Plant nanny app

Chrystal O., second-year graduate student, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Maryland

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 starsIf you’re anything like I am, doing healthy things just doesn’t come easy. And for me, drinking enough water every day is hard. I have a large, 32-oz. water bottle that I keep with me, but I always forget to fill it, or I just don’t drink from it. I know that when I do drink enough water, I feel so much better—more energized, less achy, all that good stuff. But it’s still hard to motivate myself to actually do it. (Also, I hate having to go to the bathroom all the time, but that’s a problem for another day.)

Another fact about myself: I have a super-hard time keeping live plants, well, alive. Fortunately, Plant Nanny solves both my biggest problems!

The Plant Nanny app uses the water you drink to “water” virtual plants and make them grow. And you don’t have to get your hands dirty to do it! You just input your current weight and physical activity level, and the app tells you a customized amount of water you should aim to drink every day. Then, when you input your water intake, the plant grows until it becomes large enough to move to your virtual garden. Those plants produce seeds, so you can buy bigger and more unique plants.

With the app, you can create different sizes of water bottles or glasses based on what you normally use. The app can also set reminders every few hours so you don’t get into the habit of not drinking water for long periods of time. Those reminders are lifesavers! They give me the push to actually hydrate myself and treat myself better, instead of just chugging a glass of water before bed because I forgot to drink it all day.

Now, just because these are virtual plants, don’t think you’re off the hook. If you don’t drink enough water, the plants won’t stay happy. They start wilting, and eventually they can die. But unlike real plants, you can either bury them and start over, or use a virtual “drop of life” to save them and try again. I wish my real-life cactus could do that…

One downside is that if you don’t use the app for a few days, the reminders shut off. It’s kind of a harsh wake-up call to drink more water. But if you start again, those reminders pick right back up. Also, if you forget to enter your water intake throughout the day and do it all at once, the app will warn you to slow down, and you won’t level up as fast.

Plant Nanny is a fun way to remind myself to drink water, and I’m oddly amused by the anthropomorphized versions of plants used in this app. So download the app. Your body will thank you!

Get it on Google PlayGet it on iTunes Store