Review – HabitRPG

I have been using a website called HabitRPG for a couple of weeks now. It is a motivational tool and habit/todo tracking system that treats your goals like a role playing game. While there are countless ways to track todo items and several websites for tracking habits or other goals, there are very few that make it into a game. As a fan of role playing games, this gamification is an effective motivator for me.

The website is very simple and easy to use. You enter habits, daily tasks and todo items. Completing tasks and todo items gets you experience and gold that allows you to level up your character and buy rewards. A bad habit, or failing to do your daily tasks costs your character hit points. If you perform poorly enough, your character can die and you have to start over at level one.

Habits can be anything, good or bad, that you want to do more or less often. Their examples are: 1h productive work, eating junk food or taking the stairs. These are all things that you can do multiple times per day and you want to reward or punish yourself each time you do them. Daily tasks are things that you want to do once per day (or on certain days of the week). Their examples are Exercise and Reading. Todos are one time tasks and go away when you complete them.

Each habit/task/todo has a color which determines how valuable or costly it is to complete or fail it. Items start yellow and get red if you are doing poorly at completing them or green if you are doing well. So, if you are exercising every day, that task will slowly turn green. A green item gives you less experience, but also costs you fewer hit points when you fail to do it.

Along with experience, you also collect gold for completing tasks or good habits. You can setup your own rewards to spend your gold on. Once you have played for a while, the item store becomes available and you can also purchase upgrades for your character with your gold.

Overall I like the site quite a bit. It is surprising how much motivation it provides. I know that I have setup all the tasks myself and could easily game the system. There is no real money involved and I am the only one who sees my progress. But it works anyway.

Unfortunatly, it is a new site and has some bugs. I have had the site lose entries that I have made and fail to reset my daily tasks till late into the next day. But they seem to be working hard to fix the bugs and they have a Kickstarter to add a mobile app.

There are also several features that I would like them to add: I’d like to be able to set the relative value of each habit/task/todo. Some habits/tasks are much more important to me than others and the site treats everything equally. I have worked around this problem to some extent by breaking down my most important items into multiple entries. I’d also like to be able to setup recurring todo items (like “Clean bathrooms” that shows up once a month) and todo items with sub-tasks.

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