Need someone to hold you accountable? There's an app for that (several, actually).

By Nicole Clancy
February 23, 2021
Advertisement

The key to sticking with and ultimately achieving the goals you set for yourself is accountability, so the experts say. You could always ask a friend or partner to hold you to your personal resolutions, or you could bring them in on it with you. But sometimes even that isn't enough to make new habits stick. That's precisely where goal and habit tracking apps can come in handy.  

Apps in this category can differ widely in offerings and user experience—some are bright and stimulating, some are more minimalistic; some offer pre-set programming, others allow for more flexibility and personalization; some are super-niche and detailed, others are more general and versatile. But all of them offer quantifiable tracking tools and oh-so-helpful reminders for anyone trying to stay on course to meet a personal goal. When you find one that works for you, you'll be able to develop and maintain a pattern of healthy behaviors that turn into stepping stones toward your final destination. 

When we make new choices to achieve a new outcome, "we are effectively changing our brain patterns that have been engraved over many years," explains Angie Swartz, a life coach and executive business coach, and the founder of Life Purpose Advisor. "We not only need to look at what we want, but also at what's blocking us from already having those things, as well as the triggers that keep us going back to the safe, [familiar] ways we've always done things."  

Beyond providing reliable accountability, Swartz adds that using an app helps "highlight an upward trajectory, giving us motivation to keep going." There's nothing like seeing your progress to get you pumped to keep going. To get your own personal motivational coach in the palm of your hand, try one of these great habit-tracking apps.

Credit: apps.apple.com

1

Beeminder.com

Beeminder dares you to put your money where your mouth is by having you set your goals (anything quantifiable), make a monetary pledge for leverage (say, $5), and report on your progress in the app, which then plots your progress through data points on a “Yellow Brick Road” toward success. If your data is off and you fall behind? They’ll charge you what you pledged. If you’re someone who likes deadlines, binding contracts, or just can’t get leverage on yourself to stick with your goals, this app is for you.

Free. For iOS and Android devices.

Credit: apps.apple.com

2

HabitBull.com

Use HabitBull to track and monitor up to five separate personalized goals (for free—or unlock more features with a premium subscription). Set deadlines, write down commitments, get handy reminders, and enter number-per-week goals (i.e., I’m going to journal three mornings every week). You might even have flashbacks to elementary school star charts with its fun visual feedback of green (success!) versus yellow and red dots. HabitBull’s customizable task-busting approach is an analyzer's dream with loads of data that works wonders for motivation. And best of all, get motivational quotes to boost your mindset every day.

Free to download, with options to pay for premium access from $5.

Credit: apps.apple.com

3

stridesapp.com

With super-easy navigation and clean design, Strides is an accountability partner in the palm of your hand. Categorize and track your goals in four different ways, from hitting deadline-driven projects to keeping rolling tabs on habits and behaviors. Organize your to-dos into subtopics tailored specifically to you, like health, money, hobbies, or relationships. If you’re easily self-motivated and looking for an extra boost of accountability, this app is for you. 

Free to download, with premium options from $5. For iOS and Android devices.

RELATED: Haven’t Found the Right Productivity Tool for You? This May The One

Credit: apps.apple.com

4

habitify.me

This straightforward habit-tracking app keeps you in line on up to three habits with no frills or fuss, inspired by the bullet journaling technique (but better). Organize your goals into categories (finances, health, and productivity), record your growth, and watch your progress. It also features a community option, allowing you to join interest groups, follow discussions, and even pick up other users' tips and ideas.

Free to download, with premium options from $5. For iOS and Android devices.

Credit: apps.apple.com

5

thedoneapp.com

Done isn’t just a good-looking app, it actually helps you get stuff done. Using eye-catching (and super-satisfying) color coordination, this app is designed to help you succeed. Whether you have trouble with time management, focusing on tasks, or staying organized, Done holds you accountable by tracking up to three goals, showing you monthly and yearly progress snapshots, and highlighting your success streaks.

Free to download, with premium options from $3. For iOS devices.

RELATED: Our Best-Ever Tips for Being More Productive (and Ditching Procrastination for Good) 

Credit: apps.apple.com

6

thefabulous.co

The Fabulous app is particularly useful for keeping tabs on all your self-care-related intentions. This app holds you accountable by focusing on the journey of your goal, breaking down larger objectives into smaller steps and ultimately developing good, sustainable habits over time. In addition to helping you tackle unique personal goals, it offers pre-set, basic habit reminders (from drinking water to reading) and ready-to-begin self-care routines, including short meditations and exercises. If you’re in need of a confidence boost and ready to get hooked on good habits, definitely give this app a try.

Free to download, with options to pay for premium access from $8.