Many, if not all, college students have some sort of bad habit, ranging from sleeping until noon, procrastinating on assignments or partying a little too hard on the weekends. Keeping track of when bad habitats occur is exactly what University of Wisconsin senior Colin Harris and junior Shane Lian’s new app Journalit does.
The app allows users to keep track of things they do throughout their day, like a conventional written journal, but with a few extra features.
Users can customize the app to ask it a set of questions that are recorded for a set amount of time. The results of these questions can be presented back to the user in the form of various graphs so people can receive a better idea of how often they do certain activities, Harris said.
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“I came up with the idea while interning over the summer,” Harris said. “It helped me avoid staying up all night and tracked how I felt each day. This allowed me to make connections about my habitats and my mood, leading to a positive change.”
While it seems to be extremely useful for keeping track of bad habits, the app can also function to keep individuals on task toward reaching a goal, Harris said. For example, if a user wanted to prepare for a marathon, he or she could customize questions around “what did I eat today?” or “how far did I run?”
Every day, users can log the progress and then view everything that has been done from the start of a project or habit to its finish, Lian said. Anyone who struggles to stay on task or stick with a goal could find this app beneficial.
The app also functions as a journal that users can use to simply write about their daily lives. Yet unlike a conventional journal where a person would write down a paragraph or two, Journalit aims to be more interactive and reflective, allowing oneself to quickly evaluate their lifestyle, progress and habits, Lian said.
After finishing his summer internship, Harris returned to school and immediately got Lian working on the idea with him. The two have been working on the app for the past five months.
The pair views the past few months designing the app as an amazing learning experience, integrating their knowledge of computer science into their daily lives. A mobile version of the app for both iOS and Android will likely be live in the upcoming months.
Though the app is just an online tool right now, anyone can use it. Simply follow this link, make an account and start keeping track of daily life, Lian said.
Lian and Harris said they want users to know that the goal is not to make a profit but to help their fellow students live healthier lives. Lian said the app has allowed him to evaluate his lifestyle in a way he has never seen before.
“I’ve become much more aware of misconceptions about my lifestyle and the visuals definitely help,” Lian said.