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I need motivation to complete some daily studies. In the past, I used Web-based "don't break the chain" software. This counted when I studied and awarded various virtual trophies each time I reached a certain number of days. This proved sufficiently motivating, but the technology was not too reliable though. I ran into problems when the Internet could not connect for a single day, which meant I had to start over. Eventually the system was sold to another company and disappeared.

I want to find a completely low-tech solution. I've seen that some people simply use a calender and mark checks on each day, but this does not seem motivating to me.

Is there any other approach to recording and motivating a task that must be completed every day without relying on unreliable technology?

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Are you able to define which criteria the calendar doesn't satisfy? Otherwse the fact that the calendar method is motivating or not is just a subjective fact, therefore also all the other alternatives will be subjective. you are just limited by your fantasy and the answers would be very broad... whatever consists of piling or removing objects would work! enter image description here

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Or a variation: use a plain old paper calendar and color the days/things you have done in bright colors. – Jan Doggen May 6 '14 at 20:25
I've converted this answer to community wiki if anybody wants to add something – laika May 6 '14 at 22:51

Since the consecutive date/time element is kind of the point of "the chain", I think it'll be hard to avoid a calendar of some kind, unless you just keep a tally of marks or "done/not done" (or similar) in a running list. Although it's a calendar, something I've done is to use David Seah's Compact Calendar ( - basically, an easy way to put a very simple daily calendar on one page. I've fit three identical yearly calendars on a single page (one for each project or thing I want to keep a chain for) and printed it, then either circled or X-ed a given date. You could use highlighter pens if you wanted more color.

Maybe if you don't care about the time factor and would be motivated with some kind of reward, perhaps pick out something you want to buy for $50-100, then every time you complete your task, put $1 in a jar or box until you reach your goal.

Hope this helped!

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