I have lots of things to keep track of, but not all of it requires a lot of detail. Sometimes I just want to know how many pull ups I’ve done since I started working out or how many carrots I ate this week. The numbers might not really mean anything, but looking at them all grouped together like that gives be a sense of accomplishment.
That sense of accomplishment can be enough to keep me going when I think I just can’t eat another carrot. The question is, how should I keep track of all those carrots eaten or walks taken or cats petted? Kount.ly may be the answer, with easy, no frills counters and a slick interface. Can it match up to, or even replace, similar apps?
You Can Count on It!
To get started counting things, tap the plus sign at the bottom. If the plus sign isn’t visible, check for the barely perceptible three dots at the bottom and swipe those upwards. Now you can start typing out the new counter. It can be anything you want to keep track of, but if you get really verbose, it’ll trail off and look sort of ugly.
There are a couple ways of to start adding to your count. First, tap and hold the counter in the list, and swipe to the right. One tick will be added to your total. Keep swiping to jack up your numbers. The swiping is great if you’re updating several of your counts really quickly in the list, but if you just wiped out a nice chunk of the alien horde and want to record that for posterity (or at least for the tiny people living inside your iPhone), the swiping gets tedious. In that case and if you’re just updating one counter, tap on it in the list and it opens in a separate screen where you can tap the add and subtract buttons until Kount.ly accurately reflects your recent feats of bravery.
Once inside a specific counter’s screen, not only can you adjust the total up and down, but you can leave little notes for yourself, too. Every time you’ve ticked up the counter, the time and date is recorded. Find the record in the list below the counter, and you can expound on the events surrounding the occasion. Tap the note icon to the right of the datestamp and type out whatever your heart is feeling, but keep it short; there’s a 300 character limit.
If you’ve done particularly well today, swipe upwards on the hidden menu at the bottom of the screen and tap the Facebook icon. You can share your progress with your friends and let them know how well you’re getting on with a particular goal. Of course, if you’re counting some kind of exercise thing that you just haven’t gotten around to or something weird like cat weddings officiated, you may choose to keep those counters to yourself.
The only other function, really, is the ability to archive old counters. If you had a plan to lose 45 pounds and you hit that goal ages ago, good for you, but you probably don’t need to be staring at that “pounds lost” counter. To get rid of a counter without deleting it outright, tap and hold it in the list and swipe to the left. It gets archived below all your active counters. If you archive something by mistake, no big whoop, though. Just tap the Archive icon below your active counters revealing your archived counters, and right swipe the one you want to recover.
More Than Just a Things Counter
I’ve been using Kount.ly for all sorts of stuff. Most of it has been really silly, like counting aliens killed in the new video game I got, but not all of it. I’ve been keeping track of how much I exercise and my chores around the house. There’s something really satisfying about ticking off another ten pushups done or another mile walked. The notes are a bonus, because I can elaborate on just what I was doing and how I felt, but the character limit lets me off the hook of writing some sort of inspirational exercise iPhone fanfic.
There are other apps that offer this sort of reinforcement and even go one further by connecting you with a community. I like Kount.ly because it’s simpler though, and there isn’t a community. I’m not getting feedback from strangers, and I’m just fine with that. Kount.ly is just enough that I’m willing to stick with it without getting overwhelmed.
At the same time, Kount.ly is incredibly customizable because it’s so simple. It doesn’t only have to be a count up, but you can also create countdowns. At the beginning of the day, I create a new counter with the total amount of water in ounces I want to drink for the day. As I get my eight glasses, I knock a few ounces off, until I make it to zero. I also created a countdown to Christmas, and I can envision Kount.ly being used similarly for birthdays, weddings, and other big events.
The one drawback of Kount.ly is that it’s cumulative. It’s not going to start over at the beginning of a new day or a new week; that’s way too complicated for the simplicity of Kount.ly. If you need your counters to reset, you’re going to have to do that manually.
Design and Settings
There’s not a whole lot going on with this interface. It’s super scaled down and simple, and there’s not a lot to look at besides the counters. That said, it really does look very nice. An angry commenter in the App Store couldn’t figure out how to navigate Kount.ly, and I can see how you’d have the problem; it’s just that scaled back. But the three dots at the bottom of every screen will bring up the navigation menu and guide you home. The interface is so very clean, though, you almost wouldn’t notice them.
There are a couple of preferences available to change in the settings. Kount.ly makes some pretty adorable noises, but if you start to find them irritating or just need some quiet time, they can be turned off in the settings. You can also change the color theme, but it doesn’t alter a whole lot; the main color will remain white, but you’ll get a bit of variety in the accent color.
Kount.ly is simple and easy to use. It’s no problem to set up and start using a counter or to get rid of that counter when you’re done. If you’re looking for community, you’re not going to find that here, but that’s one of the strengths of Kount.ly and what sets it apart. It’s a slimmed down counter app. If you need to keep track of, well, anything, Kount.ly is one to try.