Sometimes technology, though often helpful, can be daunting. You can spend a lot of time trying to learn how to use a new app (or gadget) before really being able to use it to your benefit. That’s why it’s nice when you come across an app that is simple and easy to use while helping you keep a regular habit of getting things done. I recently discovered two that I’d like to share with you: Wonderful Day and iDoneThis.
Don't you just love an app with a happy sounding name? Well, it does a bit more than just sound happy. This app is based on Jerry Seinfeld's (not so secret anymore) productivity secret, also known as Don’t Break the Chain.
It’s a very simple concept – work on a task every day, and when you do, cross it off on your calendar. You’ll end up having a chain of X’s or check marks (or whatever mark you prefer) on your calendar. If you miss a day, then you will have a break in your chain. Over time, you’ll be motivated to keep the chain going, and if you’re like some people (moi), you won’t like seeing a broken chain.
Wonderful Day allows you to make your own chain sans the paper calendar. There’s nothing wrong with using paper, if that’s your preference. But, if you’re more tech inclined, this process can’t be any more simple. You can set multiple tasks that you want to focus on as well as the days you’ll work on them. You might have “exercise,” “write,” and “work in the garden” on your list — anything you think you’d like make a habit of doing. Each time you complete a task, you’ll see a green dot, and when you miss a task, you’ll see a red one. If you’re a visual person, this app may work very well for you.
iDoneThis is different from your usual to-do list because it’s more of a “done” list. Each day, the app asks you a very simple question: “What have you done today?” Add the tasks you did on the date you did them and the app will add a check mark for you. The more you get done, the more checks you’ll see. If you miss a day, you will see “No entries for today” and the app will send you a daily reminder, though you can turn off that feature if you’d like. You can also set future reminders along with a specific time that you’ll be notified. The developers describe it as sending a “message to your future self.”
iDoneThis is extremely simple and doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles (though you can sync with your web-based iDoneThis account). But, it’s very easy to use and can help you build a habit or routine of accomplishing a task every day. You will likely be motivated to get something done just to keep the “done” chain going.
Platform: iPhone, iPad
Cost: Free, monthly subscription fee for teams ($3/person/month)
Other apps like it: List