To quote Sheldon Cooper, “if there were a list of things that make me more comfortable, lists would be at the top.” I’m a bit scatter-brained and a bit of a control freak. I admit it! I’m also anal retentively organized. Seriously. I make data bases in my spare time for fun. I even have a friend who thinks of me when she sees the word “database.” I can’t decide whether that’s sad or funny, or maybe a bit of both? Either way, back to the original point! I run my life by to-do lists. I like making them, I like checking them off, but that can eventually get stale. Also, I am well aware that I am not the norm in my love for organization. All the same, it’s something we all need in some capacity. So fellow nerd-type people, I present to you a fun, game-inspired take on the to-do list – Habitica!
Habitica was brought to my attention by a friend, and basically it’s a to-do list with an RPG spin. They have both a website (habitica.com) as well as an app, which is my preferred method of use. There were a few things I used to need to access the website for, but now it seems they’ve made those things accessible from the app. I’m not sure if that was an update or a level up thing though, so just be aware of that.
So when you start up the app, it presents you with a list of areas you may want to work in, which includes things like fitness, work, and school, among others. You select which ones you want, and the app creates a list of potential things to work on broken up into three different categories – habits, dailies, and to-dos. From there, you can delete the ones you don’t care about and add your own specific things in each category, selecting their difficulty and adding subsections as they apply.
Habits are exactly what they sound like – things you want to create habits for. With habits, you can add a functionality of having a positive outcome or a negative one. For instance, on mine, I have “eat healthy / eat junk.”
If I eat healthy, I press the plus sign and receive experience and in-app money referred to as GP. If I eat junk food, I press the minus sign and lose health.
Dailies are things you want/need to do daily. I admittedly have a lot of things on there, most recently adding “Relax!” to the list, seeing as I struggle a bit with building down time into my day. When you complete the task, you check it off, once more gaining XP and GP. For every daily that you don’t check off, you lose HP at the end of the day. However, if you know you won’t be doing those things for awhile, say you’re on vacation, you can check into the tavern for free to turn off the damage. You can also set the frequency with which these things should be done, so say you have something that really only needs to be done once a week, you can set the specific day on which you do it and then you won’t receive damage for not doing it on any other day.
To-Dos are really the most straight forward of the options. You make a list of one time things that you need to do. As you check them off, you gain XP and GP. To-Dos cannot hurt you. However, there is a flaw in the system that I hope gets addressed in that once you add something to your to-do list, it cannot be deleted. You either check it off and gain XP or it sits there forever.
To add to the RPG element, there are pets, mounts, and gear. You can purchase gear with your GP.
As you use the app, you will randomly receive things like eggs, hatching potions, and food. By combining hatching potions and eggs, you get pets!
By feeding the pets the food you find, you level up the pet and eventually can turn it into a mount!
There’s also a mechanic that involves questing, but I have not used it and therefore can’t really comment on it.
I’m mostly enjoying my time with Habitica, though there are definitely still things I think it could improve upon. It’s still functional and slightly addicting, all the same. By turning it into a game and rewarding completion of tasks, it makes doing things you may not necessarily feel like doing a lot more enjoyable. Also, as someone who struggles with mental illness, I feel like it’s a great way to encourage doing the small things in life that maybe other people would find superfluous on a regular to-do list. If even getting out of bed in the morning or getting dressed is a struggle, add that to your habits list and get rewarded for doing it! You don’t actually need to attach any negative consequence to it.
Over all, I think the app is ingenious and a great way to encourage productivity and organization, no matter what level you’re working on!