This month we’re doing the Mommy Makeover Contest here at Model Behaviors and I’m the Accountability Adviser for our participants and our Comeback Circle (for more info, click here). That coupled with my theme word, evolution, has put a strong focus on accountability—how I handle it, and what tools I can recommend for your journey.
In last week’s Wellness Wednesday post, I talked about how important an accountability partner (AP) is and that in lieu of a real live person there are a plethora of apps that can help as well! You all know how much I love my research, so I wanted to try and summarize what I found in the world of accountability apps.
As you might have expected, the apps come in all shapes and sizes and cover many areas of interest—forming positive habits, getting rid of negative habits, keeping and following our to-do lists, money/budget management, food and fitness, plus many more.
Because I appreciate a good deal, I focused primarily on free apps for this post.
What It Is: Research shows that it takes 21 days to form a good habit or break a bad one. Hence the name of this app! 21Habit does just that, holding you accountable for habits you want to make or break.
How It Works: You check in every day and indicate through the app whether you have completed the task or not. That is the default mode. However they have a committed mode where you invest $21 ($1 per each day of the challenge). Every day you complete your habit (or don’t complete your bad habit) you get a dollar back. However if you don’t do your good habit or do engage in your bad one, you lose the dollar to 21Habit, which subsequently donates it to charity. The charities 21Habit donates to are listed here: http://www.21habit.com/charities
What Makes It Effective: If you choose committed mode (which I recommend), there’s a direct benefit or loss each time you do/don’t do your habit. For many people this is the motivation they need to persevere through the 21 days needed to form a habit.
Price: $0.99 for app and $21 each time you choose committed mode for your habit.
What It Is: These days we’re reading articles, watching videos, and looking at images constantly! How many times have you read an article or blog post, seen an image or watched a video that you know you want to refer to later, but it seems too tedious to copy and paste the link somewhere that you can find later. Enter Pocket! It’s an app that allows you to save articles, videos, or images you want to finish reading or refer to later, all in one space.
How It Works: Pocket has directions showing you how to add the app button on your web browser or to other apps on your phone so that when you want to save the material to Pocket, all it takes are two easy and quick steps.
What Makes It Effective: If you’re anything like me, the notes section of your iPhone is full of links to articles on parenting, wellness, beauty/skincare, business, or a variety of subjects that you want to refer to later, buy products from, or just send to a friend. What ends up happening to these links? In my case they get lost and buried in my endless number of lists and very rarely do I refer to them later. Or if I do, it takes me an inordinate amount of time to find the link. I love this app because it stores everything in one place, and it’s well organized and easy to view. It also has a feature where you can follow people using the app as well as a recommended feed of reading materials you might find interesting. For anyone who wants to hold herself accountable and follow up on interesting and pertinent things they read, Pocket is for you.
What It Is: A to-do list tracker. Wunderlist not only allows you to keep track of your to-do list, but it also allows you to 1) divide it into categories, 2) set sub tasks, 3) set reminders, 4) share to-do lists and assign them to people (which may be especially effective when it comes to asking your significant other to help you with things), 5) send emails with tasks to add to your accounts, 6) add due dates, and the list goes on and on.
How It Works: You download the app onto your phone and will then receive a confirmation email. Once you’ve confirmed your email, you’re given the option to download it on your computer as well. And then you start creating your lists! Wunderlist does a good job of guiding you through all the categories I mentioned above.
What Makes It Effective: It’s not just a place to record what you need to do, but it allows you to utilize so many accountability tools through the app to ensure you complete your list. For example, there are times when my husband and I have to go over our to-do lists together and assign each other things. With our busy schedules we don’t always have the time to do this. With Wunderlist we can share to-do lists and take ownership of what we’re going to do. It makes the process of getting things done way more efficient and sometimes more enjoyable as well!
What It Is: Essentially, it’s a money tracking and saving app. It allows you to input all of your financial information (credit cards, bank accounts, investments, etc.) in one place and helps you make smart financial decisions. It gives you a quick snapshot of where you are so you can make real-time decisions on where to spend your money and how much of it you should be spending. It has a free mobile money manager that reviews your day-to-day spending and even takes the next step of recommending a budget to you.
How It Works: You choose which accounts you want to add to the app (credit cards, bank accounts, investments, etc.), and it aggregates and manages all of these as it relates to your spending and growth. It seems to be more useful and effective as a budgeting app as opposed to an investment app.
What Makes It Effective: For all the busy moms and women out there, it’s so time consuming to know where you are in your budget day to day, particularly when it comes to certain categories. This app does so many incredible things as it relates to helping you manage all of this, but what I I love is how it shows you where you are with each purchase. The app creates a pie chart snapshot of the previous month’s spending and useful reminders of when things are due. Instead of having to log into multiple accounts and aggregate this information on your own into a personal budget, Mint does it all for you. It helps to hold you accountable for the money decisions you are making. So if you want to go out and buy that new pair of shoes, or couch for the house, or toy for your child, it will help you understand how that plays into your overall budget.
I truly hope these apps will prove useful to you in keeping yourself accountable in different areas of your life. I know they have helped me with mine!
Let me know in the comments below which app you think you’d use the most and why! Or if you’re already using one of these, how has it helped you?
The hand-lettered Charles Darwin quote graphic was designed by Kelsey Lemons, creator of She in the Making. When you sign up for our mailing list below, you’ll receive FREE downloadable graphics of these designs for your computer or phone backgrounds. Once you beautify your tech, your monthly goals and intentions will be at the forefront of your mind on a daily basis. Another great way to keep ourselves accountable!