A-Z #IndieLife| Habit Tracking Apps

The H post for #26Tech A-Z Challenge profiles a few useful productivity apps in the habit tracking category. These are specifically habit tracking apps for writers.

As this post falls on the second Wednesday of this month, it also forms part of the monthly #IndieLife blog rounds.


Some of the often-shared advice for productivity lies around forming work-centric habits. For writers or creatives those habits revolve around best practices like: showing up at the desk/studio and writing/creating every day, or writing a certain amount of words each writing session, or writing for a certain amount of time.

Repeated little habits and tasks add up. But such deep habitual acts and routines take a little time to set in concrete – hence the popularity of habit tracking apps.

This is a long post designed for browsing through. Pick out anything which piques your interest.

Starter Resources:

  1. listly-square-logo.pngIn my Week 8 #52Tech Post, I featured many apps that meet the Don’t Break the Chain Habit tracking format, including listing out several good free calendars (or old-school versions), webapps and apps.
  2. All of these Habit Tracking apps (and calendars) are now included in a growing Listly List. If you have any to add to the list, please do so.

Habit Tracking Apps for Writers

For today’s post I am drilling down to profile three specific mobile device habit tracking apps for writers. Some of these features, like word count, can be found in other text editor or writing apps but these are worth a look just for the sheer fun of having your progress so close to you –

WriteChain (iPhone)

writechain-screenshots-sessionWriteChain was created by writer Jamie Grove. It stores word counts for each writing session and tracks the total words written across all sessions. WriteChain takes the session tracking a step further by counting consecutive daily sessions to measure your “writing chain”. If you skip a session, you break the chain and WriteChain lets you know about it.

WriteChain-App-Icon-200What makes WriteChain popular with a lot of writers is the ability to set a coasting preference – you can choose to coast for 1 or 2 days, meaning you can go away for a weekend and not break the chain of writing, or add leeway for life happenings.

WriteChain is free.

Website: WriteChain

Write on Track (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)

Write on Track screenshotWrite on Track goes a step further, allowing you to track full writing projects – wordcount and session tracking.

Set a goal wordcount and deadline for the project, and Write on Track will calculate out the minimum wordcount needed daily to meet the deadline (good for NaNoWriMo or similar writing marathons, and for contracted article writing projects etc).

As you input your daily writing session results, the targets are recalculated – if you write more on one day, you’ll have less to write the next day.

Write on Track logoThe app has a flaw where on the session entry screen appears which tells you to take a copy of text and input there for an auto-count of words. That doesn’t work, giving a wordcount of 0. Instead, input the wordcount manually in numerals. The app is available for around $2.

Website: Write on Track

Word Tracker (iPhone and iPAD)

word track dataWord Tracker also provides project organisation. Create a project and project type – novel, non-fiction, article, coursework or other, and set a word count target. The app provides a big timer to time your writing session.  Once you tap stop on the writing session the app prompts for word count and notes.

A data screen shows you the writing sessions per day – words, words per hour rate, and session time. A stats screen gives you lots of other data such as total words and time spent on the project, average and best words per hour, words today, this week, this month and more.

word tracker app logoWord Tracker is initially a free app. This comes with all functionality, but only one project. You can upgrade to unlimited projects with a $3 in-app purchase.

Website: Word Track App (the website contains screenshots, but no links to buy the app). Appstore: Word Tracker

Special Mentions: Habit Gamification for Creatives

Gamification is basically making a game out of something. In habit forming and productivity terms, this typically means setting rewards or incentives for meeting goals, but can also be looked at as making the recording and scheduling of habitual tasks fun. Here are a couple of apps that may do that –

HabitRPG (Webapp, with Android and iOS Support apps)

HabitRPGWhenever you reinforce a positive habit, complete a daily task, or take care of an old to-do, HabitRPG immediately rewards you with experience points and gold. As you gain experience you can level up, increasing your stats and unlocking more features – like classes and pets. If you fail at a daily task, you lose health.

An active community provides accountability, and enables you to bring in a party of friends to cheer you on. Such groups or guilds can form challenges to motivate behavioral modification with examples used of writing groups or art challenges.

HabitRPG iconThe Webapp works well and there are wonderful pixel characters you can select for each habit. There are also Android and iOS apps, but try out the webapp first.

Currently individual plans and access to the website and mobile apps is free. There are plans to charge for family, groups or organisations, with additional benefits. Website: HabitRPG

Mem:o (iOS App)

memoMem.o The easiest way to explain this app is to suggest it’s a spreadsheet storing your data with a visual design.

You can collect anything as personal data – track books read, swimming laps, goals completed – all on a project board where you input data as coloured circles. Values can be money, hours, miles, feet, or you can add your own (words, dances, songs, for instance).

memo iconFilled (or not) circles can be viewed on a board or calendar, as individual goals, or an ‘all’ view.  This app gives you a very visual design-orientated way to view your life per week.

The app comes with a small number of colours and boards, but these can be upgraded with in-app purchases.

Website: Caroline and Young.

26Tech-Logo_thumb.png#26Tech: This was the H post for my A to Z challenge, where this blog will be posting 26 days worth of Tech posts relevant to writers and creatives.

You will find the other posts under tag: #26Tech or an index post will be provided on May 1st.

A2Z-BADGE-0002014_thumb.jpgA to Z: in April you will find other bloggers providing A to Z posts on many topics, through the 2014 Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

IndieLifeThis post took place in the #IndieLife blog challenge, held at The Indelibles every second Wednesday of the month.

4 thoughts on “A-Z #IndieLife| Habit Tracking Apps

    1. Had to laugh Elizabeth – although I’m such an app geek, I prefer to keep track of all my daily wordcount on multiple projects (including this blog) on a big spreadsheet also.

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