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iPhone App Review: The Habit Factor®

iPhone App Review: The Habit Factor®

June 7th, 2010 by

Solidifying an action into a regular habit takes discipline and awareness. You need to know for certain how you are performing in your habit formation and be able to track that over time. If you can’t compare your current behavior to your prior behavior, then how do you know that your new habit is really “taking hold”?

There are a lot of apps in the App Store that simply track habits, but The Habit Factor bills itself as “a new paradigm through which you… assess all of your habits… and intentionally craft new habits to enhance achievement and create your ideal future — your success.” It promises to help you achieve “more in less time, far easier than you ever imagined possible.” Wow.

So does The Habit Factor achieve its own lofty goals? I don’t think it’s really possible to evaluate that in a review setting: I can’t dedicate the potentially weeks necessary to form a new habit, and too much is dependent on the personal characteristics of the reviewer (and I am personally terrible at breaking bad habits and forming good ones). So for this review I’ll just focus on the app and how it differentiates itself from other habit-tracking apps out there.

Features

The Habit Factor is deep and complex app. It allows you to:

  • track habits on a daily basis
  • relate any number of habits to a goal, as well as any number of goals to a habit
  • associate each habit with one of four core pillars: mind, body, spirit, and social
  • have the app track each habit on any day of the week (say, cardio workouts Monday through Friday but strength training only on Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
  • generate and email detailed overview reports for each goal and habit
  • generate and email a “streak” overview, which shows check-marks on a calendar to see your “habit streaks” graphically
  • share your goals with your Twitter and Facebook followers
  • plus tons of other added features too numerous to mention

Pros

The Habit Factor is nothing if not thorough: you can share your goals on social sites, add images to goals to help you visualize your success, add comments to each day’s habit tracking to give you added details on each day’s success (or failure, I suppose).

The app is also flexible, allowing you to customize when you see your target habits (every day or just the days you have checked off in the habit setup), show your un-met habits as an app badge, track habits through a specific end date or out to infinity; again, there are dozens of other little tidbits I can’t list in detail.

The Habit Factor is also a system of sorts, which the app itself is built around. Although the associating of habits with goals is fully optional to use the app, it is highly recommended by the developer (and by myself, if this is truly the app for you) that you do so. Some habits by themselves are fine: stop smoking, jog 5 miles everyday. But to truly get the most out of forming new habits for yourself they should be set in the context of overall goals to give the habits a purpose and to give you something to focus on. The Habit Factor recognizes this connection and stresses it throughout the process.

Cons

As I mentioned above, The Habit Factor is not just a tracking app but an entire system. If you don’t buy into the system itself or use the optional goal-tracking aspect of it, you may be dealing with way more interface overhead than you need to simply stop biting your nails.

Though I did initially find the app itself a bit overwhelming to me at first, I also didn’t take my own advice and read the “About” section, which would have taught me exactly how to use all of the features and options. It’s not a hard app to use but do yourself a favor and learn how to use it!

Overall

One thing about using an app to help with your habits is that if the system isn’t right for you, you won’t have success with your habit-forming goals. If you don’t like using the app then you won’t use it to help form your new habits, setting yourself up for failure.

Though the lite version is out there for you to evaluate the system itself, the full version of The Habit Factor is definitely a good bet for anyone looking to help form or modify their habits and achieve greater goals in their life.

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