Two simple task management apps to help you reinforce habits

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.

Wonderful Day

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.

Platform: iPhone, iPad
Cost: $0.99
Other apps like it: Don’t Break the Chain, Joe’s Goals (web-based)


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

12 Comments for “Two simple task management apps to help you reinforce habits”

  1. posted by Wes on

    Neat apps. Have you seen Streaks? That is the one I am using to work on habit development.

  2. posted by Rai Dai on

    If any Android users are looking for similar apps, MyChain was the simplest one I could find. Its free, and you can quickly mark off you task using the widget. I’ve been using it to track about 4 habits for the past month. Definitely check it out !!!!

  3. posted by Keri Peardon on

    Ah!!! I’ve been wanting something EXACTLY like that Wonderful Day app!

    I just wish they had it for a Kindle, as I don’t have a smartphone.

  4. posted by Amy on

    I’ve been using Remember this milk for things I want to be in the habit of doing. (15 minute organizing, exercising, etc.)

  5. posted by Amy on

    (oops – I forgot to mention – I use RTM on an android.) App suggestions for android users would be a lovely thing!

  6. posted by Scott Carlson on

    I’m using I’m currently @ 57 days of guitar practice, and I can say it has definitely made a difference. I even took my guitar on a short weekend vacation, so I wouldn’t break the chain.

  7. posted by Anna on

    Well, I find these some digital unitaskers… Why don’t just use mac calendar and reminders(from the new IOS)?

  8. posted by JC on

    It does seem very, very basic.

  9. posted by djk on

    I’ve printed out calendar pages with the don’t-break-the-chain idea, but I wanted one for each habit I want to reinforce, and I don’t want paper stuck up all over the place. I’ve been wishing for a simple app like Wonderful Day.
    My phone is always with me, I don’t sit at a computer at work, so I will try out the app, which I can update from anywhere.

  10. posted by MissPrism on

    These sound great!

    If you don’t mind a bit of swearing, UFYH has a new app which I like so far called UnFilth Your Habitat. You could almost certainly do everything in it with existing timers and lists, but it’s friendly and cheap with the same ethos as the site.

  11. posted by Mah on

    Why, oh why, did it have to be “IDone this”? Wouldn’t “IDid this” work as well???

  12. posted by Deb Lee on

    @Mah – I feel your pain. 😉

Comments are closed.