Streaks, our pick for the best habit tracking app, just received an update to version 6.1. The update adds a bunch of small health and automation features, but the thing that I’m excited about is the addition of the Stats widget.
The Stats widget shows statistics about a single habit in a variety of ways. It is only available in the small widget size, but it’s very customizable and offers a bunch of display types:
- Mini Charts – shows horizontal bar charts for your current streak, the last 7 days, and the last 30 days.
- Time of Day – shows a line chart for what time you complete the task.
- Day of Week – shows horizontal bar charts for the days of the week that you complete the task.
- Completion Success – shows a line chart for your completion success rate over time.
You can also choose whether you want the task to switch automatically, to show the next task that’s incomplete, or select a specific task to display in the widget.
And this is where things start to get interesting.
Creating a Habits Dashboard with Widgets
I’ve written before about my approach to intentionally designing my Home Screen in a way that promotes what I consider to be positive uses of my technology. And I wrote again recently about how I’m using widgets in iOS 14 the same way – to design my Home Screen in a way that channels me towards the good and away from the bad (i.e. news, social media, etc.) whenever I unlock my iPhone. I’m very happy with the Timery dashboard I created and use every day for time tracking, and when I saw the new Stats widget I immediately saw the potential in doing the same thing for my habit tracking with Streaks using the different combinations of Stats widget set to display information from a specific task.
Using the different different forms of the Stats widget in combination with the Tasks and Dots widgets gives you all the pieces you need to make your own habits dashboard on your iPhone. And when you set the Stats widget to a specific task and create widget stacks that you can swipe through, there’s an insane amount of information you can have on your home screen without even having to open up the app. Here’s a couple of examples:
In the first image, I’ve basically recreated the Streaks app on my Home Screen. Each widget stack is devoted to a specific habit, and allows me to switch between the task icon and all of the different Stats widget display types for that habit. It’s not exactly the same as the views you get in the app, but it works the same way – you just swipe to change views instead of tapping. The only thing missing here is the ability to tap on the task and have Streaks open the app and mark it as complete.
The second image has a medium Dots widget at the top displaying all my habits, and Stats widgets in the four remaining small widget locations stacked by display type. To view the stats for a specific habit, I swipe through the widget stack for the display type I want to see until I land on the habit I’m looking for. I think I like this one a little better, but time will tell whether it sticks. One thing to be aware of though if you take this second approach is that you will need to make sure that Show Title is set to Show. This displays the icon for your task in the upper-left of the widget, otherwise you’ll have no idea which task the data is for.
I love the attention to detail in these widgets. For example, in addition to showing which task the data is for, the icon used for the task title display also displays the current task progress. So in the screenshots above, the solid blue dots show that the task has been completed for today. This is a much better approach IMHO than simply showing the text for the task name.
It’s kind of amazing the different combinations you can get with the addition of a single widget in Streaks. You can even customize the date range for the Completion Success chart, which lets you do things like compare this month to last month. For Apple nerds like us who are looking for a habit tracker that makes great use of the newest iOS features, Streaks is an easy recommendation.
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