Apps I Use To Track Things

I've written before about how motivated I am by tracking things and making numeric goals, so I thought I would share the apps that I use to obsessively track many parts of my life, with goals in mind and in other areas. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge paper lover and I can never have enough calendars, to-do lists, and lists in general, but there are some things that really lend themselves to being trapped via app. I use an iPhone so thats what these apps are for, but I think that there are Android versions of most of them.

Dollarbird - My first tacking app love. You may or may not know this about me, but I'm a pretty serious budgeter; each month I allocate a certain amount of money to different categories and make a determined effort to keep my spending within that amount (I say this after I blew my January budget on pizza today). Obviously, a huge part of being successful with this is keeping track of what I have spent so I know how much money I have left in a particular category. Dollarbird shows an overview of a calendar and allows you to enter expenses for each day, mark them with a category, and write a little note about exactly what the purchase was (or anything else you'd want to leave a note about). It also gives a month overview of how much you spent in each category for the month, which is handy and a little terrifying (track how much you spend on eating out for a month and you will see what I mean). The app is also aesthetically pleasing with a clean design and lots of bright, happy colors, which are comforting when you're having to face up to the cold, hard realities of finances. Also, Dollarbird is free, which is excellent for your budget.

Streaks - Streaks is the app that I use for building habits. It is similar to (maybe based on?) the "don't break the chain" idea popularized by Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld recommends doing something, like writing jokes, every day and marking off each day that it is done (on a calendar...or in an app). The desire not to break the chain and the feeling of satisfaction of seeing the streak get longer motivates a person to keep up with the habit or keep working towards the goal every day. With Streaks, you can pick up to 6 activities that you would like to do on a regular basis (every day or just certain days per week). Each time the activity is completed you press a button in the app and it adds a day to your streak. As I mentioned in my habits post, I am very motivated by this type of thing, so the little button waiting to be pressed is good motivation for me to do something that I would normally put off. Streaks also puts out notifications throughout the day if you have tasks that need to be done, so it can be good reminder if you are in the early stages of forming a habit and tend to forget about the task you want to work on. My one problem with Streaks is that while is does allow you to mark off a task for yesterday if you forgot to press the button, it only allows you to go back one day, so if you did a task on Tuesday and Wednesday but forgot to mark it off until Thursday, you would only be able to mark off Wednesday. I sometimes forget to mark off my tasks for a few days in a row, especially the ones that I do right before bed, and its a bummer to have my streak count go back to 0 even though I completed my tasks. This app is 3.99, but I got it for free when it was the Starbucks app of the week.

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iReaditNow - My tracking latest app is iReaditNow. In 2015 I set a goal to read 25 books and I made that goal, but I was not great at keeping track of what each book was (especially because most of the books I read are from the library, so I can't just look at them on my shelf). I started listing them in a planner that I stopped using and then I continued the list in the Notes app on my phone and then that particular note somehow disappeared and then I just gave up. I thought a dedicated app would help me track the books I've read this year so hopefully this one won't disappear. iReaditNow also has a wishlist feature, which I think will be good for me because, again, I jot down names of books that I want to read in tons of random places and then forget where they are, so consolidating all of the book stuff in one place seemed like a good idea. Also, it has a feature that lets you put in how many pages you've read and shows you how far along you are in the book by percentage, which, unsurprisingly, I really enjoy. iReaditNow is also a free app.

iPeriod - Obviously, I use iPeriod to track my period. It is definitely not very aesthetically pleasing  or sharp and I think that there are apps that perform the same function but are a lot nicer to look at (yep, Clue is one of them), but iPeriod gets the job done, at this point it has all of my information in it and a hilarious name. This app tracks my cycle and sends an alertwhen my period is due so that I can be prepared. You can also track symptoms, moods, and ovulation if you're into that. iPeriod is basic but incredibly useful and free (but so is Clue, so you should probably just get that one instead -- it looks nice).

Do have any recommendations for better apps than the ones I'm currently using?  Do you use apps to track things that I'm not keeping track of? Let me know, because I think it is fascinating and could probably use some more tracking apps in my life. They always give me this feeling that I can gather up tons of data and use it to optimize my life.