Of course technology is not just for the classroom, but I tend to only talk about apps and websites that I use in my classroom on here and I felt the need to share a new website/app that I started using that, while it probably could be used in the classroom, is something that I’ve been using just for me.
It’s called HabitRPG and I came across it in a slightly odd way. One of my friends on facebook posted about another habit website that she was using and a friend of hers mentioned HabitRPG in comparison. Intrigued by the name and brief description, I decided to check it out and decided to sign up. It combines two things that I love – To Do lists and RPGs. To clarify, I’m not what gamers would call a gamer. While I have played a few RPGs (Roll-Playing Games) on computers and consoles and even a bit of D&D back in my university days, I’m not a “hard-core” gamer. But I do enjoy them and I’m enough of a geek that the “gamification of life” appeals to me. Also, I LOVE “To Do” lists. I’ve tried a few different apps on my phone but none of them worked the way I wanted them too so I kept going back to tried and true paper and pencil. But this web-site/app has just about all the features I was looking for plus the added bonus of fun.
As you can see from the picture above, you separate your tasks into Habits, Dailies and To-Dos. Habits can be positive things you are trying to do more in your life (ex. exercising more), negatives are habits you’re trying to break (ex. leaving towels on the floor). Dailies are things you want to do every day or on a regular schedule. So for example if every Tuesday you need to go to a spin class, you can set it so that it only pops up on Tuesdays. Any Daily that you don’t complete by 12 midnight takes points away from your avatar’s health.To-Dos are things you want to get done either today or sometime in the future. When you complete a task, you get coins that you can use towards rewards that you either set for yourself (ex. an episode of TV) or that the game sets for you (ex. armor for your avatar).
As you do positive habits more often, their colour turns from yellow to green to blue. If you do negative habits or if you forget to do dailies or leave to-dos up for long enough, they change to orange and then to red. I’ve heard that eventually they may turn black if you leave them too long but I’ve never seen that happen yet. This helps me to have a visual reminder of things I really need to get done. For example, as you can see from the screen shot, I need to vacuum my house quite badly. My husband absconded with my computer when I was away from it and changed the name of that particular To-Do.
On the social/community side of things, there are groups you can join and chat with, you can create challenges for yourself and for others and join challenges that other people have set. They can be about anything, from exercise, to cleaning, to writing, to cooking, whatever. Some are written like quests in an RPG game, others are in general plain language. There are also quests and bosses that you can beat with a party but I haven’t had any yet.
Other fun aspects outfitting your avatar and using the random drops when you complete a task. Sometimes when you complete a task, you can get things like eggs, hatching potions to hatch the eggs to create pets and food that you feed to the pets to turn them into mounts. The pets and mounts don’t actually affect the game at all, but they’re fun to collect and figure out what each of them eat. Armor and weapons for your avatar do change certain things though, such as how many coins you collect fro completing a task.
I’m one of those kinds of people who gets great satisfaction from crossing something off a list. And yes, I’m one of those people who will add something to a list just so that I can cross it off. So having the added bonus of getting “coins” and items from crossing those items off works very well for me. I started using this about two months ago and I’ve managed to get myself to start flossing every day instead of every few days and I’ve been exercising more often. One drawback I’ve noticed is that I think about things like “Oh, I’m spending time outside. I can check that off on HabitRPG” rather than just enjoying the experience. The drawback of external motivation I guess but it’s still beneficial.
If you’d like to know more about it, here are some tutorial and information videos.
What do you do to help keep you on track in your life?