Actually the most motivating habit tracker I ever had was simply a piece of paper, but I just don't have that on hand all the time unlike my phone. :/

  8. Megan Mosley

    May 30, 2019 7:30 pm

    I started using a tracker called Habit and I love it. It’s the first one I’ve really stuck with and I think it’s partly because it shows your completion as an average rather than a streak. It’s encouraging to watch the number go up but it doesn’t feel like I have to start all over if I break a chain. Works better for me!

  9. Katie Cook

    May 31, 2019 1:31 am

    Currently only on the web, though they have an app coming, is TaskHero. It’s really well organized and motivating. Does both habit tracking and To-do list.

  10. Vicky

    May 31, 2019 1:50 am

    1:07 – Habitify (first 3 habits are free)
    1:41 – HabitHub (first 3 habits are free)
    2:27 – TickTick
    3:18 – Beeminder
    4:33 – Today
    5:38 –
    7:01 – Strides
    8:12 – Habitica

  11. Game Quitters

    May 31, 2019 11:27 am

    Every time I watch a Thomas Frank video I feel like I'm ready to take on the world with my newfound knowledge, but of course, that can't be done without proper habits.

    Great video, as always!

  12. Claire

    May 31, 2019 4:26 pm

    A question for fellow viewers…

    What is it that encourages you to be consistent with habits that you know will be good for you, but you find difficult? Some habits I find completely natural and don’t really need to remind myself to do but others feel very unnatural or like a chore. It feels that a lot of mental energy gets taken up with them and I feel like giving up. Any anecdotes?

  13. Shulamit Dashevsky

    May 31, 2019 5:28 pm

    I can't listen to two things at once! It's hard to hear what you're saying with the background music!!

  14. Tegar Laga Joebhaar

    June 2, 2019 8:06 am

    I’ll try the number 2 and number 1 app soon. Thanks 🙏🏽
    PS, for the “NERD!” bit, why not put a segment with Luke Gallows shouting “NERD!”?

  15. Santeri Matero

    June 3, 2019 5:58 am

    Habitica is great because of the party pressure system, but I love that it's not too time consuming in itself. I mean You don't have to "play" the app itself

  16. Si Man 斯曼

    June 4, 2019 11:56 am

    Thank you all your great content, recently discovered your channel, so far only great stuff.

  17. Anner Nike

    June 4, 2019 3:07 pm

    I feel like american people are so much more open to these information gathering apps, that can get informations from other apps than german people. I think here it would probably be a reason not to download an app like that 😛 Because we want to protect our data, even if we already know, deep down, that they are already doing that anyways…

  18. Sara Fitzwilliam

    June 4, 2019 6:13 pm

    Will you do a detailed run through of habitica. I think it's a bit confusing and I feel like I'm not getting the most out of it…

  19. TheLaiRoU

    June 5, 2019 6:31 am

    Does one of this apps allow you to have a habit which is not meant to be done everyday, but for example every other day?

  20. Garrett W

    June 6, 2019 12:47 pm

    Got one of the apps you talked about have been six days of not biting my nails and am adding others to it as well to make sure I do my language learning as well, thanks and do you have any tips on learning a language?

  21. Douglas Nascimento

    June 7, 2019 7:22 pm

    Amazing this video i love video about productividy i from brazil and love american videps

  22. Suzanne Z

    June 9, 2019 9:51 am

    My problem with Habitica is that I couldn’t tick a habit from the day before. Right?

  23. Katie Inman

    June 16, 2019 10:33 pm

    Habitica is the best! I've been using it for a while now and I love it! I'm currently using it to chip away at my Summer assignments for school. It gives me a little bit more motivation to get things done.

  24. Mikayla Schuneman

    July 7, 2019 8:27 pm

    Is no one going to bring up the fact that he had "impersonate a police dog" as a habit to track. 😂😂😂😂 I died laughing.

  25. Left-handed Right-Wing

    July 29, 2019 7:40 pm

    I’m going to give Today a try. Thanks for the tip! I have a couple of bad habits to kick and I want to establish some new, good ones. Thanks for the tip! (And you’re right – it’s so pretty!)

  26. Kamila S.

    July 31, 2019 5:06 am

    Yea.. habit trackers… To tell the truth they make me demotivated? Like surprisingly without the tracker I’m productive and I can do everything I wanted to. If I have any “habit tracker” the fact that those apps are so annoying I don’t rly feel like doing anything… And I forget about them.

  27. Cristian Campos

    August 8, 2019 6:43 pm

    I've tried this kind of apps before, eventually i get tired of opening it everytime so i don't use it anymore lmao

  28. Rawan The Bookworm

    August 15, 2019 7:42 pm

    I loved Habitica but my issue with it was that it was too glitchy, so I uninstalled it. I really hope they fix those issues because I really loved the idea of Habitica but it got to the point where I couldn’t use it

  29. Sebastian Urban

    September 1, 2019 9:34 am

    The problem with habit apps is that I also need to create a habit to use them otherwise I just forget to use it…

  30. alittlepinkfish

    September 4, 2019 4:10 am

    I have been using Daylio for over a year now. It helps me see which behaviors and activities correlate to my mood, which has allowed me to restructure my lifestyle to prioritize, make time for, and build in activities that bring me joy.

  31. Aleksey Shmakov

    September 5, 2019 4:54 am

    Hey, Tom! Thanks for your video. Can you tell more about IFTTT? Are you using this tool? And if "yes", tell more (in a video maybe) how are you using it and which tasks can be solved with this tool?

  32. Rahul Khatavkar

    September 8, 2019 2:44 am

    I started habitica and I woke up at 4 everyday since a week.. Studied for 6hrs everyday and brushed my teeth evertnight… Worked out for 20 min every day… Also I use FOREST App to be focused on only 1 task.

  33. Autumn Spring

    September 13, 2019 8:23 pm

    For ios Way of Life is a good one. It has a notes section for every single day! So you can journal why you succeeded or why you didn't succeed. another good ios app is Alarmed. Alarmed is my favorite reminder app! So many cool options and customizations of notifications! Coolest reminder app ever!

  34. Reby Chan

    September 23, 2019 6:46 pm

    I like "daylio" for tracking my habits and moods. You can also add a little text. I've just checked its arivable for Apple and Android 😛

  35. Kuba Kazimierczak

    September 25, 2019 1:21 pm

    My favourite one that isn't on the list and it's (probably just) for Android is Loop Habit Tracker. It's easy to use and has a nice UI, with both light and dark mode. And yes, it's free!
    It has all the necessary stats about habit strength, streaks and heatmap which shows you when and how frequently the habit was performed.
    It's quite good in my opinion because of it's clear design.

  36. Chiamaka Onukogu

    October 1, 2019 5:23 pm

    Habit: Drink Water

    Reason for skipping: Whole city ran out of water
    I love the jokes in between his videos😅

  37. Anurag Pandey

    October 6, 2019 7:26 am

    Can anyone share the name of the printable sheet that helps in tracking habits? It has bubbles for each day as far as I remember.

  38. Ananya Mallya

    November 13, 2019 9:51 am

    The best part of watching these best habit tracker apps videos is seeing Thomas list habitica as number one every year


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