In a quest to find the best free habit tracker, I tested out the free version of Strides over the course of a week so you can take a quick glance through this article to see if Strides is the right free habit tracker app for you.
Strides is a habit tracker app available only on iPhone and iPad. The free version of the app can track up to 3 habits. The premium version of the app has no limit to the number of habits it can track. Habit history data comes with both versions of the app but with more features in the premium version.
|Pros of Free Version of Strides||Cons of Free Version of Strides|
|– Minimalistic interface and intuitive to use|
– App doesn’t constantly pester you to upgrade to its’ premium version
|– App can only track 3 habits|
– Limited features as compared to the premium version
One must have an iOS device in order to use Strides. The free version of Strides is ideal for those who only intend to habit track a few key habits really well and do not mind the lack of features in the free version compared to Strides’ premium version.
Although the interface looks good and is intuitive to use, I think it is important to look at more angles when picking a free habit tracking app.
How Strides Helped Me Build Good Habits For Free
At first impression, the free version of Strides was unappealing to me because it could only track up to 3 habits. Furthermore, the app has limited features compared to the premium version.
Luckily, I didn’t give up on the app and continued using it over the next few days. It was during this time when I saw the usefulness of the free version of Strides which can be summarised in the following points.
The overall interface of the app
I found the minimalistic interface simple yet powerful.
The 3 main buttons (today view, create a new habit, and reports) critical for the tracking of your habits are found at the bottom while less essential buttons are found on top.
All the information that I need to get a good feel of how well I am doing with my habits can be found on the homepage.
I like how clear the information is presented – green indicates “success” for a goal while red either indicates that I am tracking a bad habit or a “failure” for a goal.
The overall progress shown in the 7-day view at the top of the screen adds even more clarity to how I am doing overall with my habits – a green circle on any of the dates means that I’ve completed all my habit goals for the day while a blue circle means I have not.
More than that, I can also go into the monthly view by tapping on any habits/goals that I am tracking. Going into the monthly view leaves me beyond doubt about my progress with my habits as each day of the month clearly indicates whether I met my habit objectives through looking at whether the circle is fully or half completed.
Process of adding goals/habits to track
While the process of creating new habits/goals to track on a habit tracking app can be confusing on some apps, I found that the process of creating a new habit/goal to track on Strides to be quite pleasant.
Rather than confuse me, I found every step of the process helping to clarify what is important to me to track.
Firstly, there are 10 categories of habits/goals templates to choose from.
This helps me explore in mind my almost every area of my life as I figure out what is truly worth my time and effort to track.
Secondly, even if there isn’t a template suitable for me, creating a custom tracker is easy and to the point, as the app ushers me through the process. The wordings are clear, with explanations readily available for more technical terms unique to the app.
Thirdly, I like how the app allows me to track many different types of habits/goals in different ways, some of which I haven’t even thought of. These potential configurations have given me a chance to rethink and improve the way I am tracking some habits.
Possibility of adding log notes
When I first started using Strides, I was under the impression that notes couldn’t be created in the free version of the app.
Turned out, there are 2 types of notes for every habit that I tracked – log notes and goal notes.
Goal notes are notes that are tagged directly to the habit/goal itself – these notes can only be created in the premium version of the app.
Log notes are notes that are tagged to times when you record an occurrence when you engage in a habit/goal – these notes can be created in the free version of the app.
The Free Version Of Strides And Its Disadvantages
With every freemium app comes some disadvantages. Because, well, every freemium app creator is going to want us to become a paying customer.
The main disadvantage of using the free version Strides to me is that it can only track up to 3 habits. Realistically, I need to track at least 5-10 different types of habits.
But of course, depending on how I see it, the limitation to track up to 3 habits also forces me to track only the habits that matter to me most.
Another minor disadvantage is the historical habit data available in the free version of Strides.
The screenshots of the left show most of the historical habit data that is available for free on Strides.
While the data is enough for me to evaluate and improve upon my habits, it is quite limited when compared to what is available in the premium version of the app.
The screenshots of the left show most of the historical habit data that is available only on the premium version of Strides.
To me, this information is good to have but is not a must-have.
I feel that on the free version of Strides, I already have enough information to help me to evaluate and improve my habits.
How Strides Fared As A Free Habit Tracking App
As I’ve written in another article. Most, if not all habit tracking apps are freemium apps.
With freemium apps, the big question is, how different is it on the other side of the paywall?
I think that a good free habit tracking app should not be that much different in terms of functions between the free and paid version. Or at least, the free version of the app should be at least usable in a wide range of situations.
To determine this, I decided the score a number of freemium habit tracking apps, including Strides with the same 4 criteria that I thought were important in any habit tracking app:
- 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 consider a free habit tracking app to be 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 Strides can track for free: Strides 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: Strides automatically tabulates some habit history data and allows the recording of some notes for each habit tracked.|
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 Strides is available on: Strides is available on 1 platform – iOS.|
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 Strides: Strides can track many 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.|
Strides has many things going for it, but the fact that it can only track up to 3 habits for free coupled with the consideration that the premium version isn’t cheap means that I’m unlikely to want to switch over to the premium version and that it cannot cover all the habits that I want to track and improve in my life.
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
While this concludes my review of the free version of Strides, you may want to check out another article where I consolidated my experience with several free habit tracking apps if you’re looking for the best free habit tracking app.