Why I built Aware

Parker Klein
Sep 12 · 4 min read

For over 3 years I’ve been wanting to build a habit tracker.

They are simple, they are a great hobby project, and they are useful applications to help you recognize patterns in your actions in order to make better decisions in the future.

Also, most of the habit trackers I’ve tried only allow you to track up to 3 habits before you have to pay and didn’t support some of the types of habits I was interested in (i.e. text and range). I decided it would be more fun to create my own.

About a year ago, I started tracking a few habits manually in Numbers (Apple’s version of Excel) to see what activities I’d want to track and to see what types of data I would need to track.

I tracked simple yes/no habits such as if I had meat, dairy, grain, sugar, or alcohol, or if I read or wrote each day. I tracked count/number habits such as the number of minutes I was able to meditate for or the number of minutes I exercised for. I also tracked habits with text such as the names of people I had meaningful conversations with. Lastly, I tracked habits on a number scale from 1 to 5 on how I felt overall throughout the day and rated how I ate each day.

After doing this for a couple of months, I had a relatively solid amount of data and was able to start noticing patterns between different activities. But I wanted visuals (I’m a visual learner).

I realized I was ready to build an application. I had some basic types of habits that I would support, I wanted to be able to input my habits easily on my phone or desktop, and I wanted the application to give me graphs and charts I could view and learn from.

One night, I was having trouble sleeping, had to be up at 4 am for a flight the next morning, and thought it would be fun to throw a solo coding hackathon to see how much progress I could make on the project.

I outlined the data models, drew up some mocks, and started a react web app.

By the time I left for the airport the next morning, I had a web app in which I could add, edit, and delete habits, add and edit daily activity for each habit, and had basic react chart visualizations for all the activities of each habit. I was most proud of supporting 4 different types of habits: yes/no, count, text, and range. All of which I needed to support my ideal habit tracking.

I was so excited about the project and remember dozing off to sleep working on Aware while waiting at the terminal the next morning. I took a nap on the plane.

The next few months went into touching up the application, spinning up a react native application for iOS and Android, and getting the application mostly bug free.

It started as a way to track and analyze my own activities and actions in order to help me make better decisions and live a happier life, but today I am excited to share Aware with the world. I hope it helps people decide what habits they would like to do more often, get a better idea of their actions and their eventual outcomes, and helps them make better decisions to live happier lives.

Enjoy!



What is Aware?


Parker Klein
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