Habits, good ones, are hard to build. Bad ones are easy to fall into and difficult to quit. You can blame your genetic make-up for this, or your parents who didn’t curb your sugar intake as a child but the fact is that breaking a bad habit or getting into following a new one is not easy. HabitBull is an Android app that takes a swing at helping people accomplish this. It’s not one of those apps that starts nagging you to do something, or incessantly reminds you not to do something. It’s an alarm app for your habits and is possibly more suited for developing a good habit than it is for beating out a bad one.
Launch the app and tap the plus sign in the navigation drawer to add your first habit, or go through the brief tutorial. Enter a name for the habit and select a color for it. Color coding is useful for if you have different types of habits that you want to develop. You can use the colors to distinguish good and bad habits, morning habits, evening habits, etc. You can assign the habit to a category and enter a description of it as well. You will also define the success criteria for a habit i.e. doing what how many times will count as the habit having successfully been practised in a day.
Next, select how frequently you want to practice the habit, or when it should alert you to abstain from it. This is where it becomes most evident that the app is best suited for developing a habit because it offers little in terms of ‘predictability’ that would suit the impulse of a bad habit. Select a day and then set the time for when it will remind you about the habit you are developing/kicking. This works for me if I’m trying to end a soft drink addiction. I can set it up for my normal lunch time which is when I am most likely to drink a coke but for smokers who may smoke more than once a day, there is no option for repeat reminders.
Once you’ve set the reminder time, tap Set, and then Create. In the navigation drawer, you will see each habit that you add. Tap one to record your progress on the calendar. The app keeps score of successful streaks so you must successfully practice a habit daily and enter it. In the navigation drawer, the habits are listed in the order you add them in. You can have them appear in order of success streak by tapping the switch next to the add new habit button. The buttons at the top of the progress calendar for a habit let you compare success streaks for different habits and view your success for a particular date range.
The app lets you import and export your data but both features are locked. To unlock them, simply send the developer some feedback.