A to Z blog hop at Patterings.
3rd round of A2Z blog meme. Click the pic for more info. 
Well, I’m kind of late for the first day of A2Z. Sort of. I spent all day yesterday thinking about things I like that started with the letter A. I kind of stopped after I went through Apple and Apricot and realized that I wasn’t really getting anywhere very fast. I stopped thinking and slept on it, only to realize the perfect answer when I woke up today. I should warn you that this post might sound like an app review. Maybe. I’ll try to work on that.

Like most dedicated Iphone or Ipad users, I am just a little “app-crazy” when it comes to personalizing my apple gadgets. Half of the fun of an i-device is the ability to find useful apps that not only help to make things fun and interesting, but also reflect your personality.

Unsurprisingly, my Iphone is filled with puzzle games, blogging apps and every single reading app you can think of. I also have a very specific to-do list app.

As a self-proclaimed creature of habit, I like things when they fall into a neatly ordered list. Specifically, lists are simple and I like simple things. When I first went app-crazy with my new phone, I downloaded about twenty to thirty different reminder apps, productivity apps and list-making apps, but could not find one with a clean interface, useful features and an incentive to make me actually use it, instead of just wasting valuable screen space.

By accident, I stumbled across a nifty little app by the name of CARROT. Now, don’t be fooled by the name, because CARROT is anything but an innocent little productivity app. The idea is very simple and the execution is brilliant-with a few notes.

CARROT is the name of the AI that runs the to-do list. She is sarcastic, irritating and smart-mouthed. Phrases like “lazy human” and “spineless idiot” are among some of her catchphrases if you don’t complete the tasks on your list. If you do, rewards include silly jokes, random trivia facts and the occasional mention of “you warm the cockles of my emotional processing center”. Ha!

Starting out as a point-based system, you begin on level 1 and as you progress by completing tasks, your points add up you unlock the ability to add recurring tasks, add reminders, sync with the native Reminders app and so on. You can also earn a kitten.

A very cute virtual kitten by the name of Captain Whiskers. He lives on Sever 13 in CARROTS server building. You can see him on the cat-cam. He’s adorable.

If you continue on, you can also earn a collar and continue in the CARROT story, learning different kinds of odd facts, and getting things done. I fell in love with using CARROT after I discovered the dark side of it. If you keep CARROT happy, things stay in blue and white, with generalized insults–when you slack off for say, 15 to 18 hours at a time. Yikes!

If you manage to pass x amount of time without completing any tasks, CARROT switches to “wrathful mode” and the blue and white becomes red and black. Eeps. All points earned during this time are halved and you’ll have to do extra work to get back in CARROT’s good graces. She had moods like, happy, joyful, ecstatic and so on.

For me, CARROT is that snarky friend who nags you about getting your life in order and making concrete plans about seeing your dreams turn into reality. It’s probably my most used app and I literally do use it every single day. I’m currently on level 180.

I’ve also gotten quite a few things done in the past few months. A surprising amount of things done, actually. The app developer has mentioned something about there currently being 300 levels or more and how he’ll be adding more to the story as well as other unlockable rewards. While I don’t particularly worry about leveling up and such, I must admit to a great sense of satisfaction when I’ve accumulated enough points to move up.

Of course, CARROT is not for everyone. (and if that isn’t the most cliched advertising line, ever, I don’t know what is!). I have a rather odd sense of humor, so it doesn’t bother me to wake up to a phone chime and see a notification message reading “you lazybones human, you’ve been slacking off for 18 hours. Make yourself useful!” In the same vein, I’ve also learned not to accept any wikipedia links, if I don’t want to know that those weird facts are actually true (what is seen can never been unseen–and wow, I even worked a meme line into here…). But, it’s made things more fun for me.

I am definitely 100% app crazy and probably addicted to using CARROT. On the other hand, considering how much I’ve actually gotten done–you can have CARROT to thank for reminding me that it’s time to start regularly updating my blogs–I can’t really complain.

Thanks for stopping by–and if you need a kick in the pants to nudge your productivity up a notch, give CARROT a shot and let me know what you think.

*all images for CARROT were taken from the press kit available on the official CARROT site. 

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