Good Stuff, Productivity

Habitica: Gamify Your Productivity


Y’all know I love testing out and using productivity apps. I really enjoy seeing what works for me and what doesn’t. Testing different productivity tools makes me prioritize what I need in my own tools to make my busy life a little less hectic.

Two guys from work and myself joined Habitica about seven months ago. After six months, we all decided it was time to hang up our shields and move on to other apps. But just because it didn’t work for us in the long run doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. It really depends on your needs?


What the heck is Habitica?

Habitica is a really well-designed online game that doubles as a productivity app. I used it on the web and my iPhone. You’re provided with a place to add a basic to-do list, daily tasks, and habits. You start out with a really cute (but very basic) warrior character that looks like something from a Super Nintendo game. All of the graphics in Habitica are done in this style and it’s really cute and charming.

As you check off your to-dos, your daily tasks and develop daily habits (or avoid bad habits, whichever you choose), you either gain experience or lose life. You can buy equipment, go on quests, join guilds, hatch pets, and much more. You can even switch classes (mage, rogue, etc). I got two of my co-workers to join and we went on quests together.

(That’s what my avatar was up to when I last played.)

I don’t know if I would have stuck with Habitica for that long if I hadn’t had friends on it. You come to depend on other people in your team to get their tasks done so your team beats quest bosses quicker and gets prizes faster. It’s a really clever system, honestly.

It’s fun, but how is it as an actual productivity tool?

Habitica is great if your to-do lists are simple and you don’t need to categorize anything or separate lists into projects. It’s not so great when you have two active blogs, a book, doctor’s appointments, a new dog who has vet appointments—especially if you’re type A and really into organizing your task lists like I am.

I also tended to store ideas in there that I wanted to do at some point but not right away. And because the system thought I was just procrastinating, I lost points for having it in there for so long. That just didn’t work for me.

Unfortunately, after being on Habitica for six months, it just wasn’t fun anymore. It got a little repetitive. Once you get to the highest level, you either have nothing else to do OR you upgrade to a paid account and get access to more quests. Even then, it’s a lot of repetition.

For people really serious about their task lists, it’s probably not great. For folks who thrive on gamifying their to-do lists, it’s a pretty neat app. It’s a nice alternative for people who want to make their annoying chores a little more fun.

Related links:

  • Habitica
  • Habitica Wiki
Good Stuff, Productivity
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Jillianne Hamilton is the author of Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, its two action/comedy sequels, and The Lazy Historian's Guide to the Wives of Henry VIII. She is also a graphic designer, a history enthusiast, and a dog mom. Learn more.

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