I used to be all about productivity apps. I wanted to turn my phone into everything I needed a notebook and some quiet time to be. Here are some of those apps. I don’t use them anymore because I turned into a robot, but maybe you’ll like them.
You drink a glass of water, you open your phone, you go to the app, you sit through an ad, you water your plant, and you hope it doesn’t die. You have notifications to remind you to drink water. You collect seeds on the plants you haven’t killed, and you use those seeds to plant fancier plants. When the plants — whom you name — are happy, they make cute noises when you tap on them. When they’re dehydrated / dying / dead, they make very sad noises.
Do you hate that thing you do and want to hate yourself even more by tracking how many days since you stopped doing that thing and then watching when you did the thing you were trying to track not doing?
The opposite of Quit That! Input a bunch of habits you want to incorporate into your life. Flossing? Washing your makeup brushes? Going for a walk? Things like that.
Track when you take your medication, or feel like you’re failing yourself if you take your happy pill right before bed then forget to log it but your phone is already plugged in on the other side of your room, so.
Wake up and smell the data. The dream data, that is. Log all your feelings, recount your dream, and watch as the graphs and charts show you how your brain says you’re absolutely, totally, 100 percent DOOMED.
Stay focused. Use your phone to set a timer to stay off your phone! If you don’t, a tree will die. If you do, you’ll grow a forest!
This one is the big kahuna. Moment runs in the background and logs every time you pick up your phone, every time you unlock your phone, and how many minutes you’ve been on your phone per each pickup. Get. Ready. To. Hate. Your. Self! One of my friends is in the top 17 percent of users who use their phone an absurdly large amount of time, so, like, at least there’s that.
For the other exit, see Poo Keeper.
Note: I do see the value in many of these apps! They can be great! But they did not work for me (maybe because I used them all at the same time?) and all of that tracking just made me more anxious about my life. If one of these sounds interesting to you, absolutely check it out and see real reviews instead of my snark-ass comments.
Extra note: If you’re feeling addicted to your phone, you should read Manoush Zomorodi’s Bored and Brilliant. Zomorodi realized she was losing creativity time by being on her phone playing Two Dots whenever she had downtime. So she cut the game out of her life and started analyzing all the ways she could use her phone less and live life more.
This post was originally published in March 2018 at the now-closed Burn Your Faves.