We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.
Have you ever wished real life was more like a video game, where you could get rewards for completing everyday tasks? Would earning experience points or leveling up your character for doing your research or finishing a paper motivate you to get started earlier or work a little harder? If so, HabitRPG might be just be your alternative to a more traditional to-do list.
HabitRPG is based on a role-playing game, where one creates a character and undertakes a quest, faces obstacles, gains experience, and levels-up along the way. You sign up for an account either through the website or app (you can use email or a Facebook login); Habit RPG then allows you to design your character and immediately start adding and completing tasks. While getting set-up is fairly straightforward, the game aspect is in-depth enough to truly be considered an RPG, so you may want to check out the site FAQ and the rest of the HabitRPG wiki for all of your quest and character possibilities (as well as how to level up and avoid death!).
On the surface, though, it’s a fairly straightforward concept. There are 4 categories of action: Habits, Dailies, To-Dos, and Rewards. You add good habits that you want to maintain, but you can also include bad habits that you want to break. Checking off Dailies and To-dos offer instant gratification in the form of gold, and the more gold you have, the better rewards you can “buy.”
Most Helpful Features:
- Unlike some other RPG apps and websites, this one is totally free.
- The interface is reminiscent of Minecraft and Legend of Zelda, which gives it more of a game feel than simply a habit/task app.
- In addition to being rewarded for your good habits, you are penalized for your lack of action (or continuing bad habits), from gradually losing health to the death of your character – so you can’t afford to ignore your tasks!
- Allows you to rank your habits as Easy, Medium, or Difficult, and you can make daily tasks recurring.
- Keeps a chart of your progress for each habit.
- Rewards can be anything you want — there are several in-game tools you can earn, or you can give yourself an hour of Netflix time.
- On the website, you can join a guild (some of them have thousands of other players), join challenges and compete against other players to win gems, and create a party of friends to go on a quest with.
- If you want to get really into the game and also keep yourself on track, you can download a Google Chrome browser extension for the website version that will actually hurt your character if you waste time on specific websites (such as Facebook or Reddit – you can choose the worst offenders).
Unfortunately, the app itself does not contain the full game capacity of the web version of HabitRPG, but when you’re logged into your account, the app and the site work together. You are able to edit your character, control all of the basic habits and tasks, maintain inventory, and chat socially with others in the app. If you are looking for an app-only experience and don’t want to deal with the website, the app works fine as a stand-alone resource, and is still fun and addictive.
HabitRPG helps you establish good habits and set goals while literally leveling up in life. If you enjoy gaming and need some extra motivation, give it a try. As always, if you check it out, feel free to let us know what you think!
The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.
Contents contributed by Lauren D. Hall, Circulation Librarian