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Streaks: Tracking Habits

September 1, 2015

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A new breed of task management app seems to be proliferating in the App Store as of late: the habit tracker.

The idea behind a habit-building app is not just to help you cross things off your list, but to actually build the kinds of repetitive practices you’d like to be a part of your everyday life.

Streaks is one such app, and perhaps the one with the most aesthetically pleasing presentation.

 

What I Like About Streaks

 

The first thing to appreciate about Streaks is its layout:

 

home base

 
You can change colors from the default orange to 11 other options:

 
Colors and settings

 
As you complete (or miss) habits, the app makes it easy to access statistics from the main screen with just a tap. Check this out:

 
Some stats
 
More stats
 

The reminders are customizable, so they can be as obtrusive or unobtrusive as you want them to be, depending on what you need to get your habits in place:

 
Alt text
 
Checking off habits is satisfying. You just hold down the circle till it fills in:
 
Alt text
 
If you missed a day, Streaks knows it:
 
Alt text
 
There are a ton of habit icons from which to choose, and they look better than any I’ve seen in other comparable apps (some of which are just icon-less lists):
 
icons
 
more icons
 
yet more icons
 
Setting up habits is quite easy:
 
running habit
 

What I Found Lacking

 

Probably the biggest miss in the app is that there is no way to adjust a habit you forgot to check off more than one day ago. If you missed marking a habit yesterday, you’re all set, but you can’t check off habits you completed two days ago but didn’t note. I lost some streaks this way (at least within the app) when I was on vacation last month. I was completing habits, but not on my phone as often as usual; there’s no way to adjust to get your statistics to reflect such a reality.

I would love for future updates to Streaks to include some sort of sound when you fill in a habit circle. This is just personal preference, though.

Streaks maxes out at six habits that you can be tracking at a time. The developers have a reason for this–it’s hard to maintain more habits than that on a regular basis, but the limitation does not allow for as great user control as some other apps do.

One other lack: you can’t make a habit to do something, say, three times a week, without also having to specify the days. So I can have “Exercise” three times a week, but only if I assign days (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)–I couldn’t set it up for any three days.

 

Final Words and Where to Get the App

 
Limitations notwithstanding, Streaks is easily one of the three best habit-tracking apps for iOS. It’s clearly designed with the user experience in mind, which makes charting habits through this app fun. As long as you can stay on top of tracking your practices each day, Streaks is a worthy aid in helping establish regular life patterns.

Find Streaks in the App Store here.
 

Thanks to the good folks at Streaks app for the review copy of Streaks, given to me for this review but with no expectation as to its content.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. David Bradley permalink
    September 1, 2015 1:38 pm

    what are the other habit tracking apps and how do they compare? i have the ‘commit’ app on my phone but don’t really have the habit of using it.

    • September 1, 2015 3:25 pm

      Well, Productive is pretty darn awesome. And I’m experimenting with Habit List, too. That would round out my top three.

      I’ll post a review of Habit List soon–short version: no limits on what you can track, more flexibility (any three times a week, regardless of day), but no cool icons. Productive makes cool sounds when you swipe to show you’ve completed a habit.

      But I’ll be darned if there are habit tracking apps I’m not going to try!

      Just kidding. I could quit trying new apps ANY TIME I WANT.

      Maybe I need a habit of “Don’t download any new apps today” and see if I can go two weeks.

  2. September 1, 2015 2:53 pm

    I was curious too if this was one of the three best what the other 2 “best” were…

    • September 1, 2015 3:25 pm

      Hi, Brandon! Thanks for your comment–I replied to David, and followed your url. Looks like we share some common interests! Just followed you on Twitter.

      • September 2, 2015 2:24 am

        Thanks! Taking a look at those two. While streaks is interesting, I don’t like the idea of only tracking 6 things.🙂

        And thanks for the follow! I’ve been super busy the past few months so haven’t been quite as active online but am coming up to a 3 month sabbatical season so *hopefully* I’ll post a bit more actively🙂

      • September 2, 2015 7:44 am

        Sounds great!

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  1. Habit List: A Sophisticated iOS Habit Tracker | Words on the Word

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