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Habit Tracker: Which One’s The Best? + 100 Habits To Track

“What gets measured gets managed.”

That’s a quote from Peter Drucker, considered the father of modern management. Contrary to what you’d think, he wasn’t a big fan of complex business models or convoluted strategies. He mostly talked about habits. Businesses are run by people and people run on habits. That’s why managing our habits is important. Measuring them, however, is hard.

That’s where habit trackers come in. A habit tracker is a tool that allows you to quantify your behaviors and track how consistent you are in acquiring or removing specific ones. This means habit trackers can take many forms, such as a simple pen-and-paper checklist, an app on your phone, or even a specific gadget, like a big bottle of water on which you mark how much you’d like to drink each day.

With this guide, I hope to achieve three things:

  1. Show you my favorite habit tracker, coach.me, why I like it, how it works, and convince you to give it a try.
  2. Give you suggestions for which habits to track, backed by real data.
  3. Present you a range of alternatives you can explore to find what works best for you.

Below you can find a table of contents, which allows you to jump to any section that interests you. Let’s get to work!

Habit Tracker App

The Best Habit Tracker For 2019: coach.me

Originally founded in 2011 under the name ‘Lift,’ coach.me is a New York based startup that helps people change their habits through tracking, community support, and coaching. Their habit tracker app is free and available on all platforms:

I’ll use the web app as an example. Once you’ve signed up, your redirected to your dashboard, to which you can immediately add habits you want to quantify and measure. For each goal, you can see how many other people are tracking this habit, how many questions the community has answered, and how many coaches are available to help with it.

Habit Tracker Coach.me

Once you add a habit, you’re prompted to set how many times you want to check in each week, whether you want daily alerts, and decide if your commitment should be public, which I highly recommend. The community is both helpful and encouraging.

Habit Tracker Coaching

As soon as you’ve added a list of all habits you want to keep track of, you’re good to go. Now, all you have to do is pull up the website or app once a day and hit the check mark for each habit you’ve completed. You can even leave notes for individual check-ins and see who else did the habit with you that day.

Habit Tracker Goals

If you check in multiple days in a row and build a streak, the app will continue to motivate you by handing out high fives at major milestones. You can even share these on social media to show your friends how well you’re doing.

Why Coach.me Is The Best Habit Tracker

In a nutshell, these are the features that make coach.me great:

  • The habit tracker is and always will be free.
  • It works on all devices and your progress is saved and synchronized across all of them.
  • You can set individual targets, reminders, and notes for each habit you want to cultivate or get rid of.
  • Visual weekly and monthly progress reports are built in.
  • Checking in is seamless, you can do it from your iPhone’s ‘Today View’ without even opening the app.
  • You’ll stay motivated, thanks to automated milestone celebrations and community support.
  • The community also keeps you accountable, your fellow habit builders will check in on you if you vanish.
  • Each habit has a Q&A section where you can ask any question or share a struggle, then get help for it.

However, there are two aspects in which coach.me beats any other app, gadget, book, or tool you can use to change your behavior:

  1. Community. Other apps might look flashier, but they won’t have as many users, and even if they did, the community wouldn’t be as active, optimistic, and supportive. I’ve never seen a group of people lift each other up so much.
  2. Expertise. No matter what your habit is, whether it’s dropping alcohol, quitting internet addiction, eating healthier, journaling daily, running, or weightlifting, there is someone with deep expertise on the platform. And you can hire them as your personal coach for as little as $15/week. A lot of them also have made step-by-step plans with daily instructions, like the ones I made for studying or breaking a bad habit.

That’s why I love coach.me and why I hope you’ll give it a try. You can sign up for free here.

Habit Tracker Coach

The Top 100 Habits To Add In Your Habit Tracker

While most of us have an idea of what we’re good at and what habits we could improve, it’s important to go through the full list and prioritize before we start tracking. If you track too many habits, it becomes a burden that you’ll collapse under, if you track too few, you won’t make any significant progress. I suggest you start with one keystone habit, a habit that causes more good habits to follow, but is hard to cultivate, and 2-3 smaller, less significant ones.

Below is a list of the top 100 habits that the hundreds of thousands of coach.me users are actually tracking, not just having signed up to track. The top 5 are big ones, so maybe pick only one of those to start, then add some from the rest of the list. You can click on each one to go straight to the habit on coach.me and join the community.

  1. Meditate
  2. Exercise
  3. No Alcohol
  4. Wake up early
  5. Read
  6. Write In Journal
  7. Be Grateful
  8. Floss
  9. Drink more water
  10. Set priorities for your day
  11. Meditate For At Least 10 Minutes
  12. Read a book for 30 minutes
  13. Go to gym
  14. Write Three Positive Things About Today
  15. Take Vitamins
  16. Pray
  17. Brush Teeth in the Morning
  18. Study
  19. Take a walk outside
  20. Wake Up On Time
  21. Make Bed
  22. No Sweets
  23. Stretch
  24. Eat Breakfast
  25. Brush Teeth at Night
  26. No Smoking
  27. Cold shower
  28. Weigh In
  29. Run
  30. Walk
  31. Pushups
  32. No Soda
  33. Yoga
  34. Learn To Speak A Foreign Language
  35. Clean for 15 Minutes
  36. Affirmations
  37. Sleep by Midnight
  38. Eat Fruit
  39. Inbox Zero
  40. Slow-Carb Diet™ from The 4-Hour Body
  41. Take Multivitamin
  42. Keep in touch with friends
  43. Take Medication
  44. Yoga or Stretching
  45. Save Money
  46. No Fast Food
  47. Write To Do List
  48. Develop A Writing Habit
  49. Walk 10,000 Steps
  50. No Screens After 10pm
  51. Practice Musical Instrument
  52. No Biting Nails
  53. Good Posture
  54. Wake up by 6:30
  55. Read Bible
  56. Quality time with my children
  57. Track Food
  58. NoFap habbit
  59. Workout
  60. Learn Something New
  61. The Five Minute Journal
  62. Stop and enjoy life
  63. Nofap
  64. Call mom/dad
  65. No Coffee
  66. Drink water first thing in the morning
  67. Intermittent fasting
  68. Eat More Vegetables and Fruits
  69. No Sugar
  70. Tell my wife I love her
  71. Get Out Of Bed The First Time The Alarm Goes Off
  72. Sleep at least 8 hours
  73. 30–60 minutes reading
  74. Daily Gratitude List
  75. Unclutter
  76. Watch a TED talk
  77. Write
  78. Eat Vegetarian
  79. Duolingo
  80. No PMO
  81. Listen more than talk
  82. Lift Weights
  83. Sleep at least 7 hours
  84. Stretch in the morning
  85. Cook Dinner
  86. The Calorie Counting Diet
  87. No email before breakfast
  88. NOBNOM
  89. Random act of kindness
  90. Draw
  91. Consistent Prayer and Bible Reading
  92. Spend time outside
  93. Bring Lunch To Work
  94. Talk to at least one stranger
  95. Gratitude Journal
  96. Do not watch porn
  97. Listen to podcast
  98. Quit Watching Porn
  99. Write For 30 Minutes
  100. Crunches
  101. No Facebook

While I’ve made my choice of habit tracker quite obvious, I don’t want to hide the competition.

What Other Habit Trackers Are There?

Habit trackers fall into three basic categories: digital, paper-based, and devices. Digital ones come in the form of web and mobile apps. Paper-based solutions can be printed templates, your own, custom variant of a spreadsheet, or a set structure you fill in each day in a journal. Devices are tech gadgets often aimed at helping you track, measure, and manage specific habits, mostly related to health.

Here are some of the most popular ones in all categories.

Habit Tracker Journal

Paper-Based Habit Trackers

The Bullet Journal. This is a journaling method created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer. It uses a system of different time logs and symbols for your bullet points to make journaling comprehensive and easy. The Leuchtturm1917 is a popular notebook people use for bullet journaling as you need one that’s dotted, not lined. You can then dedicate one as a monthly habit tracker in a simple table format.

Other journals: There are lots of journals with different themes out there, some more geared towards productivity, others towards accomplishing goals or gaining self-awareness. However, all of them include habit tracking in one form or another. Some of the ones I’ve tried and like are The 5 Minute JournalThe SELF JournalThe Productivity Planner and The Freedom Journal.

Printable templates: If you google around, you’ll find lots of free templates for monthly habit trackers. Just fill in your habits and cross off the days on which you did them. I like this one by Sarah Halstead.

The Habit Calendar: This is a full-year calendar that allows you to set daily and weekly habits, as well as monthly goals. It’s neat for keeping an overview in a small format.

Habit Tracker Digital

Digital Habit Trackers

Productive (iOS): This app is a good mix of clean UI, easy usability, but lots of tracked data. However, if you want to track more than five habits, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee.

HabitBull (iOS/Android): HabitBull visualizes your data in lots of different ways, but it’s a bit more of an effort to set up new habits than in Productive. They’ve also recently switched from a one-time premium upgrade to a monthly fee, at least on Android, which costs $7.

Strides (iOS): With a focus on numbers and the ability to add milestones and sub-milestones, this app is for quantified-self nerds that want to get serious about breaking their behaviors down to a tee.

Streaks (iOS): This one has a very clean UI and is simple to use. However, it costs $4.99 and is mostly focused on health goals. On the other hand, it pulls the data from your Health app and thus gives you a full picture of how much you’re moving, sleeping, etc.

HabitHub (Android): An Android alternative to Productive, but it also costs $4.99 to unlock the unlimited version with more than five habits.

Stickk (iOS/Android/Web): Stickk was created by Yale professor Ian Ayres, author of Carrots and Sticks, to help people stick to their commitments. The idea is to put some actual money on the line, promise to do something, have a friend act as an objective judge, and then follow through on your commitment. It’s a specific way of building habits that won’t work for everyone, but if you react to stakes well, this might be for you. It’s also free.

Habitica (iOS/Android/Web): This used to be called HabitRPG and is probably the largest community next to coach.me. It takes an interesting approach in which you create a character, earn points, and level up. It’s a way of gamifying your life.

Habit Tracker Device

Devices As Habit Trackers

Fitbit Charge 2: Probably the most popular wristband out there. It tracks your heart rate, steps, calories, distance, floors climbed, etc. It also allows you to receive text and call notifications, but generally, is aimed at helping you optimize workouts.

Moov Now: This one sort of looks like a watch, but not really. It’s waterproof, comes with an audio coach and has a built-in sleep tracker. It’s specifically targeted at athletes in certain disciplines, like swimming, boxing, and running, and might be overdoing it for generic use cases.

Garmin Vivosmart HR: My weapon of choice when taking my 10,000 daily steps. I like it because it’s slim, but tracks everything I need and is waterproof. Like all of the above, it comes with an app which you can sync once or twice a week in order to continuously monitor and store all your data.

How Can You Get Started With A Habit Tracker Today?

Tracking your habits is the single greatest way to manage them, and thus, actually have a shot at changing them for the better. Therefore, the most important thing you can do after reading this guide is to start tracking. Here’s how to make sure you do that today:

  1. Sign up on coach.me.
  2. Add 3-5 habits from the top 100 habit list to your dashboard.
  3. Check in for the ones you’ve already performed today.

To make sure you have a reason to come back to the app tomorrow, I recommend you also post a few questions in the Q&A sections of your habits. Once you’ve built some momentum, you can figure out the specifics of your habit tracking routine on the go. If you’re sure you want to tackle a habit you’ll need help with, you can also jump in by hiring a coach, who’ll make sure you get into using the app regularly. But that’s for bigger commitments.

Note: If you use the coupon code NGOEKEWEEK, you’ll get your first week for free, regardless of which coach you choose.

If you think you might be more of pen-and-paper person, I suggest you order a journal and run that as a separate experiment, because signing up for a digital habit tracker has less delay. You can do it right now, and that’s important.

Peter Drucker died at 95 years old. He lived through not one, but two world wars. The man may have been all about business, but he sure did his homework when it came to people’s habits, including his own. The sooner you start measuring, the earlier you’ll succeed at managing.

And there’s no reason you can’t begin both today.

Niklas Goeke

I am a German student on his way to becoming an entrepreneur!