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Use Case Spotlight: Prepping for the Holidays!

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Wow, December is going by so fast, and the holidays are fast approaching!  Here are some great ideas, tips, and tricks for using Habitica to be ready for that fun, festive time of year. These tips come from players in the Use Case Spotlights Guild!

Remedie has some great ideas for To-Dos and special tags:

I have To Dos for each present, tagged with “presents”, and each with a checklist: “bought” and “wrapped.”

When I was in college, I also had a tag of “doomy dooms of end-of-semester doom” (or something suitably dramatic), and To Dos for each class, with checklists of anything major that had to be done for that class (projects, papers, presentations, exams.) before I could go home for break. It was always very satisfying to head home for Christmas knowing that I hadn’t forgotten anything.

Mikachu reminds us to keep our goals balanced, which is so important this time of year!

Putting everything I want to do for the holidays into Habitica is also helpful in giving me perspective; I may want to make presents for every family member, decorate my entire house, bake cookies as often as possible, send cards, host a party, watch my favorite holiday specials, go see The Nutcracker, etc. but when all of that is written down, I can see when I’m asking too much of myself and further, I am more easily able to pare down and cut out my holiday tasks so that I’m able to have a productive, happy holiday season, rather than a frantic, let-it-be-over one.

Shulamit offers an idea for a customized Challenge:

I create a challenge with all the things I need to do to prepare for Pesach (Passover). Each room that needs cleaning gets its own task in the challenge, and within that task, I use checklist to further clarify what needs doing in that room. I also add to-do’s in the challenge for preparing the food and the ritual. Then I add a habit for doing 30 minutes on the list.

SingOutLouise suggests a “Holiday Bucket List”:

I’ve had one for Fall (example tasks: carving a pumpkin, drinking apple cider, going to a football game, etc.) and it has been so helpful in giving me fun activities that I wouldn’t make an excuse to do for myself normally (see: go to a haunted house). It’s a very childlike version of self-care that inspires joy and excitement every time I open my ToDo list. I’ll be checking the whole ToDo off this weekend (18 items, check!!!) and getting started on my Holidays one!

There were so many helpful and exciting tips we couldn’t feature them all here! You can see them all and join in the discussion in the Use Case Spotlights Guild– one of your ideas could be featured next month! Look for an announcement of next month’s theme from Bailey soon.

Also, if you missed it you may want to take a look at our most recent Guild Spotlight, which showcases holiday-prep-themed groups. These Guilds can give you more ideas and some even have themed Challenges to give you a jump-start!

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Prepping for the Holidays

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Habitica’s NPCs are ready to celebrate!

The holidays are a time of joy, togetherness and celebration. But getting ready for all that can really be a lot of work! This month we focus on some Guilds in Habitica that can help you to plan, prepare, and get things done so that you can sit back and enjoy the best parts of the holiday season.

Make Your Home Sweet Home https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/d33f834c-9c24-4484-9d1c-95dfa323175e

This Guild focuses on making your living space neat, happy, and welcoming, so they are ready to help you prepare to entertain guests or host holiday gatherings. Check out their themed weekly decluttering Challenges!

Financial Discipline Group: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/09a66cc6-62d9-4eaf-a705-4ea8ea330544

Are you trying to save money for gifts or other holiday treats? Or maybe you’re trying to reign in your holiday spending this year? Check out this Guild for advice, strategies, and Challenges that will help you spend and save wisely.

Decluttering Devils: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/38254464-1fbc-40f3-8565-46e9b8a91f7d

Decluttering Devils are all about creating more space and a feeling of neatness and tranquility in your home. Let their Challenges motivate you to clean up that jumbled corner or closet you’ve been avoiding. You know the one!

Seasonal Decoration Guild: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/f065a669-9483-42d4-9562-7f8dd5b8adb7

This Guild is focused specifically on decorating and hosting for the holidays, and features a set of Challenges to help make the holidays stress-free no matter what you celebrate. The chat is full of people sharing pictures, swapping ideas, and getting organized so that you can indulge your holiday hobbies without breaking a sweat or breaking the bank.

These Guilds and many others are ready to motivate you to you set goals, prepare, and work toward a happy, relaxing holiday. And they’ll be helpful when you’re cleaning up after your celebrations and preparing for the New Year, too!

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Fantastic Wizarding Guilds and Where to Find Them

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Habiticans have plenty of fantastic beasts in their stables!

Are you excited for the new Fantastic Beasts movie? Lots of Habiticans are, including many of the staff and contributors! If you want to dive into some fun fandom activity in Habitica before the new movie debuts, check out these great Guilds:

Hogwarts: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/07622ad9-f90d-49aa-98fd-2143bc5bf75f

This is a Guild for all Habitican Harry Potter fans. Join the chat, or check out their Challenge to help you sort into one of House-specific Guilds listed below!

Ravenclaw Common Room: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/f63bb44f-ca80-46a8-9264-1a80cc76346d

Join Ravenclaw Common Room to chat about the fandom as well as sharpen that famous Ravenclaw wit!

Hufflepuff Common Room: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/672e263b-a62c-42d7-95d2-7d963a6c9d52

Friendly, helpful Hufflepuffs gather here to chat and boost their famous hardworking and productive nature through Challenges.

Slytherin House: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/0c5896d5-f574-4148-afcd-d110007c8173

Are you a resourceful, ambitious Slytherin? Join this Guild and enjoy the company of your fellow House members as well as a variety of Challenges including a book club!

Gryffindor House: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/db323720-6df8-4bc3-9864-938a471e590f

This Guild is home to the brave, daring members of Harry’s own Hogwarts House! They chat and support each other here through brave and productive deeds.

Dumbledore’s Army: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/28b306f9-202e-4a89-990e-21b8dcbb2b0c

This Guild has an active and exciting chat about all aspects of the Harry Potter fandom. They also have a Fantastic Beasts-themed Challenge to motivate you to collect, feed, and care for your Habitica pets and mounts!
Have fun and use your magic powers wisely!

Gamifying your Lists!

It’s Wiki Wednesday! Once a month we highlight a helpful post from the Wiki with tips about productivity, wellness, and optimizing your use of Habitica!

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Illustration by Leephon

Habitica is all about helping you find fun in your everyday (and even not-so-everyday!) tasks through rewards, skills, quests, and more! But wait, there’s even more you can do to bring the feel of a game to cleaning, chores, homework, and beyond. The Wiki Scribes provide helpful guidance and creative ideas for gamifying your tasks lists!

Habitica is largely based on gamification, or putting real-life tasks in the context of a game to make them more engaging, interesting, and rewarding. Naming your Habits, Dailies, and To-Dos in a creative, gamified way is a great way to add flavor to your game.

Want to know more? Head over to the wiki to check out the the full article!

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CONTRIBUTOR SPOTLIGHT: Blade!

Welcome to the Contributor Spotlight Series, where we interview amazing members of the Habitica community! Today we’re chatting with Blade, one of our Moderators and Blacksmiths. Blade is a major guiding hand on Github, overseeing pull requests and making sure Habitica’s foundation of bits and bytes is as strong as we can make it.

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How did you get involved with Habitica?

I was scolded by my dentist for not flossing for the 4th or 5th time in a row. I decided I needed to make an app that would award me points for flossing, but it turns out that it already existed! I gladly joined and can say that since then my dentist has been very, very impressed.

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

Strong-arming the dev team into focusing on test coverage whenever adding or changing features. [And we’re grateful for it! -Ed.]

What are your secret superpowers?

I can make my kid laugh just by looking at him.

What are your secret weaknesses?

Peanut butter based snacks. If you ever need to bribe me, now you know the currency.

What are your favorite Habitican pets/mounts?

Spooky Bear Cub and Red Octopus!

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What some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

* Flossing
* Reading the Lectionary every morning
* Getting to inbox 0 (never happens)

What do you like to do in your free time?

I’ve recently gotten into playing Magic the Gathering. Wait. [checks to see if there’s a Magic the Gathering guild] (there is) [joins]

What are your top Habitica tips and tricks?

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The Habitica community is wonderful and always willing to lend a hand.
2. Start slowly. If you find that you consistently cannot complete your dailies, turn some of them off.
3. Tell your friends about Habitica and then start a Party with them. It’s more fun to work together!

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

Aspiring Blacksmiths and Aspiring Comrades.

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Want to learn about some of the other contributors who make Habitica such a cool place? Check the Contributor Spotlight tag on our blog!

Achieve Your Writing Goals with Habitica

NaNoWriMo is underway! No matter if you’re playing by official rules or just along for the ride (and ambient motivation), there are a couple of features in Habitica that might help this month feel a bit less daunting. (As a little gift, I’ve snuck in some of my favorite articles about writing, for more process-specific advice!)

Plot Points as a To Do Checklist

Are you a plotter, not a pantser? No matter if you’re using the Snowflake Method, a Shakespearean-style five-act structure, or Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey as a skeleton for your story, it can be helpful to break your plot outline into individual tasks so you can check them off as you go. Maybe you’ll pick up a new pet to accompany you as you add to the word count!

Use a Dailies Checklist to Establish a Routine

Did you know that you can also put checklists under each of your dailies? This is a handy way to remind yourself what the next step is, to help create a ritual that guides you into the writing mood. Mine look like this (partially inspired by the articles “How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day” and “Script Diary“):

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Recognize Your Accomplishments: Use Custom Rewards!

Writing projects, like all creative endeavours, are not easy tasks to undertake. Make sure you’re allowing yourself a reward once in a while, whether it’s a favorite snack for every batch of words completed, getting to write in a beautiful notebook you’ve been hoarding for a special occasion, or even some reading time to refill the well of inspiration.

The Habitica team wishes you all good luck with your writing this month and every month–we’re look forward to reading your work!

Write on! Helpful Guilds for Writers.

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As NaNoWriMo approaches, it’s a good time to focus on some Guilds in Habitica that can help you reach your writing goals. Whether you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, working on essays for school, or doing any other writing and need a boost of motivation, these groups can offer support!

Writers: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/ec82e9c6-fefb-419c-aff1-a4ec4c5f0ab9

The Writers Guild offers help to those working on any writing project in any genre. They run an active and supportive chat, and they have a wide variety of Challenges related to writing, particularly writing fiction.

Wordsmiths: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/48c084a8-81a7-40cc-a8c1-b8e93357424d

Wordsmiths welcomes all writers! This guild offers a lot of great challenges related to honing writing skills, building new skills, and accountability for those committed to particular goals and deadlines. They also have a special Challenge for NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo Participants: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/8bd59d72-5fec-4a54-aaf5-1a5e83e35046

If you’re gearing up for NaNoWriMo, this guild will be of particular interest to you. In addition to offering challenges to prepare for NaNoWriMo, the guild has challenges to help writers keep their momentum and build skills year-round!

Ink Slingers: https://habitica.com/#/options/groups/guilds/534a740a-a3c3-46d2-aa2a-4d639770155d

Ink Slingers is a guild especially for Science Fiction and Fantasy writers and editors. They have resources for forming parties of writers and accountability groups, as well as a variety of Challenges including fun writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing.

These guilds and more are ready and willing to help you get the pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Enjoy these helpful and fun groups in the lead-up to NaNoWriMo and beyond!

Habitica Playlist: The Habitican’s Travelogue

The Habitica team loves to listen to music. For fun, we’ve decided to share some of the songs that keep us motivated while we work, arranged as a story about one intrepid Habitican who embarks on a quest to improve her life. We hope that you enjoy it!


THE HABITICAN’S TRAVELOGUE (A Habitica Playlist)

THE MUSIC:

THE STORY:

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An aspiring adventurer hears the call of the land of Habitica, and decides that it’s time to set her fears aside and venture forth on a daunting quest for self-improvement (Level Up – Vienna Teng). At first, it isn’t easy. Despite our Hero’s best intentions, she is often distracted, but her determination spurs her to continue the journey  (Maps – Hey Ocean!).

Gradually, our Hero begins to make a name for herself in Habitica. The locals are intrigued by the Hero’s versatile productivity techniques and impressed by her confidence that she can tackle any task (Skeleton Key – Dessa). Soon, the Hero is welcomed into several Guilds, where other hard-working Habiticans cheer her on, share useful advice, and chat during their work breaks (Home – Phillip Phillips).

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Our Hero makes several close friends, and she decides to form a Party so that they can embark on epic quests together (The Road Goes On – The Lord of the Rings Musical Soundtrack). The Party voyages through the far reaches of the land, from the Meandering Mountains to the Flourishing Fields. The friends marvel at all the exciting goals that they are achieving and feel unstoppable (Where No One Goes – Jónsi).

 

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Now our Hero is confident and happy, eagerly adding new items to her task list every day (Checking Things Off of a To-Do List Early in the Morning – Lullatone). However, as she piles more and more obligations onto herself, her goals are no longer realistic, and she begins to get overwhelmed (When Will My Life Begin – Mandy Moore). She loses sight of her original flexibility and curiosity, and instead pushes herself to the breaking point, resulting in a meltdown (Harder Better Faster Stronger – Daft Punk).

Our Hero is frustrated and wonders if she should give up, but her Party members and Guildmates encourage her, explaining that a few setbacks shouldn’t mean the end of her quest (The Middle – Jimmy Eat World). Heartened, our Hero decides to embrace her occasional failures as a natural part of the growing process. With a revised list of goals and a healthier, more balanced attitude, this Habitican is ready to conquer her monsters once more (Try Everything – Shakira).


 

We hope that you enjoyed our Habitica playlist, and that you’ll be humming along as you attack your tasks. Now go get productive!

 

 

Tips and Tricks for Recovering from Burnout

It’s Wiki Wednesday! Once a month we highlight a helpful post from the Wiki with tips about productivity, wellness, and optimizing your use of Habitica!

Resting in Inn by draayder

 

It’s a rare Habitican who has never experienced a complete lack of motivation to do the things they know they “should” be doing. The helpful Wiki Scribes have documented some suggestions for tweaking your Habitica setup so that it works for you.

Players experience Burnout when they no longer care about completing tasks, and the rewards and penalties in Habitica are no longer motivating. Burnout can occur when the game becomes too easy or too hard, when tasks become tedious, or when changes occur in the player’s life.

To learn more (and to take a look at the convenient reference chart), head on over to the wiki to read the full article! You might also want to take a look at the wiki article on Obstacles, which we briefed here.

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CONTRIBUTOR SPOTLIGHT: Cantras!

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Welcome to the Contributor Spotlight Series, where we interview amazing members of the Habitica community! Today we’re chatting with Cantras, one of our Moderators and Challengers. She helps to answer questions and safeguard the community, along with keeping Challenges running smoothly.

Cantras, how did you get involved with Habitica?

“I probably came to Habitica from a Reddit post, since I used to spend far too much time there. Then I mostly helped out in the Tavern and Newbies guild. I think I got noticed as maybe-future-moderator after trying to mediate a heated discussion in the Back Corner. Also, I run the monthly Habitversary Challenges and the matching blog.”

What’s your proudest contribution to Habitica?

“The Elven Grove Guild — where people can point out challenges that are past their expiration date (‘Push-up challenge June 2014’) or otherwise in need of help, and get it taken care of. I think the Tavern Challenge list is 2/3 the length it was when I started, and there’s a lot fewer questions in the Tavern like ‘I’ve been in this challenge a long time, is it EVER going to close?'”

What are your secret superpowers?

squirrel wrangling Weapons-grade diplomacy, and enough skill in Google Translate to sometimes make users think I actually speak their language. Also, I have two toenails on my left pinky toe.”

What are your secret weaknesses?

“I can focus forever on a distraction — like spending 20 minutes leaning over my squirrel tank just watching her run on her wheel — but I have to buckle down with headphones and StayFocusd and so on to focus on something productive, even fun-productive, for more than a few minutes at a time.”

What are your favorite Habitican pets/mounts?

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“I’m partial to the dragons, but I’m also a fan of the ones that make me laugh when I hatch them — the red rock, the egg mounts, the skeleton snail.”

What are some things you’re tracking in Habitica?

“All the things. Stuff I want to read, things I want to learn, skills I want to develop. And also making sure I eat breakfast and get sleep.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“Lately it’s been a lot of Pokemon Go (if we walk until the dog is worn out, it counts as my fitness daily!) , but it’s also reading books and articles, and playing board/card games. I love Lords of Waterdeep, and we play a lot of Ascension.”

What are your top Habitica tips and tricks?

“People in Habitica talk a lot about what works for them — steal their ideas! Not everything will work for you, but if someone’s gushing about StayFocusd or Pomodoro method or flossing or meditating or Duolingo, investigate! I’d probably speak German, Esperanto, and Spanish by now if I’d checked out Duolingo the first time someone gushed about how great it was.”

Where do you like to hang out in Habitica?

“I hang out on my task page or else I’ll forget what it was I was in the middle of doing, but I almost always have the Chrome Chat Extension running for the Tavern and the Newbies guild. I’m also in the Legendary Book Club, because books!”

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