There are to-do apps and then there are to-do apps. The universe of GTD (Getting Things Done) and task productivity has seen all kinds. Looking for a simple one? Get a pen and paper or for our digital lives make the most of the Notes app. Looking for a neater solution across platforms? Let me recommend Wunderlist (or any on our Best iPhone Apps #Productivity list).
But what if all this seems so ho-hum and what if you are looking for something that really pushes you…forces you to get rid of the sloth in you and turn you into a productivity beast?
Then, there’s CARROT. Available on the App Store for $0.99. The best way to describe this iOS app would be to call it a productivity app with a quirky sense of humor. It is definitely a fresh take on the way we look at the things to do and our weaknesses that makes us look to an external application to motivate us towards that end.
The To-Do App with Mood Issues
Did I write this right? You bet I did because the developers themselves think that Carrot (dropping the all caps name from here on) is cyborg, and I think a female one. As they say in their blog – CARROT is just as much a game as she is a to-do list.
Carrot is definitely one of the more unusual productivity apps out there. The only one I can remember that was unusual in this category was Randone and I don’t think it exists anymore. But Carrot is a nice successor because the makers have spent some effort to give her an individuality all of her one that makes her stand apart from the crowd. Guess I have fallen under her spell because I am gender defining her here.
But does she live up to the build-up and like my wife pushes me to live a better more efficient day? Let’s find out.
Slackers Beware - Be On Carrot’s Good Side!
Carrot starts off like any other minimally designed app – appealingly simple and without any learning curve whatsoever. The instructions in the initial few screens give you an insight into her personality.
Carrot comes with three basic instructions. To create your first to-do list you simply have to swipe down and release to open the Command line where you can type your tasks in one by one.
As you start completing or delaying the tasks on your first to-list on Level 1, you come to know that Carrot has six different moods, ranging from joyful to wrathful. The premise is simple – you complete your tasks and Carrot is happy. You slack off and Carrot starts to get cranky. The idea always is to complete your tasks as you have outlined in the to-do list and keep her happy.
Completing tasks also moves you up the levels as Carrot starts awarding you points. Points vary according to tasks and her mood.
Clearing tasks also entitles you to rewards as you climb up the levels. Initial rewards are simpler…like wisdom on how to prioritize tasks and not get overwhelmed with too much to do.
As Carrot unfolds her story, rewards also get more promising – there are nearly 300 unique rewards according to the developers. They say the rewards are of different kinds and are tailored to the situation. For instance, reaching Level 15 could unlock mini-games.
You can check out the list of rewards by going into the menu and tapping on Unlockables. At present, Level 100 seems to be the benchmark of peak achievement. Achieved rewards are indicated by a check. There are some mystery rewards indicated by ‘???’. Rewards keep the to-do list interesting. The list will be updated periodically, so if you are on a roll expect to enjoy a variety of rewards as you level up.
But it’s not always hunky dory because Carrot has a sadistic streak in her. She is rude to a fault and can take you down a peg or two. And that too when she is supposed to be in her jolly mood!
Carrot has a fun side too. For instance, you can make her dance and sing – seriously! Just type “dance for me”, or “write me a poem” on the command line (preceded by the qualifier CARROT) and watch Carrot obey you, if only for a minute.
Carrot also has stories…and we as characters are supposed to play it out and get work done in the process. Presently two chapters have been released and more will be in future as the app evolves. The story also morphs according to your achievements on the to-do productivity side of things.
Carrot Gamifies Productivity with Humor
If you remember, James told you about tools that use gamification to make your life better and Justin showed you how HabitRPG works. Carrot also follows the same principles but I think with a lot more personality and verve. You don’t expect to come across a rude, bossy app especially after your PAY for it! But that’s Carrot for you.
As a to-do app, it is minimalistic with barely any features – no checkboxes, no time slots to tick off and no feature to look at your completed list and gloat till you reach a certain level. But it’s about a push turning into a shove so you can get off the seat off your pants and do something about your procrastination.
I am betting here that you will enjoy Carrot more for its nasty side rather than its good one. I am not going to reveal much more…go to the App Store, swipe your card for $0.99 and get Carrot to kick off your productivity. Oh, do come back and tell us how you find this ‘really different’ productivity app.