Mobility

Seinfeld-inspired Android productivity app helps you accomplish goals

If you're looking for a way to form new habits with the help of your Android device, Jack Wallen found an app that's pretty, pretty good.

rewirehero.jpg
Image: Jack Wallen

A smartphone is a great tool for helping us do many things. We can use the devices to run a quick network scan, schedule meetings, and keep in constant connection with those we value most. With the right tool, they can even help you track your habits and accomplish goals.

One such app is Rewire. This app is based on, oddly enough, Jerry Seinfeld's secret to productivity. That secret?

Don't break the chain.

A simple quote that comes from Seinfeld's use of a giant wall calendar. Each day that he wrote, he'd place a red X to indicate productivity. After a few days (or weeks), a chain of Xs would appear. His main goal was to not break the chain of red Xs.

That's how the developers of Rewire approached the development of the app. With this simple tool, you can keep track of:

  • Streaks
  • Calendars
  • Reminders
  • Notes
  • Flexible goals

Rewire also includes:

  • Categories
  • Widgets
  • Graphs
  • Backup
  • Import

How it works is simple:

  • You set up a habit.
  • When you perform a habit, tap Done, and the day will turn green.
  • Continue performing those habits daily, and you'll eventually see a chain of green.
  • Keep the streak going, and that habit will eventually become ingrained (or much improved).
  • If you miss a day, click Fail, and it will turn red, thus breaking the chain.
  • If you miss a day but don't want to lose progress, click Skip, and the day will turn blue but not break your chain.

Installing Rewire

There is a Free version and a Premium version of Rewire. The Premium version adds the following:

  • Track habits with daily values
  • Track unlimited habits (the Free version only allows five)
  • Mark your days directly from reminders or widget
  • Export data to csv
  • Secure data with PIN lock
  • Customize with themes
  • Get all Premium updates

The Premium version costs $4.99 and can be purchased in-app from Settings | Application.

Installation is very simple:

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Search for rewire.
  3. Locate and tap the entry by Randome Studios.
  4. Tap Install.
  5. Read the permissions listing, and if it's acceptable, tap Accept.
  6. Allow the installation to complete.

Once installed, locate the launcher in either your App Drawer or your home screen, tap it and get ready to track your habits.

Using Rewire

When you first open Rewire, you'll be greeted with a few welcome screens. Swipe through them, and you'll find yourself on the main screen (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen

Rewire running on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.

To create your first habit, tap the + button on the main screen, and then fill out the details for the habit, such as Check Security Logs Of Your Server (Figure B).

Figure B

Firgure B
Image: Jack Wallen

Setting up your first habit.

You can set specific days for the habit. For instance, if this is a habit for work, you might only want to set Mon-Fri for days to perform the task.

After creating your habit, it will appear in the main window (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C
Image: Jack Wallen

A newly created habit ready to build a chain.

To mark a day on your habit chain, tap the day associated with the habit and then tap DONE, FAIL, SKIP, or DELETE (to delete the habit). Eventually, you will see the chain build (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D
Image: Jack Wallen

A chain starting to build.

From the main screen left edge, if you swipe right, a sidebar will appear (Figure E).

Figure E

Figure E
Image: Jack Wallen

The Rewire sidebar.

If you happen to have a number of categories, you can select a single category to view, and only those habits will appear on the main screen. If you swipe right on the main screen (not from the left edge), you will see a graph of all your habits (Figure F).

Figure F

Figure F
Image: Jack Wallen

Graphing your Rewire habits.

Summary

This simple to use app is a great means of forming good, productive habits. As long as you follow Jerry Seinfeld's advice and don't break the chain, those habits will solidify in no time.

Do you rely on helpful tools, such as Rewire, to get you through busy days and weeks? If so, what's your tool of choice?

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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