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Gamify your life! Game-like apps to challenge you to be more productive

We will always have an excuse not to do things that we have to do. More than once we have said “I’ll do it later” or “I’ll do it tomorrow” and never really getting to do anything. Procrastinating in our life objectives can be a little tempting, especially when you don’t have fixed deadlines such as working out, learning how to cook, making time for your best friend.

Stop procrastinating and start working on your goals! We’ll make it simpler for you. If you enjoy games or you feel motivated at the presence of a challenge or pressure, why not try to apply your gaming skills in your real-life goals? Here are some of our favorite gamified productivity apps that can give you that extra boost and challenge you to start becoming more productive.


LifeRPG (Android)

It’s just as the title says: an RPG (role playing game) based on your life. Ever played an RPG game where you have missions to accomplish that would reward you XP (experience points) to level up? If you love doing these kind of games, why not make your life into a one big RPG?

LifeRPG takes a little time to set up—but that’s an upside if you want to tailor-fit your missions to what you want to accomplish. Start by adding missions, setting the difficulty and urgency of these must-do activities, and work hard each day to accomplish it and gain the equivalent XP.

You can even set rewards for stuff you accomplish! Say, you can only reward yourself with a brand new dress if you earn this much gems from completing these much missions. That’s practical positive reinforcement right there!


Habitica (iOS and Android)

If you’re ready to make things a little more competitive, this is basically the equivalent of a LifeMMORPG. Of course, MMORPG or Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games are basically RPGs but you get to compete and play with other people. This is basically Habitica’s upgrade from LifeRPG.

Apart from setting up your own missions which you can gain experience for or lose health, depending on what you did, you can take on special challenges that other people have curated and see how well you progress compared to others. Challenges can be as productive as the “2,018 Things To Do In 2018,” where you get a list of things you must accomplish the whole year, and could get as casual as “Post one joke about music a day.” Whatever floats your boat!

There’s also the classic Inn or Tavern where players hang out and in Habitica, here is where you can chat with other Habitica users and see how well (or badly!) they’re progressing.

In addition to the cute pixel avatar that you can get to customize, it’s really the whole MMORPG shebang!


Forest: Stay focused (iOS and Android)

If you’re familiar with Farmville, where your task is to grow a farm, in Forest, you get to grow your, well, forest! The app basically encourages you to stay focused on a single task. Each type of task is one tree, and the tree grows depending on how much time you spend on that work. Spending 10 minutes, for example, will grow your plant into a shrub. Spending 30 minutes focused on that task will grow it into a decent little tree. And as you spend more minutes into your work and do more kinds of work, your tree and your forest grow accordingly.

If you give up on the timer that you set, your plant will turn out as a withered plant and it will appear on your forest as a constant reminder of your failure. Ouch!

While the app is free to use, there is a premium version that unlocks more features such as more kinds of plants and trees, competing with other Forest users, and a Forest cloud account to keep your data safe. You can also plant a real tree in Africa as part of the app’s efforts to contribute to Trees for the Future, an organization that plants trees all over the world. As of writing, Forest users have already contributed 225,000 real trees planted in Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, and Tanzania. Cool, right? You get to boost your productivity while doing your part to help Mother Earth.


Fabulous (iOS and Android)

One simple request, one simple app: Make Me Fabulous. If you’re too busy to create your own productivity goals and want a more scientifically proven way to approach things, then this could be the app for you. The app sets up a pre-set list of routines for you to follow in the morning, in the afternoon, and then at night. The app’s promise: “In 2 weeks, you’ll have more energy, fell more fulfilled, and be more productive. You will have built the lasting rituals for a fabulous life going forward.” Bring it on!

It’s not just that. Fabulous has one of the most fabulous user interfaces out of all the productivity apps I’ve seen and tried out. I actually downloaded it at first because of how well-conceptualized everything looks.

Fabulous has many different tasks as you go on your journey, such as exercise, yoga, meditations, stretching, and power nap. While there is a basic program for starters, those who find merit in the app’s scientific approach to wellness and productivity should purchase the premium version called Sphere Series to unlock more features and routines. The 6-month Sphere journey embarks you on a 6-month transformation through various chapters on starting an exercise habit, building self-discipline and self-esteem, and even mastering mental fitness.