April 1, 2016

App I Love: Habitbull

In January, I started using a new app, and I love it so much that I’ve been opening it at least daily. (It helps that the app has a feature you can enable to pop up and remind you to use it each night, for when I’m forgetful.) Habitbull is a simple habit tracker that allows you to tally how well you stick to your goals, and I think it’s made a big difference in how I approach mine.

After downloading the app, you’ll be prompted to set up as many habits as you like to track. I recommend starting small with just one or two. You can add a popular habit from a list of categories (e.g., the health and fitness category contains drinking water, sleep, smoking, diet, fitness), and then choose how you want it to be tracked. For most habits, you have the option of tracking with a simple yes or no (which is what I use for all of mine), a number (e.g., how many hours of sleep you got), or by importing data from Google Fit (which I don’t use, so can’t say more there).

From there, you choose when you target doing this habit: every day, only some days of the week (chosen by checkboxes), a certain number of days per period, or every nth day. I think this is an awesome feature, since you might want to set a goal like “being on time to work” but you only go into the office on weekdays, so you can’t check it off on the weekends. (Without that feature, I suppose you could always check those off as freebie days?) I have a habit set for blogging where I want to declare success only if I’ve blogged three times per week, and I like that Habitbull allows me to customize like that. Finally, you can also set a target number of days for success – so for example, with my goal to add one pushup every day until I’ve gotten to 100 pushups, I can set 100 days as my success target. By default, Habitbull suggests 66 days, as it claims that’s how many days it takes to set a habit.

Once you’ve entered all those details about habit (which takes less than 30 seconds thanks to the well-designed menus and suggestions, Habitbull it displays your habit in a don’t-break-the-chain manner. A circle over each date shows whether you were successful or not, and all days that are successful get linked to the previous circles. Meanwhile, in the top right corner of the app, you can see a percentage score showing how many days you were successful.

Habitbull - All habits
Now that I’m posting this, I can check blogging off my list for today!

What I really like about this approach compared to the old fashioned paper method of playing don’t-break-the-chain, though, is that when you’re in the view that aggregates all your habits, you get a percentage score for all of them combined. So while I’ve been doing an awesome job flossing every single night since I started this, I know that number is going to get dragged down by the days that I skip blogging – and so my blogging habit is linked to my flossing habit and I’m more inspired to work on the tough one rather than ignoring it.

Most of have multiple goals and life, and while that can be risky to try to focus your energy on more than one thing, Habitbull makes it relatively easy with its daily reminders to use it, success percentages for each goal, and overall success percentage across all your goals. And if you’re looking for support, it also includes forum-like integration with its community of users where you can share tips on how to achieve common goals, which I think is pretty neat. Best of all, it’s available for both Android and iOS totally free! Give it a try and let me know what you think 🙂


7 thoughts on “App I Love: Habitbull”

  1. Whenever I say HabitBull I can’t help but think of the word Habit-able – developing a strong-like bull habit that one can live with. I don’t know if that was what the developers were going for, but it kinda appeals to me (the idea not the app!).

    This doesn’t really matter but I have a question for you: how many apps do you have on your mobile device (over and above the 20 or so original ones)? If an app just doesn’t appeal once you try it, then do you keep it around or do you eventually remove it? Do you have to organize all your apps by categories./folders/separate screens?

    Just curious. I don’t really like having a lot of apps. But the other day I just realized I might be in the minority with that opinion (several people I met say they download every app anyone talks about).

    1. I definitely don’t download every app that people talk about, and I uninstall apps that I haven’t used in a while. I have just about everything on my home screen arranged as follows:
      Messaging folder (Text, Snapchat, Voicemail)
      Social media folder (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram)
      Out and About folder (Yelp, Gasbuddy, OpenTable, Untappd, Redbox, Panera, Starbucks, Zoe’s Kitchen, Meetup)
      Maps app
      Health folder (MyFitnessPal, Sleepbot, HIIT interval training timer, White Noise, Cardiotrainer, Fitbit)
      Feedly app
      Music folder (PocketCasts, Google Play Music, Spotify)
      Home folder (Honeywell Thermostat, Ring, Piper, PaperKarma)
      Gallery app
      To-Do list (via Google Drive)

      On my other home screens, I have various calendar views, sound toggles, and a folder of Travel apps (Uber, AA, Delta, United, Southwest, ITA On the Fly, Trip It, SPG). I also have phone, email (various accounts), browser, and camera pinned to the bottom.

      Does that help?

    2. Not sure if that helps. *Shrug* More curious than anything. Did you know curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back?
      I think I was mainly curious if you uninstalled stuff that was less than useful….and you do!

  2. That sounds like an interesting app. My husband uses something similar which is provided by the company he works for. They are trying to encourage their employees to lead a healthier lifestyle. I’ll have to check out your app. Have a terrific week!

  3. Thanks for sharing this I downloaded it immediately! I need to get back into strength training and my pull-up goal so this is going to keep me in check. I usually do some strength training at night while watching TV but have been slacking. It is so easy to get off the couch to do pushups, squats, etc hoping this helps push me. I like accountability.

    1. Oh yay, I hope you like it! You are so disciplined about steps that I bet you’re going to do an awesome job with this 🙂

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