Personal gamification

Is there such a notion as personal gamification? I was recently sent an email asking me to help with someone’s research on the use of apps etc. by academics. I didn’t have the time to fill this in (shame on me… I found the time to write this rumination), but it has made me think about the way I use apps for my own work. My ruminations are:

· I seem to change apps quite a bit. Some frequently (the five second test… download the app, don’t like it or have one already that is better), some after a while (use a particular one because I am near a phone or spending more time on the PC or spending more time on the ipad so apps seem linked to the type of technology I am attached to that day/week/month).

· Some I re-discover and think ‘why didn’t I continue to use this?’ One I re-found this week is the Stickynotes app for Windows. I am now using it to note action lists for each of the writing project I have. It is definitely making me both more productive and I like playing with it.

· Most of the ones I use are the free ones, as the extras you get for a subscription doesn’t always justify the cost (apart from Endnote as I need to access this when I am travelling).

· Some actually make me more productive, such as ‘25 minutes’.  That one forces me to focus (most of the time, although not today as it is very humid and concentration is rather lacking for what Cal Newport calls ‘Deep Work’. See it on Amazon).

The point of this rumination is that the app is probably not designed for gamification but it produces a behavioural response in me where I engage in its use as a sort of gamification process. But not all the apps I use are personal gamification, such as Stickynotes.  With that one I don’t put myself in competition with myself when using it and I don’t reward myself when I write one up, whereas I do when I use 25 minutes, probably because that functionality is built into it… …