There are probably hundreds of to-do list apps. Habitica is the only one which gamifies your life and creates a vintage role playing game out of your daily tasks.
To do lists are a great productivity tool. Essentially, they’re at the heart of most productivity systems. Habitica basically gamifies your life, making your tasks and responsibilities the goals to reach in order to advance in the game. I’ve tried many methods and this is the only app I’ve stuck with for more than two years!
Habitica is accessible both through the official website and through the app, available for all mobile platforms.
Task Organisation in Habitica: To-Dos, Dailies and Habits
You start off as a basic Level 1 character and, after you’ve chosen your heroic name, you can set up your tasks straight away. Your tasks are divided into habits, dailies and To-Dos. The To-Do section works exactly like a classic To-Do list; you write down the tasks you have to get done and can also add a due date for them. The task changes colour as more time passes; when a task has been overdue for quite some time, it’s shown in red.
Daily actions are tasks which need to get done on a routine basis. These tasks are actually not “dailies” in the strictest sense of the word, as you can set them to repeat once a week or whenever you need them to.
When the task is active for the day, you will see it coloured according to your streak, which is how many times in a row you’ve accomplished the task.
Blue and green indicate tasks which get done often whereas yellow, orange and red are not such a good sign. Tasks are grey when they are not active for the day (e.g. a task which needs to be completed every Monday will be grey every other day of the week). When dailies are not completed, you lose health. If your health finishes, you lose one level, all your gold and a piece of equipment.
Habits are not necessarily things you need to get done, but good habits that you want to work on, such as exercising or reading. You won’t be punished for not completing a habit.
It’s up to you to decide whether a task is a daily or a habit. When you complete tasks, you’re rewarded with gold and sometimes random items. You can use the gold to buy equipment which will increase your stats, as well as other items.
Parties and Quests
In Habitica, you can join a party for increased accountability. As well as joining existing parties, you can create your own and invite your friends. Parties have the possibility to go on quests. The quests are fun and well written, with that vintage RPG feel to them, and end up being quite addicting. There’s an internal party chat which you can use to communicate with the other members of the party.
In order to complete the quests, you usually have to defeat evil bosses, such as the Snackless Monster or the Feral Dust Bunnies! Other times, you may have to find a certain number of items.
The more you complete your dailies, the more damage you do to bosses or the more items you find. Once you complete quests, you receive special rewards which sometimes aren’t obtainable in other ways.
The Four Classes
Once you progress to level 10, you can pick one of four classes. Each class has specific benefits. For example, rogues have increased perception and are always finding items for quests, equipment, pet eggs and food. Mages can cast spells to freeze tasks in order to avoid taking damage for not doing them, or other spells to deal lots of damage to bosses.
Healers can help heal other party members who have taken damage from bosses. I’m honestly not sure what warriors do! In any case, each class has its strength and weaknesses, and each level gives you a stat point to invest in your character’s intelligence, strength, perception and constitution. RPG players should be familiar with all of these aspects!
Choose your class carefully, as it’s not easy to change it further on in the game. It’s possible to change class once you reach level 100 or purchase the Orb of Rebirth.
Habitica’s Guilds and Challenges
Are you a writer, musician, fitness maniac or movie enthusiast? Have no fear! Habitica has a guild for everything! From dancers to artists, from teachers to procrastinating students, Habitica’s guilds cover every possible interest.
Guilds are basically simple forums which you can join to discuss your interests and passions with other people who share them. Sometimes they get too chaotic but often they’re interesting and full of challenges. They are also great sources of information. I discovered one of my favourite productivity apps, Forest, thanks to a suggestion in one of the guilds. There are also quite a few guilds which focus on productivity.
Challenges are a good way to commit to a task publicly for longer periods of time; often challenges last about a month, but there are shorter challenges or challenges with no end. There are plenty of challenges focusing on productivity; I always do those which involve the Pomodoro Method! Although not all challenges elect winners, some challenges do and reward the winner with gems. Gems allow you to purchase special pieces of equipment or items, such as the orb of rebirth, which resets you to level one and allows you to pick a new class.
When you complete your tasks you will often find eggs, potions and food. These eggs, coupled with the right potions, hatch into a variety of animals. You can get dragons, wolves, tigers, pandas, lions, flying pigs, cacti, bears and flying pigs, as well as special pets related to quests and holiday events (unicorns, owls etc.)
The potions determine an animal’s colour and you can find special colour potions through holiday events and quests. Feed your pets food to turn them into mounts; try to find the food your pet likes best (hint: look at the colour)!
So there you have it! Here’s the run-through of Habitica, but keep in mind that they’re constantly updating the site and adding new features. For example, in the past if you forgot about Habitica for a day your character was pretty much done for and this caused a lot of damage to your party. Now, however, Habitica gives you the chance to check off things you forgot to do yesterday. This limits the damage you and your party receive. True, damage isn’t real and it’s definitely not life-threatening, but it is really annoying if you’re a perfectionist.
Habitica is really easy and fun to use. A tutorial at the beginning to help you get started, and you can also find help in the guilds or Habitica’s super helpful Wiki. If you’re always making endless to-do lists or if you simply want to add an element of fun in your daily tasks and to-dos, give Habitica a shot and let me know how it works out!