As part of my efforts to find the best free habit tracker, I tried using Beeminder to track the habits that I want to build for about a week, reviewed the app and discovered some helpful information.
Beeminder is a goal-tracking solution that is available as an app on Android and iOS. Available free and paid, it can be used on most web browsers on any operating platform. The free version of the app can track up to 3 habits while various tiers of the premium version of the app can track unlimited habits.
|Pros of Free Version of Beeminder||Cons of Free Version of Beeminder|
|– Clear graph that shows how well you do with each habit|
– Can track various types of habits
– Provides a strong incentive to accomplish habits
– Easy to use
|– Only can track 3 habits|
– Easy to escape accountability
Beeminder is a goal-tracking solution that can be used to track habits. What’s unique about Beeminder is that when you do not complete any habits tracked, there is a monetary penalty involved.
As I immersed myself with Beeminder, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it visually represented my habit progress.
How Beeminder Helped Me Track Habits For Free
Good visual representation of my habit progress
Beeminder automatically plots out a graph based on my habit data inputs.
With every data point that I input, I can also accompany it with a comment.
I love this because the data points on the graph and comments can show me how well I am doing with my habits and then, I can evaluate and improve from there.
Strong incentive to hit habit goals
In all my experience with testing out habit tracking apps, I’ve yet to come across one that uses real money as a penalty for not hitting targets.
I’ve found this to be helpful to me. With other habit tracking apps, even though I know that I’m missing my target of drinking 3 bottles of water a day, I often find that I will either forget about it.
With Beeminder, because I know there is a monetary penalty every time I fail my targets, I am much more wary to complete my habits every day.
It also helps that the penalty increases every time I fail my habits, this makes me want to not even start failing at any of my habits I’m tracking with Beeminder.
Simple To Understand And Use
While there are many places I can navigate to and options I can set up on Beeminder, they are all phrased in simple words and I found no trouble getting to what I want to accomplish – tracking my habits.
I like how adding my progress to the habits I am tracking is prominently displayed.
The main menu also places the most important features (New Goal and Gallery) at the top.
Within the dashboard itself are 5 options that are aptly named leaving me with no doubt to what I will find if I click on any one of them.
This makes the app simple to understand, quick for any beginner to start using and fast for any existing user of Beeminder to do what needs to be done.
Disadvantages Of Tracking Habits For Free On Beeminder
Only can track up to 3 habits
With the free version of Beeminder, I can only track up to 3 goals. Realistically, if I were to track my habits, I would need to track about 8 different types of habits.
This means that if I were to use Beeminder as a habit tracker for free, I would most likely have to supplement this with another habit tracking app that can track more goals.
While I found that it is possible to track more than 3 goals for free if you provide some feedback to them, the additional free goals in exchange for feedback are not a strong enough incentive to me.
Easy to escape accountability
Although Beeminder with its monetary penalty sounds promising to help me keep to my habits, over the week I’ve used it, I’ve found that it doesn’t work that well for me because its easy to escape accountability by entering false data into the goals to evade penalties.
While Beeminder sets out with good intentions with its penalties, I’m beginning to think that it might be more beneficial to use a regular habit tracker that wouldn’t dish out such a painful punishment, to me at least.
How Beeminder Fared As A Free Habit Tracker
I measured how good Beeminder did as a free habit tracking app based on 5 criteria that I think will be essential to any habit tracker:
- The number of habits the app can track for free (If the app can only track 1 habit, it is unlikely to be useful to me because I want to track more than 1 habit. The more habits that the app can track, the better it is for a user.)
- Data recording capabilities of the app (It is difficult for me to improve if I cannot see where I am succeeding and failing with my habits. The more useful habit data that can be collected over time, the better it is for a user.)
- Platforms the app is available on (If I am on iOS and Mac, it would be ideal if an app I frequently use is on both platforms. Therefore, the more platforms that an app is on, the better it is for a user.)
- The versatility of the app (If I can track whether or not I woke up on time today, a yes/no habit. And I can track how many bottles of water I drank today, a number habit, then I think a habit tracking app can be considered as versatile.)
- How well the app can help to improve habits (Even if the app scores well on all other aspects, I would be unlikely to continue using it if it is designed in a way that doesn’t really help me to improve my habits.)
|The number of habits Beeminder can track for free: Beeminder can track up to 3 habits for free.|
If the app can track 1-3 habits – 10 points
If the app can track 4 or more habits – 20 points
|Data recording capabilities: Beeminder can both automatically record habit history and allows for the recording of notes with each data point.|
If the app can view automatically recorded habit history – 10 points
If the app allows manual recording of notes for each habit – 10 points
If the app can view recorded habit history and record down notes for each habit – 20 points
|Platforms Beeminder is available on: Beeminder is available on 2 platforms – iOS and Android. It is also available on any web browsers, this makes it available on many other platforms such as Windows as well.|
If the app is available on 1-2 platforms – 10 points
If the app is available on 3 or more platforms – 20 points
|The versatility of Beeminder: Beeminder can track 3 different types of habits.|
Does the app allow you to track all types of habits?
If no – 10 points
If yes – 20 points
| How well does the app help improve habits (On the scale of 1 – 10): 5. In my opinion, Beeminder can do more harm than good in terms of improving my habits because of the combination of a monetary penalty and how I’m left to keep myself accountable.|
Subjective and based on personal opinion. Take it with a pinch of salt, if the app seems good to you, try it out yourself and decide for yourself.
If 1-5 – 0 points
If 6-10 – 20 points
If you’re looking for the best free habit tracking app, check out this article where I’ve tested out a bunch of them.