Yesterday I was browsing the productivity sub on reddit in my spare time. I saw a link posted about a kickstarter campaign for a project called ‘HabitRPG’, the title caught my eye, so I checked it out.
Turns out that habitrpg.com already exists and is fully functional, the kickstarter campaign is aimed at raising funds for improvement and a mobile app, as well as combating server load. So anyway, I signed up.
HabitRPG doesn’t require you to register for anything, though you can do if you please. I’m assuming it registers and records information through cookies meaning as long as you use the same computer, you don’t need to worry. That was the first thing that impressed me, I get annoyed having to sign up for so many things just to TEST them.
I liked how simple the layout was, and even though the site gives you a quick rundown on its features; it’d be easy to figure out on your own. Keep in mind that before visiting, I watched the video on the kickstarter campaign page, so I had some idea of how it worked.
How does it work?
I have to be honest with you guys, I used to be a sucker for RPG games. Runescape, Elder scrolls, you name it. They take up A LOT of time though, so I stopped. Fortunately habitRPG won’t keep you on the site for long, there’s no little games or anything that will distract you, it’s a motivation tool.
When you first visit HabitRPG you’ll see a banner at the top with a little character. That’s you. Your character has health (hit-points), and experience. You lose health by doing a bad habit, or not doing a good habit. You’ll also lose health if you try and buy a reward without enough money (I did this as a mistake and I’m now on 19/50 health!)
Underneath the character information section there’s 4 boxes; Habits, Daily, Todos, and Rewards. I deleted all the habits that were already there and put my own in, some of my habits include:
- 2 hours productive work
- Comment on 3 blogs
- Make a synth patch
Habits: The great thing about the habits section is that you can put in bad habits that you don’t want to do, then uncheck the box that says ‘up’, if you do end up doing that habit, then click the red button to lose health. One of my bad habits is going on facebook over 3 times per day, each visit after 3, I click the red button.
Daily: This section doesn’t have plus or minus buttons, instead it has check-boxes. Daily tasks turn red if you’re doing poorly, the longer you take to complete them, the more valuable they get. This is not an incentive to wait, because they also become more damaging to your health.
Todos: These also become more valuable as time go on. Similar to Daily tasks, they have a checkbox, but are not confined to a time period. I personally set most of my todos on a day-to-day basis, but some tasks will stay on during the week.
Rewards: The fun part. I’ve said it numerous times before and I’ll say it again. Habits are built on the reward cycle, and although most habits usually lead to rewards themselves – it’s good to have something a little extra, to give yourself a pat on the back and say to yourself, “I deserve this.” That’s right, rewards.
You need money to buy rewards, if you wanted, you could set a new reward and make the price $1. Then you could just click the plus button a couple of times on a habit to buy your reward, but that defeats the whole purpose of the website. It’s about staying accountable yourself. I’ve only got two rewards setup at the moment, one of them is to watch a movie, which costs me 30 gold.
Who is HabitRPG good for?
I’d say everyone, but some of you might not like the idea of ‘gamifying’ your life (I don’t even think that’s a real word), I don’t like that idea either, I’m just trying this out. It’s about how you look at it though, if your like me and think it could be a good tool to keep motivated and on task, then go ahead and use it.
I’m not sure what it’d be like for people who have never played an RPG in their life, I think that’s half the fun! So in all honesty, I can’t recommend this for one particular group; you’ll have to try it yourself.
HabitRPG is a new and innovative way to keep motivated, build habits, and get things done.
Usability: 8/10 (common server load problems)
Appearance – User Interface: 9/10
Future potential: Yes.
Over to you:
What do you use for staying motivated and building habits? The trusty old pen and paper? Maybe a certain document you’ve created. Let me know in the comments section below!
Update: Video Review