Trackers vs Lifehackers

Friday, December 30, 2011
By dreeves

Crowded City Sidewalks by Sandra Silberzweig

Beeminder makes pretty graphs of your progress. But if that’s your only reason to use Beeminder you might find it frustrating when your graph freezes because you deviated a bit from your Yellow Brick Road. More than the tracking — though that’s fundamental to it as well — we view Beeminder’s core feature as pledging to stay on track towards your goal every day. We think of it as a life hack.

If that’s not for you, here are some websites that focus just on tracking:

  • iDoneThis is based on the Seinfeld calendar (aka, Don’t Break the Chain) productivity hack — it asks you what you accomplished each day and shows you a calendar with checkmarks. We use this and endorse it highly.
  • Joe’s Goals is similar to iDoneThis but is a bit more visual. Also worth checking out. Possibly the oldest (and simplest) goal-tracker in this list!
  • 42 Goals seems to be similar to Joe’s Goals. We have no experience with this one.
  • Dailymile is a social workout-tracking site especially for runners.
  • RunKeeper is a lot like Dailymile (here’s a Quora thread trying to explain the difference).
  • DailyBurn is a bit… elaborate. It’s focused on coming up with personalized workouts.
  • FitFu is an iPhone app that is also a pedometer. UPDATE: FitFu is shutting down.
  • LoseIt is a popular iPhone app (now Android and web as well) for tracking calories and weight.
  • MyFitnessPal is a food and weight tracker.
  • FitDay is huge and ancient (in internet time) and bills itself as a diet and fitness journaling site.
  • MapMyRun has cool features for runners (like mapping your run — imagine that) as well as goal tracking.
  • Fitocracy turns fitness into a social game (and was featured on xkcd!).
  • EpicWin is like Fitocracy but just for iPhone.
  • NeuFit hasn’t launched yet but it looks similar to Fitocracy.
  • LifeKraze is yet another social, gamified tracker.
  • Traineo is another goal tracker and support community.
  • PhysicsDiet is a super nerdy weight-loss tracker. Beeminder and PhysicsDiet both take ideas from The Hacker’s Diet.
  • The Hacker’s Diet Online is a website based on the popular (in nerd circles) book.
  • Voxiva has smoking cessation and other mobile goal-tracking apps.
  • LifeTick offers goal tracking and coaching.
  • Me-trics has nice options for automatically pulling data from various sources.
  • Daytum is another data-focused goal tracker.
  • Dayta is an iPhone app for arbitrary data tracking.
  • Trackville is social goal-tracking site by a friend of ours.
  • your.FlowingData uses twitter as the interface for entering data.
  • TextWeight focuses on weight-loss tracking with SMS as the interface.
  • FridgeGraph is a lot like Beeminder, without the commitment contracts — it looks very nicely done!
  • Skinnyr is another simple weight graphing tool, and it can also connect to BodyTrace wireless scales, which we can’t vouch for but may be a good option if you don’t have wireless internet (it uses GSM).

You can also find a much bigger list — which includes physical devices as well as websites — at Quantified Self. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Since this went to press we learned that RunKeeper is far more awesome than we realized. They’ve become a Quantified Self platform. They even power the data collection for our newest competitor, RunOrElse. Check out their App Directory for other apps that are powered by RunKeeper. We’ll wed Beeminder and RunKeeper ASAP! [UPDATE: done.]

UPDATE: Our next post lists our competitors who, like Beeminder, focus on commitment contracts: Aiding and Abetting. Beeminder is, we believe, the only tool that so intimately combines commitment contracts with self-tracking and data visualization. Another recent post — Flexible Self-Control — explains why the combination is so powerful.

UPDATE: DayScore just launched and is very slick and elegant. They claim to have been inspired by Beeminder, by which I think they mean that they wanted to create something like Beeminder but without the super obtuse interface. :)

UPDATE: HabitRPG is looking awesomer and awesomer. We normally shun gamification but they’re doing it in a very nerd-friendly way.

UPDATE: Lift is a habit tracker for iPhone and Android and is so good we have a separate blog post about it.


Image: Sandra Silberzweig

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

  • Alexander Schwarz

    I recommend It’s similar to Joe’s Goals, has nice graphics and a useful group feature.

  • Sandra Silberzweig

    Thanks Bethany Soule, Daniel Reeves, and Melanie Reeves Wicklow for choosing my art work to inspire others towards their goals.  Hope your desires produce great outcomes!!!  Sandra

  • Daniel Reeves

    Thanks so much, Sandra! Your artwork is beautiful and this one in particular delightfully captures this post. All sorts of funny symbolism the more you stare at the image, like the skulls, and the vine winding its way up, etc etc.

    For anyone interested, here’s a direct link to a higher resolution version on Sandra’s site:

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  • Tyler Renelle

    Don’t forget HabitRPG :D

  • lefnire

    Don’t forget HabitRPG :D

  • Daniel Reeves

    Ooh, habitRPG looks awesome! And that’s really the perfect thing for integrating with Beeminder which should now be easy with our new API :)

  • lefnire

    Definitely – that HN API announcement is what brought me here. Very very exciting stuff, and gratz!

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  • Roberto Acuña

    And what about Endomondo and Jefit?

  • Jake Kaskey

    Oh holy crap, this curation has (literally) sent chills of excitement over my body. Massive numbers of props and thanks!

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  • William Rex

    HabitRPG has quite literally changed my life. I’ve been more productive and on-task in the last three months than I had in the last three years. (Maybe a bit exaggerated). But seriously, it’s great.

  • Reyali is also a tracker like this. It has a very simple interface as well as communal support. It was my introduction to things like this, so I try to put in a good word where I can.

  • Daniel Reeves

    Indeed! We have a whole blog post about Lift:

    I’m now adding it to the above list as well. Lift is really beautifully done.

  • Everyday Goals Team

    Also check Have responsive UI and easy to use functionality.
    On top of that, its all free.

  • Danny Dorsman

    I suggest to use simple goal trackers.
    My favorite is

  • Jeremy Gordon

    I’ve just released a free and open source project that combines goal tracking and habit building (as well as easy interfaces for tracking top tasks each day, and collecting quantified daily journals), and is designed for integration with other QS data sources so that those inclined can export (or access via API) and regress and correlate to their heart’s content.

    It’s at

  • Daniel Reeves

    Awesome! This reminds me of

  • Jeremy Gordon

    Just came across Omnier myself. Looking to add it as an integration option for more flexible data intake.

  • Gal Tsubery

    Thanks for the mention Daniel!
    Glad to hear you are considering Omnier integration. Please get in touch if there is something missing. Your input will be very helpful to get us to the right direction.