Chains.cc is a simple productivity tool aimed to boost motivation by following the “don’t break the chain” leverage technique supposedly favored by Jerry Seinfeld. The basic principle revolves around satisfying visual feedback for successfully achieving consistency in a task one wants to make part of their regular routine — as the chain grows longer, so the theory goes, the less likely you are to want to break it.
Chains.cc allows its users to create as many custom chains as they desire. Each chain may be given a title, assigned a color and given a “skin” to visually distinguish it or give it an appropriate theme. For tasks that are not appropriate for every day, such as weekday work, it’s also possible to set days for which the task is habitually skipped.
Once one or more chains have been created, it’s then up to the user to check in on the app each day to mark off their chains as completed. This is achieved with a simple swipe left or right on the relevant chain’s information, and the app gives immediate feedback as to how many days have been “chained” in succession. Turning the device clockwise into landscape orientation allows for a satisfying visual overview of how long the various chains have been successfully running, while turning it anticlockwise allows the user to adjust their profile information.
Chains.cc requires an Internet connection to use, which is frustrating — while it allows for the convenience of being able to log in to the Chains.cc website to manage one’s chains, it means that it is impossible to use the app in an area with no cellular or Wi-Fi signal. In fact, the app logs the user out completely if the Internet connection drops, which is not particularly helpful; a better implementation would be for the app to store changes locally while offline then sync with the Chains.cc servers when a reliable Internet connection becomes available.
It would also be to the app’s benefit to provide access to all the services that the full Chains.cc website offers — in particular, the Groups feature, which allows users to interact with one another, provide support and compare performance. Groups may be either public or private, and are an active, lively part of the Chains.cc community, so it is strange that they have not been implemented into the mobile app.
The Chains.cc mobile app is off to a good start, then — it is simple, clean, efficient and easy to use — but could do with some updates to make it a truly great productivity/motivational tool. With the simple addition of offline/sync functionality and the ability to access Groups, it would be a significantly more useful app with the potential to build up a strong, loyal, supportive community. As it stands at the time of writing, however, it’s simply a good-quality, well-presented personal motivational tool — useful for some, certainly, but others may prefer to wait for the app to be more fully-featured before handing over money for it.
Chains.cc is currently ranked at No. 131 in Top Paid Productivity Apps and No. 364 in Top Grossing Productivity Apps. Follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.