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The Best Habit Tracking App for iOS


The best habit tracking app for iOS (or any platform, for that matter) is Streaks. It offers everything you need to create good habits or break bad ones, features a great design that is very customizable, has some useful widgets, integrates directly with the Apple Health app for automatic tracking, and offers great support for Shortcuts. At only $4.99 on the iOS App Store, it's also a bargain.

Habits: The Real Driver of Productivity

Every year, people set New Year's resolutions. This will be the year they get in shape, pick up yoga, run a marathon, give up junk food, eat more vegetables, etc.

But without daily habits and routines to support those goals, they are likely unlikely to stick. In fact, research at Scranton University says that 92% of New Year’s resolutions will fail. In his book Atomic Habits, author James Clear tells us why:

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.

If you really want to achieve a big goal this year, the way to do it is to create a system, or habit, that makes success inevitable. Want to lose weight? Don’t chase a goal — make a habit of going to the gym. Want to write a book? Make a habit of writing every day. Build these small actions into your daily routine if you really want to move the needle this year.

We've got a whole course on building better habits if you really want to dive into the mechanics of how they work, but you don’t have to know everything before you can start making positive changes in your own life. The secret to behavioral change is consistency. If you can make a habit of doing the right thing and repeat it every day, success becomes inevitable. With the right habits, this can be the year that you join the 8% who actually achieve their goals.

And the right habit tracker might be just the support you need to make it happen.

Why Not Just Use a To-Do List?

The short answer is that we all have too much to do. And if you're like most people, the list keeps getting longer.

Emails, Slack messages, phone calls — the list of inputs continues to grow. As it does, we need to make tough choices about what's going to get done and what isn't.

But that's not the case with habits.

Your tasks and projects may help you decide what you do, but your habits make you who you are.

People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures. — FM Alexander

Your task list contains everything you may or may not do, but we view habits as on another level. Tasks and projects are optional, but habits are non-negotiable. The problem is that habits are often important but not urgent, so without being intentional it's easy to let them slip and develop bad habits in their place.

The truth is that we all have habits and routines already. We all have things we do every day, either by design or by default. The moment you decide to be intentional about choosing your habits is the day you start changing your future.

And using a habit tracker is a great way to prioritize these little things that add up to big results.

Criteria for the Best Habit Tracking App

In wading through the hundreds of habit-tracking apps available for iOS, we used the following criteria to select the winner:

  • Overall Design & Ease of Use — The best habit tracker apps are well-designed, providing a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to add habits and track them regularly.
  • Reports & Statistics — The habit tracking app you decide to use should give you easy-to-understand information in the form of stats, graphs, and charts that make it easy track your progress.
  • Scheduling & Reminders — When you’re trying to create new habits, you might need a little help getting started. The best habit-tracker apps allow you to set reminders, making it easier to follow through and take consistent action as the habits become part of your daily routines.
  • Shortcuts Support & Automation — Forgetting to record a habit when you've actually completed it can be frustrating, causing your streak to be reset and undermining your motivation. The best habit trackers allow you to automate this process using Shortcuts.
  • Widgets — Widgets are a great way to view your habit progress without having to open up the app. While adding support for widgets takes time and the feature is relatively new, we feel it's fair to expect at least basic widget support from your habit tracker.
  • Update Schedule — The habit tracking app you use should have a track record of being well-supported to minimize the risk of it suddenly disappearing, forcing you to figure out a new tool (and possibly losing all your data).
  • Sync — There’s no shortage of habit apps available for your smartphone, but you should consider how your data will be synced if you want to track your habits from the web or your Mac.
  • Cost — What’s a few bucks when compared to the positive impact the right habits in your life will make? But with so many options available, you can afford to be a little picky when it comes to price.

The Best Habit Tracking App: Streaks

Streaks hero

Streaks is a great looking app that makes it easy and fun to track your habits, offers a lot of automation-friendly features to help you do so effortlessly, and gives you the data you need to document and measure success on your personal growth journey.


The first thing you'll notice about Streaks is that it is absolutely beautiful. The design is top-notch, and there are a ton of options available that all share the same simple interface. I counted 25 different color themes to pick from, and each one has multiple states. Here's an example of the different versions of the default orange theme:

There are also a ton of different home screen icons available that you can pick from to get Streaks looking just the way you like it. I personally like the blue icons on the black background (which I think looks amazing on OLED screens).

How it Works

Streaks is built around a philosophy of creating behavioral change by repeatedly doing the right things (or repeatedly avoiding the wrong things). This “Don’t Break the Chain” strategy is based on a motivational technique that is popularly attributed to comedian Jerry Seinfeld. The story goes that a young comedian once asked Seinfeld after a standup routine how to become great, and Seinfeld told the aspiring comic to get a big wall calendar and put a big red X on the calendar for every day that he wrote new material. Each day that he was able to put another X on the calendar, the longer the chain would become. The longer the chain became, the more motivated he would be to not break the chain.

The brilliance in the design of Streaks is in how it reinforces this principle throughout the app, providing motivation to keep your habit streak going with your desired behavior change. Each habit you track in the app shows the number of days in your current streak. To mark a habit as complete, tap and hold the task icon. The circle will animate, you'll hear a sound effect play, and you'll get a little haptic feedback for positive reinforcement.

There are 3 different types of tasks you can track in Streaks, giving you all the tools you need for habit formation:

  1. Positive Task (habit you want to create, i.e. Take vitamins)
  2. Negative Task (habit you want to break, i.e. No junk food)
  3. Timed task (habit you do for a minimum period of time, i.e. 10 minutes of yoga)

Positive tasks are the default, and Streaks uses a small icon next to the task name to denote either a negative or timed task. Timed tasks can also be repeated, so if you want to create a habit of completing four 25-minute pomodoro timers per day, you can set that up as a habit in Streaks. You can also choose if and when you want to receive reminders if incomplete for each habit that you track.

Each task or habit also has the ability to open a URL through a feature it calls the Action Button. This allows you to open an external URL by tapping the button on top of the task icon in Streaks. Here's an example that shows an action for reading The Sweet Setup blog that opens the URL in Safari:

What's really cool about this is that it works with callback URLs as well. So for example, you could go into Ulysses and use the Share Sheet to copy the callback identifier for a specific sheet, then put that in the Action Button for a task like Write my NaNoWriMo novel and tap the button in Streaks to go straight to your novel and start writing.

You can track up to 24 habits at a time in Streaks (6 per page x 4 pages that can be toggled by the button in the middle of the bar on the bottom). This is an increase from the previous 12 habit limit, but keeping the limit to 6 habits per page feels like an intentional design choice that helps you focus on the behaviors you want to change. For example, you could use the first page to help build a solid morning routine and the second page to help with your evening routine. Instead of trying to track your entire life, Streaks forces you to identify what parts of your daily routine are important to concentrate on right now. Overall, I think the subtle forced constraints in Streaks are a good thing.

Tapping on a habit cycles through a couple of different available views. The first is a view of the current month, with solid dots for the previous days you've completed the habit and a circle to indicate the current day, giving you a visual representation of your progress. The next view shows a couple of progress bars, showing your best streak for the habit so far and a completion percentage during the last week and the last 30 days.

Streaks also lets you see an overall view of all your habit data. Tap the star icon in the lower-right and you'll see a stats overview screen that shows you your best streak, all-time completion percentage, total number of completions, and a couple of charts to show you your habit history. The default view shows you stats for all habits on that page, but you can swipe from right-to-left to see the same data for individual habits as well.


Widget support has been slow to be implemented overall on iOS, which is a shame. Widgets are a great way to see the progress of your habits without having to open the application itself, and Streaks has by far the best widgets of any habit tracker we looked.

Streaks offers four different widget types:

  • App Icon, which shows the streaks app icon with a colored ring showing your current progress.
  • Statistics, which shows the stats for a particular habit in a variety of ways.
  • Dots, which shows the tasks from a specific page.
  • Tasks, which displays up to four tasks.

All the widgets are available in all three sizes except for App icon & Stats, which are only available in small and large (since it's square in shape).

They all look fantastic, and there is some really cool stuff you can do with these widgets. The combination of habit progress and statistics makes it possible to build your own habit tracking dashboard, right on your iPhone Home Screen:

The tasks widget is even interactive, allowing you to mark off habits from your Home Screen without having to open the app.

Making Habit Tracking Easy

One of the key features in Streaks is the phenomenal automation support that makes tracking your habits a breeze.

First is the built-in integration with Apple's Health app. This allows Streaks to look at your Health data and mark tasks as complete when the associated data is recorded. There's even a Health category when you create a new task in Streaks with a bunch of pre-made healthy habits you can choose from:

This allows you to track things like whether you exercised automatically from your Apple Watch, or whether you closed all your rings today. There's a lot of cool stuff you can do here, like tracking your Mindfulness Minutes automatically when in a meditation app, which can help you achieve a goal of spending a specific amount of time each day being mindful. I even have a habit in Streaks that tracks how much water I drink, which is updated automatically from Apple Health data that is synced automatically from my Hidrate Spark Steel water bottle via Bluetooth.

Another powerful tool is the support for Shortcuts. While most of the other apps we looked at offer basic Shortcut support, Streaks does a great job of integrating with newer automation features available on iOS. This allows you to take action in Streaks whenever an automation is triggered, like opening a specific app or starting a workout on your Apple Watch. For example, I created a Shortcuts automation that marks the task "Read Bible" as complete when I open up the YouVersion Bible app on my iPhone (part of my morning routine).

But that's just the tip of the automation iceberg. The Shortcuts support in Streaks goes far deeper than any other habit tracker we've looked at, giving you the ability to do things like select a task at runtime and provide output parameters for workflows. This allows you to do things like create a generic "complete task" shortcut that prompts you to select a task when you run it. You can also return information about the task you just completed. For example, you can create a shortcut that sends a message to a friend with your current streak for that task when you complete it.

Other Platforms

In addition to a universal iOS app, Streaks also offers a native Mac app. It's a separate $4.99 one-time purchase through the Mac App Store, and runs as a simple menu bar app that shows six dots and indicates your current daily progress by darkening the appropriate dots when the habits are completed. Clicking the menu bar icon opens up the full Streaks app, which looks just like the iOS version and offers full feature parity and iCloud sync between your devices.

You can certainly get by with just the iOS app — and we prefer to track our habits from our iPhone — but if you want to be able to see your habit data or occasionally mark things off on your Mac, it's great that Streaks gives you that option.

Streaks is also great on the Apple Watch, allowing you to easily complete tasks from your wrist. You can even customize the look of the complication for the different watch faces or select which habits you want to show up on the Siri watch face. And if you want to use Streaks on your iPad as well, it is a universal app that allows you to do so on all your Apple devices, and all your data syncs seamlessly between devices via iCloud. At $4.99 in the App Store, this makes Streaks an incredible value.

A great option for nerdy social habit tracking: Habitica

Habitica is a different approach to habit tracking that applies the concept of gamification to creating (or eliminating) habits. It’s made to feel like you are participating in a classic role-playing game (RPG), and the design will appeal to anyone with an affinity for retro video games. Like all RPGs, the goal is to make your character as powerful as possible. This is done by repeating positive habits and avoiding negative ones.

The first thing you do when you launch Habitica is create an account and design your character. Like any good RPG, you can control the class of your character as well as customize their physical appearance. Once you have created your character, it’s time to add your habits.

Actions in Habitica are broken down into a couple of different categories: Habits, Dailies (tasks scheduled in a known, repeatable fashion), and To-Dos (tasks that need to be done once or not on a regular schedule)*. Habits can be either positive or negative, with good habits giving you experience, gold, or mana for completing them and bad habits causing you to lose health or mana. Your goal is to complete habits and acquire experience points that will allow you to “Level Up” without running out of health points.

Habitica’s RPG-like elements run surprisingly deep. You can even acquire gold and use it to “buy” rewards in the app. The app has an 8-bit style which is nostalgic to anyone who grew up playing Zelda on their NES (guilty), but it’s not nearly as pretty as Streaks. Where Habitica really shines though is the social features. Peer pressure is a great accountability tool for positive behavioral change, and Habitica uses this mechanism brilliantly.

While you can use/play Habitica solo, it gets really fun when you start collaborating, competing, and holding each other accountable. You can go to the Tavern if you want to chat with other Habitica users, but you can also join up with other players in a Party or a Guild.

Parties are groups of users who play Habitica together, support each other, and follow each other's activity. Once you create or join a party, you are able to communicate with other members of your party and embark on challenges where you can fight monsters and earn prizes. It’s a great way for you to connect with your friends and hold each other accountable for creating good habits.

Another community aspect of Habitica is guilds. A guild is a social group within Habitica that allows users to discuss similar interests and participate in group challenges. Unlike parties, guilds are free to join, and allow you to connect with other like-minded individuals who can help keep your motivation high.

Unlike Streaks, Habitica has its roots as a web app. It is available natively on both iOS and Android, but it is also accessible on the web. That means it's not going to integrate as nicely with iOS system features or Shortcuts, but it is going to give you the ability to access it from almost anywhere via a web browser. It is also (mostly) free to use, although you can purchase Gems via an in-app purchase (which allow you to buy costumes for your avatar, backgrounds, and a few other things). There is also a subscription that allows you to buy gems with gold and gives you access to exclusive monthly items, but it’s completely optional. You can use Habitica just fine without the $4.99/month subscription.

Other Options

There are a ton of habit-tracking apps out there for iOS. Here's a list of (most) of the other apps we looked at when writing this review:

  • Atoms
  • Awesome Habits
  • Daily Planner
  • Daylio
  • Done
  • Everyday
  • Habit
  • Habit List
  • HabitBull
  • Habitify
  • HabitMinder
  • HabitShare
  • HabitTracker
  • Henry
  • Momentum
  • (Not Boring) Habits
  • Productive
  • Routine Flow
  • Routinery
  • Strides
  • Tally
  • Tangerine
  • Today
  • Way of Life

Here's a quick look at some of the more noteworthy options.

(Not Boring) Habits

(Not Boring) Habits is easily the nicest looking habit tracker we looked at. It has a very unique artistic style that attempts to blend behavioral science with gamification, and the result is a user interface that makes using the app a joy.

Fundamentally, (Not Boring) Habits works differently than a lot of other habit trackers because instead of leaning into the streaks concept it attempts to "save your progress." For some, this can be really helpful as broken streaks can cause stress and anxiety. It's a very different type of mechanic that will work extremely well for some people.

The widgets are also great, and you can subscribe to the app itself for $14.99/year or get access to all of the other Not Boring apps as well (Vibes, Weather, Calculator, Timer) for $29.99/year.


Tangerine is interesting because in addition to helping you build new habits like the rest of the apps we looked at, it is also a mood tracker. Tap the button below the date and you can log how your day went, what contributed, and how you felt about it using a few simple prompts. It's really well done, and adds another dimension to habit tracking that fits really well. Tangerine also has great widget support, with a Cards widget that opens straight to the desired habit when you tap on the appropriate card.

The big drawback to Tangerine is that it's expensive ($29.99/year or $4.99/month) for the premium features. It also has a unique visual style that isn't as customizable as Streaks, and lacks the automation features and integrations that Streaks offers.


If you’re looking for something that can do a bit more, Strides may be for you. Strides is a very powerful habit tracking app that allows you to track things four different ways:

  1. Habit, which allows you to track good or bad habits by swiping to log yes or no.
  2. Target, which lets you enter goal values by date and gives you a pace line so you can see if you’re still on track.
  3. Average, which shows how long you do something (like tracking how long you sleep each night).
  4. Project, which gives you milestones and percent complete sliders.

It’s a solid app and you do get quite a bit with the free version, but if you’re just getting started with habit tracking it’s a little too complicated. Strides Plus is available as an in-app purchase for $4.99/month, $29.99/year, and also offers a Lifetime Plan which is $79.99. All of the Strides Plus plans give you an unlimited number of habits, a web app, sync between devices, and a whole lot more.

Awesome Habits

Awesome Habits is a well-designed habit tracking app, but the real reason I wanted to call it out here is that it is available on macOS & iOS with a SetApp subscription. I've subscribed to SetApp and used it for years, and whenever I need an app for something I go to SetApp first to see if they offer something that meets my needs. Most of the time they do, and most of the time that app is pretty darn good.

While I haven't spent much time with Awesome Habits, it seems to have all the basic features that we're looking for in a habit tracking app (I particularly like how the graphs look). And if you already pay for SetApp, you should probably give this one a whirl to see if it sticks.


Fabulous is a gorgeous app that was “incubated in Duke’s Behavioral Economics lab,” promising to help you create a better you in only 19 days. Based on other research around habit building that says it takes at least 21 days and often more like 66 days to create positive habits, this seems like a bit of an outrageous claim to us. It’s built around the concept of Journeys, guiding you down a path instead of selecting specific habits you want to create or eliminate. At $49.99/year, it’s also very expensive compared to the other apps we looked at. If you want a personal coach that will tell you what to do, Fabulous may be for you. But if you simply want a great habit tracker, Fabulous isn't it.


At one time Productive was our winner for this app category. It's a well-designed app that gives you everything you need to manage and track habits effectively. Unfortunately, it's gotten really expensive ($79.99/year). We just can't justify recommending this one at that price point when Streaks is so darn good.

Interestingly, Productive is owned by a company called Bending Spoons (a name you may recognize from the sale of Evernote).


Speaking of expensive apps, Atoms is a new app from James Clear (the author of Atomic Habits) designed to help you implement the Atomic Habits framework and track your habits in the process. The app seems well designed and forces you to craft specific intentions for when and where you are going to do your habits, but costs $16.99/month or $119.99/year after the 28 day trial period is up. That is absolutely absurd for a habit tracking app, and honestly Streaks is much better. We love Atomic Habits, but stay away from this app.


There’s an abundance of riches when it comes to habit tracking apps for iOS, but our favorite is Streaks. It gives you powerful features, almost unlimited customization options, and integration with Apple features like the Health app and Shortcuts to automate much of your digital habit tracking. And if you like the idea of gamifying your habits or want something more social, check out Habitica.



Streaks gives you useful widgets, integration with Apple Health, phenomenal Shortcuts support, and everything you need to build good habits (or break bad ones).
App Store $4.99