Any resolution to develop better habits or break bad habits is hard enough to begin with. Tracking progress should be as easy as possible. These free habit tracking apps make it super easy to measure how you’re doing with your new goals.
Because these apps focus on simplicity, they lack the extra features found in the most popular habit trackers. For example, you won’t get detailed statistics on your logs, or you won’t be able to share and track your habits with your friends. But they’re worth the sacrifices if you want a simple and effective personal habit tracker.
1. DailyHabits.xyz (Web): The easiest way to track habits or achieve flexible goals
Everyday is the internet’s favorite daily habit tracker, but we only add three goals in the free version. DailyHabits includes most of the daily features and is completely free forever. Plus, it’s not just about creating unbroken chains or streaks, it can also be used to achieve flexible goals.
When you create a new habit in DailyHabits, you’ll need to set how many days of the month you want to do that activity. The dashboard shows all of your habits as well as a calendar for the entire month. Keep checking the days you reach your goal. In the last column, DailyHabits shows all target days and all days achieved so far.
DailyHabits also includes a journaling component. The makers say that writing notes about your habits—whether about your feelings, your new achievements, or your shortcomings and failures—will help you stay on track overall. You can add unlimited habits and notes to DailyHabits and even use it on your phone, as the calendar is responsive to fit mobile screens.
2. Trackers.gg (Web): Card deck dashboard for different habits
Trackers.gg is one of the simplest and most minimal habit tracking web apps we’ve come across. It’s also completely free, with no hidden fees, restrictions or ads. And the responsive design means you can use it just as easily on desktop and mobile.
After signing up, you can create as many habit goals as you like, each of which will appear as a card on your dashboard. The card itself is all you need to see and interact with. No other stats or extra features.
Each habit card can be of two types: ticks (to track incremental progress of completed tasks) or numbers (to track number-based tasks, such as how many glasses of water you drank today). You can update your progress by tapping on the tick or number on the card. A successful session is logged on the in-card timeline. It couldn’t be simpler and easier.
3. Dreamfora (Android, iOS): Guided habit tracking templates for success
Let’s say the resolution is to get slim, toned and healthy. What habits do you need to develop in order to reach your goal? How often should you exercise, when should you meditate, and how do you manage hydration? Dreamfora is a habit tracking app that does this hard work for you with pre-made plans for different common habits.
Every plan has three elements: a habit, a task, and a note. The habit section adds some things you need to do regularly and sets up a weekly schedule. Tasks are things that aren’t regular habits, but things that need to be done to stay on track. And the notes are advice, useful links and motivational words to guide you on the road to success.
You can add up to three dream plans at once, and Dreamfora will discourage you from finishing what you’ve started. All daily habits from the three dream plans appear as a common list on the Today tab, so you don’t have to check each dream separately. Just check the box when you’re done with an activity.
Dreamfora keeps activity logs and displays statistics in visual graphs. You can even use the app anonymously without registering an account. By signing up, you can share and interact with the community.
Download: Dreamfora for Android | iOS (free)
4. Youtine (Web): Create printable habit trackers for multiple purposes
There’s something satisfying about picking up a pen and crossing off a box in the habit tracker. This is how comedian Jerry Seinfeld famously maintained the “don’t break the chain” productivity method. If you want to ditch the apps, Youtine creates printable habit trackers for a variety of habits.
After registration, you can create several tabs, each with its own habits. Select the month and year, give it a title and description, and add habits from the list. Every habit has its own icon. You should also assign how long you want to practice a habit, between 5 and 60 minutes. Finally, choose the days of the week that you want to implement this habit.
The icon, time, and checkboxes for the selected days of the week appear on the created tab. Unselected days are grayed out. You can simply tick or cross checkboxes, enter emoticons to track your mood on the day you were successful, or fill them in with different information such as the actual time of the activity.
The free version limits you to three habits per tab. Paid tiers allow you to add unlimited daily habits and create custom habits and icons. If you want to stick with the free PDF but don’t want to spend on Youtine, check out the best free printables and ebooks to change your habits.
5. Loop Habit Tracker (Android): Private, secure and simple
Most of the best habit tracking apps have one problem in common: your personal data is sent to their servers, and you’re not in charge. Loop is an open source and free habit tracker that works entirely locally. All data is on the phone and is never sent to any server. You are also free to export it as CSV if you want.
Loop’s habit tracking mission is all about simplicity. The main page contains a list of the habits you want to change, along with your activities for the past four days. By default, it’s a gray cross, meaning you didn’t do it. But if you’re stuck in the habit, change it by long-tapping to add a blue checkmark, or enter a value like how many miles you’ve run.
Loop tracks all activity-related data and displays it in a variety of charts and graphs to visualize your progress over time. You can find useful data such as your longest streak or which days you do this activity most often.
Don’t forget to check out Loop’s settings for some more great items. For example, you can make Loop reminder notifications sticky so they can’t be stolen until you complete a task. Or you can add “skip days” so you don’t lose your streak on a rest day due to some habit.
Download: Loop Habit Tracker for Android (Free)
Forming new habits? Allow for failures
In addition to keeping your habit tracking app simple, hopefully your goals for your habits will also remain simple. People tend to overachieve or set unrealistic goals and are too hard on themselves when they fail to meet them.
In fact, when creating new habits, it’s best to create a mindset that allows for failure. Too many habit trackers and methods focus on unbroken streaks and uncompromising routines. But if you screw it up, it’s not the end of the world. So allow for that when you’re forming the habit itself, and have a plan for how to pick yourself up and start again if you stumble.