279: Apple Notes: Monthly Habit Tracker

Tutorial: How To Create Checklists in Apple Notes

Apple Notes Monthly Habit Tracker

I struggle with note-taking and organization of ideas. I have tried every productivity and note-taking app on the planet. I always go back to Apple Notes. Simple. Always with me on my iOS devices. I use Notes for more and more for business and life stuff.

  • Note-taking app for Macs & iOS Devices
  • Syncs across all devices (iMac, MacBook, iPhone, iPad, Watch…)
  • Notes back up to iCloud
  • Create and edit notes on all devices
  • To learn more visit the Apple Notes User Guide by Apple
  • How To Set Up & Create a Checklist in Apple Notes to track habits (or for to-do lists, shopping lists, etc).
  • How To Clear the Monthly Checklist & Start Over

I tend to experiment with health and wellness on my eternal quest for health, happiness, and creating the life I want, so I decided to try a 30-day plank challenge about 8 months ago.

Each day you increase the number of seconds to do a plank. First, I took a photo of the 30-day challenge graphic, but I kept forgetting what day I was on. So then I decided to turn the graphic into a list in Apple Notes.

I discovered the checklist was a great option so I could tick off the day as I completed each day. At the end of the 30-days, I wanted to go another month, so I unchecked everything and started over. It’s really simple, but it clicked with me and now I do it whenever I want to start a 30-day challenge or to just keep track of habits that I want to maintain.

Lifehacks work for me. This simple habit tracker is kind of fun and seeing all the checklists makes me never want to skip a day.

  1. I have one folder for ‘Habits’
  2. I create new Notes for each habit
  3. Every day that I complete a habit I tick the radio button circle
  4. At the end of the month, I uncheck all the circles and re-use the note and start over
Apple Notes

How I Set Up My Monthly Habit Tracker:

Folders (I put a number in front to control order)

The screenshots and tutorial were done on my iMac, but you can create folders, notes, and checklists on iOS Devices.

  1. Open Apple Notes (I am using iMac for this tutorial)
  2. Create a New Folder (3 different ways)
    …File>New Folder
    …Right-click and choose ‘New Folder’
    …Keyboard Shortcut: Cmd + Shift + N
  3. Name the Folder (Tip: I use 00_Folder to control order as Notes will sort alphabetically otherwise)
  4. Create a New Note (3 different ways)
    …File>New Note
    …Right-click ‘New Note’
    …Keyboard Shortcut: Cmd + N
  5. Add a Title to the Note (Exercise, Writing, e.g.)
    -The first line of any note will be the title
  6. Type in Day 01: — Day 31:
  7. Select all of the days
  8. Click the circle with check mark at the top to ‘Make a Checklist’
  9. Click each circle to fill in and click to uncheck
Notes (The first line of a note is always the title)

You have successfully checked all of the days (yeah!) and it’s time for a new month. Rather than unchecking all one by one, you can clear all at once.

  1. Select all of the days by dragging.
  2. Click the ‘Make a Checklist Button’ to convert to a basic list.
  3. Click the ‘Make a Checklist’ button again to create a blank checklist.
  4. Start checking the list and building new habits!

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Mike Murphy

Podcast & Tech Handyman. I make tutorials and help people figure things out. Email: mike@mikemurphy.co