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

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