It always seems like you’re behind, doesn’t it?
Your emails keep piling up. You get distracted by the latest internet meme instead of writing a new blog post. You can’t seem to force yourself to get any marketing done.
And the question keeps popping up in your head…
How in the world are you supposed to stay productive?
It’s bad enough you can’t stay on track. What makes it worse is that you have little idea where to start looking for something which might help you get your work done on time, without feeling like keeping track of your tasks is just another bothersome chore.
Fortunately, the answer to your productivity problems may be simpler than you realize.
You just have to start using gamification apps.
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF GAMIFICATION ON PRODUCTIVITY
One of the easiest ways to keep yourself motivated and productive is through gamification.
Research shows that when employers implement gamification elements into the workplace, employees’ productivity can increase by up to 40%.
Wouldn’t you love to be able to get the same results?
The thing is, with the right productivity app for your needs, you can.
While most of the research done on gamification and its effect on productivity is related to larger companies, using a gamified productivity app can still work for you. Technically, as an online business owner, you are your own boss, as well as your own employee.
So once you choose and implement your favorite productivity app (or few!), you’ll greatly up your chances of completing work for your biz.
THE TOP 10 GAMIFIED PRODUCTIVITY APPS FOR THE ENTREPRENEURIAL GEEK
Here are ten productivity apps you can choose from which utilize geeky interfaces and gamification elements to help you achieve your business goals.
This may be the most popular, geeky productivity app ever. Of all time. Say farewell to boring, useless to-do lists. With HabitRPG, you will actually get rewarded for the tasks you complete. When you check off an item on your digital task list, you gain experience points to level up your avatar. You can also hatch adorable pets and mounts, and participate in challenges to defeat monsters which give you special loot, rewards, and more XP.
And it gets even better. HabitRPG lets you join guilds with other like-minded individuals, and invite friends to join your party so you can all benefit from defeating a monster or completing a challenge. There’s also a tavern, where you can chat with other HabitRPG users, and an inn, which is really nifty if you need to put your tasks “on hold” to avoid losing health.
Speaking about losing health, the nice thing about HabitRPG is that you can’t slack off. If you don’t finish your daily tasks each day, or perform a bad habit, you lose a few points from your health bar. This feature helps keep you motivated to do your work, so you don’t end up losing an entire level, all your earned gold, and a random piece of equipment.
Price: Free, $5 per month for an upgraded subscription
Available On: iOS, Android, web
Learn More: habitrpg.com
This app works under the assumption that it’s “sometimes easier to complete a 40-hour RPG than drag yourself to the gym or wash your dirty car.”
Epic Win claims to take care of all these objections to doing your daily life’s tasks and more. Which is good for you as a business owner, because you have a ton of stuff to get done. This app rewards your real-life accomplishments with in-game points which help you level up your character, score some gold, and increase skills.
When you complete tasks, you move forward on a quest map, and at each new location, you pick up and share via social media (as bragging rights) rare items with hilarious names like The Helm of Questionable Appeal. Epic Win also has unique little features like fight music as you “battle” your chores, and the ability to save all your completed work to a history log so you can pat yourself on the back for everything you’ve finished.
If you couldn’t tell, Epic Win is very similar to HabitRPG, and both apps are equally praised by their users. You can try both and see which one works best for you.
Available On: iOS
Learn More: rexbox.co.uk/epicwin/
Continuing the string of RPG-based productivity apps, Task Hammer is the third option for aspiring or current online business owners. This app is a little simpler than both HabitRPG and Epic Win, as it doesn’t offer any sort of loot reward system for completing your goals.
However, Task Hammer is unique because it gives you the option to set an alarm to remind you of your tasks. This is a crucial feature for business owners who regularly need that extra nudge to be reminded of their to-do list.
And while Task Hammer’s system also limits your character creation options (you can only choose between a pre-set barbarian, rogue, or sorceress), the app allows you to level up your character based on attributes. Your character has strength, vitality, intelligence, perseverance, and charisma, which you can assign individually to tasks. When you complete that task, you improve that attribute as you gain XP.
For business owners looking for an easy, gamified productivity app which also has the alarm function to remind you of your tasks, you can’t go wrong with Task Hammer.
Available On: Android
Learn More: goo.gl/9AGxNz
Quest wants to help you “level up your life” by checking off your lists. This task management app relies on nostalgic 8-bit styling, and, like all the previous apps covered in this post, employs game elements to encourage you to finish your to-do items.
The beauty of and difference with the Quest app, though, is in its simplicity. Your to-do lists and your “quest categories” (like shopping or business) are easy to find, read, and check off. Your avatar’s items are also neatly stored on one, organized screen so you can quickly see how decked out you are to more effectively attack and accomplish your tasks.
Quest’s current drawback is that because of how new the app is, you don’t have a lot of customization options. One reviewer in the iTunes app store noted there aren’t stats available like in the Epic Win app, and another reviewer said there aren’t pre-populated quests — you have to create them all yourself.
However, if you’re looking for an easy app to start using and get your online business on track, this may be your best selection.
Available On: iOS
Learn More: appsto.re/kr/d0mE4.i
While relatively new, Challenge Accepted holds a lot of promise for a geeky productivity app. Developed by Daisy Calvert and Amy Miles, the RPG-style Challenge turns your task list into a “Quest Log” (plus, the app’s design and cheeky writing will remind tabletop gaming aficionados of Munchkin).
Challenge utilizes the social feature of parties to help keep users accountable to each other. The app also has tournament rankings to keep competition strong between the app’s users as a whole. This encourages everyone to get their tasks done so they can appear on the leaderboard and claim all the glory.
An interesting aspect of Challenge is that the app even supports the idea of honor and truthfulness in reporting your accomplishments. The site boasts an “Honor Code” users can read to dissuade them from cheating or giving themselves maximum XP for menial tasks. While this may not convince all users to avoid abusing their to-do list rewards, it is a unique aspect not included in other productivity apps.
Overall, the app is still in beta, but the promised features and gamification elements are impressive and sure to help you move forward in your online business productivity.
Price: Free, paid “guild memberships” will arrive in the future
Available On: web
Learn More: getyedone.com
Wish there was a way to actually prove you’ve done your work, instead of trying to keep yourself from lying about your productivity accomplishments?
Mind Bloom’s Proof! app has you covered. Unlike other productivity apps, the 8-bit-themed Proof! requires you take a picture or film a video of the work you just completed and post it to your account, before you’re given your due recognition. Proof! contains customizable 7-day challenges you can participate in from a wide variety of categories (including “Career”). Alternatively, you can create your own challenges.
But the real power of Proof!’s app comes from its social bent. If you can get friends or family to join in with you, you have extra accountability for making sure you actually provide the burden of proof. You’ll see each other’s proofs as they’re posted, be able to compete with each other in challenges, and provide words of encouragement in the comments.
Mind Bloom actually hosts an entire group of apps, aimed at improving your life as a whole. If Proof! isn’t up your alley, you can likely find another motivational option among Mind Bloom’s app selections.
Available On: iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Learn More: mindbloom.com/proof
While this app is currently in beta mode, it’s definitely a task management option to check out. Itemz allows you to organize projects and tasks, with the ability to be notified by email or through the app for specific items you’ve chosen to be alerted about. You can even customize your app’s view, if you prefer a list view over a column view, for example.
Itemz is lighter on the gamification aspect compared to the previous apps covered here, but it still allows you to pick an avatar and win trophies to level up. You can compare your avatar’s progress to that of other users, as well as develop a “wall” of your trophies or accomplishments.
The interesting thing about Itemz compared to the other gamified productivity apps, though, is that it lets you include multiple team members in one account, much like task management apps Slack or Asana. You can assign specific tasks to any member, and you can all comment on each other’s progress.
This multiple-member feature is especially useful for biz owners who have employees or colleagues you work with on a regular basis; it’s even beneficial for solo entrepreneurial geeks who may need to coordinate on a co-created project with another blogger or business owner.
Price: Free for up to three projects with three people, pro plans start at $9/month and go up to $49/month
Available On: web
Learn More: itemzapp.com
There’s more to owning a business than just… business.
When you’re your own boss, you have to learn how to balance other parts of your life at the same time as your online venture, like house work. Whether you like it or not, those dishes still need to get washed, and the laundry will need to be done at some point if you don’t want to end up wearing stinky clothes every day.
Fortunately, Chore Wars can help you accomplish all your household chores by rewarding your completed efforts with XP. The web-based app is set up like (as you might expect) a role-playing game, and allows individuals or several members under one roof to record their household chore progress. This makes Chore Wars especially useful if you have a family you’d like to assign chores to, but make it a fun game at the same time.
Each completed task awards your character XP, and you can even defeat monsters, pick up loot, and unlock extra treasures. Over time, you level up your character with the more housework you get done, and your character’s class even changes to match the kind of chores you’ve been doing!
Price: Free, one-time payment of $10 for Gold account
Available On: web
Learn More: chorewars.com
Numerous studies and research organizations have proven exercise keeps you more productive and energetic every day.
But let’s be honest here: most of the fitness apps out there are really lame.
That’s why Zombies, Run! is such a great alternative for the entrepreneur who’s a geek at heart. Aimed at runners (like the title implies) or treadmill users, this app puts you into the role of an apocalypse survivor; in order for you to avoid being eaten by the zombie hordes and save hundreds of lives, you need to run a set distance (in real life) while collecting supplies and building up your digital “base.”
Zombies, Run! boasts even more benefits than just ensuring your character doesn’t die. The app also allows you to accept “missions” which will increase your overall health. You can also use your own music and create custom playlists, all of which will be periodically interrupted by cryptic radio messages detailing more elements of your story and explaining how the world succumbed to a zombie apocalypse.
Available On: iOS, Android
Learn More: zombiesrungame.com
While we all know it’s good to exercise, many of us don’t realize how important it is to keep our mental health and personal well-being in check, too.
Enter SuperBetter. The app was created by gamification expert Jane McGonigal when she was dealing with the medical, mental, and psychological problems stemming from a concussion. This app is perfect for when you feel like one of your biggest obstacles in your online business isn’t necessarily staying energetic or keeping track of tasks, but dealing with barriers your brain throws at you.
SuperBetter aims to build up your resilience and increase your overall physical, mental, emotional, and social strengths. The app involves a powerful buddy system where you can gain Allies (friends) to help keep you on track, unlock new challenges, and reach your personal health and wellness goals. You also get a personal “Secret Lab” where you can figure out ways to improve your progress.
In general, this app is perfect for you to use if you’re dealing with any difficult situation you need to get through. When you move past challenges in your life, your online business will ultimately improve, too.
Available On: iOS
Learn More: superbetter.com
THE BEST WAY TO IMPLEMENT YOUR GAMIFIED PRODUCTIVITY APP
Now that you have a selection of apps to chose from, it’s time to pick one and start using it.
Some people wonder what the best way to use an app is. Should you only use one app, or is it okay to use two at a time? Should you combine it with a physical productivity hack, like colored sticky notes?
Do what works best for you.
You may find you are most productive one particular app over another. Some people, like me, find productivity boosted when using app only for the reward system, and not for keeping an actual task list (which I keep separately in a Google Doc and on my office whiteboard).
The important thing is that you start using whichever app you think you’ll most benefit from.
The more questions you ask about how to use a gamified app to increase your productivity, the less likely you are to actually use it.
Pick one app, test it out, and gauge your experience before moving on to a new option.
I can promise you your productivity levels will increase (right along with your in-game characters) and your business will end up prospering even more, all thanks to these app’s engaging gamification elements.
So which of these apps do you think you’ll try?
Leave your answer in the comments below, or share the post with a friend who needs some productivity in their life.