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Habitica: The gamified to-do app
  • Calendar Jun 25, 2019
  • User Jared Wells
  • Category In Uncategorized
  • Comments 0 Comments

The best organization tool is the one you use.

Do you have an app on your phone that you can’t just seem to put down? App designers know how get you hooked on a game. To get you to open it up repeatedly throughout the day. To get you keep the app open and keep using it. This can be very distracting and damaging to your focus, which is why I recommend apps like Forest that help you bring mindfulness to how often you are using your phone.

But there is an app that uses “gamification” not to suck you into your phone and away from the outside world, but to help you accomplish the things you want to accomplish in the real world. It’s called “Habitica”.

Habitica is an app that does a few different things that many apps of this type do

-it manages your to-do list

-It tracks daily/weekly tasks

-it tracks habits you want to develop or eliminate.

Nothing out of the ordinary here, but it’s the way it does it that is unique. When you create your account you created an RPG style avatar. Here is mine:

Isn't he cute? I'd never let any incomplete task hurt him!

Now, when you add your to-do’s to your list, completing them gives you experience to “level up” your avatar, and earns you gold you can spend on weapons, mounts, or pets. Failing to complete your to-do’s deals damage to you. Take enough damage, and your avatar dies (losing you experience, gold, and one of the items you’ve acquired.)

You can even join parties with your friends and tackle your to-do lists together!

Habitica has highlighted some important things for me that will be helpful for students:

  1. Incomplete to-do’s ARE damaging, in a couple of ways. First, when you tell someone you’ll do something, and you don’t, you are disrupting that person’s plans. It’s better to make sure that you don’t take on more things unless you are confident you can handle the things that you’ve already got, and Habitica will quickly teach you to pay attention to whether you are taking on more than you can handle when you take something new on. They are also damaging because they create open loops in your mind. It’s easier to stay focussed on the task at hand if you only have one task to complete. It’s harder when you have 5, and would be near impossible if you have 20. On other task manager apps, incomplete tasks can just sit there incomplete for weeks or months even. But it’s easy to overlook that damage. Seeing the damage done do your poor, defenseless character makes it easier to understand the negative impact incomplete to-do’s have.
  2. Thinking about whether you have time to take something new on gets you thinking about scheduling. How do you know if you have time for something if you don’t know what you are going to be spending the rest of the day working on? And scheduling gets you thinking about estimating how long it will take you to complete something (and learning how good you are at estimating!)
  3. Thinking about the habits you want to create gets you thinking about your longer term goals, and what you need to do to achieve them. It reminds you that long term goals are made up of small, daily steps that can start today (rather than some ill-defined future that never seems to show up.)

I don’t think I’ve ever said this, but this is a FUN habit-tracking/organization app. That alone is enough to make it valuable, but it is also full-featured and flexible. So check out Habitica on IOS, Android, and web-app.

Could your child use some support and guidance with planning and organization? Call 858.551.2650 or email help@wellsacademics.com to ask about our "Getting Things Done for students" workshop starting the first week of July!

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