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08 January 2014 @ 06:20 pm
HabitRPG: Putting my To-do List in order  
Why not, I'll write about HabitRPG. I did just spend nearly an hour codifying all my tasks there, after all.

If you're not one of the people I've already mentioned it to and don't know what it is, HabitRPG is a gamified productivity program. There's a fuller explanation of how the systems break down in the video on the main site if you scroll down, but it's basically a to-do list crossed with an 8-bit RPG. Checking off tasks gets you XP and gold, which you use to buy better gear to reduce the damage you take from unfinished tasks and earn XP faster. Also, for people who like meaningless collectables, there are pets and mounts that come from random drops. And they just added classes with special powers--I picked wizard, of course--along with quests and boss fights.

I've been using it for about a year now, after a friend told me about it right after the Kickstarter they launched for a mobile app had ended. Originally it was pretty bare-bones and the website barely worked, but as the year has gone on it's gotten more and more usable. They just added the ability to add checklists to tasks, so you can make a "do chores" daily task with "1) wash dishes, 2) prep tomorrow's lunch, 3) start rice, 4) pick up stuff from floor" or whatever.

I'll admit, most of my checklists are on my various "Beat [x] videogame" Tasks with lists of the levels or other milestones for levelless games like Oblivion. (>_>)

Playing video games to completion isn't the only thing it's been helpful at for me, though. If you played World of Warcraft with me, you know about my internal drive to get all the achievements, and it's that same urge that makes me want to check all the boxes. As an example of how well it worked, I managed to stop oversleeping and get out of bed within 10 minutes of my alarm going off basically every day, because if I don't get up by then I don't get to check the "Get out of bed by 6:55" task off, and then it's just sitting there unfulfilled, and I can't have that. I'd be missing out on a chance for pet drops! I'd have less gold and I wouldn't be able to get the equipment I'm looking for! Some of that equipment is time-limited! Exclamation point!

That's the part that makes it so effective, at least if you're like me. If you're the kind of person who plays RPGs for the story and doesn't care about getting extra equipment or maxing out characters, it will probably be like any other productivity app, though with more pixelated graphics. But if you're me and spent multiple hours in FFVI's Fanatics' Tower getting every character every spell even though some of the characters are basically worthless, then it's perfect.

Well, not quite perfect. One thing I would really find useful that isn't in there is a frequency between "daily" and "eventually." Right now, there's no really good way to implement a task that's supposed to be done once a week or three times a month unless it's always done on the same day every week. The addition of checklists means it's possible to hack it--remake a weekly or monthly Task with a checklist as long as the number of times you should do it in that period of time--but something more elegant would be nice. Fortunately, I went and looked at the suggestions board and implementing something like this is the most-voted-up item there, so I imagine it'll be coming soon enough.

In conclusion, if we got XP in real life, I'd probably be a billionaire by now.
Current Mood: productiveproductive
Current Music: Cryobiosis - Recollection