Task Management the RPG way: HabitRPG

So you’re probably noticed that the Cafe has been seeing more business as of late. It’s true, I have been posting more…if not every week, then at least every other week or so.  That’s because I found something to keep me on task, and so far it’s been successful.

I play HabitRPG. And I am getting so Much. DONE.

Pairing task management with a role playing game has been done before. I was interested in EpicWin, but they never released it for Android (plus, I don’t think it’s updating anymore). I tried the Android app Task Hammer, but grew bored with it. None of the characters were customizable, and there was no real incentive, other than a pretty sound once I completed a level. I use Outlook to keep track of my submissions, which usually keeps me on track. The problem with Outlook tasks is that it’s easy to ignore, and it’s a plain ole task list. I can put tasks on, and make tasks from email, but once the overdue time passes, it’s still easy to ignore. I’m good with keeping track of my submissions, but any other task, I don’t do so well on.

HabitRPG is a website that pairs task management with the incentive of role playing games. But it’s much more than just a task list. It helps you to develop daily habits.


As a character, you get an experience bar and a health bar. You do a task, you get points and money. But if you don’t do some tasks, your health goes down. Lose too much health, you die. Luckily, get enough experience points to level up, and your health bar resets to full again. You can even form parties with several people to keep everyone accountable.

There are three columns (well, four, but ignore the last column for a moment). Habits are things you want to do overall. You get points for doing them or in some cases, your health suffers. So for instance, I have a plus/minus by use the standing desk. If I do that once a day, I can click the plus button and get experience points. However, if I found I’ve been sitting all day and I ache all over, I click the minus button and my health goes down (and for reals–if I sit all day, I feel incredibly sore).

Dailies are tasks you want to do every day. This is good if you have big projects that you want to focus a certain amount of time on each day (the days can be also customized so you can do it on workdays or weekends, or two days a week, etc).  Dailies are renewed each day–if you have valid ones left over from the previous day, your health takes a hit. If you don’t do a certain daily for a while, it turns red. The redder it gets, the more health it takes off. Conversely, if you check off the red one, you get more experience points and more money.

Todos is a regular task list. You won’t get penalized if you don’t do them in the day. However, they do age–the older they get, the redder they become. Again, the incentive is to get you to do those tasks you neglect, so if you get around to checking off the red todos, you get more experience points and money.

What do you do with those points and money? Buy stuff, of course! The fourth column lists all the weapons and gear you can get–usually to help slow down the health you lose or to increase how much experience points you get. You can also buy pets, although they’ve implemented a new feature so that you can randomly find eggs and hatching potions by checking off tasks.

What really impressed me about HabitRPG, though, is the community. there’s an active blog and forum, and, if you’re into geekery and programming, you can go on GitHub and suggest features, as well as go on Trello and see what projects are being worked on. I know for instance, they’re working on a Android mobile app—Trello shows me where they are in the process (Plus, it’s fascinating to see the programming process it.)

HabitRPG has really been good for me. I like the incentives.  I like dressing up my little avatar (which is dark-skinned like me and doesn’t have armored boobs getting in my way. I mean, seriously, TaskHammer so ticked me off). And seeing what they plan to put it in, I love to stay with it for the long haul. And once this goes live, it’ll be so satisfying about checking off a Blog: HabitRPG box and seeing how much I can get for it.

Maybe I’ll get a tiger egg this time!

(Okay so tigers don’t really come from eggs, but hey, it’s an RPG. Anything can happen)