There are already a wealth of productivity apps available for phones. They all do their jobs admirably, but none of them are what you would call. . . “fun”. To be fair, they aren’t designed to be, as they are more concerned with helping you run your life, be it through task scheduling or communication.
But what if you wanted to improve your productivity and enjoy yourself whilst doing it? Fortunately, you are not alone in the endeavour, as there are actually quite a few apps available that straddle both mediums. Here are a few we like the look of:
If you aren’t getting monetarily rewarded for doing tasks, it can be hard to find motivation. HabitRPG looks to change that by introducing mechanics from RPGs. You can tell it habits you either want to get out of (fast food, smoking etc.) or get into (walking to work). You then insert daily tasks, and quick “To Do” items, and assign rewards to them. Finish the task, and you get the reward!
What can you do with these rewards? Use them to upgrade your character! You can customise your avatar, and strive to reach the next level. But conversely, if you choose to not do a task, your character will lose “health”, and you’ll miss out on rewards. This nice balance of risk/reward should prevent you from getting lazy. Because if you do, you may miss out on that sweet hat you’ve had your eye on!
Similar in premise to HabitRPG, EpicWin takes the fantasy element to the next level. It’s essentially World of Workcraft – you don’t setup “tasks”, you set up “quests”. You assign points to these tasks, and as you complete them, you earn “loot”. Better loot, the better your character is.
Smartly, it adapts the typical RPG stat system by splitting your tasks into five categories – Strength, Stamina, Intellect, Social and Spirit. It’s this level of attention to detail that sets this above a lot of other apps on the market.
The Android equivalent of EpicWin, Task Hammer, takes the same basic concept, but strips out the graphics, going for a simplified look and feel. It works just as well, but whether you prefer efficiency or aesthetics will dictate your choice.
Taking the set up of EpicWin, but applying it to a specific task, Duolingo offers you incremental rewards for learning languages. You can choose from Spanish, French, Portuguese, German and Italian, or choose to go the opposite way, and learn English using one of those languages. The app will give you a quick lesson on basic words, usually split into categories such as places, food, animals etc., before giving you a variety of tests to see if you took in the lesson.
You’ll either be rewarded with points, that you can use to level up, or you’ll lose one of three health points for getting things wrong. While it won’t allow you to master a language, it can be a fun way to brush up before a holiday, or a way to help with revision before a test.
Beating a previous personal best can be a powerful motivation technique for sport, but Doable applies it to everyday tasks. The app generates statistics based on the events you put into it, such as quickest time, longest period of word etc. Then encourages you to beat your stats. Have to phone someone before 3pm? Well yesterday you phoned them at 2pm. Ring them at 1pm today and you’ve beaten your previous best!
This is a fun way of adding motivation to To-Do lists, whilst not sacrificing the organisational tools needed in a modern productivity app.