Imagine if you had Jerry Seinfeld hanging over your shoulder all day long – not cracking jokes (which would be as awesome as it would be distracting) but pushing you to get stuff done. Believe it or not, there’s an app for that. Sort of. Streaks – Daily Habit Tracker is a new Android app that employs Seinfeld’s simple “don’t break the chain” trick as its core function to achieve improved productivity.
Although Seinfeld’s methodology involves making big red checkmarks on a highly visible wall calendar to remind you to keep your chain of daily accomplishments going – and presumably to fill you with self-loathing and shame for any gap in days when you were too lazy to go jogging, or walk the dogs, or write a new joke, or clear your workplace email inbox – Streaks lives on your smartphone and follows you wherever you go.
It’s a simplistic app with a straightforward interface that doesn’t waste time on superfluities. You add a task by tapping a plus icon and keying in a brief description. You can schedule timed reminders that send push notifications to your smartphone, or if you’re of a more disciplined bent you can manually refer to the app to see where you stand.
Once tasks are added, they show up on the app’s main screen in descending order of when they were added. Tapping “Complete” on any item keeps a running tally of how many days in a row you’ve gone without shirking your responsibilities, giving you a visual representation of well you’re doing.
The goal, naturally, is to keep your streak alive without letting a calendar day get past you. If you fail to complete a task, the counter resets to zero. A social sharing feature is also present, giving you the option of bragging about your accomplishments via Facebook, Twitter, email, text message, or any other platform installed to your Android. You can also use the sharing feature to publicly shame yourself when you failed to live up to your own expectations, but we don’t recommend it.
Unfortunately, Streaks in its present form is only able to track daily tasks. This means you don’t have the ability to program every-other-day or bi-weekly duties. It also doesn’t let you edit task names once they’ve been created, and there’s no widget support – but with the developer’s demonstrated attentiveness to feedback, it’s likely much of this will change as the app evolves into maturity.
Streaks – Daily Habit Tracker is available as a free download from Google Play and requires Android 4.0 and up. The free version limits you to five tasks at a time, where the $1.99 pay version lets you set an unlimited number. Maybe not quite worth the full cost of admission, but certainly useful if you’re looking for an easy to use reminder.