Now we don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but there’s a good chance you need to overhaul some habits in your life. There’s an even better chance that the best habit-tracking apps can help you do just that. Why? Because they’re a useful tool in both building new habits and tearing down old ones. And one of the best ways to change yourself is to change your habits.
The key thing about habits is that they’re automatic. We do them all the time without having to think and— even better—without having to dip into our limited stores of willpower. As for how long it takes to build a habit that’s automatic, research shows that it might take a few weeks, or it might take a little longer. (Okay a lot longer—like, eight whole months). Either way, the most important thing is consistency.
Ahead we’re going to look at the best habit-tracking apps for iPhone, so you can nail that consistency and be the master of your habits. And don’t fear, Android users: We’ve got you covered in this list of the best habit-tracking apps for Android.
The 11 Best Habit-Tracking Apps for iPhone in 2019
Productive does exactly what you’d want a habit-tracking app to do—lets you create and schedule habits, set reminders to do them, and analyze your progress to keep you on track. The sleek and simple design shows you habit streaks at a glance, so you’re motivated to keep going and not break the chain.
Productive also integrates with Apple Watch, if you’re into getting reminders right on your wrist—where you can’t ignore them.
Price: Free with a limit of five habits; premium upgrade for $3.99 per month or $23.99 per year
Remente starts with a reflection: How do you rate your life right now? Your relationships? Career? Personal development? This little assessment is powerful. It forces you to buckle down and actually think about where you are as well as where you’d like to go.
From there Remente guides you through a process of choosing habit goals and setting up a daily plan to get them underway. Goals are pre-designed into templates, with comprehensive text on why the goal is important and the steps you need to take to achieve it. The app also has mini-courses on topics like sleeping better, managing your emotions, being mindful, and being more productive—some free and some available for purchase.
Price: Free with premium upgrades from $9.99
Tracking habits is boring, right? Nope! Not when it’s all just a video game…
Habitica makes you forget that you’re doing something life-changing and instead lets you focus on getting your game character to complete quests and win rewards. Habitica’s approach to habit building is creative and unique—and the perfect way to satisfy your inner gamer.
Price: Free with in-app purchases for add-ons
Next on our list of best-habit tracking apps is an app that works for minimalists—Strides. Strides doesn’t go with motivational stock photos or fun design themes. Instead, it sticks to a professional-looking layout with crisp color coding and data visualization that allows you to track your progress at a glance.
Strides is unique in that it has four tracking types. As well as tracking daily habits, you can create targets (great for things like saving money), averages (say, tracking how many hours you sleep per night), or projects (which allows you to tick off milestones along the way). Each type is custom designed with its own charts and graphs.
Price: Free; premium version for $6.99 per month or $44.99 per year
5. Quit That!
So many habit apps focus on creating new habits. But isn’t it just as important to kick the bad ones? Otherwise, your shiny new gym habit is canceled out by that pesky fast-food one.
Enter Quit That!—an app specially designed for letting go of bad habits. It’s really simple to use, and what we particularly like is that it’s 100 percent free. (No ads, either.) The app works by positive reinforcement, showing you how long it’s been since you quit a bad habit, with the added incentive of tracking how much money you’ve saved in the process.
No excuses, Apple users, because Habitify works across all your Apple devices: iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac. That way, you never miss a reminder to complete an action and build a habit.
Habitify has a minimal, easy-to-use design and gives you the ability to track streaks, completion rates, and your most productive days. The free version is great if you only want to track up to three habits; after that, you’ll need to update to the premium version. Habitify’s upgrade is a one-off lifetime purchase. (Note that the Mac version requires a separate upgrade.)
Price: Free; premium version for $9.99
Chains makes our list of the best habit-tracking apps for its simplicity—it’s a straightforward, highly visual tool that makes building and breaking habits easier. It works because you can see your chain of activity getting longer and longer… and who wants to break a growing chain (especially when it’s so easy on the eyes)?
Set up a chain, select if you want to skip any days of the week (e.g., if you want to take a rest day from the gym), and check it off every time you complete a day. As the days progress, your chain will grow.
The Chains iPhone app has a small one-off cost, but you can also use the web version completely free.
Today works much like other habit tracking apps, with reminders, streaks, and stats. But there’s more. For one, Today is visually strong, with beautiful cover images for each habit (you know—relevant stuff like sunsets, books, and bowls of granola).
And then there’s what Today calls “cards,” which are widgets you can integrate into the app. You might add in a chart from your Apple Health data or a photo gallery and journal to track your progress in a more personal way. These add-ons do a lot to enrich the app and make it more empowering.
Price: Free; premium version for $4.99
Fabulous made it onto our best habit-tracking apps for Android list for being science-based, hugely in-depth, and beautifully designed. Well good news: there’s an Apple version as well.
Fabulous is more than a habit-tracking app. It’s like the life coach you never knew you needed. Rather than leaving you to set your goals yourself, it takes you by the hand and builds them with you, which can be super valuable for people who feel overwhelmed by the habit-building process.
Price: Free; upgrades via various monthly or yearly subscription plans starting from $9.99 per month
If you’re specifically trying to make daily meditation a habit, look no further. This award-winning app not only helps you kickstart and maintain the habit using notifications, it also offers thousands of guided meditations created by top teachers and meditation experts around the world.
One of the best things about Simple Habit’s meditation app is that it can make a difference to your life in just five minutes a day. Even if you’re on the go, there are meditation sessions designed for any situation, be it your daily commute to work or a moment of nerves before a big event.
Price: Free for basic version; unlimited access by monthly subscription at $11.99 per month or $7.99 per month if billed annually
Done already made it into our round-up of the best apps for productivity, and it’s such a winner that we’d be neglecting our app-reviewing duties if we didn’t mention it again here.
Done’s interface is beautiful—simple and clean, yet colorful and friendly—and it’s one of the most intuitive apps we’ve found. Done mostly leaves it up to you to create your own path, but gives you plenty of customization options in the process (like distinguishing whether you’re building or quitting a habit, and setting your own units of measurements). In short, if you’re after something simple but super effective, consider it Done. (We had to.)
Price: Free with a limit of three habits; premium version $4.99
Bonus: For a paper-based alternative: Panda Planner
Maybe you’ve already heard that you’re more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down. Or maybe you just prefer the elegant act of putting pen to paper. Either way, we wouldn’t want to leave out a good paper-based alternative for tracking your goals.
Our suggestion? Get yourself a Panda Planner. We’re happy to say we’re affiliated with Panda Planner and proudly so: Our philosophy is all about science-based techniques for living a more productive, happy life. And Panda Planner is designed for exactly that. One of the biggest benefits of using a handwritten daily planner? It lets you escape the distractions of technology for a few moments and focus on what’s right in front of you. Give it a shot.
Your turn: Which of these best habit-tracking apps have you tried and how did they work out for you? We’d love to hear your top picks in the comments.
Looking for the best habit-tracking apps for Android? This is the only list you’ll need.
Author: Tania Braukamper
Tania Braukamper is an Australian-born writer and photographer. She believes in curiosity, kindness, and adventure as a state of mind.