Balanced suggests activities to choose from. (Balanced)

Coach.me offers users support from groups. (Coach.me)

It’s no secret that finding balance between your personal and professional lives can be challenging. Just think about the number of times you said you were going to exercise more often or eat out less. Even enjoyable goals, such as talking to your best friend more frequently, can slip through the cracks as the daily demands of life take hold.

Even though I make multiple to-do lists throughout the week, I sometimes need a push (or maybe a shove) to complete those tasks. So I decided to test three good-habit-making apps. Which approach you take will depend on how much of — and what kind of — a push you need.

Balanced

One of the nicest features about Balanced by Jaidev Soin is that it presents users with suggestions for activities to add to their daily schedules. The free version allows users to create a list of five personal goals or “activities,” such as meditate, create something and take a risk. There’s a fee to add unlimited activities. For my five goals, I picked the suggested “Be present,” “Drink some water,” “Hit the gym,” “Go outside” and added “Write something.”

Balanced will also send you alerts such as “You should think about doing [whichever activity] soon” to make sure you stay on top of your activities. At the top of the screen, positive reinforcement such as “Champion,” “Kudos! Your life is balanced” and “Well done! You’re good for now” will appear as you complete an activity.

Free (or $3.99 for unlimited activities). iOS. Apple, (2,062 ratings).

Coach.me

With Coach.me by Lift Worldwide, users can find friends already using the app and find support from others who join the same “communities.” I joined the “Be Grateful,” “Drink More Water,” “Spend Time Outside,” “Go to Gym” and “Write for 30 Minutes” communities.

By leaving your “check-ins” (every time you complete a task) visible to the community, you can receive “props” for completing certain goals. Taking that level of encouragement one step further, users can also hire a professional coach through the app.

Free. iOS, Android and Web. Apple, (1,183 ratings); Google Play, (4,362 ratings).


Pick a habit... (Good Habits)

... and try not to break the chain. (Good Habits)

Good Habits

This app, by Good to Hear, was inspired by comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s advice about productivity. “Don’t break the chain,” he said, meaning once you get started doing something, your biggest concern is staying consistent.

Users can manually add habits for each day of the week, and the app will remind you as often as you’d like. It will send you push notifications that show you how many tasks you have left to complete.

Free. iOS. Apple, (416 ratings).

Bottom line

Of the three, the app that would seem to be most effective for me is Coach.me. In my attempts to build a better lifestyle, I derive the most encouragement from knowing I’m not alone in my efforts. And that’s not something I’ll get from a regular to-do list.

More Apptitude

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