13 mobile apps that will change your habits, increase productivity

I’ve heard it said that it takes 21 days to establish a new habit, but I think that’s only true for bad habits – good habits seem to take a lot longer.

In your business, professional, and personal lives, creating good habits is fundamental to optimum productivity. I like to think of habits as “personal automation” – things get done automatically, without having to think about them.

Therefore, due to the importance of creating positive habits and the difficulty involved with establishing them, we need to leverage every tip, tool, and tactic we have to help us form new habits.

One of the best tools available to us right now are apps we can put on our mobile devices. They allow us to set goals and parameters, remind us, track our progress (or lack thereof), and I in some ways reward us. They can also help us recognize the stumbling blocks that are preventing us from creating a new positive habit. Let me give you an example.

A friend was trying out the free habit tracking app Stride. He wanted to spend a few minutes journaling each day because the process helped him set goals and be accountable to them. He set a goal of journaling five days a week and a reminder notification to go off each morning at 8 a.m.

After a couple of weeks of only fairly good success he realized that trying to get his journaling done in the morning was a problem. Virtually every day his 8 a.m. reminder appeared, he wasn’t in a position to do the journaling. He realized that mornings were an unrealistic time to do this task. Had he not received that daily reminder, he might not have discovered this truth.

There are many good habit tracking apps on the market for both iOS and Android devices. The chart below features what I believe to be the most popular. The ratings and number of reviews were taken almost exclusively from Apple users.

I recommend starting with one of the apps that has a lot of users; that indicates a level of trust in support and compatibility as operating systems are updated. Click on the “X” for a website link.

Finally, if you have experience with a habit tracking app that isn’t included here, please note that in the comments below and we’ll try to include it in an update of this article.

App Reviews Rating iOS Android Cost iOS Cost Android
Way of Life 3419 4.5 x x free free
Balanced 2729 5 x free NA
Habit streak 2727 4 x NA free
Streaks 2238 4.5 x x 3.99 free
Strides 1464 4 x free NA
Coach.me 1320 4 x x free free
Momentum App 734 4.5 x free NA
Habit list 560 4.5 x 3.99 NA
Habit streaks 259 4 x free NA
Done 60 4 x NA NA
Daily habits 51 4.5 x free NA
My habits 26 4 x x NA free
Tally 25 4 x free NA