Depression · Gaming · Health · Just For Fun · Life · mental health · Reviews

Habitica – Gamify Your Life


I love a good To Do List.

Actually, without them, I’d fail spectacularly at getting anything done. Quite often I even have to remind myself to take time out and do fun stuff by putting it onto a list, they really are an amusingly large part of my life.

I have notebooks and paper lists dotted around the place, but they are so easy to lose so quite some time ago I started trying to find an app on my phone that could do the job. There had to be one out there that did the job.

I tried several, there was one I used for quite a while that had a motivational octopus in it, encouraging you and cheering you on as you ticked stuff off but I seem to remember that company folding or something that stopped me using it. I don’t remember what it was called now.

Then I moved onto EpicWin by RexBox which I really enjoyed because it levels up your character the more stuff you do, like in an RPG game. I love RPG games. This appealed. It was a fun, handy little app with great illustrations that I liked using for several months.

But then my friend invited me to Habitica instead and that app took the RPG stuff to a new level AND introduced a team element to it. I’m afraid I left EpicWin and never looked back.

Habitica is so much more than a To Do List app, but at the same can be just a To Do List app if that’s what you want it to be.

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Ticking stuff off your list gives you XP and levels your character up. When you reach Level 10 you get to choose your class (Warrior, Healer, Rogue, Mage) and your choice gives you new ‘skills’ to use within the app.

You can create ‘Dailies’ which are things you have to do every day (or every week on a certain day etc) and are set up to automatically recur. You lose health at the end of the day if you don’t get them done and get rewarded if you keep up a long streak of completing them.

As well as your To Do and Dailies lists, you can also add ‘Habits’ extra things that you want to try and do (or not do). You don’t lose health if you don’t do these things, but you get rewards if you do.

The lure of pretend coins to buy pretend clothes and weapons for your pretend character and the fear of losing so much health that you ‘die’ (lose a level and some coins) are surprisingly effective.

I am much better at getting off my backside to do boring chores now that I am responsible for a tiny 8-bit version of myself inside my phone.

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The teamwork side of things is great too. You can join a ‘Group’ either with like-minded strangers or a group of friends. We have 5 of us who are friends in real-life, and as a team you take on ‘quests’ against various monsters. The more things you tick off your lists, the more damage you inflict on the bad guy and then when you beat it, you get shiny rewards like new clothes, coins and sometimes even adorable new pets.

BUT the Daily tasks you don’t do? They damage everyone in your group and not just you.

ALL OF THE RESPONSIBILITY!!

I jest. Mostly.

Though actually it is a great motivator and really works for me.

You can ‘rest’ in the Tavern if you go on holiday or are ill, or just need a day off. That pauses all your dailies and doesn’t damage anyone even if you tick off nothing at all. It even saves your streak bonuses so you don’t get punished for going away. I really like that feature.

(Your Dailies list is the only one that affects the pitcher players, not doing your To Do items or habits only affects you. It’s not too much responsibility that it is stressful and you get to set your own balance.)

Another social aspect are the Guilds that you can choose to join if you want. These are enormous public groups set up for people to join and take on ‘challenges’ or to help out with certain things.

I am a member of a book-related one that sets Book-Reading challenges that I sometimes join in with (Reading After The Quake and Reading The Bible In 90 Days are two Habitica Guild challenges I have taken on) and there are ones for students to help them build up good study habits, ones for people wanting to learn new languages, people who like playing Pokemon Go!, or Playstation games. Everything you can imagine. There are Guilds for people suffering with mental health issues that need the comfort of not being alone, or just a bit of a push to do the very basic things that can fall by the wayside in the fog of anxiety or depression.

When I went through a bad patch, the group for The Basics got me through several ‘simple’ things that I otherwise just forgot to do. Things like remembering to wash my hair twice a week, and brush my teeth – having a little reminder, a box to tick that gave me XP and kept me thinking about it. It sounds almost silly but it made a big difference to me, I didn’t have to remember because my phone did it for me in an encouraging way. I felt like I had achieved something that day when I’d ticked off all the things on my list – even though they were things I do without thinking when I’m on better form.

Habitica is adaptable, you can change how you use it as you need. Sometimes I use it for every minute thing, other times I only use it for my Dailies – whatever I need it for, it’s there and it is easy to sort out either on the app on my phone or on the website.

I love it so much I pay the monthly subscription to support them, I want them to be able to keep on improving the app and making it fun. It makes such a difference to my life, supporting them in return only seems fair.

That said, it is not one of these apps that is only brilliant if you pay. My subscription does get me ‘bonuses’ but they are mostly cosmetic – costumes for my character and extra ‘quests’ that you can only get with gems (which you get for subscribing) and that kind of thing. (Doing challenges in the guilds can get you gems for free as well.) All of the functionality of the app is available for free and that is the important bit.

If you are looking for a To Do List app and love RPGs and find motivation in leveling characters up and collecting sets of things (like swords), then I highly recommend checking out Habitica.

My house is cleaner and tidier, my mind is less cluttered, and my health is better off ever since I became a Habitican. Over one year of use so far and counting!


(This is not an ad or sponsored post, I just ❤ Habitica!)

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