Review: DayScore lets you keep score on habits that really matter

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder DayScore

    PCWorld Rating

    Incredibly simple and free web-app DayScore lets you track your habits and improve over time.

How's your day going? You probably don't need a piece of software to answer that question.  But what about your week or your month? DayScore is a free web-app that believes it's all about habits. Do the right thing enough times, and eventually it will become a habit. DayScore tries to help by letting you define habits you'd like to make or keep, and effortlessly track them over time with a huge, bold score and a pretty graph.

Effortlessly is the keyword here, and DayScore does everything it can to help you track habits quickly and easily. You don't even have to open a user account – just browse to DayScore.net, and define a few habits you want to track. To come back to your DayScore page tomorrow, just bookmark the unique URL DayScore gives you–or better yet, make it into your browser homepage so that it's the first thing you see every morning. There's no setup wizard to step through, no time zones to configure, and you don't have to hand over your email address, either.

To keep things so simple, DayScore uses cutting-edge technology behind the scenes. It's a Ruby on Rails web-app, and the front-end is written in jQuery using CoffeeScript, a programming language that compiles to JavaScript. Creator Peter Ellis Jones documented some of the more interesting aspects of development on his blog–for example, what he had to do to get timezones right with no user input, and why you don't have to fill in a registration form to use DayScore.

Emphasizing positive habit tracking, DayScore encourages you to look at the big picture and track just a few important habits.


DayScore's bare-bones nature makes it very easy to get started, but it also keeps you from doing more sophisticated tracking once you've been using it for a while. For example, not all habits are daily–something Sciral Consistency recognizes, and DayScore doesn't. Or, like GoalScape reflects, some habits may be more important than others (exercising daily, vs. doing the dishes right after eating)–but DayScore doesn't recognize this either. It treats all habits equally: Every habit contributes exactly one point to your daily graph. If you list four easy, unimportant habits, and one difficult, important habit, you could create a beautiful graph but fail to build the one habit that really counts.

Speaking of the graph, you can quickly visualize your DayScore history, but you cannot dig into individual days or weeks. Let's say you got two out of five habits right last Monday–which ones? There's no way to find out. You can't drag rows around to rearrange habits (although you can rename them), nor can you nest habits in a hierarchy, which makes organizing them more difficult.

In terms of performance, DayScore did well. The service was always available whenever I tried to access it, it is blissfully free from ads and other distractions, and just works. Its relentless pursuit of simplicity may rule it out for power-users, but if you're just getting started with personal habit tracking, it's a great first step.

Note: The "Try it for free" button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor's site, where you can use the latest version of this Web-based software.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Incredibly simple and free web-app DayScore lets you track your habits and improve over time.

    Pros

    • Simple to use
    • Free
    • Emphasizes positive habits

    Cons

    • Supports daily habits only
    • All habits graphed equally
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