yukai chou gamification

The 10 Best Productivity Apps that use Gamification in 2023

This post was recently updated to reflect the 10 best productivity apps that use Gamification for 2023

Click here to view our full list of Gamification examples.

We all strive to be more productive: to have more energy, to accomplish more in a day, to hit our goals, to be the best possible versions of ourselves that we can be. But of course, we all face challenges that keep us from achieving our peak selves: we watch TV, we watch Youtube, we sleep in, we do everything possible to avoid the work that we need to be doing.

If life is a game, then we can hack our lives using Gamification to motivate, drive, or trick ourselves into being more productive.

The following are the 10 best productivity apps that use Gamification to improve your productivity, health, and financial habits.

Gamified Productivity App #10: Trackabi

Website: https://www.trackabi.com/

Trackabi is a productivity app that effectively combines time-tracking with gamification, helping users stay engaged while keeping track of their work. The app awards achievements and karma points for reaching specific goals, while also allowing negative karma points for less productive behaviors, like working less than a certain amount of hours.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Trackabi allows users to earn achievements and accumulate karma points by reaching set goals. This not only provides a sense of accomplishment but also motivates users to improve their productivity and time management. The possibility of negative achievements also pushes users to avoid less productive behaviors.

Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: The platform’s customizable achievements system empowers users to tailor their own productivity goals. This gives users control over their targets, further driving their motivation to perform and engage

Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance: The concept of negative achievements and losing karma points for not meeting certain goals ties in with this core drive. Users are motivated to avoid underperformance to prevent loss of their accrued karma points.

Gamified Productivity App #9: Any.do

Website: https://www.any.do/

Any.do is a comprehensive task management and organization app with a sleek design. The app incorporates gamification by awarding users for completing tasks and maintaining streaks, fostering a sense of accomplishment and motivation.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Any.do encourages users to complete tasks through its “streak” feature, which rewards users for maintaining a consistent streak of completed tasks.

Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness: Users can share tasks and collaborate with others, fostering teamwork and accountability.

Gamified Productivity App #8: Toggl

Website: https://toggl.com/

Toggl is a time-tracking app that helps users stay focused and manage their time more effectively. Its gamified features, such as leaderboards and achievements, create a sense of competition and drive users to improve their time management skills.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Toggl allows users to see their progress over time, motivating them to improve their time management skills.

Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness: The app’s leaderboard feature fosters friendly competition among users, driving them to increase their productivity.

Gamified Productivity App #7: Do It Now

Website: https://doitnow.app/

Do It Now is an RPG-inspired task manager that turns your to-do list into an exciting game. Users can create and customize their characters, level up, and earn rewards as they complete tasks.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Users gain experience points and level up as they complete tasks, giving a sense of progress and achievement.

Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: Do It Now allows users to customize their characters and tasks, giving them the freedom to create a personalized experience.

Gamified Productivity App #6: EpicWin

Website: http://www.rexbox.co.uk/epicwin/

EpicWin is a gamified to-do list app that transforms your daily tasks into an engaging adventure. As you complete tasks, your character gains experience points, levels up, and discovers new loot.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Users are motivated to complete tasks and level up their characters, fostering a sense of progress and achievement.

Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: The app’s entertaining

narrative and design elements encourage users to engage with their tasks in a fun and imaginative way.

Gamified Productivity App #5: Level Up Life

Website: https://lvluplife.com/

Level Up Life is an app that uses gamification to help users improve various aspects of their lives. Users can earn points, level up, and unlock achievements as they complete real-life tasks and challenges.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Level Up Life offers a sense of progress and achievement through leveling up and unlocking new achievements.

Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness: Users can join a supportive community, share their progress, and view the accomplishments of others.

Gamified Productivity App #4: SuperBetter

Website: https://www.superbetter.com/

SuperBetter is a gamified app that helps users build resilience, achieve goals, and improve their mental well-being. Users can tackle challenges called “quests” and earn “power-ups” that help them develop skills and habits to improve their lives.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Users are motivated to complete quests and gain power-ups, fostering a sense of progress and achievement.

Core Drive 7: Unpredictability & Curiosity: SuperBetter offers a variety of quests, keeping users engaged and curious about what challenges they’ll face next.

Gamified Productivity App #3: Beeminder

Website: https://www.beeminder.com/

Beeminder is a unique productivity app that combines gamification with commitment devices. Users can set goals and track their progress, while also committing to a monetary penalty if they fail to meet their goals.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Beeminder allows users to visualize their progress and set specific goals, creating a sense of achievement as they work towards them.

Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance: Users are motivated to stay on track to avoid the monetary penalty, adding an extra layer of accountability.

Gamified Productivity App #2: Forest

Website: https://www.forestapp.cc/

Forest is a productivity app designed to help users stay focused and manage their time effectively. Users can plant virtual trees while they work, and the trees grow as they maintain focus. If they leave the app, the tree dies, creating a sense of accountability.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Users can grow a virtual forest as they stay focused, providing a visual representation of their progress.

Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance: The prospect of losing a tree encourages users to stay focused and avoid distractions.

Gamified Productivity App #1: Habitica

Website: https://habitica.com/

Habitica is a popular gamified productivity app that helps users build and maintain good habits. Users create and customize their own characters, complete tasks to earn experience points and rewards, and team up with friends for added accountability.

Why it works (according to the Octalysis Framework):

Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Habitica encourages users to complete tasks and build habits by offering experience points, rewards, and character progression.

Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness: Users can join parties and guilds, participate in challenges, and collaborate with friends, creating a sense of camaraderie and accountability.

These gamified productivity apps can help make your daily tasks and goals more engaging and enjoyable. Give them a try and see which one works best for you!

Did we miss any Gamified Productivity Apps that should be on our list?

Let us know if you have created a gamified productivity app or use one that you believe should be on our list and we’ll review it. If it blows us out of the water, then it could make our top 10 list!

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57 thoughts on “The 10 Best Productivity Apps that use Gamification in 2023”

  1. I have the sense that if I put together an honest and complete “to do” list for these apps, e.g. Habitica, then I would be the “greatest loser” since it would be so impossible to get everything done and there would be so many things penalizing my score. Demoralizing! I guess I could be proud of becoming the “greatest loser!” πŸ˜‰

  2. Hi Yu-Kai, have you tried KnightSpear? It’s a project management tool with gamification features. Maybe you can add it on your next list of gamified productivity apps.

  3. Great stuff! I’ve just installed EpicWin to see how it goes. I am a personal fan of Wunderlist. It’s well designed and very efficient. Lacks of gamification logic though.

  4. Thanks for the sharing and most of them are very inspiring. I have tried SuperBetter and heard so much of Fitrocracy in other gamification course. Would love try out Fitrocracy…one day…maybe need to add a bit of black hat technique to it.

  5. Looking forward to giving these a try – I am also hoping I will get points from posting a comment πŸ™‚ didn’t work last time as I wasn’t logged in after leaving the page πŸ™

  6. I am currently using Habitica (formerly HabitRPG). I can see how apps like this can help people who like games become more productive. In addition, I am finding that I am exploring other areas of interest that I might not have set aside time for through the use of the challenges.

    1. Hey Dawn! I am trying out Habitica too! Curious how you feel about using it? I’m getting a mixed reaction to it – but it’s been an interesting period using it to observe my own actions (or lack of actions!). πŸ™‚

  7. Which combination of apps listed is the best to use? It looks like some apps overlap with others… or should we use all of them too get the best use out of them?

    Also, I purchased your Gamification book and was wondering when a LIFESTYLE gamification book is coming? I would like more help around that as I’ve already read your blog posts about it.

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  9. Tas Hammer and EpicWin have been shown to add very little to people’s motivation in the study by Dennis Kappen (Deconstructing ‘Gamified’ Task-Management Applications). I wonder what the worth of these are and whether there are any more studies. There’s a lot of hype around that and it’s easy to get carried away by user comments saying it changed their lives. Maybe that’s true for a portion of users but what is the reality of it in the long run and for most people?

  10. indeed @Danny

    Mind bloom teach some very useful concepts about gamification!

    Thanks Yu-kai, excellent review!

    Can I suggest for a future post “Top ten Gamified Game Studio Sites”? I am intrigued on how people that actually makes games consider give some fun to their own page

    Stay Awesome!

  11. I wondered that so many tools utilize gaming concepts. Seems ‘games’ are everywhere. Maybe it is a time to re-label ‘gamification’ with ‘life-ication’ since gaming is a very natural to human beings.

    You-kai thanks for analysis.

  12. The pretty popular category of “brain training” apps also heavily rely on gamification. Although the benefits of such apps are questioned by critics they are pretty addictive. Just have a look at brainwars, elevate or lumosity to name a few. Many of the 8 core drives from the octalysis framework can be found there in one way or the other.

You must engage in the conversation!!